AMANDLA! VANGUARD EDITION
Alero Akeredolu, Ph.D.
Dean of Law, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Nigeria (2016 - 2018).
Publisher and Editor-in-chief, Supreme Court Monthly.
Sub-Dean, Postgraduate, Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan.
My Story, Your Inspiration
Before I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1988, I never faced any 'serious challenges' nor was I ever conscious of being treated differently because I was a woman. My first confrontation with such limitation/stereotyping on the basis of my gender was when I tried to get a job as a young female lawyer and I heard phrases like, 'we don’t like employing ladies, they have too many issues.’ Waoh!!! I was taken aback. This experience changed my perspective, and from that moment, I was determined to always look out for other women. As a young female lawyer trying to find my feet in the profession and make a decent living, I did some unusual ‘menial’ things such as printing and selling law documents like agreement papers, writ of summons and memorandum of appearance. Eventually, I became the first female lawyer to publish a Monthly law report in Nigeria - the Supreme Court Monthly. I veered into academics in 2004, rising through the ranks, to become an Associate Professor at the University of Ibadan in 2015, and in 2017, I became the first female Professor of Law at Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo as well as its first female Dean of law.
My advice to female lawyers is to ascertain very early which aspect of the law/service to focus on in life and pursue that path vigorously. Do not be discouraged if it appears the path to that end is not straight but takes several detours. I always wanted to be a Judge, but while waiting for the appointment, I had the opportunity to start the publishing of law reports and to undertake postgraduate programs. The latter led me into academics, and I ultimately attained the highest rank as a full professor. Imagine if I was stuck on waiting for the appointment as a judge – I would not have made a name in these other areas. I have not lost my dream, and I keep working towards that — so watch out, I just may become one of the first female professors of law to be appointed a judge.