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Every year when the Nigerian Law School (NLS) results are released, my heart is heavy because it’s immediately clear that the NLS grading system needs to be examined.
#nigerianlawschool #nls #lawschool #nigeria
Last year, the success rate was amazing. However, this year in a class of 2515, approximately:
25% failed the exam
42% had a pass
25% had a second class lower
3% had a second class upper
0.19% obtained a first class.

#nigerianlawschool #nls #lawschool #nigeria
I interact with young Nigerian lawyers daily. This is not a fair representation of their capacity. Less than 4% of the entire class had excellent results. These are not good statistics by any standard.

#nigerianlawschool #nls #lawschool #nigeria
When institutions grade students harshly or make it a point of pride that “it’s difficult to get a first class in a program” they are actually NOT showing that the institutions are good. Instead they are showing that the institutions don’t have the capacity to produce excellence
Many excellent Nigerian graduates are not as competitive on the global scene as they should be, because their grades are just too low on paper- often times because of their university or department’s approach to grading
#nigerianlawschool #nls #lawschool #nigeria
I congratulate those excelled, however we have to take every opportunity to discuss institutions that need improvement. This conversation is not relevant to the Nigerian Law School alone. Stories abound of departments that boast about not having a first class graduate in decades
When students don’t excel despite their capacity or when they receive grades below their efforts, it shows that there’s something wrong— not with the students but with the system. Students are in school to learn. If they don’t excel, then the institution needs to be examined
To the students, I empathize with you if you are worried that your law school grades will stop you for achieving your dreams or limit your grad school options. I’ve been there, so I know how you feel.

#nigerianlawschool #nls #lawschool #nigeria
Some of you may say “Mariam but you had a 2:1 from last school, that’s not a bad result,let it go.” I have let the disappointment go ages ago cuz I’m a resilient baby girl. Law school didn’t stop me from getting a fully funded masters to @cambridgelaw and a PhD offer from UofT
I’ve never admitted this publicly but when I saw my law school results, I cried like a child. I cried so badly that my mother had to keep calling me every hour. I remember visiting one of my pastors, I was curled in a ball and cried like tears were about to finish.
I kept telling her “nobody is going to give me a scholarship for my masters now”. I put in so much work, I can’t understand how this happened.

For context, I still hold the record of the best law graduate from U.I in over 30 years. I finished with a 6.7/7 GPA. #nls #lawschool
As an undergrad, the question wasn’t whether I would get an A. The question was how high would my A be? In the over 50 courses I took within my department and outside, I think I had 6Bs. Never had a C. I had straight A during my A levels.
So yes, I’m used to academic excellence
And in law school I worked harder than I had ever done. Worked so hard that months after the exams, I would wake up and be reciting legal principles and cases. I didn’t even work that hard to achieve my previous academic excellence #nls #nigerianlawschool
I am giving this background because I need the students to know that I empathize with you if you are worried that your law school grades will stop you for achieving your dreams or limit your grad school options. I’ve been there, so I know how you feel. #nls #nigerianlaeschool
So, here’s what I advise.

Allow yourself to feel.

It’s okay to feel disappointed, upset, and teary.

However, in the midst of it remember that if you are determined to rise above this, your law school grades will not hold you back.

It’s a promise.
#nls #nigerianlawschool
I know it may seem like the world is crashing on you right now. You are not sure what your next step will be but I just want to encourage you. You will rise above this. #nls #nigerianlawschool #lawschool
I look back at how far I’ve come and I laugh at how worried I was. There’s a lot of work ahead of you for sure, but if you are determined, these grades won’t hold you back.

In fact many masters programs don’t even require your law school grades so 🤷🏽‍♀️#nls #nigerianlawschool #law
Lastly, if anyone also wants to share their NLS “disappointment” stories and how they have FLOURISHED despite their law school grades, please respond in the comments. Young lawyers need to hear your story so they don’t lose hope.
#nls #nigerianlawschool #lawschool
I think personally law school taught me NOT to seek validation from my grades. I had always done that even without knowing. It broke me so much that I had to have lengthy conversations with God about why he would let this happen, despite the work I put in. #nls #nigerianlawschool
When my results came out, I did the big chop ✂️ and went for NYSC in Benue state. I spent those weeks in camp reminding myself of all the awesome things I had done in the past and how amazing I was. The fact that law school didn’t recognize that was their loss not mine. #nls
I had to find my confidence and worth OUTSIDE my grades and made peace with myself. To my utmost surprise on the day before call to bar, I started receiving messages saying congratulations. Apparently I won 4 awards 😳. #nls #nigerianlawschool
I was first in properly law
I was second in civil litigation
I was second in corporate law
I won a joint “civil and corporate law award”

Basically, out of 6,000 students, I was top 2 in 3 out of 5 subjects. Yet law school gave me a 2:1? Miss me with that yeye grading system.
Apparently I had a B in criminal law, and your lowest grade is your grade. Come on!

The funny thing is that the awards didn’t really matter to me anyway because I’m those painful weeks while I was at NYSC camp in Otukpo, Benue state, I had found peace and I knew I was enough.
The stamp of validation meant nothing to me. I had built my confidence outside my grades. It hurts when you get lower grades than you genuinely deserve but you are NOT defined by it. Dust this off your shoulder and look to the future. Can’t you see how bright it is over there?❤️
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