The Class of 2021 of the University of Ghana School of Law (UGSoL) graduated on Saturday, July 31, 2021, after completing their bachelor of laws (LLB) programme during the 2020/2021 academic year.
Nine members of the Class of 2021, consisting of four females and five males, graduated with first-class honours.
Christine Selikem Lassey, one of the nine first-class students, was adjudged as valedictorian, having graduated top of the Class of 2021 with an FGPA of 3.75.
Christine attended Accra Girls’ Senior High School, where she studied General Arts with Literature In English, French, History and Government as electives.
Her favourite subject in senior high school was Government, and according to her, she studied it effortlessly and nothing else appealed to her. Christine, however, developed a very strong interest in studying Law at the university due to her love for Government, leading to her application and admission to the University of Ghana School of Law in 2017.
Entering the University of Ghana School of Law building for the first time as a student, it was Christine’s goal to graduate with first-class honours, and according to her, she was mentally ready and prepared to do well academically to ensure that she will be the best student in her class.
“In SHS, I was a good student but I was not the best. I was determined to change that narrative about my life. My ultimate goal was to graduate with a first-class. My classmates are incredibly smart and I knew graduating with the highest GPA was going to be hard. Nonetheless, I believed it was possible,” she told Kuulpeeps.
Christine, based on her objective of becoming the best student in her class, immediately hit the ground running in her first year; and due to her outstanding academic performance, she was awarded a Lebanese Government and Community Scholarship for brilliant law students in 2018.
She was also one of eight students from the University of Ghana School of Law who benefitted from a two-year exchange programme (2019-2021) with Harvard Law School dubbed “Making Rights Real-The Ghana Project”, with the research focus on problems faced by the girl child in the Northern Region of Ghana.
Christine, however, indicated that the lecturers at the Law School including Prof. Raymond Atuguba and the late Prof Emmanuel Benneh were crucial in her academic success.
“In level 100, Prof Atugugba used to grill me in his legal method tutorial group. He would ask ‘Selikem what is your authority for that principle? Be a lawyer and not a litigant. Only litigants argue without authority’. These words motivated me to devour cases and statutory provisions.”
“The Late Prof Emmanuel Beneh was an inspiration to me. He lectured with passion and had an in-depth understanding of the law. He was not moved by the mere regurgitation of the law but by a show of understanding. This caused me to change my learning routine. I began to learn for life rather than pass an exam,” she said.
She also recounted an amazing encounter with the Late Prof. Benneh which she described as her best moment in Law School.
“In my last International Law class in level 200. The Late Prof. Benneh invited me to sit with him at the high table while he lectured. It was amazing!”
Christine further stated that the courses she enjoyed most at Law School were Constitutional Law and Public International Law.
“These areas of law evolve rapidly,” she said. “The principles of law are not static. I felt challenged to think outside the box rather than accept the law as it is. Particularly, I am fascinated by the interplay of politics and law at the International level.”
She, however, revealed that her worst experiences in Law school happened during the COVID-19 lockdown period. “The online teaching and learning module was stressful,” she said. “Also, level 400 second semester was the most intense semester for me. I am grateful to my family and friends for their support during that period.”
Christine was not only focused on doing well academically during her time at the University of Ghana School of Law. She was also a vibrant member of the UG Law Students’ Union; she was the Head of the Academic Committee and Chair of the Audit Board in 2019.
She led the University of Ghana team that won the maiden edition of the Law Challenge in 2019, and was also a member of the student law firm that placed second in a Moot Court Competition organised by the Law Students Union.
In trying to understand the practical aspect of what she was studying in Law School, Christine served as a legal intern in two prestigious law firms in the country: [email protected] and Bentsi-Enchill, Lesta & Ankomah. She is currently a legal intern at the Institute for African Women in Law, USA.
Christine is also an avid writer and has had her legal articles published and featured in the Law Students Journal, Ghana Law Hub and the Institute for African Women in Law. She also loves reading, listening to TED Talks and hairstyling.
She plans to pursue graduate studies in Public International Law after her professional law programme, and specialize in International Law.
Christine’s biggest dream, however, is to become a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana. She also aspires to become a Justice of the International Court of Justice and a renowned.
“I want to live a life of purpose. I do not want to just balance the ecosystem. I dare to be different and I live my dream,” she said.
Watch Christine Selikem Lassey give her speech as valedictorian during the virtual congregation:
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