I came to the United States (Tulsa, Oklahoma) for the first time in 2001 with a green card while still in law school in Nigeria. I inquired about TU and switching over to continue with my law degree then but decided to return to Nigeria and complete my LLB there. So I got to hear about TU and the law school from my parents who were based here in Tulsa.
2. Why did you decide to come to TU College of Law for your LLM?
The University of Tulsa is known as one of the top 5 universities in the US regarding petroleum and energy related courses. I had an interest in studying oil and gas law or energy law and TU (which is right here in my comfort zone of Tulsa) was the best place for me based on its reputation in the oil and gas industry.
3. What are some of the major differences of studying law in the US versus in your country?
Studying law here is much different from studying in Nigeria as the laws are very different. Nigeria for example does not use the jury system and the civil practice is also different. Also, legal research here is mostly done online using tools such as Lexis and Westlaw, but in Nigeria, we have to go to the library and manually search books and law reports to get our research done. Though we also used Lexis, it wasn’t really reliable and thus legal research slow and very difficult. The libraries here are arranged in a very orderly and easy to search way unlike how it is done in Nigeria where various libraries use different methods of arranging their books and some books are old and outdated.
4. What classes are you taking? How do they compare to your legal education experience back home?
I have taken and currently taking classes such as Basic Oil and Gas, Advanced Oil and Gas, Regulated Industries, Water Law, Environmental Law, Introduction to US Law, Legal Writing and Research, and Administrative Law. Legal education in the US unfortunately does not compare with that of Nigeria, I humbly submit. Education here is interesting and exciting. I look forward to learning and doing research. Unfortunately in Nigeria, we do a lot of memorizing, and note writing (dictation). The exams are however more difficult in Nigeria than those at TU. At TU for example, we have exams which are done open book. We can never have open books in Nigeria. That’s considered cheating. Here, we do open book so we could do research on cases and statutes easily while writing the examination answers, but these legal statutes and cases have been memorized in Nigeria. This means we aren’t learning but studying to pass in Nigeria while here we actually learn.
5. What is one thing you wish someone had told you before you started the LLM program/US law school?
I wish I had started my JD in 2001 when I first made inquiries about TU. Now, I cant see myself returning to start a JD and bury myself in so much debt. As for the LLM, I should have started this program along time ago and continued my passion for law and the energy industry. I wish someone had told me about this program earlier.
6. What are your professional aspirations once you graduate?
Upon graduation, I intend to begin working for an energy company in the regulatory department or for a governmental agency. Courses such as Advanced Oil and Gas and Regulated Industries have also exposed me to opportunities working in the land department as a land man, lease analyst, etc. I however want to pursue more education by either doing a SJD or a PhD in energy management in the nearest future.