The Faculty of Law, Prince Abubakar Audu University (PAAU – formerly Kogi State University), Anyigba, Kogi State, in conjunction with the Law Students’ Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), PAAU Chapter, organized a one day career mentorship programme on Saturday, 29th day of July, 2023 for her law students.
The Programme was tagged “Bold Transitions in the Legal Profession”.
In attendance were an array of legal luminaries drawn from the Bar and Bench. The Honourable, the Chief Judge of Kogi State and Chairman, Judicial Service Commission, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Josiah Joe Majebi, who was represented by Ojoma Rachael Haruna, DCR, PRS, Judicial Service Commission, Kogi State, delivered a keynote address and declared the ceremony open.
The Hon. Chief Judge who was the Special Guest of Honour, stated that the theme of the programme was apt within the context of a rapidly transiting world and business environment triggered in part by revolutionary exploits, expressions of technology and the historic coronavirus pandemic.
His Lordship enjoined the 21st century Legal Practitioners to boldly transit with audacity and innovatively.
Addressing the theme of the event, the Students were urged to be focused in their studies, eschew every act of misconduct, including: “get rich quick” mentality, entitlement mentality, etc.
The opportunities available in the legal profession were laid bare to the students with steps needed to be taken in pursing each, highlighted. The importance of internship at law firms and courts (as assistants to Judicial Officers), was brought to the fore.
The guest speakers present at the programme were: Mr. J.S. Okutepa, SAN, Mr. M.S. Ibrahim, SAN and Ms Ojoma Rachael Haruna, Esq. (DCR, Judicial Service Commission).
While Mr. M.Y. Abdullahi, SAN was brought on the programme to address the Students, over the phone.
Other Speakers were Prof D.F. Atidoga, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, PAAU, Prof Benjamin Ogwo, the Director of Consultancy Services, PAAU, and Dr Shedrack Ekpa, the Deputy Dean of Law and Head of Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, PAAU.
The Dean of Law, PAAU Prof Enemaku Obaje expressed the Faculty’s as well as University’s appreciation to the Guest Speakers, acknowledging the huge sacrifices they made to be physically present at the event.
The President of the Law Students’ Association, PAAU Chapter, Miss Ufedojo Victory Okoliko, who could not hold back her joy at the success of the programme, expressed unreserved appreciation to the Faculty for the opportunity given to her executive to hold the event and to the invited guest speakers, for their unquantifiable sacrifices to attend the event.
She stated that herself and her colleagues are delighted with the express access granted to them for period mentorship and stated that, they will not miss any opportunity to be mentored by the distinguished Legal Practitioners.
Part of the highlights of the event was the practical mentorship steps taken by Mr. J.S. Okutepa, SAN when he volunteered to serve as the Grand Patron of the Students’ Inns of Court at the Faculty of Law and the subsequent pronouncement of Chief A.A. Malik, SAN, Mr. J.J. Usman, SAN, Mr. M.S. Ibrahim, SAN and Mr. M.Y. Abdullahi, SAN as Patrons of each of the four Inns of Court, with a further commitment to be available for periodic mentorship of Law Students of PAAU in the practical aspect of law.
In order to encourage academic and practical excellence, cash awards for best in advocacy in Moot Trials as well as best dressed advocate at such trials, was announced. Meanwhile, a scholarship in the mode of payment of school fees has been offered to the best Students from 100 to 400 levels per session. The scholarship is to begin from the 2023/2024 academic session, with best Students from the current 2022/2023 academic session as first beneficiaries.
A cross section of Law Students, who spoke to our Correspondent at the end of the programme, expressed their immeasurable joy for the opportunity they had to listen to practical issues bothering on the legal profession, as they prepare to transition into the profession. They also hope that, such events will hold more frequently.