AUN law graduates will be game changers – Dean

The American University of Nigeria (AUN) says its law graduates would record instant impact in the country’s legal milieu because of the cocktail of offerings inherent in its LLB programme, which would expose students to innovative and important dimensions to legal education.

Professor Oladejo Justus Olowu

Professor Oladejo Justus Olowu

Sequel to the full approval granted the LL.B programme of the school by the National Universities Commission (NUC), and the Council for Legal Education (CLE), the institution is currently welcoming applications from suitably qualified candidates for the 2016/2017 academic session.

The CLE at its council meeting of Tuesday, June 28, ratified the decision of its Board of Studies to approve the School of Law at AUN, which is the fourth school of the 11-year-old development university.

The other schools are schools of Information Technology and Computing, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Arts and Sciences.Before the board’s approval, CLE had conducted a resource verification exercise on AUN’s state-of-the-art facilities, close on the heels of a similar exercise by the NUC.

Dean of the AUN School of Law, Professor Oladejo Justus Olowu, while speaking on the programme, said AUN is going to produce a new generation of lawyers that will do the right thing, adding that, “Our own law graduates are going to be alternative dispute practitioners and comprehensive attorneys: arbitrators, conciliators, mediators, and negotiators. We are going to do things differently and innovatively. Nigerians will soon feel the impact of the first generation of lawyers to emerge from the AUN.

Olowu, who held top faculty positions in South African universities before joining the institution, believes that with the school’s entry, positive change will be triggered in the nation’s legal education system.

“We went abroad and acquired comparative benefits in the study and applications of law, which is what we have all brought together in birthing the potpourri of multicultural ideas. There is no university in Nigeria that has a programme on the intercourse between law and bioethics or biotechnology; we discovered this from the best practices around the world,” the dean explained.

He added, “You only hear lawyers speak about gender equality, but no lawyer in Nigeria went through a law programme that has the gender content.” The AUN law programme will be the first to develop a law programme that has law, society, and development as a module. You know that development discourses have been left to economists, development theorists, and policy analysts; it has never been a subject for schools of law in Nigeria. Clearly, that is now going to change.

President of AUN, Dr. Margee Ensign, said that the school is “pleased and proud that the Council for Legal Education has approved the launch of our new School of Law,” adding that, “AUN, Africa’s first development university, will bring an innovative and important dimension to legal education in Nigeria.”

Modelled on the American liberal arts tradition of broad education and critical thinking, the AUN law courses reinforce the development philosophy of AUN and will be enriched by the school’s extensive international faculty.

Its law curriculum embraces humanitarian studies, gender, alternative dispute resolution, environmental law, HIV and the law, gender and development, energy and natural resources law, and technology and the law, among its novel courses that distinguish AUN’s unique approach to legal education.

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