Thursday, 21 August 2014

My law school experience

Gaining admission into NLS was a miracle. It was one of my 2012 birthday requests to God but I had given up on it. I made a khaki and shorts and was so ready for NYSC. I did my happy dance at Ikeja Mall when a sweetheart called to let me know that our names were out and she had even started my registration process. When my posting came out, I couldn't complain because it would have been so insensitive to do so. So many people would take my slot without thinking about it. I resumed in November and spent about 9months in Bagauda, Kano. It was a difficult time, the first time I would be faraway from home.

I left home with the intention of not making friends. Maybe that's why I made very few. I had the opportunity to know a beautiful soul I had been in the same classes with since JSS/SSS1 and we're now even at the same CDS. I also met an Angel who gave me copies of her notes, shared cups of tea with me every night and invited me over to her bunk on Friday nights to watch movies. I got my admission late so I went alone unexcited. Surprisingly, there were people who were excited about my coming and kept calling to check that I was okay. They showed me around and made sure I had dinner. Thanks y'all. The hostels looked the same to me and I kept getting it wrong. The campus was previously Bagauda Lake Resort so you can imagine how old most of the buildings are. I was always scared the fan would fall on me. You needed to have heard the fan in the next room though. Life there was tough. There was a night I thought I would be killed in my sleep because some non-christians felt I should not be allowed to study with them. What was I looking for sef? I had 13 room mates, 3 of who I knew from Uni. I was lucky my corner, for 4, had a door and a bathroom. I didn't realize until close to the exams that our doors were for decorative purposes. Cooking wasn't allowed. The taps in the rooms weren't running so we had to fetch water from outside. There were no omo onise  like they had in other campuses so we washed and ran our errands ourselves. I didn't mind though but then 24hours wasn't enough. My weekdays? Lectures began at 9am and ended at about 2pm. We had to sign out before heading to our rooms. I would soak my white shirt then head to faraway Mami market to buy food. Eat, wash, sleep, read, gist with roommates and browse for a little time. It was here I lost the spirit of sending birthday wishes on fb, thanks to bad network, no time and low battery. There was a time we had to go queue at 6:30/7am so we could thumb print on time when the machines arrived by 8am. The weather was freezing then ehn. I feel it was wrong to take attendance and lock hostels. If we were old enough to teach ourselves, we were old enough to make choices, to attend classes or not. At least it's not NLS' time and money. Treating graduates and people my mother's age as kids. The generator went on at 7pm and off at 12am.

I started forming seriousness, making notes before class. That didn't last beyond a week. Law school is a battle field, not just for the brilliant but tough hearted. When people post "I miss Bagauda, my second home on Fb, I want to ask if they live in holes. Nobody loves you or has your time. It's not like your friends don't care but they are too busy worrying about themselves. Law school is so stressful, my once clear flawless skin began to break out. Forget the Instagram photos @tarabauer_ I was an ugly duckling in school. I wore the same clothes. I'm not a fashionista and then law school sucked the little I had in me. I didn't care about how I looked. That I was living was enough. I had eye bags. I slept poorly due to snores around. Some people would paint face and all, do color blocking, form fashionista just to go to Mami. Some even had boyfriends and girlfriends in school. Those are the super humans. There was drama, fights and gossip. We had a 2week Christmas break. That's when I got married but when you're in law school, you're single. The area of one's life that really mattered was academics.

Our lecturers were amazing though. Well, most of them. They really tried even though I knew close to nothing after the 20weeks of lectures. Our lectures were one kain. A lecturer would give a brief overview and may even ask questions in between. Then we go to smaller groups for about 15mins where the group leader reads out the answers to given questions from a book. A person is appointed to present to the class. We go on a short break. Get back to class for presentations. Then the lecturers may explain some other things and ask questions. We pay so much to teach ourselves. Law school is not a joke and then we graduate only to be paid peanuts. Why should a lawyer be paid 20k or even 80k in some areas in Lagos? There are law firms in Lagos and Abuja that pay 45k and less. Mstcheeew. That can't even buy a work outfit or aso-ebi. So now you know why more lawyers are opting out of practice.

After 20 weeks of lectures, we were posted to courts and law firms in towns of our choice for attachments. It was on our way home that we lost some dear ones to an accident and injuries sustained from it. A few couldn't return to school for exams, no thanks to death. It's hard to forget them. Some good ones really don't last. The attachments were the time for us to get acclimatized to the conduct of courts and law firms and study for exams. I started studying but BBA no gree me. I made sure I filled my log book everyday as if that's all that mattered. We returned to school for portfolio assessment, revision, mock trials and exams. I enjoyed the revision classes. I got advice to read but also take time to eat and sleep and yes, I slept. I read on my bed so whenever I was tired or felt I had understood, I took a nap. I noted areas I didn't understand so I could ask people, that's what my bbm was for.

I did not read on my birthday, 09/08. I wasn't feeling too well and was thinking I would have to travel home for treatment. I skeptically went to the school clinic the following Monday and got better almost immediately. There was no other way to celebrate so my friends and I got henna done. Bagauda is dry ehn, my Oga had to order my cakes from Abuja. My (Anglican) church members celebrated me after the evening service. There was lots of dancing in my room afterwards. It was a good day.

I started my exams 14/08/13 and ended 23/08/13. I was home the following day. The waiting period was terrible. I had been having weird dreams while in school and it continued. You could doze off  in school and within the 5minutes dream of your mom slapping you as she asks if you came to law school to sleep. I dreamt once that my Call to Bar was in Paris. I made 1st class and cried while giving a speech vowing to go back to Uni to study law again and make a 1st class. No peace of mind in and out of school. You'll be praying in church and you'll suddenly remember the procedure for winding up a company or filing a petition. Some people would say they saw visions that this or that would come out, all na wash! They only form those from past questions.

One needs brilliance, money for tuition and books and most importantly God. I had no idea I would do well in my Bar Finals. I can't thank God enough. I was called to the Bar on 28/11/13. Many times I dreamt that I failed. Now I'm grateful I was in Kano campus where I had no avenue to socialize. Oh, I visited Tiga dam, Zaria and Kaduna. When next would I visit the North? Errm, does Abuja count? Shout out to Bar Finalists. I see most of y'all are gallant, pinging, updating bbm. All the very best. Xoxo, Anuoluwapo.

United States of Kano
First week in school
2013 Birthday

*NLS = Nigerian Law School
 NYSC = National Youth Service Corps
CDS = Community Development Service
 Uni = University
 Omo onise = Domestic helps
 One kain = Funny
 BBA = Big Brother Africa was a distraction
 BBM = BlackBerry Messenger
 All na wash = Don't believe any of it
 The Bar = Nigerian Bar
 Y'all = You all

N.B: That was a summary of my experience. I do not speak for anyone else. Don't be afraid of law school. If I made it, you can.


Mubo-d' Blessed said...

I adopt all the aforelisted experiences at the Nigerian law school as mine SAVE wedding and birthday. nice job you've done. keep it up

Anuoluwapo said...

Thank you bae

umukoro humphrey said...

Humphrey Umukoro: Reading through took me on a trip down memory lane such that I had to take stops to laugh and say "yeah ya right"...Good descriptiveness. Honoured to be associated with this great personality Aaannu. I met her during the course of my NYSC and am privileged to comment here. Keep reading friends and spread the word.

Anuoluwapo said...

Thank you Humphrey

Anonymous said...

You write beautifully. Was there any religious segregation?

Anonymous said...

Nothing good comes easy dear, nobody can take that experience away from u & d fact that u had a good results means it was worth the stress. Love d way u wrote this piece.

Anonymous said...


Anuoluwapo said...

None that I can remember at the moment. Thank you

Anuoluwapo said...

Yeah right! Thank you

Eniwealth said...

Nice post yet again. Glad it was all worth it at the end.

Esquire said...

Interesting Law school experience.

Anuoluwapo said...

Thank you

Anuoluwapo said...

Thank you