Chances are you either want to be a lawyer or you know someone who does. Maybe someone who wanted to get into Legon or Tech, but was forced to read Psychology or Theatre Arts. Can you still become a lawyer. And the answer is…
Which course do I need to read in senior high school in order to read law?
Answer: The limits on the study of law are very few. Some time back, anyone who read any course in Secondary/High school, whether visual arts or science, could read law but now many schools seem to accept only Science, General Arts and Business Students.
For those who want to do law as a postgraduate course however, as long as you have a first degree from any recognized university, you stand a chance…provided you can make it past the other admissions requirements
Is it advisable to study law as a first degree or it’s better to read another programme and study law later?
Answer: It depends on you actually. If you want to do something else and study law later, or you’re unable to make the grades for first degree law or you want to work and make money to support your study of the law, then you can study another programme first.
However, if you do not intend making any use of your first degree, it would be a waste of time to read another programme when law is what you ultimately want to do.
What exactly do they do at “Makola”?
Answer: When you attend Ghana School of Law and complete the course, you are called to the bar and that’s when you become a lawyer. The Ghana School of Law is popularly known as Makola because the main campus is located at Makola.
However, Ghana School of Law now has three branches, with one being at GIMPA, one in Kumasi and the main campus in Makola.
So how long does it take to study law in all?
Answer: Well, the Ghana School of Law is a two year programme. How long it takes to read law generally depends on the period of the bachelor’s degree.
For most WASSCE applicants, the undergraduate programme is for four years, making it a total duration of six years. For those who already have a first degree and want to study law, it depends on the university you obtain the law degree (LL.B) from. It could be two, three or four years depending on the university you attend.
Can I skip LL.B and go to the Ghana School of Law with any degree at all?
Answer: Nope. To enter Ghana School of Law, you have to have a bachelor’s degree in law.
So wait…Can you be a lawyer if you don’t go to Ghana School of Law but have a first degree in law?
Answer: No. You can only be a lawyer when you are called to the bar, and that only happens when you finish the Ghana School of Law programme.
What does a person have to do to become a judge?
Answer: All that is needed to become a judge is to first of all be a lawyer. A person can become a magistrate right after becoming a lawyer; become a Circuit Court judge after practicing as a lawyer for at least five years; a High Court judge after practicing for at least ten years; a Court of Appeal judge after at least twelve years of practice; and a Supreme Court judge after at least fifteen years of practice as a lawyer.
What is the difference between a barrister and a lawyer?
Answer: A lawyer can be either a barrister or a solicitor. Explained simply, barristers are lawyers who represent their clients in court and do courtroom advocacy. Solicitors are lawyers who mainly draft documents for their clients and advise them on legal issues but do not represent them in court.
This is distinction is found mainly in England. In Ghana, a lawyer can do the work of both a solicitor and a barrister.