How To Become A Lawyer In Ghana

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A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying the law, but not as a paralegal or charter .

How To Become A Lawyer In Ghana

Become A Lawyer In Ghana: In Ghana, Practising as a lawyer primarily involves advising and representing individuals and institutions in pursuing and defending their legal rights.

Being in the Bar can provide a challenging yet exciting and fulfilling experience. The Bar provides a close-knit but very sociable society and features many events such as the Annual Bar Conferences and educational lectures to facilitate further legal development and networking amongst members.

To qualify for the Bar, you must satisfy a 2-year educational and skill development requirement at the Ghana School of Law. To be enrolled in the Ghana School of Law for this course, you must possess a Law Degree from Universities and Institutions approved by the General Legal Council and must have passed the following subjects: Law of Contract Torts, Criminal Law, Law of immovable property, Constitutional Law, The Ghana Legal System, and its History, Equity and Succession. You will then write an entrance examination followed by an interview before you are admitted to undertake the 2-year training. After completing and passing the Ghana School of Law course, you will be enrolled into the Ghana Bar if the General Legal Council is satisfied that you are of the good character followed by a 6-month pupillage requirement after which a Solicitor Licence is issued.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE

There are various law firms in Ghana where you can obtain legal services. A list of Law firms in Ghana can be found through the various search engines and on legal websites. There is also the Legal Aid Scheme available for those unable to afford legal help although access to this aid is quite limited due to underfunding.

There are also firms that provide free services on a bro bono basis. Pro Bono is available to those who cannot afford a Lawyer and are not eligible for legal aid. You can contact the various firms to find out about their pro bono services. Pro Bono services in Ghana are very limited and mainly exist in the Human Rights Law field. There are also organizations that offer Pro Bono services. Some of these organisations include Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Human Rights Advocacy Centre in Ghana, FIDA and Legal Resources Centre.

Pro Bono facilitates access to Justice and lawyers provide help with:

  • Advice on a problem,
  • Mediation, and
  • Representation in courts and tribunals.

REPRESENTING YOURSELF

Due to the costly nature of litigation and the limitations on the Legal Aid Scheme in Ghana, you might find yourself in court without representation. In that case, you may have to represent yourself. This is known as “litigant in person”.

You may first want to assess your case to find out if it has merit to begin with. If you decide so, you may want to obtain information on how to proceed with your case from any legal sources you may be aware of including lawyers. These may help you determine the merits of your case and whether it would be beneficial to proceed to court.

Become A Lawyer In Ghana steps

You can also explore an out of court settlement option which is cheaper and faster than court action. That option now provided by the courts and private centres is called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). There are various processes used to facilitate amicable settlement. These include negotiation, mediation and arbitration. This means that you come to an agreement with the other side on how to resolve your dispute, without going to court or if already in court going through full scale court hearing. Often, this means that you will have to compromise.

Summary: How To Become A Lawyer In Ghana

Like I have said, the first step of becoming a lawyer starts from your senior high school. That means you must pass the required subjects at your ‘O’ Level or ‘A’ Level exams.

Admission Requirements to Study Law in Ghana

To study law at a Ghana university, there are some requirements that you must meet before you are being offered admission. There are actually three ways of doing that. We’ll take you through the three categories.

Category One: 4—Year (full-time) LLB programme

Category 1 candidates are admitted as holders of:

(i) WASSSCE with credits in the three core subjects (English, Mathematics and Integrated Science) and three WASSSCE elective subjects in General Arts or Science or Business with Business Management, Economics, Accounting, Costing and Business Mathematics with aggregate 20 or better.

(ii) GCE Advanced Level with credit in at least five ‘O’ level subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, together with three ‘A’ Levels or equivalent in Arts or Science subjects.

iii)  Mature candidates who must be 25 years of age and above with credits in at least five ‘O’ Levels, including English Language and Mathematics.

Category Two: 3—Year (full-time) LLB programme

Category 2 candidates are admitted as holders of a first degree in a discipline other than law. Candidates in this category will be required to do a three-year full-time LLB programme.

Category Three: 4—Year (part-time) LLB programme

Category 3 candidates are also admitted as first degree holders in a non-law subject. Candidates in this category will be required to do a four-year part-time LLB programme.

Enrol in Ghana Law School

After your LLB programme, you need to enrol at Ghana Law School before you can become a lawyer in Ghana. The Ghana School of Law is a two-year programme.

Before you can apply to the Ghana Law School, you need to meet the admission requirements.

To become a lawyer in Ghana could take a total of six years for most WASSCE applicants. However, 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.

Ghanaians who obtained an LLB degree in a foreign university also need to apply to the Ghana Law School before they can be called to bar in Ghana.

Obtain License to Practice Law in Ghana

This is the last step that you need to practice law in Ghana. Once you have been called to bar, you need to obtain a license from the Ghana Legal Council to practice law in Ghana.

In fact, it is mandatory that all lawyers wishing to practice within the jurisdiction of Ghana, first obtain a license issued by the council. If you want to obtain the license to practice law in Ghana, visit the office of the Ghana Bar Association and go through the necessary processes or download the form below.

Solicitor’s Application Form