In this Article, Sulaimon Adebodun interviews Kehinde Emmanuel Oladele on his journey as an undergraduate student studying at Ahmadu Bello University.
Hi Kehinde! Could you please start by giving us a background on your legal journey so far in terms of your legal studies, and extracurricular experience?
My name is Kehinde Emmanuel Oladele and I am an undergraduate law student at the Prestigious Ahmadu Bello University. My admission into the University came towards the end of the year 2019 which was during the start of COVID-19. As such, at resumption; early January 2020, the federal government ordered school closure and students went back home until 2021 where schools reopened.
On the whole, the legal journey started then as a greenhorn in 2020 at the magistrate court in Ogbomosho Oyo state. In the year 2022, my internship moved from Oyo State to Kaduna state where I learn the rudimentary of Islamic and Sharia law at the Chamber called Zaria.
In furtherance to that, I tendered an application at the law Victoria’s Court. After a departure from Zaria, my advocacy skills were being honed at Awomolo & Associates. I have garnered a lot of experience in my legal journey which has honed my skills.
Additionally, for my extracurricular activities, I have partaken in several intellectual debates, writing competitions and a number of legal drafting competitions with my senior colleagues both nationally and internationally. Aside from that, I have over 15 articles published and 4 Academic research papers. I have also published over 5 poems as an embodiment of creativity.
What challenges have you encountered in your journey, especially the early stages of the journey, and how did you overcome them?
Well, embarking on a new journey with no background knowledge is not always without difficulties.
For starters, it was the predicament of inferiority and superiority complex. Secondly, it was that of associating and establishing a meaningful and substantial relationship with colleagues and senior ones which seemed knotty but was amicably resolved.
Also, there was the resolution of leaving a mark in the sand of our time which I still diurnally work on, I have not failed to realize that it’s yielding positively. I recollect vividly that I was reluctant to partake even in extracurricular activities in campus, but there was an international competition (Foreign Investment Dispute) which stands ushered in my interest, ever since, I welcomed all opportunities and jealousy work on my grades and guide same with resilience and diligence.
Synoptically, the difficulty is in the process and it validates the progress.
How have you been able to maintain balance in Academics and Extracurricular Activities; which is inclusive of the internship opportunities secured?
This is a witty question.
As earlier stated, the debut was not without reluctancy because I am a formidable advocate of excellence and good results, however along the line, I discovered other things which needed to be put to fruition particularly, honing my advocacy skill, oratory skills, interpersonal relationships skills and legal writing and drafting skills to mention few.
This prompted me to systematically plan my time, indulge in vital and meaningful things every second and resolve to ace all. One thing is to chase a single thing, another is to change many, in the circumstance, to short circuit my journey, I indulge more in the intense perusal of every needful thing at every needful time and never procrastinate. Knowing fully well that procrastination is a graveyard of good dreams, I make a draft of what I must achieve and work towards reality. Sacrifices are made, prices are being paid, it will be a manifest birth one day, not too long!
I must silently borrow from the sagacious Yoruba aphorism: tete jewuro, koma ba jewuro pe” and ” adun loman gbeyin ewuro”, the former implies” a stitch in time saves nine, while the later in sequel means “light after the tunnel” these remarkable words by the grace of God keep me on move! Therefore, I have been smartly working more on my academics, having in target a goal!
With the Skills honed, experience garnered and knowledge acquired, do you think you’ve got all you need?
God forbids that I assume, I have gotten all I need, as insatiability is that of a man, it is inseparable from a law student too. You want to be primus inter pares, which requires a need to quest and pant for more every second.
The afore was assertively stated basically because a whole lot is being and would be learned till the last breath! So, much as I appreciate the progression, the goals realization is still far, “too far from it”. The rudimentary part has been fulfilled and achieved, other part we proceed to. On the whole, by the grace of God, I study diurnally to show myself approved.
What do you think is the most pressing issue law students encounter in their journey, and what tips can you offer?
Alright, I will be answering this question from a generic standpoint because, if I were to be specific, “most pressing issues could be relative in nature”, and analyzing it as such would be detrimental. However, for narrowing sake and from experience over the years, law students most pressing needs are:
Grades perfection: firstly, virtually all law students, like medical students, are of first-class mindset; everyone needs extra engagement and indulgence to escape the presumption, i.e., proving oneself unique and worthy compared with others. Therefore, law students work on effecting a change every semester in their grades; it is undoubtedly evidence of progress.
Participating in extracurricular activities. A law student who would cease every opportunity to present what they are made up of might not necessarily be inclined towards grade perfection, but the whole spirit and energy will craftily be allocated to extracurricular activities. Meanwhile, in this adventure, recognition is made, and the market is on watch!
Networking is inclusive; there is a need to strategically relate to others from all walks of life. Being a geek and scholar is imperative, but it should not be to the exclusion of good relationships. Most clients come from varying professions.
These and many others are the basic issues faced by law students in their journey, and they could be overwhelming sometimes; however, they could be overcome through perseverance, strategic decision-making, and regular self-checks and examinations as to the progress in the process.
Law students are very careful about being progressive, particularly in terms of grades and internship opportunities. Talking about the latter, the moment a law student is privileged to intern in a firm for a year, the unfolding or subsequent years internship must be done in a bigger firm. This really is one of the issues that makes a law student discomfited in the absence of targets and objectives. It is necessary to reiterate that “taking one step at a time matters.” Do what’s doable and obtainable when it’s available; looking at big things when smaller ones have not been successfully solved is not the next step. Law students should know this more!
In the event that a friend’s been in the bigger firm, just have it in your subconscious mind what you also want to achieve at the bigger firm; however, maximize maximally the advantage of learning in a smaller circle first; that’s fertile ground for an ambitious law student who craves indulgence in every single thing. As such, when the opportunity comes to proceed, one wouldn’t be unprepared.
Mind you, time only reveals; it doesn’t change anything; it is the hands-on deck and level of preparedness that will launch a law student to the very best ground.
Therefore, thinking big, competing with oneself and the past, and doing the needful should be appreciated more by a law student in a positive way; it should not be a pressing issue; it’s even far from it!