Dr Titilayo Adebola is a law lecturer and theme coordinator for Intellectual Property at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She speaks to Ifeoluwa Ogunbufunmi on the multi-faceted nature of her role and research.
“A combination of factors inspired my study of law and a subsequent teaching career,” says Dr Adebola who studied at Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State (South-West Nigeria) and went on to the University of Warwick for her postgraduate taught and research degrees (LL.M and Ph.D).
“There were: my earliest introduction to law; my dad, who studied law as a mature student; my parents and family (who actively encouraged me to undertake my Ph.D); and vital moments when a manuscript I submitted was accepted for publication; and a grant I applied for was approved. The latter contributed to my decision to take up the teaching offer at Aberdeen,” says Dr Adebola.
In her role at the University of Aberdeen, Dr Adebola is affiliated with three of the School of Law’s research centres: the Centre for Commercial Law; the Centre for Energy Law; and the Centre for Constitutional and Public International Law. She is also an editor for Afronomicslaw.org, a blog on the international economic law landscape as it relates to Africa and the Global South; an editor on Flora IP, an innovative food, agriculture and intellectual property resource; and a senior advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
Dr Adebola began her career at the University of Aberdeen in September 2018 and has since focused on teaching, research and administrative activities. “I teach Intellectual Property (IP) Law, World Trade Organisation Allied Issues and Food Law (I designed and introduced the Food Law course in the 2019/2020 academic session). I am delighted that I teach the courses that directly align with my research interests and that I am in a Law School that adopts an inclusive approach to teaching, which we refer to as “See Law from Different Perspectives”.
She appreciates the teaching model adopted at Aberdeen, which encourages a more global view approach. “We invite our students to learn the law and examine it from every angle. We acknowledge that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ view on law and people’s personal choices, dispositions and preferences would influence and inform their positions on the law. My administrative activities include providing pastoral support to students and monitoring students' attendance in classes to ensure that all students are fully engaged in their studies.”
Prior to joining Aberdeen, Dr Adebola was a tutor in Global Intellectual Property Law and Policy at the University of Warwick for almost two years.
“I facilitated seminars for the Global Intellectual Property Law and Policy course, and I assessed essays and examinations. Working with the course coordinator, Dr Benjamin Farrand on this course has greatly influenced the way I currently teach my IP courses. I also had brief legal practice experiences with full-service law firms in Lagos (Ayanlaja Adesanya & Co and S.P.A Ajibade & Co.) and London (Hogan Lovells International LLP), where I developed a clearer understanding of IP and Competition Law and practice in the United Kingdom and Europe.”
The pandemic means the University of Aberdeen is adopting the blended learning system for the new academic year – which combines on-campus and online learning, she says.
“I have the latitude to teach and research the issues I deeply care about. Like other academics, a recurring challenge I have to manage is my long ‘to-do’ list”.
Had she not been teaching, Dr Adebola says she would have explored either journalism or fashion designing.
Her advice to young lawyers is to: “Start by discovering the subjects you are most passionate; build expertise in these subjects; find and establish your epistemic community; aim for high-quality, well-researched, and well-written publications; and enjoy the journey and take time to do things you love.”
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