Lawyer of the Week – Olusola Adegbite
Our Lawyer of the Week is Olusola Adegbite, Esq. He is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Nigeria. He recently completed his second Master’s degree at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, United States.
A little background to you sir.
My name is Adegbite Olusola. I’m a lawyer and a law teacher at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Osun State [Nigeria]. I attained my LLB as well as my first Master’s degree from OAU. I hold a second Master’s degree in International and Comparative Law from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York City, USA.
In short, I am a teacher, scholar, researcher and a child of God.
What inspired your return to the academia after your university education?
For me, it’s always been teaching or nothing. I have continually said that if I am employed to teach even without pay, I will do it. I am a lover of books and a voracious reader indeed. I consider myself on a quest for knowledge and understanding. The best platform to achieve that, for me, is through impacting knowledge.
Do you practice on the side?
No, I don’t practice. I have never really had a knack for the legal practise. Yes, I had little experience after my law school, but I am a teacher, scholar and researcher to the core.
What are your core areas of interest in law?
My number one area of research is International and Comparative Law. Also, I will include International Humanitarian Law, Armed Conflict and Human Rights Law.
What skills and interests should a person interested in delving into the academia cultivate for success?
First, the passion for impacting knowledge and moulding lives. It is not enough to only have a means of living. Where the passion is lacking, it will be close to impossible to build the students. The best teacher is the one who inspires students through lifestyle, teaching and passion.
Also, such a person must be a lover of knowledge. To me, there is no end to learning and and getting knowledge. To stay in the game, a lecturer/teacher must continually acquire knowledge and qualifications.
Communication and writing skills are equally important. Come up with write-ups, articles, research papers and so on. As much as lecturing is a lot of reading, it involves a lot of writing and communicating too.
You are renowned as a forward thinking person interested in recent happenings and legal developments. What areas of law do you think will define the next deal?
It’s no gainsaying the fact that digital technology is a major driving force of any economy. You find it in e-commerce, banking – even learning. I will imagine that any smart student will begin to look into the prospects the digital landscape presents, considering issues as to rights, limitations, legal framework, government policies and so on.
This is an unchartered territory lawyers must begin to explore.
You recently returned from your studies at the Cardoso School of Law. What struck you about the educational set up there and what lessons are there for the Nigerian Legal Educational System?
The educational structure there is entirely practical based and deeply analytical. There is no room for students to be spoon-fed. Students are only guided and come to the table with their independent thoughts.
The American teaching system is based on the ‘Socratic Method’ which implies asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and draw out ideas and underlying presumptions. Socrates thought by posing questions to people, leaving them to provide independent answers.
However, teaching over here is entirely theoretical with students being spoon-fed, which should be so. Lecturers should actually be in position of merely facilitate learning, leaving the students to generate independent arguments. For one, that is the way Nigeria should go at the moment. Though, the Nigerian Law School is already taking steps in achieving this, hopefully, the same will be incorporate at the undergraduate level.
What lies ahead for you in the grand scheme of things in terms of further education and specialisation?
To keep acquiring knowledge and building up lives through my teaching, research and my little contribution in inspiring students. A student is as good as the knowledge acquired by the lecturer. This means the more knowledge a lecturer accrues to him or herself, the more impact he/she can have on the students.
You are indeed a role model to many – any key lessons for law students and young wigs for success?
Most importantly, as a believer, I will say you must trust in the Lord.
Secondly, Disciple! Life and success centers around one thing – discipline. When you are disciplined, you’ll study hard, dress well, speak well and get to heights you don’t even expect. Many speak highly of Cristiano Ronaldo and how he goes the extra mile on the pitch. This is a man who also goes an extra mile in training – pushing ahead of his teammates to carry out his personal training. To attain success, you must be disciplined both in your life style and personal values.
Thank you sir for your time
The pleasure is all mine!