Lawyers aren’t as well paid as they were in the past. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t those who are well paid. The tale, which has often been repeated, that lawyers are poor, is a lie. There are lawyer who are well paid. In this post, we’ll be looking at the salary structure of lawyers in Nigeria.
Are you a student? You want to write JAMB/UTME? You aren’t sure if you can still chose Law as a course? Well, you can choose Law. We’ll be adding the easiest way to survive as a lawyer in Nigeria.
How to Get Employed as a Lawyer?
Most Nigerians and those around the world revere th name and profession of lawyers. This is why young people rush into the profession. It is not so profitable. However, it is a respected profession.
You can only get job as a lawyer when you study Law in one of the accredited Law Faculties in Nigeria. After studying the Law there, you go to one of the campuses of the Nigerian Law School. Then, when you pass Law School, you are certified as a lawyer to practise in Nigeria.
To get admitted to study Law in a Nigerian University, you should make credit in English Language, Literature, and 3 other social sciences or art subjects. Most faculties would require you to credit Mathematics. Some would require that you credit a science subject in place of Mathematics like the University of Nigeria. You should make a pass in Mathematics, at least.
You can then go ahead to practise as a lawyer in Nigeria. You can practise as an independent lawyer or work under someone.
The Salary Structure of Lawyers in Nigeria
We’ll be breaking down the salary structure of lawyers according to their ranks and experience. The more years you spend as a lawyer, the more experience you garner, and the more money.
You should know that Government lawyers are paid more than those who work in private firm. However, if you trust your guts, working as an independent lawyer is better to argue and win cases. Now, let’s take a look at the salaries of lawyer who work in private firms.
1. Interns: These are lawyers who just finished from Law School, they have little or no experience. They are mostly those undergoing their NYSC program. They are paid as low as 20,000 naira, and as high as 100,000 naira monthly depending on the chamber.
2. Junior Associates: These ones have moderate experience after Law School of up to 5 years. They are paid 80,000 naira to 200,000 naira monthly.
3. Senior Associates/Partners: These ones are major stakeholders in the firm. They have been in the firm for a pretty long time or have had long time experience of more than 10 years elsewhere. They are paid highest in a firm.
They receive about 150,000 to over a million naira monthly. The amount is determined according to the location and success of the chamber.
4. For a government lawyer, you are paid 100,000 naira monthly, and above, as an entry level lawyer. You might end up getting paid around and above 350,000 naira before you retire after long years of service.
5. Meanwhile, when you are employed by a company to become their lawyer or join their legal team in case they are sued, you can be paid around 200,000 naira to over 1 million depending on the company and your experience.
How to Survive as a Lawyer and Become a Successful Lawyer?
1. You take your studies seriously while you are in school. This concerns your faculty of law studies and the law school proper.
2. You should try to graduate with a good result. If it is possible, you should try make first class in Law School.
3. While in school, especially Law School, network and make friends with a lot of people, especially high net worth individuals.
4. You should be volunteering to learn more and practise from successful lawyers around you while in school, during NYSC, and after aas well.
5. First thing you should do after NYSC is to look for good jobs in government, private chambers, and company work.
6. Even if you have it in mind to open your own chamber, you shouldn’t open it right after graduation. You should work, gain experience, know people, get contacts, and then open yours.
7. We can’t state that anyone is the best–government, private practice, and law firm. We can only point out that you should work for a while before opening your private practice.
8. There are many areas lawyers make money, and so, you shouldn’t sit around for cases alone. You can write land deeds, you can write agreements, you can be a caretaker for landlord, and so many other things.
You have to be smart, vibrant, and active to be a successful lawyer.
This post has successfully examined the salary wtructure of lawyers in Nigeria, and how to be a successful lawyer. It is good you know you can still be a successful lawyer and be paid well. All these talks about lawyers being paid peanuts is not totally true.