A Guide To NYSC Applications at Nigerian Law Firms

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  1. When to apply

You’ve finally finished Bar Finals and now have more spare time; should you begin your NYSC applications?

The short answer is yes.

Resting and unwinding from the stress of exams is good and in fact, highly recommended, but don’t be too comfortable for too long. We’ve seen too many cases of students missing spots at their preferred law office because they did not apply on time or relied too heavily on that uncle’s connection.  It is just not worth it.

Plan your holiday and travel to give you enough time to hunt for a job, either before or after you travel. If you do not have any travel plans, we advise that you undertake internships while you await your Bar Final results. There are many benefits of undertaking legal internship, including the possibility of landing a permanent role.

We find that most firms do not require you to have been called to the Bar or even to have obtained your Bar Finals results to enable them consider your application for an NYSC role. Firms use your university results, your CV and their written test to consider the application for NYSC roles. If an offer is made, this may be made conditional upon your Bar Finals results.

  1. Where to apply

You are bombarded with various Areas of Law and there are hundreds of thousands of law of law offices in Nigeria. How do you decide where to begin your legal career?

Your application to a law office should be preceded by thorough research.

 

  1. What to expect?

Regardless of where you are applying for an NYSC role, we find that the application process would involve at least one of the following.

CV and Application Letter

You will almost always be required to send a copy of your CV and an application letter to the Manager or Human Resource officer.

It is extremely important to have a CV that stands out and highlights relevant competencies, together with a well-written and tailored covering letter, as these are the first things the law office sees, and would determine if you are invited to the next stage.

Written Test

An increasing number of Nigerian law offices are requiring that candidates undergo written tests as part of the NYSC application process.

There would usually be an aptitude test alongside a law test. This allows the firms test the candidate’s aptitude as well as knowledge of the law. Because a lot of firms begin the NYSC recruitment process before Bar Final results are released, the written test helps the law offices obtain a fair assessment of your theoretical understanding of law.

Interview

This application step is obtainable at all law offices.  You will be required to have a face-to-face discussion, no matter how informal, with at least one representative of the law office.

NYSC interviews could be with a member of the human resources department of the law office, a senior or managing associate and/or a partner. The interview could also be a panel interview.

It is important to be adequately prepared for your interview and to perform well at the interview.

 

Yimika Adesola is the Founder of Legally Engaged and an Associate in the Corporate/Commercial law arm of a top-tier Nigerian law firm.

She advises blue-chip companies on various areas of law including mergers, acquisitions and capital raisings, restructurings, taxation, finance, employment, compliance, etc.

She also seeks to provide direction to students and young professionals by providing them with the information they need to launch successful careers, and make better career decisions.

Follow Yimika on LinkedIn here.

 

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