Legal scholars Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare and Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh took to Facebook Thursday to argue that with over 1000 law students graduating from various universities across the country annually, it was unfair to limit the number of LLB holders who can pursue their professional course at the GSL to 250.
The problem, according to them, is compounded by what they say is a lack of transparent criteria for admitting the 250.
Prof. Kwaku Asare said:
“The various Law School Faculties graduate over 1,000 students with the Legum Baccalaureus (LLB) annually but the Ghana School of Law (GSL) has facilities to accommodate only 250 of them to pursue the professional law course.
Most, if not everyone, who matriculate in the LLB program want the professional qualification. In consequence, the students have to incur cost to take an entrance exam, attend an interview and endure all kinds of emotional distress.
Needless to say, the criteria for admitting the 250 are murky and breed corruption.
All of these can be avoided by allowing the various Law Faculties to add an extra year beyond the Legum Baccalaureus where students are trained for the professional law course and exam.
The function of the GSL should then be reduced to administering the Bar Exam, which should be administered twice a year.”
Prof. H Kwasi Prempeh posited:
“The belief that there are too many lawyers in Ghana is based on a view of the legal market taken from the vantage point of someone concerned only with the needs of those in the small commercial segment of the Accra legal market, not with the vast and diverse needs of Ghanaians of all walks of life.
In any case, it is not the business of the General Legal Council to fix the supply of lawyers by means of a rigid quota. The market is better able to do that. The GLC must concern itself with quality control in legal education and practice, by setting and enforcing meritocratic and ethical standards for qualification and practice as a lawyer.
The legal profession should be an open, ethically-regulated meritocracy serving the legal needs of all Ghanaians, whoever and wherever they may be, not a cartel serving the high-priced legal needs or economic interests of a few in isolated urban markets.”
The Managing Partner at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah (BELA), Mr Ace Ankomah, backed calls for the quota system to be discarded, saying: “I do not agree with this system of using entrance exams into the Ghana School of Law to maintain an automatic yearly quota of 250 lawyers.”
Mr Ankomah, who is also a former senior lecturer at the Ghana School of Law, added: “This country needs as many lawyers as possible. There can never be a glut of us. Water will find its own level. Please open the system up. Tighten the actual professional exam but please stop this quota system.”