AMANDLA! WOMEN TO WATCH EDITION

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Adebola Aina

General Counsel, IDinsight Inc.

Why did you decide to study law?

Growing up as one of 5 girls in a very patriarchal society, I was keenly aware of how little power girls' and women had at home and in society. My first time seeing a women that commanded authority was a lawyer in a movie I watched when I was very young. The fact that everyone listened to her and followed her instructions resonated so deeply with me that I decided in that moment that I had to be a lawyer when I grew up. I later felt a call to international development and a desire to use my knowledge and experience towards making the world a more equitable place.

What is your proudest professional moment thus far?

I love mentoring young people either contemplating a career in law or just starting their professional legal careers. I am proudest whenever someone I have mentored achieves a professional dream, either a promotion or admission to an LLM program or establishing a private practice.

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Looking back, what is one decision/action you would have done differently?

Looking back, there is nothing I would have done differently. I am a big believer in individual journeys and the need for peaks and valleys of life to make a complete person. I am becoming more me with each success and each failure and the lessons and reflections from each event.

Share some major professional challenges you have faced, or continue to face as a woman in law.

The Ann Richards quote about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is probably applicable to all professional women, "After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."

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What are some practical strategies for survival in the legal profession?

Stay curious and always find opportunities to learn and grow and deepen your expertise in your area. Give people grace and the benefit of the doubt, but listen when people show you who they are and remove yourself from negative situations as quickly as you can. Give yourself grace and be patient with yourself, mistakes and stumbles are an inevitable part of growth. Always remind yourself why you fell in love with the practice of law and find ways to nurture that feeling, remember that "A tree that refuses water and sunlight for itself can’t bear fruit for others"