Law

‘Law school prepared me for law practice challenges’

Chidimma Cynthia Obidiegwu is an indigene of Nnewi-South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Cynthia obtained her LL.B at the University of Ibadan and was called to Bar in 2019. She told JOHN CHIKEZIE how her journey into the law profession began

 

Background

 

My name is Chidimma Cynthia Obidiegwu. I am from Nnewi-South Local Government Area in Anambra state. I attended Command Secondary School, Ipaja, Lagos and proceeded to obtain a law degree from the University of Ibadan.

 

I attended the Nigerian Law School Enugu and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2019. I’ll describe myself as a rising, thoughtful leader, who desires to make significant contributions to the knowledge, economy, particularly in the corporate commercial sector.

 

To broaden my horizon in this field, I am currently undergoing a professional training at the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria which has piked my interest in corporate finance especially as it concerns evaluation of investment decisions by organisations.

 

Why Law?

I wanted to be many things while growing up. But topping the list was to become a lawyer or a teacher (my mum owned a school so this wasn’t farfetched). We all know the myth that surrounded our choices of a career path as a professionals.

 

Based on that myth, it just followed logically that if  I really wanted to become a professional, then I had to not only join the Art class in school but I also had to put in the work in pursuing my dreams of becoming a legal practitioner when it was time to sit for my SSCE and JAMB examination.

 

The journey so far

 

To be candid, it has been a mix of highs and lows. I have learned a lot, I have gained experience and expertise in rendering company secretarial and legal advisory services. I have unlearned behaviours which will not thrive in a workplace and now I see the legal practice through a different lens. In addition, I now see the importance of emotional intelligence and maintaining one’s mental health in the workplace.

 

Law school experience

 

Curriculum wise, law school prepare you better for the reality of law practice than the undergraduate curriculum. The undergraduate curriculum is largely theoretical but still a relevant foundation.

 

Nonetheless, I must reiterate that nothing, not even law school, prepares you for the reality of legal practice. I wish I can expatiate on this but I’m sure my learned colleagues will understand this better.

 

I’m an advocate for living a balanced life. So while I was at the University of Ibadan and the Nigerian Law School, I engaged in a  number of extracurricular activities. One of my favourites is that I delved into politics in my fourth year. Even though I lost, it was an experience I enjoyed greatly.

 

Specialization

I have great interests in corporate finance because financial and investment decisions are key determinants in the sustainability of any business. I intend to explore the legal intricacies of the business world and I intend to be a contributory by providing legal and business advisory services to organisations.

 

Another area of law which is of great interest to me is taxation particularly advisory and policy research. I believe this is a niche already thriving but will still experience evolution in Nigeria. Justice system

 

The judiciary is one of the three arms or    organs of government. It is saddled with the responsibility of administering justice in accordance with the law of a country. In Nigeria, the issue of autonomy with respect to the judiciary has been a time-hallowed issue and I find this appalling since it is a subject clearly stipulated in Section 81(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

 

Asides from the unambiguous provision in the Constitution, judgement was given in favour of the implementation of financial autonomy of the judiciary at both the Federal and state levels in 2013.

 

Yet, over seven years later, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) embarked on a strike as a result of failure to implement major parts of the judgment. It is pertinent to state that where the judiciary has no control over its funds, its independence and autonomy becomes a façade and the masses lose faith in the system.

 

Future ambition

 

I actually fancy the idea of becoming a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. However, the beauty of the legal profession is that a legal practitioner can thrive in many things and many places. Before now, I started of with great interests in company secretarial services. I’m currently an in-house counsel, focusing on company secretarial responsibilities at Ulomka Multi- Solutions Limited, a company in the Health, Safety and Environment industry.

 

However, my interest keeps evolving with great exposure. Currently, I have developed great interest in corporate finance. I intend to acquire more skills in this regard so I can help businesses formulate, evaluate and select policies which will enhance their corporate finance decisions. Nonetheless, I’m in a hot pursuit for excellence so I’ll definitely make the best of each stage

 

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