Law Atudent of the Week – Paul Michael Ordam
- Kindly introduce yourself.
I am Msughter Paul Michael Ordam, but well known as Paul Ordam. I am a 500L Student from the Faculty of Law, Benue State University, Makurdi. I hail from Mbatierev in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.
- Why law?
Interestingly, and even funny enough, I do not know why I opted for law, despite the hiccups I had in securing admission. Perhaps, it is innate, but the only thing I would have traded with law is the Catholic Priesthood.
- You recently came up top at the SimmonsCooper Advocacy Development (SCAD) competition. How exactly did you achieve this feat?
It is simply the grace of God. When God pitches His tent with you, all factors play to and in your favour. When I was shortlisted as a finalist for this competition, I prayed, prayed and got myself prepared, and when grace meets preparation, success is sure to be the outcome. That is not to say the others did not prepare, they may have even done more, and must have also prayed too and they are all fantastic, intelligent and fecund advocates, whose brilliance and succinct appreciation of law and advocacy is enviable, but coming top in the contest is solely God’s favour.
- Kindly share with us your experience at the competition.
The SCAD competition is a rare privilege for any participant, and I don’t think anyone who partook in the exercise would ever regret it. We were exposed to a training that would last a life time. The competition afforded finalists the opportunity to think beyond studying law to acquire the Certificates and get licensed to practice law. SCAD provokes you to ask yourself questions, such as; why be a lawyer when there are millions of lawyers out there? What makes you noble in the noble profession? Why should you be taken seriously? There was a SCAD clinic preceding the contest, which afforded us the opportunity to rethink our passion from not just being lawyers, but excellent lawyers who are also social engineers and instruments of societal good and development, and lawyers whose practice is characterized by integrity, professionalism and result-driven meticulousness.
The SCAD Competition really expanded my scope of thinking and widened my horizon and indeed all the finalists, using the image of a client to represent the society, who is not interested in excuses but solutions to the problems brought before you, no matter how complex it may seem, even where there is no precedent.
The dispute scenario itself was indeed knotty and quite novel too, even having to dissect in a dispute resolution, a bill which is yet to become an Act of the National Assembly, having been passed only by the House of Representatives and is currently awaiting the concurrence of the Senate before it will be sent to the President for assent.
I am grateful to those who are behind this brain work, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, Babatunde Irukera, Dapo Akinosun and the entire family of SimmonsCooper Partners, Mrs. Victoria Alonge, Mr. Ikem, Mr. Bashir, Funmilola Mesayeite, Akintayo and Elo, and everyone involved in this project, may God bless them richly.
- In what aspect of law do you intend practising and why?
I have a very keen interest in constitutional law and constitutionalism, which consists complex of ideas, attitudes and patterns that contain institutionalized mechanisms for the protection of lives of a people and their properties. Law itself came about for the good of the society, and being influenced by welfarism, I see law only as a means of social engineering and constitutional law is the pivot of this.
And with this competition, I have developed a strong interest in electricity law, and would probably take it alongside constitutional law.
- Any role model and why?
Not directly, but I’m influenced by many people, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who was a voice for the voiceless. He was, indeed, selfless, and that has greatly influenced me. Chief Ben Nwabueze is another person who has influenced me a lot. He has become the acme or pinnacle of the advocates for an ideal society, which is founded on the rule of law and the true tenets of the social contract document – the Constitution. There is no constitutional principle that Chief Nwabueze has not dissected. That is an evidence of serious hard work, which makes me admire him a lot. And of course, my mentor, Mr. Bernard Hom, SAN, KoC, whose life generally and law practice is characterized by integrity and meticulousness. From him, I have learnt, that it is better to have a good name than excessive riches, and also, that whatever one does, one should do it well.
These people have greatly influenced me, and from the Bible, as a Christian, Paul the Apostle. His sagacity, commitment, boldness and outspokenness about his belief greatly influences me in my daily life, and taking the name Paul, this constantly rings a bell in my mind.
- What other interests do you have asides the law?
Aside law, I have interest in politics. I don’t like sitting down to complain, and there is a saying that “I must do something solves more problem than something must be done.” So, I would like to venture into politics and offer my own quota and service to humanity.
- Where do you see yourself in 6 years? Any plans towards hitting that benchmark?
God willing, I should be a lawyer, maybe with an LL.M and Ph.D in view, and should be an advocate of justice and societal good, and at least impact in a good number of lives. It is my wish to impact positively in at least 100 lives, and I pray God gives me the grace to do it.
- Any final words?
No one should think that God is done with him or her, our lives are under construction as long as we are still alive. We only need to do our bits and when the grace of God, which is like a standing fan turns to your side, all your hardwork manifests and you reap results.