10 Types of Lawyers in Nigeria will bring you the necessary facts about the field of specialization in the Law profession in Nigeria.
- Debt Recovery Lawyers
- Corporate Lawyer
- Criminal Defence Lawyers
- Transactional Lawyers
- Property Lawyers
- Immigration Lawyers
- Divorce Case Lawyer
- Employment Lawyers
- Public Interest Lawyers
- Dispute Resolution Lawyers
For the first couple of years when a Nigerian lawyer is called to the bar, he or she is likely to get loads of comments from friends and well-wishers saying ‘now that you have become a qualified lawyer, I can go out there and look for trouble, and if I get arrested. I will call you. These people clearly do not know much about Law and the different types of Lawyers.
The over-simplification of the different roles of lawyers as only limited to crimes and criminal issues is so because it is the impression held by many over the years even in the media.
The practice of law is a very broad field and there are different types of lawyers in Nigeria. Although, worthy of note is the fact that when a lawyer gets qualified to practice law in Nigeria, there are no restrictions on what area of law he or she can major in. So lawyers in Nigeria can pick and choose whatever area he/she wants to operate in.
Recently, there has been a trend of lawyers in Nigeria who have decided to specialize in certain areas of law. This is quite encouraging because one of the benefits of specializing in a certain area is the fact that it leads considerably to greater expertise.
Below are a few areas of Law in which the different types of lawyers in Nigeria have begun to specialize:
1. Debt Recovery Lawyers
A debt recovery lawyer is a lawyer that can represent you as a creditor or a debtor. He can help come up with strategies either to get back money that you have loaned out or to protect you from overeager creditors and he as well handles the paperwork for you or represents you in court.
This is mainly with respect to banking debts and the services of this kind of lawyer are patronized mostly by the banking firms to recover money owed by bad debtors. These lawyers get their service fees as a contingency based on the money they are able to recover or get back from the debtors.
2. Corporate Lawyer
The role of this type of lawyer is to ensure that commercial transactions are legalized. The intimate corporations and corporate officers about their duties/responsibilities and legal rights.
In order to do this, they must have knowledge of aspects of contract law, tax law, accounting, securities law, bankruptcy, intellectual property rights, licensing, zoning laws, and the law specific to the business of the corporations that they work for and this type of lawyer also deals with company incorporation and regulatory issues as well as primarily focusing on obtaining permits, license, registrations, etc. tax authorities and other Government agencies, and then see that all the legally mandated requirements for operation of the business of the client are ensured.
3. Criminal Defence Lawyers
A criminal Defence Lawyer is a lawyer (mostly barristers) specializing in the defense of individuals and companies charged with criminal activity.
Some criminal defense lawyers are privately retained, while others are employed by the various jurisdictions with criminal courts for appointment to represent indigent persons, they are generally called public defenders.
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4. Transactional Lawyers
These types of Lawyers counsel individuals and organizations on the legal issues generated by their business dealings. Many transactional Lawyers are drawn to this type of work because it is generally less adversarial than litigation.
Lawyers in Nigeria who have chosen this area of specialization normally work for big commercial law firms. They deal with things like Public-Private Partnerships, Project Finance, Mergers, Acquisitions, etc. Mainly, they work with other international law firms.
This area of specialization is considerably a lucrative area for these lawyers. It is also difficult to break into as the nature of clients is massive conglomerates and international banks and investment banks.
5. Property Lawyers
Lawyers in Nigeria are always open to this type of law. This is because it is mainly straightforward, and lawyers are necessary for property transactions. And as it is well known, any dealing that demands the transfer of interest like land/property needs a lawyer.
Here, lawyers charge their fees as a percentage based on the value of the transaction. Any type of lawyer can be involved in this area of dealing, his or her area of specialization notwithstanding.
6. Immigration Lawyers
An increasing number of lawyers in Nigeria are showing interest and beginning to specialize in Immigration law.
The good thing about this is making applications to the Nigeria Immigration Service for visas and work permits for employees of multinational companies.
It is an administrative process that is time-consuming and painstaking for lawyers not familiar with the inner workings of the Immigration service.
A subsection of lawyers who practice immigration law are also dealing with Immigration issues of other countries, for example, they deal with appeals and judicial reviews when clients’ visa applications are rejected.
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7. Divorce Case Lawyer
Many marriages in Nigeria are experiencing violence and troubles on a daily basis and this makes this area of specialization very lucrative for lawyers.
Lawyers in Nigeria who are involved in divorce cases prepare virtually all the necessary court papers detailing the grounds for divorce, represent the client’s interests in any divorce negotiations or settlement discussions and make the necessary court appearances.
8. Employment Lawyers
Lawyers in Nigeria who specialize in Labour and Employment Law are involved in things like non-payment of salaries, harassment, unfair dismissal at the workplace, etc.
The National Industrial Court has special jurisdiction for employment-related matters, so lawyers focusing on this field are well versed in its practices.
9. Public Interest Lawyers
The litigation of Public Interest encompasses those areas of law that are in the interest of the general public just as the name implies.
This is also a lucrative and interesting area of law (but is considered a very dangerous area). A great number of lawyers are afraid of this area because of the danger involved in challenging government illegality and fighting for human/civil rights.
10. Dispute Resolution Lawyers
This area has to do with all things that involve disputes that possibly end up in arbitration or in court. Lawyers who operate in this area successfully are only the highly intelligent ones who are very good at oratory and very knowledgeable in court rules.
They are the typical gown and wig lawyers, and their role involves making court appearances on behalf of clients and drafting court pleadings and processes.