I would have had a First Class whether my grade was determined by my lowest score or by average, whichever way they sliced it — Adebayo, BGS (Female)

Hi!πŸ˜ƒ Welcome to the Fantbabs blog today!✨ Thank you for deciding to check this post out. God bless you!😊

In this season when Nigerians are demanding for better from the government, I gladly join my voice with theirs! We want a Nigeria where peace and justice reign, so we say #EndSWAT #EndPoliceBrutality and #EndBadGovernmentInNigeria!✊🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾

That said, if you already don’t, you should know that I started an interview series tagged the Phenomenal Five in which I share my interviews with the five First Class graduates of the Nigerian Law School this year. Check out the last one I had with Sir Joseph Lukman here.🌟πŸ”₯

Good news! I have a very beneficial offer for my colleagues at the Nigerian Law School and those who are soon going to be students there. It’s somewhere in this post. Wait for it!πŸ˜‰

Today, it is the pleasure of my life to share my interview with the overall best graduating female student (who packed home five prestigious award prizes at the Call to Bar ceremony) of the Nigerian Law School Backlog Set of 2019/2020, Miss Deborah Adebayo Esq.πŸ†πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Let’s honour her, please.πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ

Fantbabs: Hello, ma! Can I meet you, ma?πŸ˜ƒ

Deborah: Hii! My name is Deborah Ibukunoluwa Adebayo. I’m a Christian Disciple. I’m also a lawyer and a lifestyle blogger at http://www.debbyhub.com

F: How did Law come into the picture for you? Was Law always what you wanted to do?

D: The moment I got into secondary school, yes, Law became the picture. Prior to that, I had experimented with aeronautical engineering and medicine.

F: Wawu. These are huge career paths o.🀭 How did Law finally prevail? What happened in secondary school that sealed your fate with Law?

D: It was in JSS1 and I had to write an article on my future career ambition. I began to ponder carefully and found out the legal path was my path to tread.

F: What was your background like? How was growing up?

D: My background was full of faith, discipline and family values. I learnt early on how to cultivate my relationship with Jesus and not rely on myself. I learnt early on to enjoy family time and be disciplined in my actions.

F: How do you feel about finally becoming a lawyer?

D: This is how I feel, no kidding:

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike β€œWhat’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us β€” an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

Romans 8:15-17 (MSG)

I think every part of this passage captures it best for me. But, if you’re looking for a one-liner, here’s how I feel about finally becoming a lawyer: “What’s next, Papa?”

Where;
Papa = God. πŸ˜ƒ
In plain language, lol, I’m onto the next assignment.

F: Hmmm… So has Papa God answered you yet?

D: Yes 😊. He is answering.

F: Hmmmm… Okay. May God guide and establish you firmly in his will. May you never miss your steps.πŸ€—

D: Amen.

F: After graduating from the University of Ibadan and before entering the Nigerian Law School, what was your perspective about Nigerian Law and the legal profession in Nigeria?

D: My perspective was inclined towards the sociological school of thought, as it still is today. I’ve always believed law is a tool of social engineering and should be used not as an end in itself but a means to an end, the end being justice for all.

Your question however highlights Nigerian Law in particular and the profession. I believe we’re still a far shot from the picture I painted above but I celebrate the steps being taken. With the involvement of our generation, we can get to the point of societal change I mentioned above.

F: How were your university days? Did you make a First Class out of university? And do you think that not having a First Class in the university puts one at a disadvantage in the Law School?

D: My universities days were very beautiful. I didn’t make a first class, I made a second class upper. In my blog post advising Nigerian Students, I wrote about this.

You can very well make a first class regardless of your grade in the university. Anything could be responsible for the grade you made in University. Make sure you know what your own ‘anything’ was, and don’t allow it disturb you this time around.

F: Coming into the Nigerian Law School, did you have any fears or doubts? Did you plan from the start to finish with a First Class?

D: I know this is uncommon, but I didn’t have fears. I had undergone some studies on faith (not because of Law School), which had really built my faith. Occasionally, the thought that I might make a second class upper degree and not a first class came around but I banished them as quickly as they came. Principally, I didn’t fear.

Yes, I planned from the start, to finish with a first class degree.

F: How did you prepare for the exams at the Nigerian Law School? Did you read for each course differently? What was your approach to drafts? What do you think you did that your colleagues probably did not?

D: I prepared systematically in the way that worked best for me.

I believe I read each course the same, I may have spent longer time on courses I considered to be bulkier.

I practised my drafts. I didn’t read them.

This last question is tricky and not one to be answered in a line or two. Principally, work on your mindset.

F: What way (which obviously worked for you) did you use? Reading for 18 hours everyday?πŸ˜ƒ

D: Truthfully, I didn’t have a certain number of hours per day. I simply read and understood.

F: This simplicity.✨ The rule that, in Law School, you have to have one authority per principle. Is it true or not?

D: Lol. I don’t think that’s a principle exclusive to Nigerian law school.
It helps if you support each principle with an authority. Notwithstanding, please relax. Know the principles first. I find that when I really understand the principles, knowing the statutes that prescribe them come naturally for me. Then I’d top it with cases.

F: How often did you use the library?

D: I used the library quite often. Not always. I improved my use of the library after my externship but I didn’t go everyday.

F: What materials would you recommend that we focus on for exams? Lecture notes/class slides? Cundy Smith? Handbooks? Textbooks?

D: I recommend you focus on lecture notes. By lecture notes, I don’t just mean the slides, I mean what your lecturers say. I actually recorded my classes on my phone, so I can assure you that I heard each class at least twice (one in-person, and the other, later). Followed closely are textbooks for the sake of understanding. When exams are very close though, I doubt you’ll be able to continue with bulky textbooks. Cundy Smith only helped buttress what I already knew.

F: What other ‘rules of engagement’ are there? Any other instruction we may need to abide by during the exam?

D: Rules of engagement for exam are a lot but principally work with time. Learn to master your time. Learn how to answer your questions in an inviting and engaging manner, not just stating the law. Don’t cheat.

F: How many minutes for the multiple choice questions, how many for the essay questions?

D: All MCQ papers are written the same day in 60 minutes. Essay exams are three hours each. If maintained in your set, 11am-2pm.

F: For our set, we did the bulk of the syllabus online. What challenges do you think we may have because of that? What do you think we can do to rise above those challenges?

D: The major challenge I can see is really understanding the concepts taught. Simply reading slides and textbooks may not flow as well. You may be reading for exam only. It helps if you enjoy and understand the concepts (which is easier when you listen to your lecturers). Please, download the lecture videos if you can. With that, you overcome the possible challenge.

F: Upon learning that you are one out of the five students in the whole of your set to have a First Class, how did you take it?

D: With awe. I took it with awe.
I recognize the privilege.

F: How do you think the Nigerian Law School graded the performance of your set? What strict method do you think they used? And what comments do you have about such a grading system?

D: I don’t know how the Nigerian Law School graded my set’s performance.

The only comment I have is directed towards the Law School students: Don’t bother yourself much about how exams are graded. I was going to make a first class if my lowest score determined my grade. I was going to make a first class if the grading was done by average. Anyway you sliced it, a first class was my portion. I advise you have the same attitude. Control what you can control.

I was going to make a first class if my lowest score determined my grade. I was going to make a first class if the grading was done by average. Anyway you sliced it, a first class was my portion.

F: Being one of only 5 First Class products of the Nigerian Law School in this set, it is expected that the biggest and highest paying law offices would consider you a hot cake and chase after you. How would you decide the one to choose? Or is the plan to go for a Master’s?

D: Lol. I will move on as the Lord leads me.

F: πŸ˜„ Oya na, but tell us the things you might consider most importantly.

D: To each man, his own. πŸ˜‰

F: 🀣🀣🀣🀣 Professional secrecy and confidentiality.πŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ˜ƒ

You were the best graduating female student from the Law School this year. How does that feel?

D: I simply recognize and respect the privilege to be the Best Graduating Female student.

F: How conducive and fair is the legal and judicial space in Nigeria for women? Do you think there’s any more thing to be done?

D: I cannot answer authoritatively on how the legal and judicial space for women is in Nigeria. I am not yet a month post-call.

Regardless, I’m an advocate for equality at the workplace (this includes granting a long stretch of paid maternity leave. Everyone was given birth to by a woman, I hope. Pregnancy is noble and women shouldn’t be penalized for it).

F: What do you think of the use of terms like, “gentlemen-in-skirt” for women in the Nigerian legal profession? What further steps should we take to bring legal practice to a modern and progressive place?

D: I’m not particularly intrigued by the term gentlemen-in-skirt. It’s obsolete, that’s for sure. I rarely hear the term being used. It’s obvious to all who can observe that the bar and bench is for both sexes.

F: Do you think it would be better if some of the Law School syllabus/workload were incorporated into the university syllabus to reduce the volume of work?

D: I think the distinction of what’s done in University and Law School is evident and Law School’s courses shouldn’t be taken over to University.

I suggest an overhaul of a sort. University can be made three or four years of study. Some of the elective courses borrowed from other departments can be done away with, focusing on substantive law in three (or four years). After which Nigerian Law School can be made two years and not one, so the syllabus to be covered won’t be as bulky in a short period.

Simply a suggestion open to critique.

F: Who are the Law School lecturers you’d like to give shout-outs to?

D: This is difficult for me to answer because I liked each lecturer in their own right. Mrs Ikwanusi’s brilliance and dedication to work commends my respect. Top that up with the fact that she’s apparently younger.

F: What hopes do you bear for the Nigerian legal profession, going forward?

D: I hope the Nigerian Legal profession will be one of integrity. I hope the profession will be an instrument for institutional change.

F: What is the dream, the Bar as Senior Advocate of Nigeria, or the Bench as Chief Justice of Nigeria, or the gown as the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education?

D: The last category has me laughing.
I’m not sure you’ve quite captured the dream yet, Barnabas. Thank you still😊.

I wish you the veryyyy best. God bless you and all readers.

F: Is there a space for people who want to be mentored by you?

D: Yeah, other than my blog, you can find me on social media:

Twitter: @debbyadebayo_

Instagram: @debbyadebayo_

Facebook: Adebayo Deborah Ibukunoluwa.

LinkedIn: Deborah Ibukunoluwa Adebayo.

************

You just finished reading my interview with Miss Deborah Adebayo Esq. I hope you liked it. Do let me know what you think or how you feel in the comments section below. Thank you.πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

PS: I have a special gift, which is a useful medium of preparation for Bar Finals, for my colleagues who are currently students at the Nigerian Law School. It’s a set of well-crafted Bar Finals standard MCQs on all the topics across the 5 courses taught in the Nigerian Law School. The answers to these questions are provided along with explanation on technical ones.

The author, Adeyemi Ayeku was the winner of the Justice J. O. Shofolahan Prize in Corporate Law Practice and the Mr. Damian Dodo, SAN Prize in Professional Ethics and Skills at the recently held Call to Bar ceremony organized by the Nigerian Body of Benchers.

This very comprehensive compilation goes for a small price of 2,000 naira. Click here to acquire it.

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