Cost of Legal Education in Ghana: Exorbitant or pitch for prestige?

Mediocrity, misguided crave for cheap wealth, substandard delivery of legal services and dishonesty have hardly been the hallmark of legal training and the legal profession.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

Legal education in Ghana is a center spread relative to its unarguably numerous adjoining challenges and specifically, the supposed high cost of tuition fees charged by the universities.

This assertion is confirmed by data on fees gathered from the Academic/Admission offices and Websites of the various LLB offering faculties in Ghana.

Critically looking at the fees charged by especially the private law faculties and a portion of the public ones reveals a burden on the pockets of students, parents, and guardians.

A generally held view the world over however is that quality in everything comes at a cost thus aspiring to enroll in the learned profession must come with a great sacrifice monetarily and mentally.

At a 2013  symposium about the future of legal education that was sponsored by the Seton Hall Law Review, various participants shared interesting insights into legal education. One of such related to the cost of legal education is published as follows;

“I graduated from law school in 1976. Tuition was $963 a semester, and we revolted when they wanted to raise it to $968 a semester.” (Paulette Brown, partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer and presumptive president-elect of the ABA)

In Ghana, almost all the law faculties have two sessions of students at a time thus the Regular and Post first degree students.

The regular course is for students who apply directly with their WASSCE qualification. On the other hand, the post-first degree is for people who are already degree holders from accredited universities, who wish to study for a law degree.

The fees structure of the various universities clearly shows that the regular student fees are generally on the lower side as compared to the post-first degree entrants, who are mostly workers aiming to get a career in law.

It is however not clear and unknown what factors go into deciding the fees by the various faculties.

The probing question at this juncture is whether a normal civil servant in Ghana can afford legal Education, looking at the level of fees?

Let us at this point take a tour into history and trace the trajectory of law faculties.


What we know today as the University of Ghana Law Faculty began in 1958 as the foremost Law Faculty in Ghana. 

In the 2014/15 Academic Year, with the University of Ghana’s adoption of the collegiate system, the Faculty became known as the School of Law, University of Ghana, under the leadership of its Dean, Prof. E. K. Quashigah.

Currently, the University of Ghana’s School of Law runs a four-year undergraduate LLB program, concurrently with a post-first degree LLB program.

Subsequently, in April 2003, the KNUST Law faculty was established followed in 2010 by the GIMPA Law faculty; UCC law faculty in 2011 then the UPSA faculty of the law coming on board later.

With the increasing demand for the study of law per the increasing yearly applications received by the foremost public law faculties, private universities were brought on board, accredited to offer LLBs to budding WASSCE and degree holders to augment the increasing application demands on the existing law faculties.

However, the growing demands and advent of several faculties, predominantly private, may be said to have accounted for a rise in the monetary investment involved in the study of law in the country.

To satisfy your curiosity, let us delve into the specific fees charged per law faculty in Ghana.


LANCASTER           $    9000
CENTRAL           Ȼ 10,202                                          
MOUNTCREST           Ȼ 10,200
PRESBYTERIAN           Ȼ    8600
KINGS           Ȼ    7000
ZENITH           Ȼ    6000
WISCONSIN           Ȼ    4535                                              


GIMPA                Ȼ 10,500
UCC               Ȼ    9000
UPSA                Ȼ    5376                                            
UG                 Ȼ    1608                                             
KNUST                Ȼ    1485                                           


LANCASTER              $     9000                
MOUNTCREST              Ȼ   16,200                       
CENTRAL              Ȼ  10,202                                      
WISCONSIN              Ȼ     9470
PRESBYTERIAN              Ȼ    8,600
KINGS             Ȼ     7000
ZENITH                Ȼ  6000                                          


GIMPA                    Ȼ   14500
UPSA                    Ȼ  10,206
KNUST                   Ȼ    9475                                  
UCC                   Ȼ    9000                        
UG                   Ȼ    4936                  


The next stage after one’s successful completion of the LLB program is the Law School, where professional law courses are taught for two academic years.

At the GSL, courses are run for straight LLB holders and professional law degree holders from other common law countries who wish to be called into the Ghana Bar. This is known as the Post-call. As at the 2021/2022 Academic year, the tuition fees paid by students of the GSL are as follows;

REGULAR STUDENTS                  Ȼ 15, 600
POST-CALL STUDENTS                  £     6000

Since its establishment in 1958, the GSL has been and is still the only Law School in Ghana for the professional training of law degree holders to become lawyers.

The Ghana School of law however has satellite campuses to augment the infrastructural challenge of the main Makola campus relative to the number of students it takes per year.

In addition to its competitive but fretful Law school entrance examination, successful entrants also have to wrestle with the above seemingly high tuition fees of the Ghana School of law.

It remains true that higher education generally is very expensive financially and in terms of sacrifices which the study of law is no exception.

However, it is undisputably, a pitch for the prestige one stands to gain after successful completion.

Furthermore, another participant in the earlier referred to Seton Hall review sponsored conference summed up the fact above as follows;

“Here’s an interesting question to pose to alumni who are five, ten, or fifteen years out of law school: how many would want a refund on their legal education? Very few. How many investments do we measure just one year out?”(Patrick Hobbs, dean of Seton Hall University School of Law)

Howbeit, the increase in the number of law faculties and the seemingly high cost charged for legal education must go with quality education and results.

Mr.Godfred Yeboah Dame, Deputy Attorney General(As he then was) had this to say in January 2019 during the roll call to initiate the first batch of 66 law students into the Faculty of Law of the Presbyterian University College.

“Mediocrity, misguided crave for cheap wealth, substandard delivery of legal services and dishonesty have hardly been the hallmark of legal training and the legal profession.

“A poorly trained lawyer is a danger to society and a threat to the sustenance of our democracy as a nation. Ultimately, a dishonest bar, needless to say, breeds a corrupt bench and affects the core of the society we seek to build.”

“As a profession with a monopoly over the performance of certain services, we have special obligations to the consumers of justice to be energetic and imaginative in producing the best quality of justice at the lowest possible costs for those who use it, and with a minimum of delay,” he noted.