The Manwerehene of Akyem Abuakwa, Barima Yaw Kodei Oppong, has been inducted as the Director of Legal Education and also the Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL). The induction ceremony is the first since the establishment of the Ghana School of Law in 1958.
Led by Chief Justice Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah to take the Oath of Office and Oath of Secrecy, lawyer Barima Yaw Kodei Oppong took his turn to outline his plans and vision toward improving and making the Ghana School of Law a centre of global excellence.
He pledged to lead the next generation of responsible citizens who will craft and shape legal debates, laws and agreements. He added that his leadership will create and sustain the right atmosphere for training the next generation of the country’s lawyers and legal minds in the fast-changing and increasingly demanding world.
Enhancing condition of service
Mr. Oppong also disclosed that with the zeal to enhance the condition of service of the staff and the school, the management of the school is currently working with the General Legal Council and that the final document is ready to be forwarded to the appropriate authorities.
“Similarly, we have secured new funding sources that make it possible for us to make our students and, indeed, staff more competitive through the introduction of scholarships as awards for the best-performing students from the Post Call, which is unprecedented; and the Professional Law Course classes, where best students in all the subjects and the overall best are going to receive their awards sometime next week as our benefactors have now fully fulfilled their pledges to us,” he said.
He added that the GSL had reached an agreement with some universities in the United Kingdom (UK) to conduct remote and on-site lectures from UK-based Post Call Law Course students.
“The training of lawyers at the Ghana School of Law has focused substantially on theories instead of adding constant practical lessons that allow students to see the law in action.
GSL pro bono unit
He also disclosed plans to revive the dormant law firm at the GSL and position it as a viable provider of critical pro bono legal services to the most vulnerable in our society. The law firm, he said, could be headed by a practising lawyer and lecturer of the GSL, supported by two newly trained lawyers, and further supplemented by about 20 student volunteers.
When properly executed, the Pro Bono Unit of the GSL will gradually but steadily occupy a tiny but significant space in the noble field of free legal representation. “In the process, the school will achieve two things. First, it will make reliable efforts to help the most underprivileged members of our community who are in dire need of legal representation but cannot afford it. Second, it will create a perfect platform for enabling, supporting and stimulating the development of our students’ legal skills and talents to serve their communities,” he said.
“I believe that the time has come to carefully discard the old ways of doing things; and indeed, we have started with the support of the formalised Academic Board. We have ushered in a new dawn that insists on ensuring that students gain not only theoretical skills as to what ingredients are needed in such processes, but also obtain practical knowledge regarding how they are done in the real legal world,” he added.