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Will My American Law Degree Be Recognized In Nigeria?

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum. I find it very refreshing. It puts a smile on my face at the end of the day when I read the postings, especially the funny ones. I noticed you have written a lot about jobs. I have a question that hasn't quite been touched on. Here it is:

I am an attorney in the U.S. This means in addition to my bachelor's I have a masters level law degree. This is different from a Nigerian law degree which may be a bachelor's level degree. I don't have any degrees from Nigeria although I intend to earn a BL from the Nigerian Law School in the near future).

A fresh graduate attorney in the U.S. can make $100,000 a year, but I would like to contribute my human capital to Nigeria so I am looking for positions in Nigeria.

I found that a lot of companies are hiring expatriates, but with an engineering degree or a Medical degree you can pretty much work anywhere in the world. Obviously, for lawyers, on the other hand, employment is limited if you are coming into different country with a foreign law degree.

Does anyone know anyone who has been able to enter the Nigerian employment scene with a J.D. (an American law degree)? Does anyone know any companies in Nigeria looking to hire Nigerians expatriates with Juris Doctors. I am interested in Human Resources, legal consulting, international tax, contract drafting and analysis etc.

Thanks, everyone.

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12 answers

@Gannzter

Understood. That's why I said "your JD won’t be recognized to practice law in Nigeria". Just like you said, one will be required to take Bar 1 & 2. However, I did not know that internship is compulsory. Thanks!

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@Wallie

Your JD "IS" recognized by the Nigerian Law School, but you have to spend time in Law School like anyone else. Unlike students with local LLB's though, you have to spend 2 years instead of one and you also need to take part in a compulsory internship, supervised by the Law School.

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I see that the OP was written in 2006 and you seem to be still seeking information several years later. Have you been practicing in NJ all along and if so, what type of law? What is your first degree or other degree(s) in? I ask because it might make for a better platform when advertising your skills.

I practice patent law in the DC area. But as to your original question, your JD won’t be recognized to practice law in Nigeria. However, if you’ve acquired considerable experience in US corporate law, business law, and/or taxation a law firm or corporation might hire you to become an expert on American law.

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Ok. That last line definitely gave me a good laugh. Thanks! And thank you for the Nigerian Lawyers Association idea.

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Hey Shawlar,

How are you? Thanks for your message. But before I contact you just to be on the safe side, what exactly is the name of your company and what type of legal connections do you have?

Laydy75

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i am in the process of gettin my company affiliated with a major recruitment company,

u can contact me on solayisade@yahoo.com

Could hook you up,

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dennylove

my add is on my profile  ok.  Besides, you did not request for  help. Did you?

Good intention.

A friend of mine  did his LLM  @ Notre Dame. He has gone back to Naija to work.  Contact me for futher details. adconlinedotcom@yahoo.com

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Good intention.

A friend of mine  did his LLM  @ Notre Dame. He has gone back to Naija.  Contact me for futher details.

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C'mon, Is there any Law degree that is not recognized in Nigeria?

I mean, Nigeria? and Law.

If we were to use a 1US$ to NGN130 scale, im not sure, but can seasoned lawyers make NGN13million/year? - clean money?, lets talk of an average Lawyer, not the big-time ones, lets forget about fresh grads for now. Anyway, it depends on your connections, I mean LEG, as in L+E+G.

Im one of those who came to Nigeria some years ago, also who wanted to contribute. Am I contributing?, well, let me say i'm doing my best. Im an engineer, not a lawyer.

I've discovered that in whatever you want to do/achieve in this country, there are only 2-things necessary, just two, and nothing else. Its not what you know, its nothing but L+E+G and M+O+U+T+H. These are major variables and valuables for anyone seeking to make a headway in Life in Nigeria. LEG could be your own LEG, or someone's LEG on your behalf while MOUTH could be your own MOUTH or someone's MOUTH on your behalf. If you have these 2 kampe, and seriously rooted, Nigeria would be the best place you've ever been to.

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Hi, I think your motivation is really a stromg one and I salute your corage for that. However, for you to be enrolled as a barrister and solicitor in Higeria, you must attend the Nigerian Law School. I think for those with a foreign degree, you need to do Bar part I and II. Of course, some companies might hire you right away, especially the international companies. However, your activities respecting the practice of law in Nigeria, be it commercial, corporate or otehrwise will be limited. On the other hand, you might be employed to do non strictly legal work for the company. Good luck and keep us posted when you succeed.

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I suppose it depends on which area of law you want to specialise in. if you want to go into litigation, then you have to go to the Nigerian Law school. however, if you are only going to work in companies in an advisory role, you might have a chance. However, that would only be with most multinationals that would be involved in international law. A lot of companies would expect you to at least go to our law school here. Your degree will be recognised though.

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PM me, i culd hook u up wit some companies,

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