Beatrice Shuwa Esq. is one law lecturer that knows her onion and much loved by her students in Nigerian Law School, Abuja. Shuwa was a year older yesterday, May 23. The amiable woman took us down a memory lane of her career, lifestyle and others.
What inspired you to study law and how has it been?
I was inspired to go into the legal profession as a result of a deep desire to ensure that justice is accessible to all in the society. I have always been fascinated by the profession. Teaching law comes with the extra thrill and satisfaction of imparting knowledge.
At the beginning, one had to patiently learn the rudiments of legal practice. I appreciate many seniors and mentors who put us through this phase. I have been a Law Lecturer since 2003. I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992.
Life as a Law Lecturer has been very interesting. Particularly, lecturing at the Nigerian Law School means we are involved in the vocational training of aspirants to the Bar, mentoring, Law Clinics, assessments etc. You have to be on your toes at all times. Discipline and dedication are required. It is hard work with different sets every session, but it is also a satisfying experience when they become fit and proper both in character and in learning.
What does 51 mean to you?
May 23, being my birthday, is always very special. I always start the day with a thanksgiving to God at Mass, acknowledging that every stage I find myself each year is by the special grace of God. Last year was my 50th Birthday and we went all out for the Golden Celebration. This year is low key, moreso that I had to work almost throughout the day. However, it was still made special by family, friends and many loved ones.
Tell us some of the memorable moments in your life and career?
Memorable moments in my life will include my Call to Bar, our wedding, welcoming our Children and my career generally at the Nigerian Law School. One interesting fact is that my husband and I were both employed the same day by the Council of Legal Education, Nigerian Law School, although he works in administration and I in academics. He is a year my senior at the Bar and we were both in private practice before joining the Council of Legal Education. Shortly before that, I was a Magistrate in the Plateau State Judiciary.
What are some of he things that occupy your time?
After the Lecture Room, I mostly have research, mentoring, Church activities and of course, the home front. If I am lucky to have some leisure in between, that is usually greatly appreciated
Who or what do you consider as the greatest influence in your life?
The greatest influence in my life will be my family, beginning with my parents, Mr and Mrs. Gabriel Attah, who are both late now ( God rest their souls). They were both Teachers and disciplinarians, yet very loving. They taught me that integrity, hard work and total trust in God are keys to success in life. My family have generally taught me to be grounded.
What lessons have you learnt about life?
I have learnt many lessons in life. That we should always put in our best in all we do and leave the rest to God. And that everywhere we find ourselves at all times, there is a purpose for us being there and we should do our best to fulfill that purpose.
What’s your advice to young lawyers?
My advice to younger female Lawyers is that there is nothing they cannot do, with hard work, dedication and trust in God.
Tell us about life growing up?
My growing up was quite eventful. I am the last of five children so my parents and elder siblings were always there for me. During my early education, we moved quite a lot due largely to transfers and relocations by my parents. My Secondary School was more stable as I was in boarding. I attended St Louis College, Jos- Plateau State and then proceeded to University of Jos. When I attended the Law School, there was only one Campus at Lagos.
As a teenager, I admired freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela.
I love to Mentor. All Lecturers at the Nigerian Law School are assigned Mentees, but I usually mentor far above my assigned mentees as I also coordinate and mentor the Catholic Students and many others who just express the desire to be under my mentorship.