#MyBarFinalsTestimony Extra is also brought to you by the MCQ APP in conjunction with Ekaete Hunter.
Name: Chizotam Nkechinyere Akwiwu
Campus: Lagos Campus (Second Class Upper Division), Chief Ernest Shonekan’s Prize for the Third Overall Best Student in Property Law Practice.
University: University of Lagos (Second Class Upper )
About: Chizotam is a contributing writer for Lawyard.ng (where I had previously written briefly about my law school experience and tips) and can be reached via email@example.com
Reading through the other posts in this series I have noticed a recurring factor- The God Factor. It might seem cliché but it is not, at least not for me. Looking back now I can confidently say that God saw me through Law School. Yes I worked very hard also BUT so did almost everyone else and some people probably worked even harder than I did and may not have had the result they wanted.
I was particularly shocked when I found out about the award in Property Law Practice. It was ironic because on the day of the exam I forgot my folder of my practiced drafts at home. I had already reached the school gate at about 1pm and it was too late to go back to get them. Luckily for me I had gone over all the drafts the night before but still I was pretty destabilised.
Back to the God factor, at the beginning of law school and throughout and most especially after exams my key prayer was for “Favour”. I probably prayed for that more after the exams because I had made quite a number of mistakes in my Corporate Law Practise. I especially remember how I (in a hurry) did not properly read a sub-question and ended up answering completely off point! This was one of the compulsory questions and so I was very worried about this.
As regards my routine, my method has always been note making. I simply cannot read directly from a textbook and remember everything (except the morning of the exam when my brain is moving on a different level). And so, I started making my notes from the first week of school. I mostly did this during the weekends but it still was not enough to cover all that there was and so I spent most of the breaks/holidays we got catching up. During the externship period I finished up all my notes. This was pretty tasking but I was determined to be done in time for MCQs and revision classes.
I had a daily routine that sort of worked for me. Every day I would read ahead of the next class and attempt the daily tasks we were given. I would take my laptop to class and get all the different task answers for each group and correct it. Instead of using “Draft books”, which were often, criticised by the lecturers, I would make my own sample drafts based on precedents given in class or corrected during group presentation. This was very helpful especially during my personal revision.
I also worked particularly hard at standing out. Thinking about how many thousands of scripts of similar answers were going to be marked, my plan was to make mine exceptional. While my main focus was understanding the main principles and practising my drafts, I tried to always have an authority for my answers either a case or statute. I believed that it would fetch me extra marks.
In conclusion, my learning experience at the Nigerian Law School (Lagos Campus) was great. I learnt that if one is determined, works very hard and puts their trust in God, there is no limit to the exploits that will be achieved.