The following books were recommended by the panelists:
Mukthar Somuyiwa, University of Lagos.
Wherever there are limited spaces or opportunity, one has to get creative and be strategic. If you can’t get the exact internship you want (after your try and fail not discount yourself by not pursuing it due to the level of competition), then broaden your horizon. What’s close enough that could help you tell a better story in interviews? Perhaps you can’t get any internship in your preferred field, use that opportunity to try something else as you will very likely gain transferable skills. The skills you gain are what will help in interviews. If you can’t get any type of internship then think of other ways to add value to yourself to make you stand out in a crowd even if you don’t have an internship. With useful skills like a language, innovative work you can showcase, you could stand out even more than another candidate with internship experience.
If you are unable to get anything else, then volunteer to work with someone or an organization to gain skills, if that’s something you’re able to do, as a last resort.
Ayomide Ayileka, Obafemi Awolowo University.
Given lockdown, some organizations opted or a virtual internship program and have had great success where executed thoughtfully. This opens up the potential for people across the world to gain internships at some of the best institutions in the world without necessarily setting foot in the overseas buildings. While Covid-19 has led to some hard times and serious challenges, it also opens up a lot of opportunities and innovative ideas never before explored that could positively change the future of internship placements.
Benazir Bawaallah, Widener University School of Law.
Given your existing Compliance background, you have a lot of what you need already i.e. an understanding of Compliance and specific experience so play that up in your CV. The aspects of your current role that are transferrable should be emphasized to demonstrate for example that you have client facing experience, you can manage relationships including any regulatory ones, you can project manage, implement regulation, train, handle difficult situations etc some of specific tasks/scenarios you’ll face in an advisory role. Additionally, if you are looking within a specific industry, you may consider taking exams/relevant qualifications to be able to demonstrate your proactivity in gaining relevant knowledge.
Alexander Onyele, Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
If you don’t have a law practice around, gain transferable skills – communication, analytical thinking etc – in any available roles. Take what you have and make the best use of it, it will also make for great interview conversation and allow you demonstrate certain things about yourself which will interest employers such as innovation, initiative, resourcefulness and independent thinking. You can then use both the experience and the skills honed to get an interview at a law firm as you will be in a better position than if you did nothing and maybe also at an advantage to other applicants.
Victory Luke, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Networking starts with your peers. Network with your classmates, they will be very useful. Do you keep in touch with your secondary school mates? Are you part of your alumni group? Keep in touch with your classmates and course mates. You can also join clubs at school to expand your network beyond your immediate focus area such as law. You don’t need to form tight bonds with everyone but have a good enough relationship that you can leverage them in the future i.e. call upon for advise, recommendations or a favor. This panel was put together by someone’s network. Don’t network only with people you share similar interests with. Join interest groups too, so you can be invited to forums on things you are interested in and care about and meet like minded people who may be the ones to offer you your next opportunity or your big break.
Partner, Templars Law
Desmond Ogba is a Partner in the Finance & Projects practice Groups at Templars. He has extensive experience advising project companies and sponsors, corporates, commercial lenders, funds, multilateral and export credit agencies and other financial institutions on diverse transactions including project finance, power projects and other infrastructure development, strategic investments, international capital markets issuances, structured finance and corporate finance.
Desmond has particularly carved a niche for himself in the energy space where he has earned a reputation as a trusted and outstanding advisor, having advised several sponsors and financiers on the development and financing of both gas-fired and renewable power plants, and on a number of other infrastructure projects and alternative funding structures in the energy sector.
He graduated with First Class Honours from the Nigerian Law School and holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Ebonyi State University. Before joining Templars, he was a finance & projects associate at a leading Lagos-based firm and a visiting associate at the London offices of Latham & Watkins, LLP. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the Banking, Finance and Insolvency committee of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law. In 2017, he was appointed by the Nigerian Senate to serve as a member of a technical committee of experts to support the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions on financial law reform.
Partner, Madu, Edozie & Madu
John Edozie is a leading international attorney, advisor, and subject matter expert. He is a member of the law firm of Madu, Edozie & Madu, PC, a New York Law firm with over thirty years of experience in International Law, Commercial Litigation,Arbitration, Intellectual Property, and Corporate Law. His expertise spans US multi-nationals, Fortune 500 companies in the pharmaceutical, IT, oil and gas as well as advisory services to local, state and federal governments both in the US and countries in Africa.
Mr. Edozie has served as legal counsel for various clients in Nigeria regarding their business interests in the United States as well as US multinationals with commercial interests in Nigeria, Kenya, and other African countries. Currently, Mr. Edozie also serves as the International Advisor to the Attorney General Alliance – Africa (AGA Africa), which provides training for Prosecutors, Judges, and Investigators in the areas of transnational crime in various African countries. These crimes include but are not limited to: Wildlife Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Money Laundering, Counterfeit Drugs, Terrorism, and Corruption. As the International Advisor, he works closely with ministries of justice, law enforcement personnel, government and non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to combat transnational crimes.
He also fosters relationships and increases interest in the organization’s work through targeted stakeholder engagements and presentations and attracts potential donors to promote effective international legal frameworks that strengthen criminal justice responses to transnational crimes.
Previously, Mr. Edozie served as a product liability defense associate at Herzfeld & Rubin in New York City where he worked primarily with the New York City Housing Authority and car manufacturers including General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, and Volkswagen in product liability defense work. He graduated with an LLB from the University of Nigeria and an LLM from Boston University. He is a licensed Member of the New York Bar, a licensed Attorney (Barrister & Solicitor) in Nigeria,and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).
Senior Counsel, ACAS Law
Kike Ojewale is a senior counsel in the law firm of Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun (ACAS-Law) in the Corporate and Commercial Law Department. Kike specializes in Intellectual Property, Fashion, Sports, Media & Entertainment law. She has gathered over 8 years’ experience in these areas, dealing daily with creatives and other stakeholders in the creative industry and corporate world.
Kike is responsible for managing the intellectual property portfolios (trademarks, patents, industrial designs and copyright) of large multinationals in the telecommunications, technology, entertainment and fashion industries. She also advises her clients on licensing, assignments, merchandising agreements and other related agreements. She prides herself in going above and beyond for her clients, ensuring that their interests are protected at all times. She is passionate about breaking barriers and changing the norm in her field of expertise.
Director Legal & Compliance, Kuramo Capital Management
Mojisola is Director, Legal & Compliance at Kuramo Capital Management where she has legal oversight of Kuramo’s investments in sub-Saharan Africa including structuring and negotiation of private equity and public market investments and ensuring compliance with US SEC and FCPA standards.
Previously, Moji worked at Schwartz LLC, a New York-based private equity law firm, and was formerly a Senior Associate at Templars, a leading Nigerian law firm. She also had a stint in the London offices of Watson, Farley & Williams LLP . and has extensive experience advising investment managers, sponsors, banks, institutional investors including sovereign wealth funds, and international development finance institutions on a broad spectrum of complex transactions from cross-border equity and debt financing to asset acquisitions and disposals, mergers, joint ventures, restructurings and refinancing.
Moji holds a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School and is a dual licensed Barrister and Solicitor and an Attorney in Nigeria and New York State respectively. She is also a Chartered member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, United Kingdom. She routinely serves on the Selection Committee of the Community Solutions Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
Executive Director Compliance, Goldman Sachs
Toni Adeeyo is an executive director in the Compliance division of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. She has over 5+years experience with demonstrated strengths in various aspects of compliance including regulatory implementation, training, monitoring, advisory, manager due diligence, regulatory interactions and corporate governance.
Toni is an award-winning graduate of the University of Exeter and Duke University Law School, where she earned her LLB and LLM degrees respectively. She also holds the CISI Investment Compliance Diploma (Level 6) and the CISI Risks in Financial Services Certificate.