Dress Code for Call to the Nigerian Bar

Dress Code for Call to Bar

Congratulations on your call to the bar! After years of hard work and dedication, it’s time to attend the ceremony marking the official start of your legal career. The call to the bar ceremony is a formal event that follows a distinct format, and as such, candidates are required to wear specific court attire to mark the event.

Dress Code for Call to the Nigeria Bar

Call to the Nigeria Bar

The legal profession is a unique career, given how highly regarded the legal profession is global. Although thousands of people want to practice law, not all of these so-called aspirants really do so.

To achieve your goals in this legal sector, you must put in a lot of effort and attention. There are many different types of laws that are applied across the globe, but in Nigeria, common law, customary law, English law, and Sharia law are recognized legal systems. All of these legal systems exist to reduce crime and bring about an order for the nation’s residents.

In the world of law practice, there are no limits to the opportunities that are open to a lawyer. This is because there are as many areas as there are human endeavors.

At a recognized university that offers law, it typically takes five (5) years to become a lawyer (a law graduate) in Nigeria. Upon successful completion of the course work, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) will be awarded to any successful student.

In order for these students to be called to Bar in Nigeria and fully practice, they must complete a one-year program at any law school and receive a certificate called Bachelor of Law (BL). Emphasizing the Nigerian context, the body that officially calls prospective lawyers into lawyers is known as the “Body of Benchers”. This body scrutinizes the dress code of persons qualified to be called to the Bar.

Stipulated Dress Code For Call to Bar:

It is known that those in the field of Law are always well-dressed, neat, smart, and respected. To be qualified to be called to bar, one must satisfy that he or she is fit and proper, in not just learning, but in character also. Being fit in character must reflect in the general conduct of a lawyer, including his mode of dressing.

The lawyers’ dressing reflects physical attributes that even help attract confidence in them, as those that wish to pick a legal adviser or Advocate that will handle their cases, hold such in great esteem.

The dress code drilling, which is carried out to ensure the neatness and smartness of a legal practitioner starts during schooling. And when it’s time to be called to Bar, the measures continues.

The most important apparel in the dress code of all Barristers during call to Bar are the bib, wig, and gown, which will be worn along with black trousers/skirt and white shirt/blouse.

Dress code for call to bar by Eyeke Kenneth Samuel

The dress code for male

  • A white long sleeve shirt that doesn’t have obvious designs on it.
  • A black suit.
  • Black cooperate shoe with a black stocking (not canvas or other designers shoe)
  • Well-cut hairstyle.
  • A Bib
  • The Wig
  • Gown

The dress code for females;

  • White camisole inside a black suit
  • Black gown top (dress), or a skirt not showing the knees.
  • Black shoe
  • Natural hair (packed)
  • Simple earring.
  • Wig
  • Collarette
  • Law Gown.

Hijab as a part of the dress code Hijab is a cloth used by Muslim women to cover their faces and body.

From the Legal Practitioners’ Act (LPA), there isn’t a section or sub-section that pinpoints the usage of Hijab as a dress code during the call to Bar ceremonies, but as a result of the previous misunderstanding in regards to the usage of Hijab, it has been considered to be used by the female Muslims practitioners with the aforementioned instructions:

  • The wearer’s face must not be covered by the Hijab
  • Her ears must be seen.
  • All facial features should be visible during capturing (Photograph taken)

The Body of Benchers won’t stop anyone from partaking in the call to Bar activity if the above instructions are adhered to.

The duty to always dress properly does not stop after school but continues even in the courtrooms,  offices, and everywhere else.

For Superior Court:

Men should wear-

  • Black or dark blue two-piece or three-piece suit
  • White collarless shirt
  • White wing collar (size should be bigger than shirt neck size, two studs are required to hold the collar to the shirt)
  • Black shoes with black stockings
  • White bib
  • Wig and gown

Women should wear-

  • Black or dark blue straight dress. Alternatively, one can wear a skirt and blouse, or a skirt and jacket with a white blouse.
  • White collarette or ladies’ white band
  • Black shoes
  • Wig and gown

N/B: The dress must at least be knee length, high to the neck, and should be long sleeves.

For Inferior Courts:

  • No wig and gown
  • Male lawyers may wear white shirts and a long tie with a suit in lieu of a wing collar shirt.

In conclusion, as a counsel, you must represent the profession in every form including being properly attired while appearing in court and when outside the courtroom. In all that you do, dress neatly and respectively.