Law Student of the Week – Ali Udomo
Kindly introduce yourself.
My name is Udomo Ali and it is an honor to introduce myself as ILSA’s Student Chief Communications Officer. I am a fifth-year law student at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Edo state, Nigeria.
I have maintained an extensive extracurricular career at university level with initiatives such as being selected in 2016 as a Middle Level Manager for AIESEC. I take up internships at law firms during vacations. Furthermore, I was elected in 2016 as the President of the Catholic Law Students Association of Nigeria. In March 2017, I was selected as a delegate to participate in the World Youth Congress (WYC) at Hawaii, United States of America. I served as the Student Chief Communications Officer of the International Law Students Association (ILSA) – University of Benin chapter, in the 2016/2017 Academic year. Subsequently, I emerged as the President of the Association for the 2017/2018 Academic year. In June 2017, I was selected to serve on the international scene as the Chief Communications Officer (C.C.O) of the global body of the International Law Students Association, a position I hold till date. I am fluent in English and Hausa languages.
Did you set out to study law? If yes, what inspired your decision?
Growing up, we all tend to clinch to a profession, vocation or the other, as our dream career path. This might be as a result of our immediate environment as at that time and what those we related with engaged in. I thought I will become a news analyst. I watched both local and foreign news channels and saw the clamp down on human rights in and around the world. In high school, I decided that the legal profession shall be the pathway through which I can help those whose rights are abused and give my quota to promoting humanitarian law.
The International Law Students Association is a reputable body among law students globally. What is it like to be the Director of Communications of this prestigious association?
I decided to join ILSA because her mission tallies with my dream – promoting international law. ILSA offered me a platform to meet, learn and discuss international law in its entirety with scholars in the field. Being the Chief Communications Officer has afforded me the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of the human race and how we all can work together to achieve sustainable peace, just as the United Nations tries to do. Working with my co-officers; Chanel Chauvet (President) and Shane Young (Vice President) has been tremendously awesome. As the CCO, my goal for the year is to promote the study and research of international law amongst students in Africa. It hasn’t been an easy task though, but commendable progress has been made.
What major benefits have accrued to you since you held the position?
Benefits… Contrary to popular perception, there isn’t any pecuniary benefit working in ILSA. However, I have benefited a lot from ILSA. The knowledge gained and life-long connections made are immeasurable. ILSA has broadened my understanding in the field of international law and have strategically position me in life.
How have you been able to balance your duties and responsibilities with your academics?
Truth be told, it has not been easy. The Nigerian educational system is not so convenient so as to comfortably afford a balance of academics and extracurricular activities. I have had to miss a whole lot of lectures and assessments just for the greater cause of ILSA. However, because I know what I have gotten myself into, I put in extra hours to study so as to meet up. I try as much as possible to be at all my lectures, not to talk of the fact that I am my Class Representative. So I just have to be in the lectures as I serve as a liaison between my class, the lecturers and the faculty management. Humans are different and definitely there are moments when classmates can prove difficult to deal with and everyone is looking up to me for some solution. But, I just find a way of pacifying everyone and at the some not putting myself in a dilemma. I can say that I am blessed with a wonderful faculty board; from the Dean of Law to the lecturers and even non-academic staff. They are understanding and cooperative.
In what aspect of law do you intend practicing and why?
My genre of Law is Public International Law, broadly speaking. And I hope to join the academia someday.
Kindly give an insight on some of your ground breaking achievements since you kicked off your study of the law.
Adding to the ones already mentioned in my introduction; I feel delighted to say that at my first ever Moot Court appearance in the year 2017, I won the prize for best Oralist at the Austus Caesar Ekeoba International Law Moot Court Competition wherein my team emerged victorious. Furthermore, in September 2017, I was appointed as the National President of the Network of International Law Students (NILS) to start and head the Nigerian chapter, a position I hold till date.
Recently, there has been a fuss ever since the President referred to most Nigerian youths as not hardworking. What are your thoughts? Where can we go from here?
I watched the video clip where the purported statement was said to have been made and I choose to refrain from stating what my thoughts are. However, if it is claimed that he referred to the Nigerian youths as being lazy, I believe that is erroneous and highly rebuttable.
Where do you see yourself in 6 years?
Living my dream.