On the attainment of independence in 1957, the Government at the time, decided to provide facilities for legal education in Ghana. This was occasioned by the vast and varying demands by Ghanaians for legal services.
To achieve this goal, the Legal Practitioners Act, 1958 was enacted by Parliament. This Act created the General Legal Council and charged it with the responsibility for organizing, inter alia legal education in Ghana.
As a first step, the General Legal Council established the Ghana School of Law and mandated it to start professional legal training. The first meeting of the general Legal Council was held in the Supreme Court building on the 3rd September, 1958, and it was chaired by the first Ghanaian Chief Justice, His Lordship Sir Arku Korsah.
In December 1958, the Ghana School of Law was officially opened in temporary premises in the Supreme Court with 97 students. Those 97 students had been selected from about 600 students who were desirous of pursuing legal education in the then young independent Ghana. Some of the 600 students failed the first class examination, others abandoned the Course.
The students moved into the present premises when the building as we see them now, were completed and a plaque unveiled by the first President of the Republic of Ghana, the Late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on 5th March, 1959.
Interestingly, the over 600 students included some members of the 1958 Parliament, civil servants, school teachers and senior employees of some commercial establishments. Some of the 97 students abandoned the course midway, and happily the first 9 students, some of whom have departed this life, were enrolled as lawyers on the 22nd June, 1963.
No human society is static or immutable and unsurprisingly, over the course of time imbued with what no doubt was a strong desire to achieve excellence, a number of amendments were made to various decisions and programmes of the General Legal Council. This led, ultimately, to what became known as the Preliminary Law Course for non-law graduates and the Professional Law Course for admittance to the Bar. The Ghana School of Law has over the past years trained and produced lawyers who today work as magistrates, judges, solicitors, senior management executives and legal advisors in public and private establishments.
The School is the only Professional Law training institution in Ghana and has undoubtedly contributed a great deal to the development of our Nation.