University of Ibadan law student Temijuopelo Alufa’s curiosity and entrepreneurial instinct have landed him top internships and seen him become involved in technology to expand access to legal education. He spoke to Ugochukwu Kingsley Ani.
You are involved in several ground breaking technology projects. To start, what is ImperiumIX Nigeria?
This is a partnership of nine co-founders: Olamide Oyebanjo, Olalere Yusuf, Kosi Udeh, Abiodun Oladokun, Franklin Okoro, Onwuegbuchunam Franklin, Kolawole Ayobami, Charles Banigo and me.
The idea is that technology can play a greater part in improving knowledge acquisition. To this end we created the first Nigerian law student app called LegaLIT. This offers the user six main features on one platform: Practice, Questions, Internship Information, Student Planner, Dissertation Writing, Acts & Laws, LIT forum. It is the first of our LIT App series and available on Google Playstore. ImperiumIX NG also incorporates 15 brand associates that will soon be expanded.
What is “Black & White: A Compendium of Legal Thoughts”?
This was an e-publication created by the nine co-founders of ImperiumIX NG and includes entries from universities in Africa and the United Kingdom. It is focused on connecting law to unconventional societal issues ranging from witchcraft to artificial intelligence to Good Samaritan laws in Nigeria. The foreword is by Professor Oluyemisi Bamgbose and it has received top recommendations from scholars at universities like Harvard and Oxford and lawyers at firms like Olaniwun Ajayi LP, Babalakin & Co LP, GEPower and more.
You have achieved internships with leading law firms. What advice can you give to law students who want the same experience?
Two things come to mind immediately - be well informed and take action. Some law students don’t know the top firms in the legal industry or the names of the key players involved. If you claim to be interested in the profession then you must know who is leading the pack. Where you cross this stage, take the next step and apply; do not just talk about it. Don’t wait it out or limit yourself by believing you are not good enough to intern in a firm. Simply apply.
Which firms have you interned with?
Aluko & Oyebode; Babalakin & Co Legal Practitioners; Alegeh & Co; and Cornerstone Chambers.
What would you do to make the Nigerian legal system better?
In the 21st century, it is not difficult for information to spread. This means that, to have a positive effect on the world, focus on your immediate environment and it will ripple beyond that environment. Changing the legal system in Nigeria starts with ensuring that I live up to the standards required of me as a legal professional.
Where were you born and where did you grow up and school?
I was born in Lagos. Part of my primary school education was at Queen’s Choice International School in Lagos and the rest of my schooling was in Doha, Qatar. In Doha, I attended Compass International School and eventually moved back to Abuja, to complete my secondary school education in Community Secondary School, Asokoro.
What inspired you to go into the Law?
A combination of my father, Akinwunmi Alufa, my year-eight teacher, Jabiz Raisdana, and my own thoughts. I grew up being science-inclined and had a number of books focused on science related issues. However, going abroad, my teacher made me see other skill sets I could explore. This led me to write more, attend more speaking platforms like Model United Nations Conferences and think about societal issues and what effect one country had on another. Also, every weekend, I had to submit a report on a great person in the world to my dad. I always noticed some connection to the law in these individuals. After doing some thinking I spoke to my parents and law seemed to be the perfect fit.
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