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Kolawole Olanipekun

Maritime Law LLM

Kola is a qualified barrister in Nigeria, and chose to return to studying to broaden his knowledge of the maritime industry.


My name is Kolawole Olanipekun and I am a qualified barrister in Nigeria. I chose to study the LLM in Maritime Law postgraduate programme at The City Law School to take advantage of the untapped potential in maritime practice in my country.  I commenced the program in January 2016 and successfully completed the program in February 2017 with a commendation.

Why did you choose to study for a Master of Laws (LLM)?

In accordance with my long term career plans, I decided to study for a Master of Laws to gain a better and broader knowledge in my intended field of specialisation (i.e. as a maritime expert). There are so many opportunities for young lawyers in the maritime field in Nigeria and I want to take advantage of this. I also needed to bolster my academic qualifications so as to be duly qualified for any opportunity that may come my way in the future. The LLM has now become the benchmark for academic qualifications in my home country.

Why did you choose City, University of London and The City Law School?

I chose City, University of London and The City Law School mainly because it was one of the very few universities that offered my intended program – LLM in Maritime Law. I had also missed the summer entry window so I needed a January entry window which the University also offered. Secondly, the location of the university close to the heart of London was also a motivating factor as I knew it would afford me an opportunity to explore one of the best cities in the world. The University also had a decent ranking so naturally, it was a perfect match.

Which modules did you choose and why?

I opted for International law of the sea, Marine insurance, Admiralty law, International commercial arbitration and Carriage of goods by sea.

My dissertation was titled ‘A critical analysis on marine pollution and its effect on world spaces: Legal Issues involved with Africa as a case study.’

My selection of modules was tailored towards my designated degree. I wanted to improve my knowledge of maritime law and practice. These modules afforded me a much better understanding of the law and to be competent in practice.

Did you take part in any extracurricular activity? (Pro Bono, Mooting, etc.) Tell us more about your experience?

Based on the recommendation of one of my Professor’s, I was able to undergo an internship at the International Maritime Organisation Headquarters in London. It was incredible and highly rewarding. I met a lot of experts, established valuable networks and expanded my knowledge on what we had learned in the classroom. I was even fortunate enough to have a picture taken with the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

What advice or tips would you give to anyone who wants to study for a LLM?

I would recommend that they go for it with their all. After all, anything worth doing at all is worth doing well. The experience is priceless, the lessons last a lifetime, it definitely opens up opportunities even beyond one’s expectations.  The City Law School is particularly gifted with exceptional talents who are more than willing to offer assistance with exceptional facilities.

What are your future plans/current job role?

Currently, I am an associate at a law firm in my home country, Nigeria. Although my practice is not limited to it, I am focused on maritime law cases at the firm.

As I come from a family of lawyers, my long term plans involve growing/expanding the practice of the family firm in accordance with international standards particularly within the area of my specialised practice. With my new qualifications and experience, who knows where the road may lead…