Abdulaziz Adekola

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve grown up and lived in inner-city areas in Leeds since moving to England at age 3. Being one of three children and living in a single parent household on various council estates for most of my life had its challenges. Money was always tight, I dealt with racism from a young age and opportunities for people in my situation were, and still are few and far apart. I attended two primary schools, both which at the time were far below the national average in terms of literacy skills and numerical ability and was in a similar situation with my high school.

What motivated you to apply for your course at Leeds?

Originally, I was in the process of applying to study Physiotherapy and Sports Science. After a few conversations with my head of sixth form at the time, I had been convinced to go after something beyond my comfort zone. I was introduced to a barrister, a friend of my head of sixth, and after a few hours of conversating, I had decided to study Law.

I chose Leeds because its home to everything that’s gotten me so far in life and I wanted to keep some of the home comforts close by. I genuinely believe there aren’t many better cities in the UK, in terms of opportunity, social aspects and the people. I’ve remained near family and friends who have all supported me throughout my degree whilst still having a complete university experience. Once I had been made aware of the Access to Leeds scheme as well I thought it would be a bad idea to pass on an opportunity to study at a world-leading university right on my doorstep.

What do you think of your course so far?

As exciting as education is, the highlights have been all the extra-curricular events that have taken place as part of the Law School and the student-led Law Society. Everything from the head of school dinners, to the social excursion trips and the annual law ball, have all been moments I’m glad I experienced whilst studying here. My biggest highlight and the one event I put above the rest was the 2017 Law’s Got Talent. An event put together by the Law School and the Law Society and one I had the privilege of planning and hosting in front of peers and staff.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff?

The help and guidance provided by the school works on a two-way street. If you think you need help or guidance and you bring it to the attention of the staff, you will receive it. There are roughly 300 students per year, so it is hard for the staff to know everyone on a first name basis but from what I have seen, they do try.

I and many of my peers have made the most of the ‘open-door’ feeling that seems to embedded amongst members of staff within the school and will frequently walk into the office of a member of staff with a question about an academic topic or career advice and will walk out knowing anything said was in our best interest.

How would you describe the facilities?

The facilities at the university are second to none. As far as most Russell Group universities go, the University of Leeds is one of the most modern and constantly developing. The law school is in one of the nicest buildings on campus and caters to so many different needs. Within a 10 minute walk, you can access all the campus libraries, the university gym and the union which genuinely has everything you could need on a day to day basis. Ranging from banks, a mini-supermarket, opticians and a salon.

Have you been involved in any extra-curricular activities?

I’ve been an active member of the University of Leeds Men’s Basketball society. Playing varsity 3 years in a row (soon to be a 4th). I have been the general secretary for the society, followed by the 1st team captain in my 3rd year. Its been a great experience and I’ve enjoyed being able to continue playing at a high level whilst at the University.

Alongside this, I’ve been a part of the Law Society. Making the most of the careers and social events hosted throughout my first two years. I decided to take a greater role in my society and run for the role of Equality and Diversity secretary for my final year (after losing the previous year) and was successful. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been a part of shaping the university experience for so many students, particularly those who started in September. Furthermore, I’m looking forward to coming back as President of the Law Society and being in a better position to help as many individuals throughout their degree.

Any other comments you would like to make?

The Law School at the University of Leeds has required me to mature over the three years. It has given me the opportunity to develop as a person and learn a lot about myself and build relationships with people I never thought I’d spend so much of my time with when I was younger. It has put me beyond my comfort zone and I’m glad it has. I would like to thank Alastair Mullis and Nick Taylor for their continuous support and willingness to help myself and put me in a position where I can help others. The degree is one half of the university experience and the school understands that and ensures you leave with a complete experience.