Barristers & Solicitors
Practicing Law is Stressful for Female Lawyers’

Bolarinwa Racheal Asemudara an indigene of Ondo State attended Saint Williams Nursery and Primary School Okitipupa between 1990 and 1995 before proceeding for her LL.B at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State in 2004 shortly after her post-primary education at Unity Secondary School, Owo in Ondo State.
She was called to the Bar on November 30, 2010, having obtained her LL.B in 2009 from OAU. She holds LL.M degree from the same university.

Why law
I had a background in commercial sciences but at some point I realized that a vast number of people are facing one level of injustice or the other. The rights of the poor and the less privileged in the society are being trampled upon.

Most of the time, these people cannot even afford the service of a lawyer. So, I felt if I become a lawyer, I can fight for people’s rights and that was what pushed me into studying law. I just want to see that people’s rights are not infringed upon. I did a little of this when I was serving with the Legal Aid Council in Ilorin, Kwara State. This served as a sort of foundation for me in achieving my goal of protecting citizens’ rights.

First appearance in court
I think it’s just natural being a new wig. There is this fear and one rarely finds his or her balance on the first day in court. On my first day in court, I was supposed to move a motion at a High Court in Ilorin but I was a little bit afraid in doing so. Although I knew what to say, I was caught up in the web of fear of appearing before a judge for the first time. I eventually moved the motion with a shaky start.

Challenges as a female lawyer
It’s not easy practicing law being a female. It’s a bit stressful particularly if you are married. This is actually a male dominated profession, so a female lawyer needs to make a statement. I think diligence is the word. One must be diligent in everything, have a vision and pursue it. Of course, there might be some impediments on the way into achieving the set goals, but one must not be deterred.

Embarrassing moment
Yes. There was a day in court when I felt really embarrassed. Usually, when you are in a law office, there are case files that only you will be handling. There are also those that will be handled by your boss and colleagues. On this particular day, my boss said he couldn’t make it to court. He now asked me to intimate the court of what informed his absence. He actually had another case at the Court of Appeal on that day.

So, when the matter was called, I stood up to announce my appearance and afterwards I sought an adjournment. I told the judge that my boss handling the matter was at the Court of Appeal.

The judge was now asking me to produce an evidence to show that I was saying the truth. I felt highly embarrassed with the judge’s assertion. I didn’t know the basis of what the judge was saying.

More so, the counsel for the other party was not even around even as there was no way the matter could have continued. The judge even went to an extent of saying he would put a call through to someone at the Court of Appeal to confirm what I said. I felt embarrassed because the judge did not believe what I told him even when I was telling him the truth from the Bar. The matter was later adjourned.

Fond memory
There was a day I had to go to court after visiting a prison where I saw a teenager who was incarcerated for stealing a pair of slippers. He had already spent two years in prison custody for the alleged offence. I was in court thereafter to move his bail application and he was eventually released. I was highly elated to see him out of prison and put a smile on his face.

There are a number of other inmates who are facing this kind of situation and who knows how many years the guy could have spent in prison if God has not used me to salvage the situation. The guy was actually arraigned over the alleged offence but he could not meet up with the bail conditions. That was why he was in prison custody for two years. I sought the variation of his bail conditions and he was subsequently released. The incident is something that will continue to linger in my memory for long.

Judiciary of my dream
I think it should start from the law enforcement agencies. If they are doing their jobs diligently without fear or favour, it will impact positively on the judiciary. If cases are presented the way they are to court, it would boost people’s confidence in the judiciary.

Besides, I also want to see a judiciary where judicial officers will also do their jobs without fear or favour. They must carry out their assignments without intimidation or threat from anywhere. Justice must be seen to have been done to all matters before the court irrespective of who the parties are.

By: Akeem Nafiu
The Newtelegrap News