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Great Nigerian in the Diaspora: Omolarami Ayodeji, Nigerian Born Outstanding Trainee Solicitor short-listed for the British Prestigious Legal Awards

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It’s always wonderful to hear news of Nigerians doing great things in the diaspora. That is why at Bellanaija, we are very proud of Omolarami Oluwakemi Ayodeji, a 27 year-old Nigerian born Lawyer who was recently shortlisted for one of the most prestigious awards in the UK legal calendar, The Law Society Excellence Awards

Omolarami is the only Nigerian short listed for the awards and she was recognized in the Junior Lawyer of the Year category.

In an exclusive interview with BN, she talks about her educational and professional journey and how she came about the nomination.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria in March 1985, Omolarami and her family relocated to the UK when she was just a year old. She completed her primary and secondary education in the UK and then proceeded to Brunel University where she obtained her first degree in English. She went on to do a Graduate Diploma in Law where she passed and the Legal Practice Course where she obtained a commendation.

Omolarami said she decided to study law because she wanted a career that would challenge her. “After my degree I was looking for a career that required me to think, to be challenged daily and to meet the welfare of other people and law,” she said. “I underwent several work experiences and fell in love with the daily challenges faced by solicitors, the client interaction and the ability to assist someone in their time of need.”

Currently, she is at the last stage of becoming qualified onto the Roll of Solicitors. She would eventually like to obtain a Masters Degree, “but would first like to specialise in a particular area of law before I master in it.”  

Omolarami gets very excited when it’s time to talk about the daily requirements of her work and you feel her passion radiating through her words. “As a Trainee solicitor I have to cover a minimum of 3 areas of law during my Training Contract. I have covered Litigation, Commercial, Debt, Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Housing/ Property Litigation, Family and child care law. I am extremely lucky at my firm as I get hands on experience and a lot of responsibility which gives me great exposure to the arrears of law and client care. I carry a case load of over 100 files and am personally responsible for them,” she said.

Just like almost every other profession, she faces some challenges. “Law is a rewarding and fulfilling career but it is also challenging. I faced intense competition for trainee solicitor roles, long hours are the norm, competitive environment, high billing quotas…” But she said she has been able to surpass the challenges with God as she is a strong believer, and with the help of her wonderful supportive network of family and friends. “I believe anyone can study law, so long has you have the drive, passion, hard work, zeal and determination.”

The criterion to be nominated for the award was that all nominees’ submissions must relate to activities or initiatives conducted in the twelve months prior to the closing date for entries. Omolarami said she is proud to know that her hard work and dedication to the profession, her clients and her firm has not gone unnoticed.

“Throughout the twelve months prior to the closing date for this entry I have been dedicated to the driving force and initiator behind many volunteer community and pro bono initiatives. I provide free legal advice to those in my local housing my firm and assists Barnet “Safer Families Project” in advising and obtaining non molestation orders for their domestic violence victims. I have seen these projects assist and protect those during their most vulnerable times of their life, do not qualify for legal help and cannot afford legal advice access justice.”

In addition to that, she coordinates and organises volunteers at the free legal advice centre at Barnet Sure Start, a government funded initiative in West Hendon & Underhill.

But despite her achievements abroad, she hasn’t completely forgotten about home. “I do have desire to return back to Nigeria and practice law there and will be undergoing Christmas and Easter work placements  at Lagos firms which will provide me with an in-depth insight of the working dynamics within a Nigerian law firm,  Nigerian law  and offer a taste of life as a Nigerian lawyer. From there I believe I can make a more educated decision as to whether I should continue my legal aspirations in the UK or in Nigeria.” 

Getting shortlisted for the award, according to the young solicitor, is indeed a rare priviledge. In her words, she is “humbly ecstatic” and “honoured” and gives much credit to her parents and younger brother. Without their “support, encouragement, prayers and belief I wouldn’t have gotten this far in my career. I am eternally greatly to and for them.”

Despite her busy schedule as a lawyer, she strike a balance between my social and work life. She calls herself a “girly girl” and loves to hang out with her friends as often as she can. “We try and go away once in a while; take mini road trips on the weekend; meet up for after work drinks, we have girly lunches and dinner or try fun and different activities such as  day spas, glamour works pampering sessions, paintballing, rock climbing, speed dating, trying out new restaurants, wine tasting. We celebrate each others successes, such as “call to the bar”; “album launches”; weddings, birth of children and gossip about boyfriends, husbands, fashion. We are real girly girls.”

Omolarami has great plans for the future and is not resting on her oars as she continues to be a source of inspiration to many. In five years time, she hopes to be a wife and a mother, successfully combining this with running and managing her own virtual law firm and consultancy work. “I am very passionate about young people and seeing them reaching their full potential and would most likely continuing doing inspirational talks to young people.”

As a lawyer, she lives by the words: Learn to do right; seek justice.  Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless;  plead the case of the widow.

Her dedication and passion as a young solicitor are indeed admirable and we celebrate her nomination and achievements. Well done Omolarami Ayodeji!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________The Law Society Excellence Awards recognise and reward the most outstanding and dynamic practitioners in the legal profession and are open to individuals and teams across the entire legal sector, not just solicitors. Now in their sixth year, the awards are the most prestigious awards in the legal calendar and are firmly established as the leading awards for the profession in England and Wales. Winners of the awards will be announced on October 18, 2012.

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

37 Comments

  1. omoibo

    October 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    congrats & wishing you continued success 😉

  2. nems

    October 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I love stories like this! It goes to show that despite the NEGATIVE PRESS Nigeria gets in the international community it is POSSIBLE to rise above that and make a name for your self and for our country Nigeria. Congrats!!
    http://www.anemistyle.blogspot.com

  3. Pamela

    October 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Congrats dear………………..

  4. Onyinye

    October 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    ya, actually love ladies dat find joy in their life, have a fulfilling and wonderful carrer, live their life to the fullest and seriously have fun…Kudos to u Omo…..U re making the women proud….

  5. jennietobbie

    October 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    hope….I’m inspired REGARDLESS…….

  6. X factor

    October 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    wow

  7. Mana

    October 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Wow really proud of her! This is the role model we need as women! Strong, independent and intelligent women!

    http://www.finest-in-internet.com/

  8. rukky

    October 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Wishing Lara all the success and happiness in her career…am so inspired! I hope I get there—law’s no child’s play, believe me and it is really inspiring to see a young, beautiful Nigerian female excel in her discipline. It only gets better from here and I can’t wait to read more marvelous things about her. Wow, God bless you girl!

  9. zoomzoomzoom

    October 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Congrats Omolara!Wishing you the very best in all your endeavors.

  10. i no send

    October 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    when i see young girls that are doing things like this …..buying her own designer bags…. i am convinced that there is no short cut to success AND no excuse for selling your body to make it….well done omolarami

  11. Anuri

    October 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Am very impressed and encouraged by my mate and learned friend. Keep it up girl, We are very proud of you.

  12. NNENNE

    October 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Way to go Lara! Congratulations.

  13. JJ

    October 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Beautiful! I’m inspired!

  14. SisiEko

    October 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    very good, you go girl!… great successess to come

  15. Wealthy one

    October 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I am proud of your diligent nature and I praise God for your life!

  16. Agape

    October 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Well done girl!!!

  17. charity

    October 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    dat,s a gud one from our country,stories like dis change pples.perceptn abt our country,we r proud of u omola

    • Ashley G

      October 8, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      food for thought!!!!

      y do nigerians in Nigeria, always worry bout d image of the country in foreign media and land. however fail to worry about the reality of what is left of our beloved country Nigeria? it is typical of the average Nigerians mindset to always glorify n accept whateva kinda good, that comes out directly 4rm her citizens or nebody remotely associated to the country in diaspora. but however r also very quick to denounce anybody that taints the way they wanna be perceived.
      the moral of the story here is that, when we get our country right in order, perception will automatically change as this will be our living reality. (ok i lied, it will be our unborn children’s reality) but u get d gist. becuz ne little foreign article that touches on Nigeria or Nigerians seem to get people talkin bout What good or harm cud ve been done to the country’s image, totally ignoring the reality of d average man’s Life. #bunchof*******

  18. Jay

    October 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Well done, from a fellow UK lawyer!

    http://www.edifyempower.com

  19. DocDeola

    October 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Congrats Molly, really proud of you, keep up the good work.Very pleasant and humble….indeed a small world

  20. Whoa

    October 9, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Bless her…May she continue to shine like the star she is! May she keep being a source of pride to all around her and may the blessings of the Lord be upon her always! Amen.

  21. adelegirl

    October 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Congratulations. This is no small feat!!! Well done for presenting a positive representation of Nigeria in the midst of the bad press we are bombarded with daily.

  22. Pst.Barnabas

    October 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Keep it up,heaven is ur limit.

  23. shope. odunubi

    October 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Miss Molly well done lots of love shope & aunty bampe. Proud of ya

  24. R

    October 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Congrats!

  25. wale

    October 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    will u marry me

    • notaplayerhater

      October 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      no! But thanks for asking! heh heh

  26. Mma

    October 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm

  27. Asakeismyname

    October 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    congrats Lara… very humble chick… God bless you

  28. B Delalu from Canada

    October 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Congrats Omolara, we are all very proud of you…..love to uncle and Aunty.

  29. Augusta

    October 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Congratulations

  30. Mide

    October 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Very Proud of you darling…. let God take all the glory!

  31. Barbara

    October 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    it is so beautifully uplifting to read stories like this. People wonder why I am so pro – Nigerian up to writing and acknowledging Nigeria wherever I go. It is for moments like this when I can gloat in the face of others and say YES, WE DID IT.
    Congratulations dear.
    Barbara
    http://barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com (Nigeria’s no 1 makeup blog)

  32. Abana

    October 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Bellanaija, two Nigerian women were short listed o. Check out Funke Abimbola. I believe that’s a Nigerian name. Congrats Lara, keep up the good work.

  33. Omolarami Ayodeji AKA Miss Mo

    October 12, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Dear family, friends, mentor, well wishers and Bella Naija, thank you so very much for your well wishes, prayers and kind words. I am deeply touched and ever so proud to be Nigerian. To G*d be the glory.

    Finally, to address Abana’s statement; at the time of the interview and publishing the article the shortlist for Legal Business Woman of the Year was not announced. Needless to say, it is fantastic to see Ms Abimbola’s name on the shortlist and I wish her the best of luck in her category. We pray that next year we will see more than two Nigerians acknowledged for their works and dedication to the profession.

    Oh and “Wale” my mother would kill me if I didn’t respond to your kind advances… noted 😉

    Once again, THANK YOU ALL. xxx

  34. Naomi

    October 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Congrats.girl..more grace..
    Hard work does pay off..trust me.

  35. Yesinde Ayodeji

    April 22, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    My cousin rocks!!!! I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments!!!!! Love you!!!!XOXOXOXO

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