Bamikole Martins Aduloju - PhD Law

Bamikole Martins Aduloju
Bamikole Aduloju studied Law at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria before heading to the UK some years ago having been inspired by his mentor who had gained a PhD from the University of Hull.

However, it wasn’t until 2009 that the law expert saw Robert Gordon University as his next venture.

“That year, I went to Transcorp Hilton Abuja to meet a client, and while waiting, I saw these RGU’s envoys with some alumni clustered around the corner, and I joined them with the underlying goal to network and perhaps even gain clientele for my law practice. But these folks ended up convincing me to do my master’s programme in The Law School.”

Fast forward many years and Bamikole returned to RGU.

“I had been involved in active court practice for more than a decade before I decided to come for a PhD program. After my first degree and obtaining the license to practice, I set a target that I will only engage in active practice for five years after which I will switch to the academia. The decision was based on my observation that practising lawyers are better law teachers. But I fell in love with court practice and I was enjoying it until I summoned the courage to still pursue my PhD.

“The unruffled environment to study and philosophise— tranquilly compacted but still a city; the reasonable cost of living in Aberdeen; the good experience I had during my master’s programme as well as the introduction of 20% alumni discount for the returnees swayed me to return to RGU.”

His reasons for furthering his studies and stepping out of active court practice is reasoned and not without thought.

“My early years in law practice were marked by fervent litigation. I worked for one of Nigeria's busiest and best litigation law firms where I learnt to treasure courtroom battles, meticulously craft arguments, and tirelessly advocate for clients. Innocently but consciously, for more than a decade, I immersed myself in navigating the intricacies of the courtroom for only one goal— to win cases for clients— regardless of how the opposing party feel. And to its credit, I became a Notary Public in 2015.

“But, over time, I began to feel the weight of the adversarial nature of court litigation and crave for a more constructive and collaborative approach to resolving disputes. My breaking point came when I had the opportunity to work on two international arbitration cases. Witnessing the process’ less egoism and flexible nature, I was lured to a new experience of dispute resolution. It was a revelation that sparked a deep desire within me to know more.

“I observed some sort of rivalry between arbitration and court-room lawyers, and a kind of subtle scepticism between arbitrators and judges— one suspecting the other of overstepping its boundaries. Providentially, when the opportunity came in 2019 to further my study to the PhD level, I did not hesitate to choose a topic that set to study the jurisprudence of the intersections between these two institutions— courts and arbitral tribunals— to deliver justice.”

Bamikole’s PhD at RGU included a period of study during the pandemic for which he was grateful to receive support for – something that helped contribute towards many highlights.

“RGU was gracious to introduce a grant to cushion the adverse effect of the pandemic on international students which I accessed on two occasions. It indeed worked wonders during those hard times and I will never forget RGU’s generosity for that.

“The extra-curricular activities were highlights, and these came in diverse forms. Due to my passion for providing mentorship and pastoral support to students, I had the opportunity to support new students’ learning as a volunteer in the Student Buddy Scheme.

“I joined RGU’s Study Skills and Student Buddy Schemes in 2019 and remained a senior member until my graduation. I used to contribute a minimum of 60 hours per month to assist new students from diverse backgrounds to understand the university education and system in the UK and RGU, and also to boost their confidence and skill sets to navigate the system successfully.

“Further, I also had the privilege of serving as the representative of the Law PhD researchers in RGU, which informed my participation in the Academic Board of the School of Law.”

Elsewhere, the 42-year-old also volunteered for World Mission Agency, a religious charity organisation, and the Brilliant Club International where he specialised in teaching English language subjects to a diverse range of students and enabled him to “appreciate the bridge between the college and university systems in the UK”.

Now working as a fixed-term Lecturer in RGU’s Law School, Bamikole has zero regrets on the avenues he’s taken.

“I have never regretted taking time off from active court practice to embark on what I know is my passion and calling. RGU has provided the environment and the qualified supervisory team to succeed this long ambition. The best that can happen to any PhD researcher is to be favoured with the best set of supervisors and I think mine was a good example.

“I am hoping to continue building career in the academia while making law practice a part-time thing.”

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