Posted in PERFECTLY LEGAL, STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘I WORKED PARTICULARLY HARD AT STANDING OUT.’

#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 chizotamakwiwu@yahoo.com

CHIZOTAM AKWIWU

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. Continue reading “#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘I WORKED PARTICULARLY HARD AT STANDING OUT.’”

Posted in STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

THE MCQ APP (2)

The MCQ App
The MCQ App

#DearAspiranttotheBar,

You have had questions with regards to the making of payments for the activation key of the MCQ App. Here are the steps to follow in making your payments. Remember, the whole process has been made as seamless as possible.

  1. Download the App from the Google Play Store or here.
  2. After installation, click on the “Activate” button.
  3. Click on “I don’t have any”. This leads you to a web page.
  4. Enter your email and phone number. This leads to a payment portal using debit card.
  5. On successful payment, activation key is texted to your phone.
  6. Click on ” Activate ” again.
  7. Click on “I have activation key”.
  8. Enter activation key, click OK and follow the remaining instructions.

In the alternative, if you are not a big fan of online payments, you could follow the following steps:

  1. Download the App from the Google Play Store or here.
  2. Make a payment of the sum of One thousand Five Hundred Naira to this account –  0200967139 IAF SAWII LIMITED – TESTDRILLER  Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd (GTB)
  3. Call 09037778195 and follow the remaining instructions.
Posted in PERFECTLY LEGAL, STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

NIGERIAN LAW SCHOOL EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM: SPECTATORS OR PARTICIPANTS?

by ABIOLA ADEKUNLE SAHEED LLB, BL (LEGAL OFFICER KINGS UNIVERSITY; ODEOMU OSUN STATE)

 

INTRODUCTION

The externship program of the Nigerian Law School (NLS) is a program organized for the BAR II students between weeks 22-33 of the Nigerian Law School program and it is organized to achieve the following objectives:

  1. to develop the externs’ lawyering skills;
  2. to make externs understand various aspects of the legal system, as well as the legal profession;
  3. to inculcate in the externs a sense of professional responsibility and values; and
  4. to develop the externs’ ability to reflect on and learn from their experience.

 

SCOPE OF THE EXTERNSHIP PROGRAMME

This is in two phases, the Court and Law firm externship program.

THE COURT

Externship in the Court is for 6 weeks under the supervision of a field supervisor who most of the times the Judge (though, the Judges may appoint Deputy Registrar or other Court Officers to do the work). The Students are posted to various courts from State High Court, Federal High Court, National Industrial Court and Magistrate Courts. 

THE LAW FIRM

Externship in law firms is also for 6 weeks (or close to 6 weeks) under the supervision of a field supervisor most of the times Principal partner or the Principal Counsel of the firm as the case may be (though, the Principal may appoint Head of Chamber or the Practice Manager or other Counsel in the law firm to do the work).

 ROLES OF EXTERNS IN COURT

The externs in courts are expected to observe the proceedings before their respective Judges and where there are no sufficient cases before their judges, they are allowed to go to other busy courts to learn and ensure the objectives of the externship program are realised or achieved. In addition, the extern is expected to report at least two of the cases he witnessed and reflect on any of them.

However, despite the importance of the above expected roles, it has been observed overtime that, many externs only observe proceedings in order to get something penned down for the purpose of the filling the Log Book and bow out of the court to visit a close-by library and read for the Bar Finals. While, the lazy ones are always with friends, clubbing and flexing. When they accidently branch at the Court premises, they make photocopy of other externs note (from a different Campus) and lift it mindlessly.

The above shows that more often than not, the externs in courts are mere spectators rather than participants (though, the NLS program did not also encourage them to participate rather than to observe).

Roles of Externs in Law firms

In the law firm, externs are expected to follow the Principal and other counsel in the law firm to court, Corporate Affairs Commission, Land Registry and Police or other law enforcement agencies Division to watch the Principal’s modus operandi. The externs in turn are to report some of these in their Log Book and reflect on any of them accordingly.

Secondly, where the firm is less busy, the extern is to go through the old files and master the drafts, the externs are also at the liberty to raise abnormalities where necessary.

What many externs do in Law Firms?

No doubt, an extern is posted to a law firm that is convenient for him/her, this is the genesis of the problem, (the writer is not of the opinion that the externs should be posted to a far distance) the externs make friends among the counsel in the firm and as such he come to the firm at will, close before time and in fact, turn the law firm to an eatery.

Additionally, the externs have been turned to ‘errand boys’ in some firms, for instance ‘hey get me Akara and bread at the other side of the road’ since they want to be covered.

This happens because this obviously occur because there is no role special notable role for the externs to play in the law firm or court; in order to make the externs participants rather than spectators in this program, then, there is need to review the entire program to reflect some if not all of the below recommendations. 

Nigerian Law School Externs: Spectators or Participant?

From the above analysis, it is evident that the externs are merely spectators and not participating in any activities, and the objectives of the program have not been realised. The period for many externs is nothing to write home about, due to the short duration, externs see it as an opportunity to read their book and sleep when the  need arises. While, the less serious ones make use of the opportunity to make friends, visit friends, club and flex. This is due to lack of an important physical role for the externs to play during this period.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To this end, the following can be offered for externs towards achieving the objectives of the Program:

  1. The Body of Benchers should make a bye-Law, to allow externs to appear alone or with counsel in inferior courts during the program in order to make them participants.
  2. The period of externship should be extended to 6 months (1 month in court and 5 months in the Law firm), so that the externs can have enough time to study, observe and participate fully in the program.
  3. The Body of Benchers can also by a bye-law compel the Principal of the firms to pay certain amount to the externs at the end of each month particularly when the externs are allowed to appear in the inferior courts

 

Posted in STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘NOT ONLY CAN YOU DO IT, YOU WILL DO IT’

#MyBarFinalsTestimony is brought to you by the MCQ APP in conjunction with Ekaete Hunter. 

Name: Uchechi Ngonadi

Campus: Abuja Campus (First Class)

University: University of Manchester (Second Class Upper)

About: Uche is from the Nnewi north LGA of Anambra state. She’s the fourth of five children and finished her secondary school education at Caleb International College, Lekki. For 6th form, she attended Bridgehouse College, Ikoyi and went on achieve her LLB degree at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. She’s fun, funny and fun to be with. Reading and listening to music are two things she enjoys doing. She’s big on friendship and relationships, the biggest of which is her relationship with Christ. She’s going to be a household name soon, so watch out. She can be reached at ngonadiu@gmail.com

Uche Ngonadi
SOURCE: UCHE NGONADI

 My law school experience started with Bar 1, precisely on 22nd June, 2015 and I had just come back from my final exams at my University on the 16th of June, less than a week earlier. Before I actually started my law school journey, I had read A LOT about law school from blogs and tweets and what not. I had stalked a few people like me who had applied and we were pretty much all the same. Prior to law school, I wasn’t really apprehensive about being in law school, because I am just the kind of person to deal with problems as they arise. However, I knew two things. 1: I was going to do well (wasn’t really bothered about how well) and 2: I was going to make friends. As you may have guessed, I like making friends.

Anyway, lo and behold, June 22nd 2015 was upon us and I travelled to Abuja with a friend of mine who had attended my university as well. The registration process was stressful (as I anticipated) but I got registered and that was that. The rest of bar 1 was a breeze and looking back now, I shouldn’t have stressed so much about it.

Now Bar 2. LOL. The real struggle. Don’t let anyone deceive you into thinking law school isn’t that deep. IT’S THAT DEEP. Of course we’re all different and we handle things differently but law school is stressful unless of course you don’t care and you just want to fail (which shouldn’t be. Even if you’re never going to practice law, make sure you go through law school once and only once. Because it’s more difficult the second time around and your morale is lower I assume). Anyway, it was nothing like bar 1 and I was a bit gobsmacked by how much INFORMATION is disseminated in one week. It’s very overwhelming staying on top of things and my advice will be to find a rhythm early and stick with it. If you’re into making notes, make notes. If you’re going to study before each class, stick to that. Don’t be so bothered by what other people are doing or have covered if not you’ll drown in a sea of self-pity. Before I move on, make sure you try as much as possible to stay on top of things. Missing classes is not ADVISABLE unless it’s absolutely unavoidable. If you miss a class, you’ve missed a whole topic and the following topic will be strange, because the topics build upon each other. Case in point: if you miss pre-incorporation, you’re going to find incorporation of companies a lot harder to understand (unless of course you read before you miss the class or catch up). I never really missed classes (only missed two classes on Fridays, because Law in Practice is just that boring sometimes) but I never ever missed Monday-Thursday. For me classes made the topic familiar. They served as a sort of mind map to aid my studying. During my personal study, I filled in the gaps. I practised my drafts each week for each class. Piling your drafts for exam period is a very bad idea because you won’t be able to check for mistakes. If you try the drafts before the class, you’re able to correct them as the lectures are going in.  Finally, classes go by really quickly. 20 weeks seems like a long time at the beginning, but it’s really not that long. Do as much as you can, when you can.

Uche Ngonadi
SOURCE: UCHE NGONADI

Continue reading “#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘NOT ONLY CAN YOU DO IT, YOU WILL DO IT’”

Posted in PERFECTLY LEGAL, STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

#MYBARFINALSTESTIMONY EXTRA – LAW SCHOOL IS A PLACE TO BE BUT NOT TWICE

#MyBarFinalsTestimony Extra is also brought to you by the MCQ APP in conjunction with Ekaete Hunter. 

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  ndakuduadam@gmail.com 

Adam Wig and Gown

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.

SOURCE: MUHAMMED ADAM
SOURCE: MUHAMMED ADAM

Continue reading “#MYBARFINALSTESTIMONY EXTRA – LAW SCHOOL IS A PLACE TO BE BUT NOT TWICE”