It hasn’t been easy, she admits, especially when most Nigerians imagine a lawyer as a “big, old man” and not a “young woman from the north!”.
In this podcast she speaks to Africa Legal’s Chief Operating Officer, Tom Pearson, about the challenges women still face in law, the Nigerian Bar Association’s elections and going to the United States to complete her LLM in National Security Law at Georgetown University.
In Nigeria, she admits, the legal profession has been led by men but, as women play a greater role in business, this is gradually changing in law.
But it is a constant challenge and, even in her own firm, the majority of lawyers are male, with two women associates coming through the ranks.
“We need to create an environment that is inclusive,” she says, and also to find ways of finding and keeping female talent. The advantage of having women in a practice is their instinctual empathy for the plight of the client.
“And, of course, legal problems are not unique to men,” she says.
Moving on to her experience at Georgetown, Hamu says it was one of the best professional decisions she has taken as the issues around technology are global.
Technology is also touching on every aspect of policy-making and there are many legal issues that need informed attention.
This is a delightful conversation with one of Nigeria’s brightest minds, especially relevant to young lawyers coming up against barriers that can feel insurmountable. To be inspired, listen on Spotify or SoundCloud.
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