So today, I am hosting a guest on the blog, a recent graduate of the Nigerian Law School, who had a terrific journey, from the tail end of her bachelor’s degree to the end of her sojourn in the dreaded Nigerian Law School.
My experience at the Nigerian law school, isn’t one that was totally as boring and frustrating as most people would describe theirs.
I got into the Nigerian law school Abuja, on the 2nd of May 2019, I was privileged to be in the April backlog set. Many can attest that this opportunity was a once in a blue moon kind of opportunity (I’m guessing the moon was blue then).
I graduated from the prestigious Igbinedion University Okada, with a CGPA of 3.49( 0.1 away from a second class upper). All efforts made to verify and correct that, proved abortive. I would cry for days, lamenting on how I wouldn’t be able to get a job in my dream firm because I was below standard and no one will be willing to hear I missed a 2.1 by 0.1 point.
I remember speaking to one of those, who could have easily recalculated my CGPA and guess what? I was told and I quote:- “YOU’RE VERY STUPID, YOU’RE A FOOL, if you want a 2.1, go and get it from law school.” If you know me well, you would know that I hate to be challenged and I hate my abilities and capacities, questioned.
Arriving the law school, I was scared, I mean, I’ve heard a lot of scary things about the place and for once, I had to belittle myself. I wanted to get an ordinary pass and so, I made enquiries about what the lowest grade point was and what it was going to take to get an ordinary pass. What would you expect after hearing people run mad, pass out and pregnant women run into quick labor, while in the Bar hall? I also heard of the ambulance waiting outside and I was panicking.
One week into law school( before lectures began), my motivation and anger came in, the day I was called a fool and told to get my 2.1 from the law school and I’m glad. it made me say to myself:- peace, you’re not just going there to get a 2.1, you’re going to get a first class and the first class will be attached with an award!
Exams kicked off with the regular MCQ which lasted for 1hour, I was quite impressed I could beat the time. On the day of the first theory paper, property law practice, I was like, “Ahhhh!!! How do people even fail?” I mean, I could answer everything and that excitement led to me not noticing that compulsory question 4 had a continuation in the next page. I had finished 30 minutes before time and I wasn’t calm enough to have noticed that.
I got to see it in the hostel and I almost went nuts. I don’t want to even remember Civil litigation exams. I crashed in the hall, forgot how to draft an ordinary statement of claim and this made me disorganized! I answered my questions but was uncertain as to what I was doing. I regained consciousness after I was done writing, I was spitting the answers and my friends had to calm me. I went back to the hostel, angry and frustrated, I knew my first class dream was crushed and so, I refused preparing for the last paper.
Results came out at about past 10pm on the 3rd of July 2020, I was really scared and asked my friend to help me check. She gave me a ring back and was telling me to praise God and to be glad that I didn’t just accept the challenge, I actually did it!
I didn’t get my dream grade but I got what I was challenged to get. At that point, my ego was restored as I had proved to my challengers that I was worth more than a CGPA of 3.49.
P. E Edinyang Esq, who is a chef, is also a barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. You can reach out to her on Edinyangp@gmail.com