Sunday, May 26, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Navigating the legal labyrinth

Challenges faced by Bangladeshi law students

Update : 05 Apr 2024, 07:11 PM

There has been a meteoric rise in the number of undergraduates planning to become lawyers. However, entering the legal profession presents graduates with numerous obstacles.

The fact that I myself chose law as a career, now state how challenging it is. It might sound like an irony at first, but the decision was not mine.

When you get a family where all your cousins are in the law profession, where 4 of them are Barristers in Law, there is very much you can do to counter your family decisions. I am sure, many of you can already relate with me in this regard.

To start, it doesn't matter if you have a degree in law or not; you still can't practice law in Bangladesh or anywhere else in the world.

Graduates of law schools can only find employment as apprentice lawyers until they are authorized to practice by passing the bar council exam.

Working as a legal apprentice in Bangladesh is, for the most part, a terrible experience.

The method in which the apprentice lawyers are required to labor and learn is both inefficient and callous toward their plight.

Despite devoting a great deal of time and energy to their jobs, apprentice attorneys receive very little compensation. 

They are not getting enough money for all the work and effort that goes into completing a job.

Also, unless they are really lucky to have a close relative who is a lawyer; senior advocates usually don't really welcome trainees with open arms.

I have that support as most of my family comes from a law background, but still that does not make life much easier.

The situation is exacerbated since apprentice attorneys put in a lot of work for very little pay.  They are not getting enough money for all the work and effort that goes into completing a job.

Thus, apprentice attorneys often face opposition from their relatives who do not approve of their profession.

Furthermore, female law students' families try to dissuade them from pursuing a career in law because they are afraid for their safety.

This is why enrolled lawyers and apprentice lawyers would rather work for an established business than go it alone.

The job market is getting more competitive as the number of law school graduates rises and more law colleges are opening.

Since it could take some time to determine if someone can manage the continual expectations on their performance, recruiting new apprentice lawyers is another time-consuming process.

The pay is so low that it's hard to pay the bills, much less provide for a family.

A thorough and well-planned overhaul of Bangladesh's legal education system is necessary to address these challenges.

Legal education in England often lasts one year after graduation, and Bangladesh could follow suit.

Any prospective barrister wishing to practice before one of England and Wales' four Inns of Court must first pass the bar course. In order to become a barrister, one must first undergo a pupillage. The legal practice course for solicitors is the name of the post-graduate vocational degree.

New Zealand's barristers and solicitors are required to complete the Professional Legal Studies Course after earning their law degrees.

In Asia, a post-graduate certificate in law is all that is required for a law graduate to practice law in a Hong Kong court.

Graduates of Malaysia's nine-month vocational school can practice law and become advocates anywhere in the Commonwealth of Nations with a Certificate in Legal Practice.

These courses are offered at the graduate level by universities and colleges.

Alternatively, law graduates in Bangladesh who wish to sit for the single bar council exam will need to rely on private coaching and question papers.

Things won't get better for the country's law school grads unless we fix the problems listed above and implement real reforms.


Samin Sadnan is an undergraduate law student currently studying under the University of London.  He received two world highest scores in his O-Levels exam. He is also an entrepreneur who manages two F-commerce pages

Top Brokers


Popular Links