The Chief Justice of the Judiciary of Sierra Leone Babatunde Edwards has said that students applying for law school next year will be required to take an entrance exam.
Edwards made this revelation on the 30th November 2022 at the this year’s Call to the Bar certification ceremony, emphasizing that they cannot compromise quality.
“Next year it will be a prerequisite for admission for to the law school for graduates to pass an entrance examination as it happens in other countries,” said the Chief Justice.
He explained that the requirements to enter law school had been for one to pass the three core modules: Equity and Trust, Law of Tort and Land Law in one sitting without reference whilst at the university.
Edwards added that the law profession is a special one which its professionals to be smart and hardworking both in college and law school.
He spoke of concerns raised about the large number of barristers and solicitors that graduate from the school every year, noting that it does not correspond with the demand.
He stated that those concerns are noted and admitted that they face challenges in fixing graduates for pupillage which is required for a lawyer to sign in the permanent register of legal practitioners.
He said they intend to add a state of the art to building that can accommodate not less than 400 students, stating their students have donated an amount of 50 million Leones for the structure.
He called on all legal practitioners to explore new territories and maintain the standards of the profession.
A Final Year Law Student at Fourah Bay College who asked not to be named noted that if one has done an exceptional job by producing a brilliant degree and getting the requirement by passing the core module, then it’s fair to allow the student access to law school.
“To take another examination again, it’s too much if you ask me” she said.
She explained that the course is tough and with the anticipation of what is to be expected in law school, it will be too much to add an entrance exam.
But some lawyers who spoke to Politico lauded the idea, explaining that it would be a plus to the institution but stressed there should be “no compromise”.
This year’s ceremony saw the certification of 228 barristers and solicitors in the High Court of Sierra Leone. The Sierra Leone Law School was first established in 1990 with 26 students.