Sunday, April 10, 2022

Alum Odinaka Okemini: How AUN Prepared us for Nigerian Law School, Transformed my Worldview

Alum Odinaka Okemini has been speaking about his experience at the Kano campus of the Nigerian Law School. Mr. Odinaka is one of the bright lights in the inaugural AUN School of Law Class entering 2016. Odinaka and his classmates are now rounding off their studies at the various campuses of the Nigerian Law School. He is in Kano. As members of the inaugural class, we were curious about how he and his classmates were coping, and if they were sufficiently equipped, intellectually and academically, for the Law School from which they graduate to practice law in Nigeria.

"You may say that in terms of academic standards and facilities, coming from AUN to any public institution in Nigeria is a step-down. It's really difficult trying to adapt ideas you received from AUN in five years to a different environment without similar facilities and resources. It is a difficult transition from the digital to the manual. But we also developed the tough mental attitude to adjust to any situation, thanks to the numerous trainings we got at AUN.”

Mr. Odinaka said he misses the AUN e-library more than anything else. He feels that the digital academic resources at AUN have helped students to explore more, to assuage their intellectual curiosity.

He admitted that the Nigerian Law School was stressful and demanding, but he and his mates were prepared for it. Mr. Odinaka shared his views on how AUN grooms students to become outstanding.

"AUN has a way of getting students to stand out professionally and socially. A good example is when I was posted to (the Nigerian Law School) NLS, Kano Campus. We were just three from AUN posted there. Initially, I wanted to change my posting but later decided against it. I would describe myself as reserved. However, during a class presentation on Corporate Law and Practice, I decided to represent my group. After a successful presentation, other students marveled at how I conducted myself during the delivery and were curious to know the school I attended. I told them it was AUN. That was when they recognized that AUN taught us well and prepared us professionally.”

He also acknowledged the unique AUN approach to education.

"We were encouraged to think critically; we were allowed to practice the real-life aspect of law.

"We were taught to separate theory from practice. Many of the rules and principles acknowledged in our textbooks and literature are sound, but different approaches are required when handling real-life situations.

“Our faculty members would organize practical courtroom settings such as the Moot court, with real-life cases on Gender-based violence(GBV) to allow us to learn from diverse angles."

He said he also learned vital interpersonal and life skills at AUN.

"Interactions with my AUN Law faculty members, especially Dr. Erebi (Ndoni) and Dr. Olanike (Adelakun), taught me how to conduct myself in class while holding interesting yet respectful conversations with some of the academic staff in the Nigerian Law School."

Mr. Odinaka, who initially harbored "little or no interest" in practicing law, now says he wants to focus on medical law advocacy. Having identified the sector as critical to the well-being of the citizens in a free and democratic society, he is alarmed by the level of negligence by medical practitioners against defenseless patients and wants to contribute to righting the wrongs.

"There is a need for more accountability in the health sector so that patients and those who provide medical care can know their obligations and rights."

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