Every dream is achievable and I am living mine

Previously, the law profession was dominated by men with just a few women pursuing the law course at University or even making it to the bar. However, with changing times and fewer stereotypes towards women taking on professional careers, more women have become lawyers.

Every year, Makerere University admits more than 1000 students into the Bachelors of Law course which has a pre-entry exam requirement and many go on to build successful legal careers.

Lilian Asiimwe, a third-year student at Makerere University, tells us why choosing to study business law is the best decision she has ever made.

How do you start your day?

The sound of my alarm wakes me up at 4:57am. A career in law is one that requires tons of effort, thus the need to wake up early.

At 5:00am, I meditate, which keeps my mental health in check. Then, I work out before 5:30am. Then I take a shower and have my breakfast and leave home at 6:00am. It is so easy to lose yourself in the voluminous books, legal research, need for a social life and financial decisions at the cost of your mental and physical health while in law school. This is why I need a strict and refreshing morning routine.

Although it is not a place many would want to spend most of their time, the library is every law student’s necessity. Therefore, I spend most of my time here; reading and finishing my assignments. Passion and persistence is the reason I am able to wake up every day, venture into new areas of research, stay up late finishing my assignments and wake up the following day to start over again.

What inspirers you?

I like a challenge, and more so I like a challenge whose goal not only fulfills my need to have a purpose in life, but one that will make the world a safer place for someone else, and I found such a challenge in the law. Studying the law has always been my passion, given the injustice and unfairness that I grew up in the middle of and I sure want to do something about it. Studying the law is the first step.

Being a woman too and having the desire to see women get better opportunities in life drives me every day to be an advocate for women and children’s economic, social and health rights both in Uganda and internationally.

What have you achieved so far?

Getting into law school itself has been an achievement for me, as it is an inspiration to my siblings and friends that it is possible for them to get into which ever career they want, and to attain their dreams.

Law school has a variety of people from different backgrounds, differing ideologies and people critical enough to question societal norms and this has enabled me grow as an individual too. I also volunteer in offering pro bono services, which involves giving financial advice like drafting contracts and explaining the rights and freedoms to a number of people. This has helped me fulfill my need to contribute to society even before graduating.

What advice would you give to young girls who want to pursue the same dream?

Passion, persistence and being open to learn, unlearn and relearn is what will possibly get anyone through law school. Attaining the career of your dreams is important and so is your mental health.

Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on, people who will get you back on your feet when school life overwhelms you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make it, because you sure can make it successfully through law school. Take an opportunity whenever you see one and get as much exposure as you can while in law school; you will need it.

What has been your most challenging experience?

Law school can be overwhelming and mentally draining. It is necessary to prioritize your mental health while in law school and to set systems that will keep you in a safe space. Anxiety and depression also don’t come as a surprise anymore, but the point is to know how well to get back on track.