A personal Statement from Chidinma:
I have had a strong desire to study and practice law, and my ultimate goal is to make a significant contribution to the development of the legal infrastructure of my home country, Nigeria. There is no substitute for knowledge and scholarship as prerequisites for professional excellence and outstanding public service and I believe that there is no better place to develop these than at the prestigious University in the United States of America.
I earned an LL.B in 2008 in the top 3 position in my class from the University of Lagos, whose Law Faculty is rated as the best in Nigeria. At the university, I was the Pioneer Public Relations Officer for the Tax Club from 2006 to 2007. This association is committed to tax orientation and education, and enlightened the public on tax matters through seminars and workshops. In this position, I worked closely with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service. I also headed the Students’ Internship Program, which assisted students to secure internship placements in governmental institutions, as well as in world-renowned firms, including KPMG and Ernst & Young.
My main interest is taxation and corporate/commercial law. As a result of this interest, I graduated as the overall best student in Company law and Industrial/Labour law in my class and won the prizes for them. I am also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
Upon admission to the Nigerian Bar I became an associate in Banwo & Ighodalo, one of Nigeria’s leading commercial law firms. I was immersed in core legal practice, thus enabling me to truly experience the difference between legal theory and actual legal practice. The exposure to major commercial deals and interfacing with major clients, particularly foreign clients, convinced me of my passion for law.
I am currently an Associate at Alliance Law Firm, a capital market firm, which provides legal services mostly to large national and multi-national energy and oil and gas companies in Nigeria. My work experience here made it clear to me that having an international perspective would help me excel in Nigeria. One of the proven ways of acquiring such perspective is by earning an LLM from a University with the western style education and rigorous training it offers.
My ultimate career goal is to be appointed to a top public service position in Nigeria, such as the Chair of the Federal Inland Revenue Service. The current Chairperson is Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, one of my role models. Researching her background, her education and work experiences reinforced the fact that there are no short cuts to success. Nigeria has approached an era where the politics of personality and popularity is giving way to one of competence, and there is an increasing demand for knowledgeable individuals of scholarship and merit to man vital positions in public service. An LLM is crucial for the realisation of my personal goal because of the vast course offerings, multi-disciplinary academic community, and the opportunity to interact with people of diverse interests and backgrounds.
I was recently accepted into the LLM program at Cornell in Ithaca, NY. In order to attend, however, I must provide the full tuition and fees upfront ($75,000 including accomodation, books, etc). Will you help me?