Prof Olawuyi (SAN) Urges Senior Lawyers To Prepare Law Students For Leadership Roles
Co-Chairman of the Legal Education Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Prof Damilola Olawuyi, (SAN) has urged senior lawyers support law students to acquire innovative legal education that will prepare them for success in practice and in public leadership.
He urged the senior lawyers to support and mentor law students right from school in order to make the initiative a reality.
Prof Olawuyi spoke at the 2021 National Town Hall Meeting organized by the Law Students’ Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN) themed “Our Roots, Our Pride: The Reflection of the Future Bar”, to take stock of the association’s historical contributions to national debate and its ongoing role in enhancing justice delivery in Nigeria.
He said the senior lawyers must be prepared to change the mindset of law students and to re-orientate the current generation of students if they are to avoid the same pitfalls of leadership mistakes that have polarized the country.
The event was moderate by a mix of current and past leaders of LAWSAN, and had presentations from senior lawyers including Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, Mr. Atoyebi Oyetola Muyiwa, SAN, and the Chairman of the LAWSAN Caretaker Committee, Mr. Abba Kyari.
The learned silk who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships (ARISP) of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, in his presentation titled: “Positioning LAWSAN as a Value-Driven Model Student Body,” noted : “The whole country waits on your youthful innovation to dismantle the societal and leadership challenges that have for many years hindered the country from fulfilling its God given potentials. But how can you do so if you are already imbibing and mastering the errors of the generations before you?
“We see some student leaders practicing pungent ethnic politics, day light corruption, over bloated list of special advisers, budget manipulation and the worst form of disregard for democratic ideals.
“By so doing, Nigerian youths are validating the erroneous argument that they are indeed not ready for leadership.”
While commending LAWSAN for its recent efforts in initiating sound internal reforms, Olawuyi urged stakeholders to be the change they will like to see in the country.
He noted that a society progresses only when the next generation learn from the mistakes of those before them, while imbibing solely their positive values.
He recalled that he was twice the President of the Law Student Association during his undergraduate studies and that the innovative achievements of his administration remain a reference point till date.
“Under my stewardship as LAWSA President, we hosted national moot court events, released several publications, became affiliated with several international law societies and provided free community support services to indigent community members.
“This is what value-driven leadership should be about. It is all about commitment, diligence, discipline and consistency in pursuing the public good.” he noted.
Speaking on the ongoing initiatives of the NBA in supporting legal education, Olawuyi commended the remarkable foresight of the President, Olumide Akpata, for establishing the Legal Education Committee and for entrusting the young generation with salient leadership roles.