This article discusses the list of the best universities to study law in Nigeria. These programmes are ranked using a couple of indicators to assess their performance, and some of which are explained below:
- Academic Reputation: This indicator is based on responses from various academics. They are asked to identify up to 10 domestic institutions that they consider excellent for research in the field of law. The results are then filtered to focus on the specific area of expertise identified by respondents.
- Employer Reputation: The employer reputation indicator relies on feedback from over a thousand graduate employers worldwide. These employers are asked to name up to 10 domestic institutions that they believe are excellent for recruiting graduates. They are also asked to specify the disciplines from which they prefer to hire graduates.
- Research Citations per Paper: This metric is based on data sourced from reliable sites and measures the number of research citations per paper. To ensure accuracy, a minimum publication threshold is set for each subject, and the weighting of the citations indicator is adjusted to reflect common publication and citation patterns in the discipline.
- H-index: The H-index is a measure used to evaluate both the productivity and impact of an academic or academic department at a university. It takes into account the most cited papers by an academic and the number of citations these papers have received in other publications.
These indicators collectively contribute to the rankings of universities for specific subjects, such as law. They help provide a comprehensive assessment of each university’s performance.
Best Universities To Study Law In Nigeria
1. University of Nigeria
The Faculty of Law at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, has a rich history dating back to September 1960, when it was established under the leadership of Professor G.M. Johnson. It holds the distinction of being the first Law Faculty in Nigeria. Over its 58 years of existence, it has produced over twelve thousand law graduates, many of whom have gone on to achieve prominent positions in various fields, including industry, higher education, the judiciary, and the legal profession.
The University of Nigeria was founded with the aim of addressing the social and economic needs of Nigeria, guided by the philosophy “To Restore the Dignity of Man.” This philosophy is reflected in the Faculty of Law’s program, which emphasizes that law operates within a social context and should be understood from that perspective. The legal training offered by the Faculty seeks to impart knowledge in several key areas:
- Understanding the nature of law and its role in administering justice and governing modern states.
- Learning the processes involved in determining legal principles and applying them to new situations.
- Gaining insights into the organization of the legal profession and the machinery of justice.
- Developing a grasp of the fundamental principles of various legal subjects.
- Exploring the connections between law and other social sciences within the broader societal framework.
Graduates of this Faculty are well-prepared to fit into diverse roles where a deep understanding of law and its social context is essential. The curriculum is designed to accommodate both those who aspire to become legal practitioners in Nigeria after obtaining the LL.B degree and those seeking employment opportunities in international and national agencies, government bodies, corporations, and enterprises.
The Faculty offers different programs to cater to various categories of law students, including a standard five-year undergraduate program and a four-year program for candidates who already possess university degrees, diplomas, or the GCE A/Level. Additionally, at the postgraduate level, the Faculty provides LL.M., M.Phil., and Ph.D. programs in various specialized areas of Law, supported by adequate research facilities.
Throughout its history, the Faculty has been fortunate to have had distinguished law scholars who have played a pivotal role in shaping its success. Notable scholars include Professor Emeritus C. O. Okonkwo (SAN), the late Prof. Gius Ezejiofor (SAN), Prof. B. O. Nwabueze, and many others.
In 2016, the Faculty underwent reorganization, expanding to seven academic departments to better serve its students. These departments cover a wide range of legal disciplines, including Commercial and Corporate Law, Customary and Indigenous Law, International and Comparative Law, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Private Law, Property Law, and Public Law. This expansion reflects the commitment of the University of Nigeria’s Faculty of Law to offer comprehensive legal education and research opportunities to its students.
2. University of Ibadan
The University of Ibadan (UI) stands as one of the premier institutions for studying law in Nigeria. Established in 1948 as University College Ibadan, it evolved into an independent university in 1962, making it the oldest degree-awarding institution in Nigeria. Throughout its history, UI has significantly contributed to Nigeria’s political, industrial, economic, and cultural development, earning its reputation as one of the most prestigious universities in Africa.
UI comprises 92 academic departments organized into 17 faculties, covering a broad spectrum of disciplines, including Arts, Science, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Agriculture, Social Sciences, Education, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Technology, Law, Public Health, Dentistry, Economics and Management Sciences, Renewable Natural Resources, Environmental Design and Management, and Multidisciplinary Studies. The faculties of Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Public Health, and Dentistry are collectively organized as a College of Medicine.
The Faculty of Law at UI has a rich history, dating back to 1981, when the Department of Law was established within the Faculty of the Social Sciences. In 1984, it transitioned into a full-fledged Faculty of Law, adhering to the requirements of the Council on Legal Education. Initially designed for students with prior first degrees in other disciplines, the program has since adapted to accommodate students through the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Throughout its existence, the Faculty has played a significant role in advancing legal education. It has organized public lectures delivered by eminent jurists, hosted seminars, and published the Ibadan University Law Review, among other publications. Graduates from the Faculty have excelled in various fields, with six alumni earning the prestigious Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) title. Many others have made notable contributions in the corporate sector, judiciary, academia, and private practice.
The Faculty of Law at UI has a clear vision and mission. Its vision is to become a world-class Faculty of Law dedicated to excellent legal training, research, and development that meet the needs of society. Its mission includes expanding legal knowledge through learning and research, producing law graduates with character, learning, and sound judgment, contributing to societal transformation through legal creativity and research, and serving as a dynamic guardian of legal rights and values.
Moreover, the Faculty aims to be a center of excellence in researching cutting-edge global legal issues and to represent law faculties and legal education in sub-Saharan Africa.
3. University of Lagos
The Faculty of Law at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) is among Nigeria’s oldest and most esteemed law faculties, founded in 1962, the same year as the university itself. Located on the Akoka campus in Lagos State, this faculty offers a comprehensive legal education program.
- Undergraduate Program
The undergraduate program at the Faculty of Law is a five-year journey leading to the award of the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree. The curriculum is divided into three stages:
- The first two years focus on core courses such as Jurisprudence, Public Law, and Private Law, providing students with a solid foundation in legal principles.
- In the third year, students have the opportunity to specialize in one of four areas of law: Civil Law, Criminal Law, Commercial Law, or International Law.
- The fourth and fifth years are dedicated to elective courses and the completion of an LL.B. thesis, allowing students to explore specific legal interests and engage in independent research.
- Postgraduate Programs
The Faculty of Law at UNILAG also offers a range of postgraduate programs to further legal education:
- Master of Laws (LL.M.): A one-year program designed for lawyers looking to specialize in a particular area of law.
- Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.): A two-year program tailored for lawyers interested in conducting in-depth research in a specific area of law.
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): A three-year program for lawyers aspiring to become academics and contribute to legal scholarship.
The faculty boasts a strong reputation for academic excellence and is home to numerous renowned legal scholars. Graduates of the Faculty of Law at UNILAG have gone on to achieve distinguished careers in various fields, including law, government, and the private sector.
- Investment in Infrastructure
In recent years, the Faculty of Law has made significant investments in its infrastructure and facilities. Students have access to a state-of-the-art law library, a moot court room, and other resources designed to create an optimal learning environment.
- Commitment to Legal Education and Research
The Faculty of Law is dedicated to providing students with high-quality legal education to prepare them for success in the legal profession. It is also committed to promoting research and scholarship in law and contributing to the development of legal thought and practice in Nigeria.
The Faculty of Law at the University of Lagos is a prestigious institution known for its commitment to legal education, research, and producing outstanding legal professionals who have had a significant impact on Nigeria and beyond.
4. University of Abuja
The Faculty of Law at the University of Abuja, established in 1988 and located on the Gwagwalada campus of the university, is highly regarded as one of the most prestigious law faculties in Nigeria. It offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
- Undergraduate Program
The faculty provides a five-year Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree program. This program equips students with a comprehensive understanding of the legal field and its various aspects. Students undergo rigorous training in legal principles, case law, and legal procedures.
- Islamic Law
- International Law and Jurisprudence
- Private and Property Law
- Public Law
These departments cover a wide range of legal disciplines, allowing students to specialize in their areas of interest.
- Postgraduate Program
In addition to the LL.B. program, the faculty offers a one-year Master of Laws (LL.M.) program for lawyers seeking advanced legal knowledge and specialization.
- Research Centers and Institutes
- Center for Constitutionalism and Human Rights
- Center for Environmental Law and Policy
- Center for International and Comparative Law
- Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution
- Alumni Network
The Faculty of Law, University of Abuja, boasts a strong alumni network, with many of its graduates holding prominent positions as judges, lawyers, and politicians. This network provides opportunities for mentorship and career advancement.
The faculty is highly competitive, and only the brightest and most qualified students are admitted. However, for those aspiring to pursue a legal career, the faculty offers a top-notch education that prepares graduates for success in the legal profession.
5. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
The Faculty of Law at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria, Nigeria, is widely recognized as the country’s greatest and most prestigious law faculty among tertiary institutions. It stands out for its remarkable success and influential graduates. Here’s an in-depth look at why the Faculty of Law at ABU Zaria holds such a prominent position:
- Overview of the Faculty
The Faculty of Law at ABU Zaria is located at the Institute of Administration, Kongo Campus, and is one of the 13 faculties within the university.
It comprises four departments that cover various aspects of legal education and practice.
The faculty boasts over 50 academic staff, including distinguished professors, making it an ideal place for legal education due to its exceptional training, outstanding students, and a strategic location.
- Historical Significance
Throughout its history, the Faculty of Law at ABU Zaria has remained dedicated to excellence in legal education and academic vitality. It has nurtured Nigeria’s legal talent, earning the reputation as a “cradle of Nigeria’s legal talent.”
The faculty’s alumni have excelled in various fields, including as justices, judges, governors, politicians, and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs).
The success of an academic institution is often measured by the achievements of its alumni. In this regard, the Faculty of Law at ABU Zaria stands out.
It has produced the highest number of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) and state chief judges in Nigeria, along with influential political figures.
Around 35% of Supreme Court justices, Chief Justices of states, and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) are graduates of this faculty.
Many prominent figures in Nigerian politics, government, and law, such as the current Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, and former EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, have graduated from this prestigious faculty.
The Faculty of Law at ABU Zaria holds a revered position in Nigeria’s legal education landscape due to its rich history, outstanding alumni achievements, and significant influence in producing legal professionals and leaders in the country.
Best Universities To Study Law (Full List)
- University of Nigeria
- University of Ibadan
- University of Lagos
- University of Abuja
- Ahmadu Bello University
- University of Benin
- Obafemi Awolowo University
- Abia State University
- Benue State University
- University Of Uyo