While Bayo Majekolagbe was working at a law firm in Lagos and considering a second master’s degree in law, a friend who was studying law at McGill suggested he “look up Dalhousie.” On the Schulich School of Law’s website, he discovered a strong marine and environmental law program. Considering that Bayo’s research is climate change law, it felt like the right fit. He started his LLM at Schulich Law in September of 2017 and completed it the following August; today he is a PhD candidate here.
Why did you choose the Schulich School of Law?
On the website, I came across Professor Meinhard Doelle and his work on the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. After I watched the video about his research, I emailed him to say I was interested in advancing my research under his supervision. He responded the same day telling me that he was interested. That was it for me! Once I put in my application, I didn’t apply anywhere else.
What makes Schulich Law special?
Meinhard is one of the foremost experts in environmental assessment scholarship in Canada. I feel fortunate to have him as my supervisor; he’s knowledgeable but not pushy, caring but not intrusive. Professor Sara Seck, who is on my thesis committee, is extraordinarily passionate—it’s contagious! You have to find passion in your work, something you can fight for. That’s what I see in both Meinhard and Sara. Their work goes far beyond the papers they write.
What are you getting from your law school experience?
I’m here to study the teachers to learn how to teach. It’s important that I learn how it should be done, both in terms of teacher–student relationship and the research. More than what I hear the teachers here say, it is how I see them act—the way they engage students with their expertise and their passion.
How do you like living in Halifax?
I had to Google where Halifax was! I saw pictures of Peggy’s Cove, and I was looking forward to seeing it. It was kind of surreal when I got there; it has a spiritual feel for me. When I think of Dal, Halifax, and Nova Scotia, I think of the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse. I find big cities like Lagos, Montreal, and Toronto too busy. I like the homey feeling of Halifax. It’s big enough to explore but small enough to connect with people. Wherever I travel, when I touch down at the Halifax airport, I’m home.
What are your future plans?
Ultimately, I want to be an effective teacher. I think legal education should be creative and a teacher should have that as a goal. I want to be able to engage my students to think outside the box, to be a “pump primer”—to give students enough information to get them thinking. If I can achieve that—help my students reimagine the world, not have a certain number of publications with my name on them—I would have achieved my dream.