Whether An Acting Practitioner Of another Discipline Can Practice Law

Have you ever wondered if a professionally trained doctor, pharmacist or any other professional can practice as a lawyer, while being an active practitioner of that other profession?

Rule 7 (1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners provides that:
“Unless permitted by the General Council of the Bar (hereinafter refered to as the “Bar Council”), a lawyer shall not practice as a legal practitioner at the same time as his practice any other profession.”
The Bar Council, according to section 1 (2) of the Legal Practitioners Act, paragraphs (a) – (c), shall consist of the Attorney-General of the Federation, who shall be the chairman of the council; Attorneys-General of the states and 20 members, who shall be elected.
The exception to this rule, therefore, is the permission of the Bar Council. In other words, a pharmacist, doctor or an active practitioners of any discipline may only practise as a lawyer if the Bar Council deem them fit for such practice, and approve of it.
It is worthy of note that such an application for practising the law, while the applicant is an active practitioner of another discipline, is rare. As such, the writer has no decided cases on the subject matter.


Adamu Abubakar Isa, the writer, is a 200L Law Student at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He can be reached on phone via +2347030992543 or email via [email protected]

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