The O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation has awarded 63 Rivers State students in the Nigerian Law School a grant of N120,000 and a brand-new laptop each at its 14th Law School Students Scholarship award ceremony held on Tuesday, July 25, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The 63 recipients were the 2023 beneficiaries of the Foundation’s Law School Students Scholarships, from which 868 have benefited since its inception in 2009.
In her welcome address, Chairman of the Foundation, Dr Mrs Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs, affirmed its belief in the transformational capacity of quality education. She said, “The O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation firmly believes in the power of education and its ability to transform lives. Our Education and Scholarships Programme improves access and attainment through initiatives supporting students who would otherwise be shut out due to financial constraints.”
“We understand that pursuing a career in law is a challenging task. It demands an indomitable spirit, tireless effort and an unwavering commitment to upholding justice and to defending the rights of others. We recognise the tremendous trials that law students face, both academically and financially. That is why we established this scholarships program to provide a helping hand and support brilliant young minds on their journey towards becoming future leaders in the legal field.”
She added that the awardees, “have demonstrated unwavering dedication, immense talent and a passion for the pursuit of justice throughout their studies. Therefore, assisting such extraordinary young minds with a scholarship that includes N120,000 and a brand-new laptop is an honour.”
Dr Lulu-Briggs charged the awardees to use the resources wisely and always remember the values that led them to pursue a career in law.
“As future legal professionals, you have a unique opportunity to uphold the universal and timeless principles of justice and fairness. After completing Law School, I implore you also to use your legal knowledge and skills to champion the cause of justice, advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves and defend the marginalised,” she said.
In her lecture titled ‘Technology and the Legal Profession: Transforming the Legal Landscape,’ retired Chief Judge of Bayelsa State and the guest speaker, Justice Kate Abiri, said integrating technology in the legal landscape has enhanced efficiency, accuracy and accessibility.
Justice Abiri highlighted how Artificial Intelligence, blockchain technology, Online Dispute Resolution and E-discovery have transformed the legal profession.
She said Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a game changer in the legal field, transforming how lawyers perform research, analyse data and provide legal advice.
“Traditionally, lawyers had to review and analyse mountains of electronic data during litigation manually. AI algorithms, equipped with machine learning capabilities, can quickly identify and flag relevant documents, saving time and reducing costs. These advancements streamline the legal workflow and minimise human error, ensuring accuracy and consistency,” she said.
Justice Abiri further stressed that lawyers needed to adapt to the technological advancements, noting that failure to do so “can result in reduced efficiency, decreased competitiveness and a diminished ability to serve clients effectively. As technology evolves, lawyers must develop technological literacy and embrace digital tools to enhance their practice.”
She, however, warned that lawyers must pay attention to data security and privacy when adopting technology.
“The increased reliance on technology exposes law firms and their clients to potential cyber threats and data breaches. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures, training staff on best practices, and staying informed about evolving threats are essential for safeguarding sensitive client information and maintaining trust.”
Deputy Director General and Head of Campus, Nigerian Law School, Port Harcourt and the Chairman of the event, Mr Chinonso Mmuozoba, spoke in the same vein, adding that the students will benefit from adopting technology.
Senior Advocate of Nigeria, O.C.J. Okocha and other speakers, including the representative of the Rivers State Attorney General, all commended the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation’s uncommon philanthropy for boosting legal education in the country through its Law School Students Scholarship to grow young legal minds.
Okocha said, “I congratulate the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation for sustaining this scholarship scheme over the years. I also congratulate the recipients and advise you not to take this for granted. You are a select few from the many that applied. I know that financial resources are not so readily available to your parents and those supporting your education, so use what you have been given well. Also, remember that honesty and dedication are hallmarks of this profession.”
Beneficiaries of the scholarship also applauded and thanked the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, promising to use the resources well.
Eminent jurists, lawyers and monarchs including the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Hon. Justice Simeon Amadi, former Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Honourable Worgu Boms, King (Dr.) Dandeson Douglas Jaja, JP, Jeki V, Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of Opobo Kingdom of Rivers State, His Majesty, Eze Amb. Kelvin Ngozi Anugom DSSRS JP, Eze Ekpeye Logbo III, and Sir Hon Allwell Ihunda, the Port Harcourt Mayor who was represented by Barr. Chile Owuru, Secretary of the Port Harcourt City Local Government, attended the ceremony.