An exclusive interview with Bar. Dayo Ogungbe.
Can we meet you?
My name is Oladayo Ogungbe but most of my friend call me Equitabledayo. I am a legal practitioner and a postgraduate student of the University of Lagos.
Where did you grow up?
Hmmm!!! I grew up in relatively low environs popularly known as Ilasamaja where I had my primary and secondary school. In Lagos.
Did your childhood affect your choice of career?
Well, I will say it partly did affect my choice of a career. This is because in the course of my growing up and in the environment I was exposed to, hardly can you see any of your peers aspire to be a lawyer but I considered it a hurdle I will need to cross and a jinx I will need to break if I must achieve my potentials.
So law was to achieve potential?
Well, first and foremost, I never thought I was gonna study law because at a time in my academic progress up to my Jss3 I could barely spell my name let alone read and write. I had challenges with the basic requirements of academic proficiency. But when I took the decision to be a lawyer in the future having consulted friends about the attendant requirements of the choice of the profession I want to opt for, although I became a laughing stock at that material time, I took up the challenges and I saw Legal profession as my life and I gave out my all.
How did you find law interesting?
Well, studying law wasn’t that palatable ooo. It was a quite different kettle of fish compare with other disciplines. It requires one to be within his right frame of mind. And the practice of law is quite challenging too. Although, one of those factors that kept me going is the fact that I had passion for the profession. It was a challenge to myself that I must make the best out of this profession and now I am better for it. So by and large I can say the profession is interesting and challenging at the same time
As a young lawyer, how did you scale through?
Law school and its experience is an everlasting nightmare to any lawyer. It is a place where lawyers are bred! It’s a place where you have to engage all your intellectual capacity. The reasons are not far-fetched. You are required to do 5 courses, and there are 20weeks of lecture, per topic every week for the 5 courses that means you have 100 topics to battle with. You have to also consider the fact that about 5 topics can be lumped together in a week for the purposes of speed and finishing the syllabus. With several drafting and innovations in our laws, having various jurisdiction, different applicable laws and a comprehensive comparative analysis due to the nature of our heterogeneous society. Also, exams will be written just for one week. It’s an experience no lawyer will ever forget. However, one unique discipline of the curriculum is that it has helped to shape the character, conduct and attitude of gentlemen at the Bar. It will remake and remodel your person. The discipline in law school is such that give lawyers edge over and above all other profession. Because you must be fit and proper before you can be admitted into the Legal profession.
How did you overcome challenges in cause of your career?
Well, I stay focus and with determination and dint of hard work. Although, I am also inquisitive, I have flair for research and I love reading Supreme Court decisions and it has helped me refocused my direction and give me an idea of how they approach complex issues and resolve them.
What’s your most difficult moment in the choice of your career?
The fear of the unknown future and the fear of how I can study such a money demanding course when I know the financial capability of my family! But God in his infinite mercy, showed up and then I understand that there is no money problem in this world but idea problem. The poorest man on earth is not a man without a penny but a man without an idea. Men work in chronos but God works in kairos. I have to be guided by God’s direction and I did commit everything to His hand and he never forsakes me.
What’s your vision for your career in the next five years?
Well, my plan is to stay focus and remain in the profession and not loose touch with my focus. And my desire is to get to highest peak of the profession and affect lives in my own little way..
Advice to young lawyers out there, especially those at law school?
My simple advice is that they should stay focus. There are one million distractions in law school but focus, determination and hard work is keyed to breaking barriers and emerging as the best.
Thanks for your time.
You are most welcome.