Attorney at Law and Economic and Social rights advocate, Bamisope Adeyanju, Esq, a 2019–2020 Baker McKenzie Scholar is a dual-qualified lawyer (New York and Nigeria) with demonstrated interests in international investment arbitration, etc. The alumni of Columbia Law School is hailed for her effort towards uncovering misappropriation of loan refunds in Nigeria was awarded the 2019–2020 Baker McKenzie Scholarship.
“My dream is to keep advocating on issues that affect a large number of people,” she says. “That has always been my passion.”
She was awarded $50,000 by the global law firm.
Adeyanju in reaction to receiving the scholarship called it a “rare honor.”
“I appreciate the entire team at Baker McKenzie for the philanthropic gesture and their continued commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
Adeyanju before proceeding for her LL.M. studies at Columbia Law School, was an attorney at the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a leading non-profit accountability organization in Lagos, Nigeria, where she led an effort to track down about N388.304 billion in London Paris Club loan refunds, meant to repay worker pensions and salaries. Her efforts led to transparency, accountability, and disbursement of the said funds.
“We are delighted to award this year’s Baker McKenzie Scholarship to Bamisope, and are honored to provide an opportunity to such a deserving and hardworking candidate.”
“Bamisope’s strong passion and continuous efforts for advocating on these important issues surrounding human rights make her an ideal recipient of this scholarship program. Her achievements are truly remarkable and exemplify the advancement of diversity and inclusion.” Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort, executive committee member and chair of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Committee at Baker McKenzie, said at the time.
Adeyanju, looking back at how her passion started stated she has always been one who likes helping others.
“Even when I didn’t know what the law was, at a very young age I found myself always wanting to assist people,” she says.
While at Adekunle Ajasin University, where she earned an undergraduate law degree, Adeyanju delved into public service projects. She also served as president of the Green Law Society, and actively lent her voice in sanitation issues, the results were impressive.
“I thought, if we can achieve all of this by merely asking questions as undergraduate students, there is so much more we can do [as lawyers],” she explains.
Upon graduating from Nigerian Law School in 2015, Adeyanju worked briefly at a law firm then joined SERAP in 2017.
The Baker McKenzie Scholarship at Columbia Law School established in 2015, offers an award of $50,000 to an LL.M. student with stellar academic achievement but in financial need, with a priority placed on students from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe.