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From doubting if she would get her visa to being a research fellow, watch out for Damilola Ayoola.

Scholar: Damilola Ayoola

Undergraduate Course and Grade: Law, Second Class Upper

Undergraduate University: Babcock University

Graduate Course and University: LLM, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

I graduated from Babcock University in 2013 with a second class upper degree in Law. I attended the Nigerian Law school in 2013- 2014 but was called to the bar in 2015.

I started my legal career at the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria during my one-year mandatory national youth service corps in Cross Rivers State. After which I moved to the law firm of Chief P.C. Ajayi-Obe (SAN) & Co. for few months and I moved to a join a new firm of Bamidele Ogunjinmi & Co when the initial principal retired from law practice. I moved with one of the Associates to start his own law firm.

Masters Degree

I had applied to the University of Ibadan for my LL.M program before I got a call from a friend telling me about Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis. I knew I wanted a masters degree but I was not particular about where to study for my masters. I was very particular about the funding for international students. God was on my side as I discovered that financial aid was part of the application. I was able to get about one-third of my school fees from financial aid. I applied to corporate and commercial law track as my area of specialization.

This prompted me to start processing my travel documents, every step was a blessing because everything went smoothly for me and within 2 months of sending in my documents; my admission offer came.

I got an early embassy date the 2nd week in December 2016, as school was expected to resume 2nd of January 2017. The day I was supposed to go Lagos for my interview was the same day I had the University of Ibadan Interview. I thought to myself that, isn't it better to continue with UI? What if I am not issued this visa? But I went ahead and thankfully, I got my visa.

On getting to school, I worked as a research assistant to my track director after a semester in school. I enjoyed every bit of working with him as he was very interested in competition law in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, where there is a consumer law but no competition law. I was also very excited to learn things about Nigeria law. My professor has always wanted to work with a Nigerian on that particular project.

I also was a research fellow to the newly approved World Trade Center, Indianapolis.

I graduated in May 2018.

My advice

Don't underestimate yourself, I thought I did not like research but this program helped me a lot even with class projects and it increased my intelligence.

Ask questions. Information is key.

Make friends, it helps a lot, that is one regret I have till date; I refused to make friends outside the LL.M class as we take some classes with the J.D. students. I finally made a few during last days in school. I wish I had met them on my first day at the law school.

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