I am Oreka Adegboruwa. I was called to the Bar in January, 2001. I attended the University of Lagos. I used to work at M. Bassey & Associates; I now work with Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa & Co.
Have you had any challenges in your career as a Lawyer, and if so, what were the main challenges?
My greatest challenge, was how tostand up in court and address the court. It took some time for me to gain confidence, because I was shy. But I was soon able to overcome that with regular appearances in court, and watching how other Lawyers conducted their cases in court. Another challenge was being able to joggle raising children, Ministry, and the demands of my job. It wasn’t easy at all, combining my work with young children, and being a Pastor’s wife. Thankfully, in those early days, I was able to get a reliable creche which was around the Church, so I would drop the children there in the morning, go to work, pick them in the evening, and go to Church on service days. Thank God, my boss was very understanding. She didn’t make me do cases outside Lagos. So, I was able to cope by the grace of God.
What was your worst day as a Lawyer?
The worst day I can recall, was when I was still quite new to the profession, and I was sent to a Magistrate Court to handle a criminal case. I cannot recall what
the matter came up for, but suddenly, a man got up to say he was withdrawing as surety. I was lost. The Magistrate asked for my reaction, but I did not know what to say, and so, our client lost his bail and was remanded in custody. I received a good tongue lashing that day.
What was your most memorable experience as a Lawyer?
I recall a divorce matter, where our client had not been allowed to see her son for about eight years. The father had taken him away from her when he was one and a half years old, and she had not set eyes on him after that. On that particular day, the boy was brought to court, and the Judge asked him if he could point out his mother in the crowd. He answered in the negative. It was so sad. So I prayed the court to grant her access, and that day,we were able to get the court to order
that both parents share holidays. It wasa joyful day.
Who has been most influential in your life?
My greatest influence is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, because I am a child of God. On the legal side, my former boss, Chief Mary Bassey, was a great influence
on me. She really did a lot to encourage me to practice law, because at that time, I did not really want to practice. I learnt so much from her. I remember the first letter I wrote when I joined her firm. She told me straightaway, that it did not emanate from a Lawyer. Though she did not like incompetence, she was patient with me,
and little by little, I started to learn. She is a wonderful coach. At a point, she suggested I go to the Bench, but I am not cut out for that. My husband is also a big influence. Both of them are hardcore litigation Lawyers. They just love advocacy! I would have veered off practice by now, if not for them. My husband would say “how can a Lawyer not practice?” My children have also influenced me, in the sense that I feel a need to fire up their interest in the profession of law, so that they can follow in their father’s footsteps
Why did you become a Lawyer?
I became a Lawyer, because I was not good at mathematics. I actually just filled it on my JAMB form, without knowing what it entailed. My parents did not choose for me, but they were happy when I got admitted to study Law. It was a good show off point. When I got into University of Lagos, I started hearing a lot about the nobility of the profession, and how prestigious it is, so I just adapted myself to it. There was this air of superiority, that Law students exhibited, so I also liked
the prestige it conferred.
What would be your advice to anyone wanting a career in Law?
Anyone who wants a career in law, must be focused and willing to learn. These days people are more concerned about money, but it is better to gain as much experience as possible, and then you can venture on your own. Some people think they don’t need tutelage, so they leave the Law School, and venture straight into practice on their own. This is not good enough, because they make a lot of mistakes which could have been avoided. As far as I am concerned, even those who want to work in the corporate world, should have a short stint in legal practice, before venturing into anything else, because from my experience, no matter how old you are at the Bar, you are like a new wig, the day you appear in court to conduct a matter, if you did not acquire practice experience previously. Money will surely come, if you are good at what you do.
If you had not become a Lawyer, what other career would you have chosen?
I would have studied Mass Communication. I admired newscasters as a child, and I wanted to be one, but here I am.
Though now, I think I would rather be an Event Planner.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
By the grace of God, handing over my role in the firm to my first daughter, so that I can pursue other interests.