Sunday, 5 January 2014

Careers: Law

Barrister Ayo Wey
So you want to be a lawyer, or you're iffy about it, not quite sure? Meet Barrister Ayo Wey. I caught up with her over the course of this weekend and got her to give me the 411 on what it is like to play in the big league as top shot Corporate Commercial Lawyer. Have a pleasant read.

How I began. What inspired me to study to become a lawyer
There a number of things that inspired me to study Law. The first is that I grew up in Onikan which is a part of Lagos with close proximity to the courts – State High Court in Igbosere and Federal High Court in Ikoyi. I saw a lot of lawyers and admired how they dressed. I also always thought that if one can argue well, then you would make a good lawyer and I saw myself as someone who could lay down my points succinctly so I thought law was going to be an easy ride for me. That however was the thinking of a young girl. Finally, in my opinion, my late dad was never wrong so when he said to me that I would make a great lawyer, I believed in him whole-heartedly and that definitely made my mind up for me, it was going to be law.

What I do. A typical work day and what my job involves
I work in a top corporate commercial law firm with offices in Lagos and Abuja. I am part of the corporate securities and finance practice group which is the largest practice group in the firm. A typical day for me would be: get up at 5:30 am but laze in bed till 6:00 am. In those 30 minutes, I'm already thinking about my day and what I know is waiting for me at my desk.
I get to work at 8:00 am and my day starts. A not-so-busy day would involve responding to emails, reviewing agreements, sending out opinions/legal advice, advising on different aspects of a transaction (I typically have at least 4 transactions at a time), attending meetings and participating in conference calls.
A crazy day however which I have about 2 or 3 times a week would involve all of the above plus numerous random emails from clients requesting opinions/meetings/conference calls and agreements and all of them probably being due at the same time. Their being impromptu is what makes such days crazy.

The best bit is…
Not knowing what I’ll meet at work. This makes the job challenging and interesting. It is not monotonous, it makes you engage your brain and your previous work eventually starts to serve as a resource base for future tasks.

The worst bit is…
The hours

The personal qualities required to do my job.
Hard work, doggedness, attention to detail, common sense, not repeating mistakes, extroverted, good command of the English language, good people management skills, good client management skills, ability to think outside the box, ability to make on-the-spot judgement, confidence, integrity, positive attitude, patience, wisdom, maturity and contentment.

How to get my job. The qualifications required
Go to school, study law, get good grades (at least a 2.1), go to the Law School, get called to the Bar, do your NYSC, apply for the job, pass the test, ace the interview, get the job, surpass expectations.

Barrister Wey on her  Graduation day
The Dosh file
I asked questions about the job and asked Ayo to rate them on a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being the highest rating. here's what she had to say.
Pay: 2
Hours: 1
Perks: 2
Effort to get the job: 5
Stress: 5
Glamour: 4

1 comment:

  1. Reading a whole lot about you and your interest and final practice of Law has just inspired me too. I want to be a successful Lawyer like you too. Especially with the pair of spectacles
    Seriously, you have just inspired someone out there. I hope my peers are reading this too. Its good stuff for a creative mind. Kudos to you.
    Thank you someone for this well thought write up.
    Yours Truly