Recently the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen organized a moot court competition for Law Students in Law Faculties across the country. Kenechukwu Nnadi, a 400 Level Law Student of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Enugu State emerged as the Most Outstanding Counsel in the competition. Kenechukwu who is presently the best Counsel of the Year in ESUT Law clinic (300L,2017) has won several other awards prior to becoming the Most Outstanding Counsel in the CJN’s National Moot and Mock Trial Competition.
In this interview, Kenechukwu spoke to DNL Legal & Style about his love for advocacy.
DNL L&S: May we meet you please
Kenechukwu: My name is Kenechukwu Tochukwu Nnadi. I am from Enugu Ngwo in Enugu North Local Government of Enugu State and the only child of my parents. I am a 400L Law student at Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria. I had my primary school at the Immaculate Heart Nursery & Primary School, Enugu and my secondary school at the Good Shepherd Anglican Seminary, Enugu as well as Command Day Secondary School, Enugu.
DNL L&S: You were recently awarded the “Most Outstanding Counsel” in the just concluded Justice W. S. Nkanu Onnoghen (CJN) National Moot and Mock Trial Competition. How do you feel about the achievement?
Kenechukwu: First of all, I must say that all the glory must be to the Lord who made it possible. I feel very happy knowing I could pull it through with God’s grace backing me and most importantly, defending the reputation of the prestigious faculty of law, ESUT.
DNL L&S: Were you expecting that you would be the Most Outstanding Counsel in the competition?
Kenechukwu: Well, during the course of the competition which ran for a span of 6 days, I met over 40 exceptionally intelligent law students who seemed to have been practicing law before they were recruited to come for the competition! It was a very fierce competition; everyone was at their very best. It was a raw display of brilliant advocacy skill. I was not expecting any winning but I was prepared and determined to put in my very best. To be honest, in my mind, I was actually rooting for some people to win but, the judges were more impressed with what I had to offer and to the Glory of God, I took the award home.
DNL L&S: What was your reaction when your name was called as the Most Outstanding Counsel?
Kenechukwu: I must say I was elated! It took a while for me to realize it was my name that was first called, I felt it was someone else till my school mate nudged me to run to the stage that my name was being called.
DNL L&S: How did you become aware of the moot competition?
Kenechukwu: It was during my internship during the vacation that a senior colleague (who was the lead counsel), informed me about it and we started planning and writing the brief of argument. We only had a few days to prepare for the oral arguments as a team but we thank God that it all went well. We jointly emerged as the 3rd best team.
DNL L&S: Tell us your general experience at the competition.
Kenechukwu: The CJN Moot presented an opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Calabar for the first time. We were lodged in a hotel and our hosts (The University of Calabar) took very good care of us. It gave me the opportunity to network with other law students from other universities who represented the east, west, north and southern parts of the country. I got to make new friends and take home new ideas of how things are done in other places. On the intellectual aspect, I had the opportunity of appreciating practical application of law and got a better understanding of how things are done in practice.
DNL L&S: A peep into some of your achievements in other moot competitions suggests that you love advocacy? What is the endearing factor for the love for advocacy?
Kenechukwu: Well, right from my secondary school, I’ve always loved expressing myself. But it was not until I gained admission into the faculty of law, ESUT that I understood the art of advocacy under the guidance of my seniors in school like Gabriel Nwodo, Nuel Oji, and Orisakwe Okechukwu who are now lawyers. Another thing is that I love watching law movies like Suits, Boston Legal, Doubt, Chicago Justice and a whole lot which helped fuel my passion.
DNL L&S: What dreams do you have for yourself in the legal profession?
Kenechukwu: I must say that I fell in love with law at first contact. Right from my 100L I’ve always sought for better ways to improve and hone my skills as a law student. That being said, I intend to keep learning as much as I can in order to be strategically positioned for opportunities when they arise because I intend to go as far as I possibly can with God’s grace in the legal profession.
DNL L&S: You would agree that it is not all law students that take extracurricular activities such as moot competition very seriously. Would you consider that your involvement in moot competitions have affected your academics positively or negatively?
Kenechukwu: I must agree that law students generally don’t take mooting activities very seriously. Some feel it’s a waste of time, while others feel they’re better of doing the conventional reading and passing than stressing themselves at the moot court. To others, they are not just meant for that. However, I beg to differ. Mooting has really helped me in my growth and development as a law student. I have had the opportunity of arguing cases on areas of law that were way above my level. Like in 100L I served as a research assistant to my seniors in a National competition attended in Unizik and fast forward to the beginning of 300L where I was the lead counsel in a company law and labour law case which were 500L and 400L courses.
My little experience in mooting has affected my academics positively as it has helped sharpen my analytical skills and ability to write with a legal flavor which I have employed in approaching school related activities.
DNL L&S: What would be your advice to other law students who consider extracurricular activities as mere distractions?
Kenechukwu: I will advise them to try it out and compare what they were before and what they become after some of these extra-curricular activities like mooting and they will need no prophet to tell the results.
Mooting is for everyone and I will like to use this opportunity to appeal to all the Law Faculties in Nigeria to look for a way to make activities like mooting and debating compulsory in school so that students get to test the waters at least before they can accurately say they are not made for this (as most say).
DNL L&S: What mooting tips would you give to other law students who wish to also become Outstanding Counsel in moot competitions?
Kenechukwu: Well, my little advice (considering the fact that am still learning) is that students who seek to be outstanding during mooting competitions is to call on God, master their case, be bold as a lion, know the laws, and own the court during address. You could also watch some videos on YouTube on the art of advocacy and legal series like Boston Legal, Doubt, Suits Chicago Justice, and a host of others can give you a sneak peak of what it means to be a gladiator in suit!
Thank you very much for this opportunity, God bless you.
© Copyright DNL Legal & Style 2017.
This piece may only be copied on the condition that DNL Legal & Style is duly acknowledged in this manner: “Source: DNL Legal & Style. View the original piece on: (insert Hyperlink)