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Can I Skip NLS and Go Straight to NYSC?

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If you are a Nigerian law graduate who wants to practice law in Nigeria, you might be wondering if you can skip the Nigerian Law School (NLS) and go straight to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The short answer is no, you cannot. The long answer is explained in this blog post.

The NLS is a mandatory institution for all Nigerian law graduates who want to be called to the Nigerian bar and practice law in Nigeria. It is a one-year program that consists of two semesters of academic training and one semester of externship.

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The NLS curriculum covers the core areas of Nigerian law, such as constitutional law, criminal law, civil procedure, evidence, professional ethics, and general practice. The NLS also teaches practical skills such as legal drafting, advocacy, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution.

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The NYSC is a one-year national service program for all Nigerian graduates who are below the age of 30. It aims to promote national unity, patriotism, and social integration among Nigerian youths.

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The NYSC involves three weeks of orientation camp, where corps members are trained on basic military drills, physical fitness, and civic education. After the orientation camp, corps members are posted to various states and sectors to serve their country in different capacities.

The NLS and the NYSC are both compulsory for Nigerian law graduates who want to practice law in Nigeria. You cannot skip the NLS and go straight to the NYSC because:

  • The NLS is a prerequisite for being called to the Nigerian bar. Without completing the NLS and passing the bar exam, you cannot practice law in Nigeria or use the title of Barrister or Solicitor.
  • The NYSC requires a certificate of call to the bar as one of the documents for registration. Without the certificate of call to the bar, you cannot register for the NYSC or obtain your discharge certificate.
  • The NLS and the NYSC are sequential programs that follow each other. You cannot do them concurrently or interchangeably. You have to finish the NLS before you can start the NYSC.
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Therefore, if you are a Nigerian law graduate who wants to practice law in Nigeria, you have to complete both the NLS and the NYSC in that order. There is no shortcut or exemption for either program. You have to follow the due process and fulfill the requirements of both institutions.

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