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Name: Muhammed Ndakudu Adam
Campus: Lagos Campus (Second Class Upper Division), Honourable Justice Olujide Somolu Prize for the Overall Best Student in Civil Litigation
University: University of Ilorin (First Class)
About: Adam hails from Edu Local Government of Kwara State, a Muslim from a humble family of 8. He attended Isalemaliki LGEA School and Government Secondary School Ilorin for his primary and secondary education respectively. Adam holds a First Class Degree in Law from the University of Ilorin and a Second Class Upper Degree from the Nigerian Law School. In 2015, Adam was honoured as the Best Overall Student in Jurisprudence and International Law and, in 2016, as the Overall Best Student in Civil Litigation by the University of Ilorin and the Council of Legal Education, respectively – the latter serving as a testament to his membership of the Law Clinic and his service as one of ten group leaders of the Lagos Campus of the Nigerian Law School, respectively. He has previously worked with the Law Office of K. K. Eleja (SAN) & Co. He is an Associate at Country Hill Attorneys and Solicitors and belongs to the firm’s ADR & Litigation, Intellectual Property and Corporate & Commercial Practice Groups. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Law School
I always tell people that law school is a place to be but not twice. It was this drive that helped me in law school. I was practically a triangular student back then in law school. People also believe that law school is hard, the exams are difficult. However, I’ve always been saying it and will continue to say it that: Bar Final is 90% over rated. It’s nothing more than just an exam on what you have been taught in class. Law school won’t ask you what they did not teach you and you’ll not be tested on everything and in fact you’ll require not more than 20% of the knowledge acquired to tackle the exam. So relax and calm your nerves. If those in the past could do it successfully then you can. Do not listen to anybody that says Bar final is hard. All you need is know your onions.
During my stay at the Nigerian Law School, I met some brilliant and amazing colleagues, such as Betha, Promise, Olapade Sulyah, Fatima Giwa, Eyitene, Bodunde, Falade Faith, Adonu Geoffrey and others. I had group discussions with many of them and 5 of them made 1st class when they released the Bar Result. I learnt greatly from these people and they made me realise that Law is not known alone, it is better learnt through discussions.
THE BAR EXAM (I COLLECTED EXTRA SHEETS)
The caption above will shock or surprise many people, but, you’ll get to appreciate it better here.
On the day of the Civil Litigation exam; after being instructed to start, my normal style was to attempt the compulsory questions then the optional. So, what I did was to do Question 1 after which I moved to Question 4. So on that question, I made a very serious mistake and guess what? After I finished reading the seemingly long and technical scenario, I moved to Question 4a, I was seriously pressed, I didn’t understand why, maybe it was exam tension. So I had to excuse myself from the hall. On getting to the toilet, I eased myself in a rush because the exam was waiting for me in the hall. So I took like 5 minutes to relax myself to gain back the confidence needed for the exam. Afterwards, I returned to the hall to continue the paper. Remember, I just finished question 4a before I left the hall. So I still had like 6 sub-questions, under that question which is COMPULSORY . So I picked up my question paper to continue, I didn’t bother reading the scenario so I just jumped to the next sub-question. In my mind, I was doing question 4 (the compulsory question). So I finished all the remaining sub-question roughly within an hour.
After that question, I moved to the optional question in Section B, Question 6, very long as it had many children. So, I was left with one optional question in section A. One of the invigilators said, you have 40 minutes left. My mind was at rest, I knew I could finish the remaining questions within that time. So, I opened Section A to do the last question, I settled for Question 3. It was at that point that I realised that I had done Question 3(optional) thinking I was doing Question 4 (the compulsory question).
It had happened when I came back from the rest room. I made a very big mistake of doing Question 3 of Section A under Question 4 of Section B. So, this means, I didn’t do Question 4 at all except 4a which was just three lines or so. I was shocked, confused and disturbed. My head was aching and my heart was beating very fast. I didn’t know what to do or what to start cancelling. I started sweating profusely. I wanted to check the wall-clock to see the time left, everywhere was dark and I went blank. Inside the exam hall!!!!!
Something just told me to remove my suit and loosen the tie. I did and I started praying to God. My prayer point was, God! Even if I wouldn’t have a First class, I don’t want to come back for this exam. Trust me; “law school is a place to be but not twice”. I also prayed for speed and accuracy! But the question on my mind was: Adam, can you still finish these questions in less than 45 minutes? So I started cancelling the question I wrongly did in section B. I cancelled close to 5 pages because I made sure I spaced my work very well. So, I had to calm myself down for like a minute before carrying on. I remember, my seat mates were wondering, why would this guy be cancelling his work! Khalifa Adam looked at me and said, ‘Adam what’s the problem’. I shook my head to say nothing!! After cancelling, the work, I requested for “extrasheets”, people around were wondering, why would Adam collect extra sheets??
Lo and behold, I began and finished Question 4 (with 5 or 6 sub-questions including drafts) within 30 minutes on the *extrasheets* and I turned to section A to do question 3, I read the scenario and finished the question (with 6 subquestions, including drafting) within 10 minutes too. So I was left with 2 minutes or so. It then occurred to me that I should have just copied the answers in Section B instead of having to start afresh. Remember, I was confused, so my brain couldn’t have thought in that direction. So there was no enough time to cross-check, no time to dot my i’s and cross my t’s. I just attached the EXTRA-SHEETS and we were asked to submit and I did.
Outside the hall, many people were happy the exam went well, I couldn’t join them because I knew it didn’t go well for me. I told David Etildo and Ngozi Nwanta what happened inside the hall. David hugged me and said, ‘Adam, don’t worry, just go and prepare for the next paper. It is well.’ I rushed to my room and started crying, please don’t mind me, I can be very emotional!!!!!. Before my roommates could come around, I was done crying. I gisted them and they asked me to forget about it and read for the next exam. In the midnight, I woke up and started praying to God, my prayer point: God! Even if I wouldn’t have a First class, I don’t want to come back for this exam. I’m okay with 2.1 or even 2.2. I knew my Civil Litigation Exam didn’t go well at all.
When they released our result, I had a Second Class Upper (2.1) I thought it was Civil Litigation that cost me the 1st class, so I wasn’t too sad. I started praying in appreciation to God’s blessing. What if I had failed, what would I say? People started calling to ask, how far with result, I told them 2.1 but I wouldn’t make any sense saying it was because of Civil Litigation. No sense in that at all!!! But my friends were so certain especially Eyitene Iwere that I would win a prize. I didn’t even think about winning a prize for once. Fast forward to Call to Bar Date! My call was on 30th afternoon, so those whose call was slated for 29th morning were given the brochure or programme of events. My University colleague, Nurudeen Sadiq messaged me on WhatsApp to say: “Congratulations bro, You’re the best student in civil , I’m proud of you” and I responded saying: ‘How naaa, Ko possible or Did you see it ni? Where? Talk jor!!! No give me high blood pressure oo”. Afterwards, I started receiving congratulatory messages from colleagues. When I saw the list of prize winners, I didn’t still believe it until I was called on the 30th Day of November, 2016 as the Overall Best Student in Civil Litigation. I was asking myself, how come? How possible? Was there a mistake somewhere or what? That’s to show you the power of prayers. It turns the impossible to the possible.
As a former law school student, I have a list of the following the other dish out to you which I think you should find useful. You need; Focus, Dedication, Determination, Self-confidence, Humility and Prayer (most important), attend lectures, participate actively in class and task activities, Have your textbooks and laws and know your laws very well, Note that Law school positions are always correct, so follow them at least for the purpose of bar part 2. Avoid summary notes or blue books, some contain errors and ask questions on what you don’t understand, you paid your fees so you must spend it well.