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Name: Tijani, Zainab Ololade
Campus: Lagos Campus (First Class), Director General’s Prize for First Class Students.
University: Obafemi Awolowo University, Second Class Upper Division
About: Lolade Tijani is a banking and finance associate with experience in tax advisory services. She enjoys running, travelling the world and meeting new people. She can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
MY LAW SCHOOL STORY
My law school story is one of grace. I have no other explanation for my success except that I had a higher power evidently working in my favour. Let’s try to start at the beginning.
My name is Lolade Tijani, I graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University in December 2016, and my graduation was not very happy despite the fact that I was graduating with a CGPA of 4.3 out of 5. I was sad because on my graduation day, my classmates were attending classes in law school, while I had not yet applied for the law school year.
In April 2016, I finished with my long essay, and I was so elated to finally be done with college a year later than my colleagues no less. Afterwards, I spent my free time doing internships and preparing for law school, little did I know that things would not go as planned at all.
In August 2016, my university finally released the list of Law School applicants, and I, without worry checked for my name, but to my imminent surprise, it was not there. I spent the night trying to understand the omission and its effect on my life, I could not sleep.
Apparently, two of my results had not been uploaded to my school portal in time and as such, it seemed I was not eligible to go to Law School. I immediately left Lagos and travelled down to Ile-Ife, Osun State, where I stayed for over a month trying to rectify the situation. I cried spontaneously often during these times thinking to myself “I don’t deserve this! I worked so hard!”. Finally, when I was able to apply to go to Law School in December, Law School broke the news that the campuses were filled and we would have to wait till the next year.
All hope was lost, I felt dejected. As I write about this period of my life, an overwhelming feeling engulfs me because I felt trapped in this particular moment that went on for very long.
Miraculously, I was posted to the Nigerian Law School Lagos Campus, my only choice. I had missed 7 weeks of lectures and I was being told scary stories from various colleagues already in the system. I remember my first class was Criminal litigation on Monday and we were being taught ‘Court Martials’, and I thought to myself ‘I am finished, how will I ever catch up in order to understand the way these kids were answering questions thrown to them’. I was terrified that Mr. Kanu would ask me to turn on my microphone to answer a question and I would disgrace my entire generation, luckily that did not happen.
After leaving that class clueless and hurt, I made a decision I was going to read up on all the topics I missed, I gave myself a deadline and prepared to work. This was no easy feat as I still had to answer tasks before going to class the next day and read the topic we were about to treat in class that day. So, what I did was to read the one topic I had missed at midnight (12am) and then go to sleep and wake up the next day and brush through the new topic to be treated before going to class.