How I almost became an Environmental lawyer



I remember being in the University and learning that Environmental law was very lucrative and that the pay for lawyers who specialized in it was over a hundred thousand plus. I don’t even know if it was true oh.

But Gbam! I had found my new dream field even though my interest was actually criminal and company law. Don’t judge me, 100k was very big money then. Lol. At least big enough to change career directions.

My friend ( she died in our fourth year) and I were determined to become environmental lawyers. The fact that I had no great passion for the environment and only managed to get a B after reading and reading didn’t deter me . My friend at least got an A. That criminal law was my passion also didn’t deter me. ( I won a prize for being the best in Criminal Law in my set from both the lecturer and the University) , all I knew was that I must read Environmental Law. Lol.

Environmental Law didn’t even rank among my five best Courses oh. I also won a prize for Comercial Law so one would have thought that I would have opted for that if Criminal Law wasn’t viable. But No, it was Environmental Law or nothing.

 It wasn’t even as if it was easy to pass oh, I struggled. Cramming all those Environmental Law sections was very tedious for me , I just didn’t like it, and I had to read and re read before I could grasp it .

One of the books I had to read.

It just wasn’t flowing. One would think I would have realized that I wasn’t cut out to be an Environmental Lawyer oh, but I wasn’t deterred.

I wanted to go do my Masters in the UK. I applied to UCL and University of Kent, and got admission. Guess the course I applied to read ? You guessed right. Environmental law. I was all geared up oh, but a pastor told my mum and I that I must not travel that year or else I would be sick. Hian! I was certain the pastor didn’t hear right but my mum was like “No way, better wait” . I was so angry at my mum and that pastor ehn, he was like a kill-joy sent to spoil all my plans. lol.

I didn’t realize that God was looking out for me. I would have regretted wasting all that money on a course I didn’t like, plus I would have made a bad Environmental Lawyer. Ok maybe not too Bad, but one that didn’t have the required passion or love sef for her work. The only thing I knew about Environmental degradation and oil pollution in the South South of Nigeria, I learnt from reading about it and from a friend who worked in Shell, Warri.

Worse still, my present job has nothing to do with the Environment.

As per I Siddon for Nigeria, I started looking for a job actively, and in the meantime I did my Masters Programme at Unilag. Their Llm Programme isn’t a specialized one. You do four Courses and project work, and you are done.

Then I got a job . Guess the field I found myself in, Lol. Criminal Law. Funny enough, even when I did my youth service, and served at the Ministry of Justice, I was always following the Lawyers to Court and writing Legal Advice. But it was also heavy ; real life stuff like:  murder, armed robbery, stealing etc. Sometimes you get chills realizing that the murder weapon described in the case file actually killed someone. Sometimes you saw pictures. Honestly, looking back now,  I couldn’t have coped with that long time. Thank God it was just for one year Nysc.

My one year at the Ministry put me off Practicing though. Court was very slow and boring.  In fact when I applied for my Job, I was happy that there was a vacancy for lawyers that didn’t involve Court or Law at all. And I applied.

Guess where I was posted to after I scaled through , lol. Legal Dept. With plenty Court appearances.

You see my life? Lol.

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  • Reply
    December 17, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Hahaha I see your life. The power of 100k! Good thing you ddidn’t end up with that environmental law. There’s nothing like being trapped in a profession you do not truly enjoy.

    • Reply
      December 17, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      Good thing indeed.
      You are right.
      Kudos to everyone who managed to follow their passion. Sounds easy but in reality it’s not easy to face off with family and friends especially parents and tell them ” I want to be a singer or baker” or ” I don’t like this area again” after years in the University.
      Where would I have found mouth to say “I Now love Criminal law” after wasting Millions abroad.

      • Reply
        December 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm

        Lol at I want to be a singer or baker!
        Some parents don’t want to hear that. The will be like who singer/baker epp?

        • Reply
          December 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

          You are correct. Who baker/ singer epp indeed. They probably wonder how baking or singing will help them recoup their investments. The reaction could also be out of fear or prejudice. It takes a very understanding parent to go with the flow.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Lol. I can imagine the whole environmental law scenerio. The Courts can be really slow and frustrating too. I hope that changes soon.

    • Reply
      December 17, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      My dear, I hope the same.
      Constant adjournments can be frustrating. Court in real life is not like the one in movies. You go for months before something interesting happens.
      Thanks for coming by.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Good you obeyed the pastor, I know if I were the one nothing would have have stopped me from traveling, nothing… I trust my person. Pastor or no pastor. I would rather go and face the challenges than planning for it and not going again after everything is ready.

    Lol… Environmental law is one speciality Nigerian lawyers should focus on really. If I had done law, would have gone for environmental law or International law.

    To me, criminal law as you mentioned above is just tiring and boring jare.. I did a law course on and it was so beautiful and all I am thinking about is going for my MSC in law, but 8-5 pm job is killing me.

    Enjoyed this Bisi…

    • Reply
      December 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      My dear, that obedience was more because I had no choice. My mum already made up her mind so I would have been going against her wishes too. If I had my own money at that point, I may just have gone.
      I actually really like Criminal Law. How and why a criminal thinks, the whole trial process is very fascinating to me. The arguments of lawyers can also make or break a case, and technicalities cam help a criminal go free. You should read old criminal cases, very interesting.
      You should totally do that Masters in Law . I think there’s one in International Law and Jurisprudence that Unilag offers that non lawyers can do
      Tell me about 9-5s. I don’t envy you living in Lagos.

  • Reply
    When God says No – SisterBisi
    December 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    […] can say No because what we are asking will not bring us to that expected end. In my post on how I almost became an environmental lawyer, I shared the story of how I was unable to travel abroad for my Masters. I was really disappointed, […]

  • Reply
    Frances Okoro
    December 27, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Lol, i see your life.
    God is ruling it.. blocking and arranging what should be 🙂

    • Reply
      December 27, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Yes oh.
      God is ruling it indeed. Even when I want to go my way, he has a way of steering me right.
      Waoh! It’s funny how one doesn’t see the neatness and deftness of the blocking and the arranging until much later.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Lol…….we humans can have stronghead sha. Hehehe
    Thank God for his unwavering commitment to leading us even when we are stubborn (sometimes unknowingly). I ,remembered when I graduated too (as a building engineer) – a very lucrative profession as that. And then some friends and I went to a site, a very major construction was going on there. But as i looked across the whole building site I just knew it wasn’t for me)

    • Reply
      January 15, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Yes oh. We always think we know best and so ever thing must go our way. I am sure that if I had asked God about it, he would have told me Environmental Law wasn’t my path. But then again. I didn’t know God then, so there’s that.
      You can say that again. Thank God for not letting our stubbornness, tears and emotions sway him when we don’t get things we want.
      Thankfully, you realised that Construction wasn’t for you early. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate.

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