“Thus, Development psychology is of no doubt important in bla bla bla…” Last paper done. Yet I can’t stand up to submit in front. The much awaited Tuesday is here and my heart cringes with mixed emotions – happiness, fear, regrets, mostly regrets.
Year 2 was many many things but I would not say perfect. It started with that terrible determination to push yourself out and try new things. In my school at least, it meant politics, leadership, joining new organizations, winning debates, dropping off worthless relationships or friendships, and CGPA patching.
Newly admitted students would start asking questions on what they need to know to do well in Year 1. You feel the enthusiasm, even from a phone call or chat, and the passion to learn the Law.
Heyyyy! chill, you’re not even a Faculty of Law Student yet, welcome to Arts. You know they spent the holidays watching Suits and How To Get Away With Murder; they can’t wait to wear the black suit, perform wonders in court, and finish a court case in three days. (I still argued with my roommate in English department about How to get away with murder being totally different from real life Law. Sighs! She still doesn’t believe me, and when I try to settle it by saying someday you’d have a court case and find out for yourself, as a true Nigerian, the “God forbid” resounded so loud, you’d think I placed a curse on her).
So first, lawyers in Nigeria do not wear suits but a wig, gown, beep and I don’t know the rest yet. Second, lawyers don’t argue so much in court. They read out the Law and apply it to the facts, waiting patiently for the Judge to write it all on paper. Yes, I’m serious. He writes it all on paper!! Let’s call it “dictating your arguments”. Third, court cases actually never ever finish in a week. Maybe two, three years or fifteen or more. You’d file a summon or whatever, wait thirty days for a reply, then file something else and wait seven days and it goes on like that.
Now don’t get me wrong, I asked a lawyer and he says it’s fun. If I remember well (thanks to my crashed phone, I can’t dig the chat), he says the beauty of advocacy is trying to find the lacuna in the other party’s argument, and manipulating it to your own advantage or something like that.
Eventually, the enthusiastic freshmen would discover Law wasn’t what they pictured in their head. Some would transfer to other departments like CLA, others would only care to pass, some wouldn’t care at all and attend classes only during tests, while the passionate at heart will remain passionate.
In year 2, you’d realize Law lecturers are divided into three: the “give-me-back-my-material” lecturers, the “check-this-case-and-that-textbook-and-this-article” lecturer, and the “I don’t even know what this one wants” lecturer.
The first type are those who feel they’ve done the research you need, and you reading up new things is arrogant and uncalled for. The passionate Law students are bitter towards this type of lecturers. How else would they show off their newly learnt Muhammed v Abubakar?. The second type are passionate scholars who would force you to research and read up cases even after you’ve sworn to only use textbook cases. Personally, I think this is what passionate Law students eventually turn out to be (beware Izu, Ij). Well, the third are the unpredictable lecturers. You don’t know exactly what topics they’ve taught you and what they haven’t, and they basically spend the class combining stories about their school days, Nysc days and court appearances. It’s difficult to predict what impresses them during the exams, and you just move with the flow hoping to impress them with whatever gets them impressed.
Oh! Law exams are as depressing as the colour black. Even after quoting all the cases and dictums in Iluyomade and Eka (detestable is too kind a word to describe that textbook), there’s this feeling of I should have written more and fear of not pleasing the lecturer.
In my two years of studying Law, I’ve never seen a Law student walk boldly to the notice board to check their exam results. Hands clasped tight, lips silently praying, and hearts beating hard, we pray for a miracle of 70 (believe me, never 71). That’s how unpredictable a Law examination result is in contrast to the mostly predictable questions.
And when you get a 69, 64, 59, 54 or 39, there’s this bitter taste that wouldn’t leave your mouth. Of course, a salty liquid might try to force it’s way from the side of your eyes, but you just pretend to be a boss, shrug and give a bright I-don’t-care smile. That’s the Lawtitude.
Gazing at Year 3 in 3G, what I see is Criminal Law and Tort lovingly beckoning to me. Family law sounds boring; I predict cases about a man who married a wife under English law and the other customary law, and the children fighting over inheritance. Triple yawn.
Commercial transactions?? All I see are Contract and Sagay-cious tears.
A few weeks to the start of Year 2, a friend in Year 4 was telling me about the Almighty Law of Contract, and I remember vividly being pissed at the hullabaloo and hype.
Hello!! What’s so hard about this Law of Contract anyway?
Oh! Carlil, Carbolic, Hyundai construction, and the rest of you who would never complete your contractual agreements, thus giving Lord Denning the freedom to develop hundreds of Law principles, rules and exceptions, I say a beautiful goodbye. I repeat never again.
And to unnecessary courses like Computer Science and Psychology we were forced to learn, I really hope someday I’d actually need to apply Python or Forensic psychology in a court case.
So here’s two years down and it’s been really great with my LLB’19 set. Really amazing people who make the five year journey worth it afterall, notwithstanding the hansards, Adiguns, Anifalajes, Contract I slyings, fake AOCs et al.
However, the truth is that I really do not know what next yet.
When people ask,”So what aspect of Law do you want to go into?”, I usually want to scream “Hey! I’m just in Year 2. I basically just started studying Law”.
But now, I really do not have an excuse. It’s time to find who I am in LAW.