The Critical Thing In Legal Practice Is Character – Osinbajo Tells Law Students
SAN FRANCISCO, November 13, (THEWILL) – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged law students to pursue character if they intend to succeed in in legal practice insisting that being smart is good but character is better.
Osinbajo, speaking at the grand finale of the SimmonsCooper Advocacy Development (SCAD), an Initiative of SimmonsCooper Partners (SCP) – a law firm where the Vice-President was senior partner before he was called to serve – urged the students to be focused and well behaved.
“The critical thing in legal practice is character, it is not always about how smart you are. Being smart matters however what keeps you going and respected at the top of the pack is character,” he said.
Known as SCAD, the initiative, a brainchild of Osinbajo when he was a Senior Partner at the firm, is designed principally for law school students and undergraduates seeking to initiate, nurture and develop their advocacy skills.
Law students from across Nigeria submitted written briefs on the hypothetical dispute scenario and after a thorough vetting process, the top ten were selected to argue their positions orally before a panel of judges.
The ten finalist for 2016, selected from over 200 entries, were Adaeze Anyanegbu from Nnamdi Azikiwe University; Emeka Ezekwesiri from University of Ibadan; Felix Emmanuel and Joseph Omeh from University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Elizabeth Whesu, Ayodele Jesufemi and Similola Ayoola from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; Daniel Jayeoba, Tobi Babalola and Jonathan Ezeumeh from University of Lagos.
They all made oral presentations before a panel of senior lawyers (who acted like judges in a court room – more like a court room appearance for the students).
The Judges were Hon Justice Candide-Johnson (Lagos state Judge), Mr Arthur Worrey (Former Commissioner of Lands Lagos state); Prof Oyelowo Oyewo (former Dean, Faculty of Law UNILAG); Mrs Omotola Rotimi (Director, Public Defender and Citizen's Right – Child Abuse, Lagos); Prof Ayodele Atsenuwa (Dean, Faculty of Law UNILAG) and Mr Bode Olanipekun (Senior Partner at Wole Olanipekun Chambers).
Successful students are entitled to a range of long-lasting benefits that include professional development, tuition support, exposure, and mentorship while the winner of the programme would go home with a cash prize and a job at SCP currently managed by Babatunde Irukera, Dapo Akinosun and Victoria Alonge.
At the end of the dinner, Elizabeth Omolola Whesu was adjudged the Winner by the judges while Jayeoba Daniel came second and Emeka Ezekwesiri was third.
Also present were previous participants of SCAD. Damiola Wright (first prize winner in 2014), Kenneth Okwor (2014), Oluwakemi Oke (2014).