Nigerian Law School First Class Graduates Reveal Their Secrets
Twenty-five-year-old Opeyemi Longe is used to blazing the trail in the academic world. For 13 years, many students had tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to bag a first class Bachelor's degree in the Faculty of Law of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State.
But, in 2012, the native of Omuooke-Ekiti broke the jinx and emerged the first student to graduate with a first class degree from the faculty.
Apart from being one of the four students that shined at the 2014 Part II Final Bar Examination of the NLS, Longe has also emerged as the first law graduate of the AAUA to obtain a first class degree from the 51-year-old institution.
He noted that his attendance at social outings and programmes were very minimal, adding that he did it on purpose with a view to achieving his academic goals.
He said he never toyed with group discussions organised by the school management, adding that the special arrangement gave him the opportunity to learn from his colleagues.
He said, “In each of the five courses offered at the Law School, I have at least two textbooks recommended by the school and I did not just purchase them for the fun of it. I took my time to study each and every one of them and you will be amazed what effect they had on me.
“I worked very closely with the lesson plan made available to all of us. So I ensured that I studied for each lesson before the class and carried out the pre-class assignments and this is where the issue of disciplined study comes in.
“I told myself, 'You must not do anything else unless you are ready for tomorrow's class.' In this wise, every other thing I needed to do came after I was satisfied of being prepared for the class of the following day.”
Although Aba-born Ikechukwu Uzoma, who hails from the Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State, graduated from ABSU with a Bachelor's degree in the second-class upper division, he etched his name in gold this year as the first ABSU Law graduate to obtain a first class degree at the law school.
Noting that there were many distractions at the Lagos campus of the Law School, Uzoma stated that he withdrew from social functions organised by his colleagues, adding that he mostly participated in academic and religious activities.
“Wisdom directed my affairs while in the law school. I withdrew from several responsibilities I had outside school and my church, Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, besides, I adopted a regimented sleeping schedule, especially towards the exams. I did not join my family for the last Christmas and Easter holidays. I used those periods to rest and study Besides, I put in extra efforts to redeem any lost time.
“Cardinally, I had a way of keeping my focus strong and getting very involved in the curricular activities in school. As a group leader in the Lagos campus, I ensured that I was personally involved in all the assignments and I found some time to study. My constant dissatisfaction with my inability to meet some personal targets spurred me on to stretch and do more. I also kept a small circle of friends with whom I studied,” the 25-year-old stated.
Stating that he refrained from “memorising or cramming a lot,” at the law school, Uzoma said he sought to “understand how the law works and I applied every principle to everyday life.”
Just as the Deputy Director-General and Head of Lagos campus of the NLS, Mrs. Toun Adebiyi, alleged that many of the students who failed were preoccupied with social media rather than their studies, Longe and Uzoma said they withdrew from social networking during the academic programme.