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Name: CYRIL-OKAFOR, JENNIFER CHIGOZIRI
Campus: Abuja (First Class), Director General’s Prize for First Class Students
University: University of Nigeria, Nsukka (First Class)
About: Jennifer was born in Owerri, Imo state. She is currently a member of her firm’s oil and gas and enterprise groups. She can be reached at email@example.com.
My Law School Story
You will see here, the direct opposite of what you expect.
In the beginning…
“Baby you have been posted to Abuja! Abuja!” My fiance Obinna screamed over the phone. I picked my phone up immediately to confirm my posting and as usual, the Law school website was very slow but I was not to be deterred. Lo and behold I was posted to Abuja! The campus of my dreams! Now, apart from the fact that I was strongly convinced that Abuja Campus was the place for me because of all the good things I had heard (like great accommodation, beautiful lecture halls, amazing lecturers and relatively fair closing time), my mum (God bless Her soul) attended law school at this campus and in fact, was the pioneer set at the Abuja Campus. So, off I went, as excited as ever to finally take the last step to becoming a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, You knowwwww.
My first day in Bwari was a shocker! The roads were horrible and the harmattan wind wasn’t helping. The Campus was smaller than I expected and the buildings were not as refurbished. Nonetheless, I was here and I was determined to make the best out of it. I cooked up with my friend NKY who had arrived earlier and therefore was done with her registration. At this point I must add that I was in the same Law school with my boyfriend (now Fiance) and so the registration process wasn’t as tedious. However, the Nigerian Law School has a long way to go when it comes to effective organization. The process is unreasonably long and tiresome and students are expected to do this while simultaneously (Magically albeit) attending lectures.
Anyway, I was done with my registration soon enough and had settled into my room. Okay to my bar aspirants, if you are looking for a campus where you can be sure of a comfortable room and standard toilet facilities, as well as fairly constant light, then Abuja campus is the place for you. There are also a lot of helpers at your disposal who when given a small token, will fetch water for you, wash your clothes, clean up your room and run errands here and there for you. So you see? Life was good! However, please don’t get caught up in that euphoria for too long.
LECTURES AND GROUP MEETINGS
I walked into Civil litigation class on my first day of lectures to an ever radiant woman who I soon got to know, co-authored the length and breath of civil litigation as I like to call it. Her name is Mrs. Stanley Idum and she is ever so radiant. The way her laughter rings out intermittently during lectures when she cracks one of those jokes, you would forget for a moment that this was the second most dreaded course in the Nigerian Law school. Yep! You guessed right, Corporate was the most dreaded! I was always sitting with my best friend Obinna and my second time roommate, Chidera who has been my very good friend right from our University days. I say second time because she was my roommate in our second year at the university and we sure had a lot of fun but that’s a story for another day. Chidera later became the group leader of my group- Group 5 and I have to say, this really helped me a lot. My darling roommate was always dragging me to group meetings and she would always appoint me to take a topic or to handle one of our practice questions. At the time I didn’t find this funny because I was equally as tired and really just wanted to be on my bed as I felt it was a total waste of my precious time. I soon found out that when God wants to bless you, he blesses you without your permission and sorry but you will not be in a position to dictate to him HOW to bless you. To my bar aspirants, please DO NOT take your Group meetings for granted and try as much as possible to actually participate, both in the meetings and in class. With the volume of work you have to deal with in Law school, this might be the your only panacea, albeit in disguise.
What most of you will soon come to realize is that in law school, “FUN” is whatever you make it out to be. Maami was my rallying point. My evenings in Law school were what I used to socialize. Please get this ; Nigerian Law school is not a place for you to come and gaan kill yourself and die on top of book. Its actually a place to make the best out of. I will admit that one of the regrets I have about law school is that I didn’t socialize much. I spent most of my time amongst familiar faces from Uni and a few new friends, not because I didn’t have the time to meet new people, but I was generally not very keen. I did however try to engage in a few fun activities on campus (not like they were so many anyway) e.g the Play night organized by CLASFON, Praise Night and the Christmas Carol organized by the Catholic Choir. Truth is, most weekends, I wasn’t on campus. I don’t like to be confined to a particular space for too long and so every other weekend I was in town with my fiancé! Hard to believe right? Don’t play yourselves in Law school my friends, don’t. The race is not to the swift…is it?