When I was twelve years old, my father was sued for claiming he owned a land that was his. See, my dad bought this land way before I was born but he had no paperwork for the land, just the receipt the seller gave to him. A few years later, the same land was sold to someone else without my father knowing about it. This new owner had built a house on the land before my father realised what was going own. When my dad questioned the guy about the land, he showed my father his paperwork. So, my father sued the sellers of the land, but his case was thrown out of court because he did not have the paperwork. I see and about cases like this all the time where “omo onile’s” sell the same land to more than one person and think they are above the law. My father’s experience through this ordeal sparked a keen interest in how we practise law in Nigeria, especially as it relates to the poor and underprivileged. It was at this point that I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer, not because it was this glamorous profession but because I genuinely want to help people.
My interest in law was sparked even more when I got to know about Chief Folake Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the first female lawyer to wear the silk gown. This further reinforced what I had always known, I want to be a lawyer. She was a woman that made her own path in a profession that was predominantly masculine and she accomplished what no woman in the legal profession had achieved before. She paved the way for younger hopeful lawyers like me. I want to be like her and hopefully achieve more and help people while making more progress in this still male-dominated profession.
Although much headway has been made in practising law in Nigeria in the past twenty or so years, I feel like there is still more to be done. The poor are taken advantaged of because they have no funds for a good lawyer, the rich and privileged think they are above the law because they can pay anyone off and justice is not served. It is not about the money in law but it is about the joy I get in helping people get their right. I know what people around me face just because they don’t have the luxury of having a lawyer to defend them in court. Like the words AUDI ALTERA PATEM mean: “never condemn the unheard,” so why should I not stand for other humans like me?
It is for the above reasons that I am striving to be a lawyer. I am currently in the Law diploma program at Lagos State University (LASU) and hopefully will achieve my dream in a few years. I know that studying law may the most challenging I will ever do, but I am ready.
Full Name: Adekunle Kaosara Abolore
Name of School: Lagos State University (LASU)
Year/Level: Year one
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