‘Story of my First Class in Law School’

Barr Precious Chimburuoma Azubuike made a First Class at the Nigeria Law School, alongside 112 others, last academic session. She had narrowly missed the grade in her LL.B but made up at the Law School. Precious tells the story of her First Class.

So, nature or science, whichever way you see it has a way of ensuring the moon goes down at night before the sunrays sip through in the morning.  In a system where women are still trying to make their way up the ladder and such effort is  being ignored at certain levels, the greater the motivation to soar.

There exist various approaches and strategies unveiled by so many of my colleagues who also made First Class at the Nigeria Law School.

I wasn’t the best; my story and approaches may not be, but I am certain if you get to the end of it you might just find something that would bring out something in you and maybe the best.

My first day in the university was flooded with one thought and one thought only “…Precious you should make a First Class in this Law Degree.”

So, first year went by with unresolved result issues and at the end of 5th year, I ended up with a cumulative grade point of 4.37. A CGPA of 4.50 should have earned me a First Class but I missed it.

I felt like I had failed myself at this point but there was a consolation. I knew I had done everything right. The only thing that was lacking was that little extra effort and it dawned on me that just a little extra effort could have made a whole lot of difference.

I am someone who could read a book just once and make an ‘A’ out of it while others may need to go through same book over and over to make same. What was I thinking? I was too relaxed? Besides I wasn’t studying Law because somebody somewhere wanted to make a lawyer out of me or whatsoever. No, no pressures at all. I was taking my time and velocity in this profession.

Fast forward to law school… here I am again, the awesomely serene Augustine Nnamani Campus, Agbani, Enugu. At this point a lot of things happened which I count as part of the engineering forces behind the success.

The Nigerian Law School has a system I adore so much, group studies. Most times it gets tiring knowing you have to go out every evening after the day’s lecture. Some people evaded it, some attended but took it as a social event, some came to show prowess in legal knowledge but didn’t want to learn new things. Some others adhered to it and made the best out of it.

The categories were endless as far as your beautiful mind can imagine.  For her, it was a whole lot. Opportunity came and I was appointed by the group to prepare all the drafts and most times type and produce copies for the group to be used in class in preparation for any unexpected group questioning as was the norm.

Now, this was a whole lot of work but a blessing in disguise. It meant I had to study for the next day’s work after lectures, attend and contribute at group meetings in the evening and then type the group work at night before sleeping and then get the copies ready in the morning for distribution.

This, indeed, was a whole lot of extra efforts that I would not have independently put myself through but the catch is this: all this work made me go through the entire topic outline like twice a day, then one more time when the lecture would be given in class. This created a whole lot of opportunities to internalise.

There was this friend, who came to me and said: “Precious I know you can make a First Class, just put in small effort na,” I laughed over it and I said I will try.

When the time for the examination, Bar Finals, came I received a direction. I just concentrated on the handbook given to me having studied ahead of time. But there was something more important; I praised the way through every morning of the examination.

Something happened on the first day of the examination, it was Property Law Practice and cancellation was all over my answer booklet and it was almost frustrating; corrections here and there; little details that changed and it looked like I almost changed everything and at the end, it seemed like this singular paper has robbed me of the First Class considering the Nigerian Law School pattern, which insists on an all straight ‘A’ to make a First Class. One point short in any of the five courses meant a Second Class (upper division), just like that.

Well, the results became live and so was the First Class. Cutting the chase, in the long run, I see beating the Bar Finals as a result of early preparation, sticking to the handbook and most importantly, placing God at the centre of it all.

I am a woman and so are over 70 per cent of my colleagues who made First Class at Law School last session.

We are the builders of the nation and I see building our academic towers as some baby steps to building our nation.

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