An academic and legal practitioner Ernest Kofi Abotsi has stated that although the country’s legal education needs reform, quality should not be compromised in expanding its access.
He noted that the reform proposed by the NDC to expand access to professional and legal education, although gratifying, is not the answer to the country’s legal education challenges.
“Ultimately, everyone agrees that the expansion of access must not come at the expense of quality.”
In his analysis on NewsFile on Saturday, he emphasized the need to produce students through a rigorous system that does not compromise on quality.
“It is not the question of opening the floodgate. It is not the question of just expanding access. It is the question of ensuring that ultimately the quality standard and quality assurance system are strong enough to ensure that the rigour and content of the training that is administered meet the standards anywhere in the world,” he said.
Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies attested to the fact that previous reforms, although done with the best of intentions, have not been implemented in a manner that is fair to law students.
Although he found the NDC’s approach more detailed than that of the New Patriotic Party, he is of the view that the appropriate mechanisms, metrics and systems of assessment must be established to ensure that as access is expanded the students receive the requisite content.
Another challenge he noted with expanding access is the availability of the requisite human resource at the professional training level of study.
“The only difficulty with that is that accrediting the faculties of law will of necessity come with the issue of capacity i.e. having the requisite human resource to administer the training at that level.”
“It turns out that over the years we have produced a lot of people who have the capacity often to teach the substantive law (law faculties), but not as many to teach the procedural law (law school),” he revealed.
He, however, noted that the option of abolishing the law school’s entrance exams has been considered in favour of an entrance exams for admission to the bar.