A Justice of the supreme Court , Justice mariama Owusu ,has said that the expansion of legal education must be complementary to quality. “while legal education is expanding,we need not compromise on quality,she stated.
She said this at a lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Kumasi campus of the Ghana school of law last Monday at the Kwame Nkrumah University of science and technology (KNUST).
She spoke on the topic:”Evaluating 10 years of multi-campus approach of expanding access to legal education”
Justice Owusu said professional legal education in the country ,over the past years ,had gone through a lot of reforms, including the establishment of the Kumasi campus of the Ghana school of law, and that those reforms came with their own challenges,she explained,stemmed from the numerous campuses now offering legal education.She said in spite of the initial apprehension by some industry players about the quality of education at the Kumasi campus, the products had so far proven the sceptics wrong .
Over the past 10 years,she said ,the campus had produced three overall best students and had been part of award winners of the Ghana school of law.
Justice Owusu urged the students to take their studies seriously, saying the real education would start after passing the Bar examination.”What you are doing here is just the comedies. Do the mandatory six months pupillage and thereafter get yourself into a reputable chamber for those entering into private legal practice. “Know that being called to the Bar is just the beginning of being a lawyer. You are always learning as laws are always being enacted,and you have to study them and understand them before you can advise your clients”,she said.
Justice Owusu congratulated the Kumasi campus on its 10th anniversary, and praised the lecturers for their role in nurturing the campus into a formidable instruction.
The Ag. Director of the Ghana school of law ,Mr Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang said neither the school nor the general legal council (GLC) had a policy to prevent anybody from entering the school,and urged prospective students not to be pessimistic about their chances when applying for admission. Mr Opoku-Agyemang said admission to the school was based purely on performance at the entrance examination. “So if others have been successful then you can also be successful”,he said. He urged prospective students to concentrate on their studies and preparations when they applied for admission.
Mr Opoku-Agyemang,who is also the director of legal Education,, explained that as part of the reforms to admit more students,the GLC had reviewed the number of subjects for the entrance examination form 10 to five. He said part of the reforms would also require that only students who were successful at L.LB examination would be allowed to write the entrance examination. “This year we are not going to allow ‘awaiting results’ because this year we have gone through lots of games from students. Therefore,this year only those who have written and passed their LLB examinations would be eligible to write the entrance exam”he stated. Consequently ,he said all the law faculties in the country had agreed to write and hold their examination and congregation before that time. “Therefore, council also considered extending the time for the entrance examination to August so that the students would have more time to study” he said. Accordingly ,he said it behoved the students to study hard and to pass the entrance examination to be trained as lawyers.
Mr Opoku-Agyemang appealed to the government for assistance to complete a four storey building at the law village being developed by the GLC. When completed,he said ,the school would be in a position to admit close to 1,500 students without running a shift as was currently being done at the Ghana School of Law, a system he said was taking a toll on the lecturers.