The Workchop Conversation with Mary Clains Tino, Program & Community Manager at the World Legal Summit & Program Lead at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy

The Workchop Conversation with Mary Clains Tino, Program & Community Manager at the World Legal Summit & Program Lead at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the law, tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

For this week, we have Mary Clains Tino, the Program and Community Manager at the World Legal Summit. She serves as the Program Lead at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy (Online) and Operations Manager at Legal Innovation Hub.
Currently, she is student pursuing a Bachelor of Laws Degree at Makerere University where she serves as the Vice President of the Rule of Law Club. Clains is a member of the African Law & Tech Network, Kampala Legal Hackers and Mountain Club of Uganda.

Tell us briefly about your journey into tech and law. What spurred your interest?


Before joining university, I interacted with Bitland Uganda, a blockchain powered land registry system and was amazed by the tremendous potential of this initiative and other emerging technologies. Through the Coffee With Alice mentorship program, I learned and was intrigued by the legal and regulatory issues pertaining to such emerging technologies.
This curiosity pushed me to pursue courses on EdX and to attend numerous conferences on this topic. I seek to continue to cultivate my knowledge and interest in this field.

Could you share a bit about your role as a Program and Community Manager at the World
Legal Summit? If you could describe what you do in three (3) words, what would it be?

The World Legal Summit is a multi-party initiative which brings jurisdictions and communities together in exploring the development of legislative frameworks for emerging technologies.
My role includes; relationship/event management, research, social outreach and engagement. If I had to choose three words to describe my role, I would pick; collaboration, media and research.

Could you describe the state of the tech and law ecosystem in Africa and where it could be in the next five (5) years? What would be your advice to those looking to break into the space?

The tech and law ecosystem in Africa is growing exponentially. LegalTech products, innovation to foster best practices, communities and new laws to regulate the emerging technologies are all coming in due time. In the next five years, I believe that we will be more receptive to technologies like virtual reality in the Legal space. We have moved into the most technological decade due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The judiciary and academia will be more engaged and involved in the
tech and law ecosystem in Africa. I would advise anyone looking to break into the space to definitely go for it, self-educate, get
mentors, volunteer, join existing communities and prioritize lifelong learning.

Could you share what your roles at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy and Legal Innovation Hub involve? What apps or systems do you use to ensure your productivity?

I lead the teams at the Africa Innovation Law & Tech Academy (AILTA) and Legal Innovation Hub (LIH). The Academy provides legal knowledge and professional skills required to understand the relationship between the law, technology and innovation. The Hub fosters innovation in the legal profession and enhances the mode of delivering legal services and access to justice. My roles include; organizing hackathons, conferences, design, research and public relations.

My favorite go-to apps for work are Google workspace, Canva, Buffer and Asana. When working, I encourage collaboration, learning and niche identification. These are systems we have in place to ensure productivity.

How do you recharge or take a break? What do you spend time doing aside from work?

I take nature walks and recently took an interest in rock climbing. I am always on a lookout for new adventures. I read story books with children through community book clubs which share the beauty of storytelling.

Funny question, if you had to work, but you didn’t need the money, what would you do?

I would stick to my current work which is centered around Law, Technology and Education. I realized that I work best when I am doing something I love and creating change and that’s what I am doing now.

Who would you like to answer these questions?
Alice Namuli Blazevic, Partner at Katende Ssempebwa & Co Advocates and Hannah Gannyana, Lead Organizer of Kampala Legal Hackers.

The Workchop Conversation with June Okal, Legal Advisor & Co-Organizer, Legal Hackers

The Workchop Conversation with June Okal, Legal Advisor & Co-Organizer, Legal Hackers

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the law, tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

For this week, we have June Okal, a legal professional with years of experience mitigating legal risk and advising Government State Corporations as well as high value global clients on Intellectual Property, Technology, Telecommunications and Media transactions as well as In House Counsel supporting a trillion dollar leading technology company’s operations across fifty one countries in Sub Saharan Africa.

Tell us briefly how the transition was, from being a counsel to working with different organizations like ARTICLE 19 and Legal Hackers, Kenya. Was there anything particular that spurred the move?

I wouldn’t say it was a move per se as all the roles are related and in the field of Technology, Media. and Telecommunications. I have always wanted to have some across the board experience in the industry in order to appreciate the unique challenges and nuances in each. For instance, I started work in tech policy at the equivalent of an ICT Department, but for the Government of Kenya supporting in setting up ICT Standards to be adopted, then worked at the Copyright regulator where we ratified rules on copyright exemptions for the visually challenged as well as introducing the first Kenyan legal instrument on intermediary liability, then engaged at a leading Think Tank that seeks to catalyze ICT reforms through a multistakeholder approach, to offering legal and regional client advisory at a boutique and specialist TMT law firm, to setting up the office and helping protect clients IP for one of the largest IP firms globally, shifting to a big tech service provider interfacing with a user base of +1B and then to a passive infrastructure telecommunications provider and currently at ARTICLE 19 where we advocate for freedom of expression and information, with a focus on the Domain Name System. The transition at each point has been exciting, some more seamless than others, but because the foundation is the same, it is simpler to build upon it.

What does your role as an Internet of Rights Fellow at ARTICLE 19 entail? Could you tell us a bit about ARTICLE 19, what it is about and who it is for?

As an Internet of Rights Fellow, I’m part of the International team at ARTICLE 19. Since 2014, ARTICLE 19 has been a pioneer in introducing and strengthening human rights considerations in the design, development, and deployment of Internet infrastructure by participating in global Internet governance bodies where technical standards and policy development happens. The main goal is to protect and promote freedom of expression, freedom of association, privacy, and other human rights in key Internet technical standards and policy bodies. 

Under the Business and Human Rights track which I work under, my mentor Ephraim Kenyanito and I actively engage within the Internet Governance ecosystem, particularly at the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). At ICANN, we monitor policy development processes and drafting of policies which outline how the internet as a public resource is managed and we advocate for the upholding and respect of Freedom of Expression and Information.  

With your work experiences from being an In-house counsel to a TMT lawyer, IP lawyer and even as co-organizer at Legal Hackers Kenya, what one experience has shaped you so far? Could you share any major advice for lawyers and other players in the legal industry?

When I was in my first year of uni, one of our lecturers, Ms. Pamela Ager asked us to read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm speaks of the 10,000 hour rule for anyone to be good at what they do. She emphasized the need for us to stand out from the pack, the Kenya School of Law for instance, churns about 2000 students each year. Kenya’s bar association has over 14,000 advocates, the question then is, how do you differentiate yourself from the pack. Focus on that and be excellent at it.

What is that one problem if, given the chance, you would like to solve within your industry?

Cross functional collaboration. Having worked at different stakeholder groups, I have come to appreciate the varied interests that each has and seeks to protect. While there is some level of cross functional and multi stakeholder engagement, with increased trust, goodwill and a collaborative spirit, a lot more can be achieved in the ecosystem.

Walk us through a typical workday. How do you keep track of what you have to do?

I’m currently taking a gap ‘month’ off active work at the moment – which I think is highly underrated. Having the space to rest and rejuvenate allows you to take a step back, have a breather and re-evaluate your life choices, align priorities and set new ones. I now go with the flow. But resources that have greatly helped me in the past are Calendar bocking, to assign and block out time in the course of the day, having two notebooks – a day to day diary highlighting what needs to be done for each day and another to note down all tasks that are to be done regardless of urgency and timeline, and then checking off both lists of gradually.

What is that one ideology that you don’t agree with?

That we should all be entrepreneurs. For a long time this narrative has been pushed across all sectors for the youth. We do not all need to start businesses, if we do, where will the resource base come from but more importantly it is possible for one to be passionate about an entrepreneur’s dream and there is nothing wrong with that. According to Investopedia, for instance, in 2019, the failure rate of startups was around 90%. Research concluded that 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year, and 70% in their 10th year. Among other reasons of course, for me, I think that narrative is partially to blame.

What artist do you listen to the most? What is your favourite music app?

Sauti Sol without a doubt. App – Deezer. While I know many may disagree and go with Apple Music, Spotify and SoundCloud, I really, really like Deezer, I think their AI/ML software is very good at gauging/reading the mood and auto playing related genres and similar songs.

Funny question, what is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?

I kept waiting for something funny to happen to me for weeks, lol. I’m rather surprised at the power of social media, it’s reach and how it’s changing the power of weak ties. I recently needed to offload an asset, I put it up on Instagram, and in about 10 mins it was gone, I had to delete the initial post in a matter of miniutes. I think it’s quite interesting to see that power firsthand.  

Who would you like to answer these questions? (Here, we expect that you nominate someone to answer these questions too)

Let’s start with the person responsible for bringing me into the tech space, Ms. Grace Bomu, the one responsible for my advocacy and lawyering Mr. Stephen Kiptinness, KICTANet Convenor and trailblazer in the field of ICT Policy, Grace Githaiga, my Co – Organizer at Nairobi Legal Hackers Rosemary Koech – Kimwatu, Thought leader and University Lecturer Prof. Bitange Ndemo whose way of thinking I hope to emulate, Lawyers in Technology Lean In Circle convenor Linda Anene who has found a way to bring leading female lawyers in technology in to one space, Founder and CEO of the Lawyers Hub who has built a fantastic community of lawyers and techies, Linda Bonyo, my seniors and kickass tech lawyers Nzilani Mweu and Mutindi Muema and talented young lawyer Sumaiyah Omar whose future is much brighter than she even knows.

The Workchop Conversation with Oluwatobi Ibiyemi, Tech Lawyer and Associate, Lawyerpp

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the law, tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

For this week, we have Oluwatobi Ibiyemi, a Nigerian Lawyer with in-depth experience in Legal Tech, Data Privacy Protection, Business Development, Product Management, Regulatory Compliance, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Legal Thinking and Legal Design. He is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators and possesses a Google Certification in Digital Skills. Oluwatobi is an Associate, Legal & Innovations at LAWYERPP LegalTech Limited and the Head of Operations at PhoneFlag Limited, and StartUP Life. He is currently an MBA candidate specialised in Advanced Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Automation at Nexford University, USA.

Tell us briefly about yourself, your journey into tech and law and what spurred that interest.
My interest in Tech bubbled up after the completion of my LL.B program in 2019. I discerned that I have
always been a sucker for getting things done seamlessly, and technology consistently provides this for me.
I have an older sibling who majors in Cybersecurity, and he mentored me on how to transition into the tech
space. I took an interest in the Python programming language.
My transition into the Tech space started off the back of a course – Computer Science for Lawyers – that I
took on edX, tutored by lecturers from Harvard during the total lockdown in 2020. A month before my
Call=to=Bar, I got a job in a Legal Tech Firm, where I had to wear many hats within a short period. The joy of
watching UI/UX designers express your thought process on Figma whilst developers implement these
designs and watching millions of users use the solution in real-time cemented my transition into the tech
space.

As an Associate at Lawyerpp, what does your job entail?
I have been part of the Legal & Innovations Team at LAWYERPP LegalTech Limited since 2019. The
difference between working in a startup and a long-standing organisation is crystal clear. I joined
LAWYERPP LegalTech Limited in its early days, which has seen me take on several roles in the design,
development, and deployment of the company’s flagship mobile and web app solution called LAWYERPP.
The flagship solution affords Lawyers with the tools to run virtual law firms, amongst other functionalities.
The Panic Button feature allows your emergency contact(s) to track your movement in real-time via a map
should you ever be in an emergency.
The need for a subject matter expert at the intersection of Law and Tech to develop a product that both
Lawyers and an everyday person can use whilst operating within the ambits of the law formed the core of my job role . My responsibilities cut across Product Management, Business Development, and Legal
Advisory. I ensure the smooth transition of the ideas of the management into their implementation by the
tech team and onward transmission to the end-users. I would say the majority of what I do was learned on
the job and through personal development. It has not been a piece of cake, but it has been fun!

Combining your roles as an Associate with the other things you do, how do you stay productive and still not feel overwhelmed? What is your approach to problem-solving?
Transitioning to remote work was a game-changer for me. Working from home helped in the effective
organisation and management of my schedule. I concurrently run my MBA program and a course on data
protection. To remain productive, I carved out a dedicated workstation with a notepad detailing my tasks for
the day and a timeline assigned to each task. I always tick off each completed task to create a sense of
progress for myself. I endeavour to stick to these timelines, although I make them flexible enough
depending on what needs to get prioritised. I also make sure I take a recess at intervals whenever I feel a
mental block.
My approach to abstract problems has always been critical thinking. I believe there is always a smart and
less stressful way to do things. I usually approach a problem using the worst-case scenario. It allows me to
anticipate possible outcomes whilst proffering the solution to the primary problem.

What advice would you have given yourself at the start of your career?
Luck is only an opportunity taken by the most prepared person in the room. Education gets you to the door,
but connections often get you into the room. Go out more often – given that I’m an introvert – and
strategically place yourself to meet the right people. Up your value twice, and then put a tax on it when
negotiating your worth.

What was your biggest misconception about legal innovation before you got into the space?
After my call-to-bar and transition into the legal tech space, I ignorantly believed that Lawyers must learn
how to code. This was my excuse for learning just enough about the python programming language.
However, I soon realised that the legal tech space is wide enough to accommodate Lawyers without any
coding background to play vital roles in legal innovation. These roles include privacy managers, legal
solutions architects, and non-technical project managers, amongst others.
Of course, I wouldn’t discourage lawyers from coding. Be my guest if you have a flair for it. I can do a bit of
Object-Oriented Programming myself. However, you can function effectively in the legal tech space without
any coding knowledge.

Lawyers are more often than not resistant to change and risk-averse. How do you get them to see the value of a legal tech tool?
In retrospect, I had a conversation with a colleague whilst in Law School on the viability of law firms
performing their internal operations remotely and without the usage of papers. He believed it wasn’t
possible. Of course, the only way to convince him was to provide an example of a law firm operating fully
remotely, which unfortunately I couldn’t provide at the time.
Lawyers are factfinders and rarely base decisions on opinions. The best way to convince lawyers to accept
change is to make them see the value it brings to their practice. A few years back, lawyers would prefer to
go to the library to read law reports. However, there are numerous e-law reports that lawyers subscribe to today without much persuasion. So, I simply explain the value proposition of the product or change to the
practice of law by the lawyer so that he can adapt to such changes.

What would you never be caught doing on a weekend? How do you take a break after a long day at work?
“Never to be caught unfresh” lol. I enjoy playing video games on my weekends, especially Call of Duty. I
play with a brain-training app on my phone that also helps with my concentration level. Ultimately, my
weekends are for catching up on personal projects.

Funny question, someone gives you an elephant. You can’t sell it or give it away. What
do you do with the elephant?

Hmm, tricky question. At the risk of sounding too technical, I would not accept your elephant because I do
not have the knowledge nor technical know-how to tend to it. After all, the question does not force me to
accept the elephant but says I can’t give it away or sell it. It was never mine. The implication is that as a
manager, not every deal should be consented to.
However, to answer the question literally, I would hire a professional to take care of the elephant whilst it is
still in my possession.

Who would you like to answer these questions?
Endurance Agbor & Onyinye Ojukwu

The Workchop Conversation with Chimdinma Adriel Onwukwe, Lawyer & Product Manager

The Workchop Conversation with Chimdinma Adriel Onwukwe, Lawyer & Product Manager

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the law, tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

For this week, we have Chimdinma Adriel Onwukwe, a trained Lawyer and a passion-driven product manager with expertise in taking real customer requirements and developing products that are valuable, innovative, and successful. When she is not managing tech products, Chimdinma works as a Programme Officer and Curator for #KaweAfrica – an organization that runs book clubs and promotes the reading culture through the adoption and transformation of libraries in Nigeria. She also runs a social enterprise – THE AFRO READER – which enables her to analyse the intersection between literature, culture and society. Chimdinmaisan advocate for quality education, development, technology and literacy, and she believes ONE BOOK AT A TIME can change the world!

Tell us a bit about yourself, how your journey has been to how you got to where you are today.

I’m Chimdinma Onwukwe. A Lawyer and a Product Manager. I graduated from the University of Ibadan and I attended the Nigerian Law School, Yenagoa Campus. My journey has been quite fascinating. Like they say: Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. While I studied law and love law, I am actually obsessed with literature. After law school, I served in one of the Big Fours. The plan was to get retained and begin my career from there. However, things didn’t go as planned and I began to think of my WHAT NEXT.
A few weeks post-NYSC, a friend shared an opportunity in an ed-tech company: a subscription based platform that makes books affordable for readers. Anything for literature. I was excited. The role was for Content Acquisition and Strategy. I got the job, started figuring out the whole tech thing, took courses in product management to become more grounded and the rest they say is history. Since then, I’ve worked in AgriTech and recently got into FinTech.

The transition from being a lawyer to a product manager, how has that been like? What was the motivation behind the transition? What challenges have you had to overcome in this regard?

The transition has been overwhelming, inspiring and also challenging. The motivation behind the transition was and is MONEY. Haha! To be honest, I wanted more. I’m quite ambitious and I have audacious goals. I didn’t get to practice law during NYSC and I didn’t want to waste my time applying to firms etc. And so, I took the opportunity that came to me and turned it into gold. The challenges would be learning new and technical things. It’s as though I’m going through school all over again but the benefits keep me going.

Asides from being a product manager, you also work as a program manager and book curator, how do you create time to read books, what systems do you put in place to read them or does reading come naturally to you?

Reading comes naturally to me. I’ve been a lifelong student of literature and I love to read anything and everything – save for mathematical theories. Hahaha. I am always reading something – short stories, long essays and actual fictional novels. Adulting is difficult and so I don’t get to read as often as I would love to. However, I give myself a target; 1 chapter in the morning and 1 chapter at night. Depending. Sometimes, I read while I grab a quick lunch. I try to do at least one book a month. I am currently reading ‘The baby is mine’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite – a wickedly dark story about pandemics, parents and playboys.

Could you walk us through a typical workday in the life of a lawyer turned product manager? What apps and/or systems do you put in place to ensure you stay productive?


1. Get up early (6 am)
2. Review to-dos from the previous day (emails, action points, signups etc)
3. Stand-ups with the engineering team
4. Business support
5. Business Calls (To users, team members etc)
6. Read an article on product management and industry-related articles
7. Strategy documentation, meetings and reporting.
8. To ensure I stay productive, I lock all my activities on google calendar. I also use Monday.com, Trello and the good old Google sheet.

Since your transition into being a PM, do you think your knowledge of the law has in any way been of relevance to your work as a PM?

Well, not really. It’s an entirely new field. My knowledge of the law has actually been more useful in the Business Support and Operations part of my role.

What advice would you have given yourself at the start of your career?

Do not box yourself.

Could you share what your favourite books are so far? Books that in a way, changed the trajectory of your life.

– A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

– Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (I wrote an essay about how Americanah changed the way I saw the world. You can read on my website – www.theafroreader.com)

Funny question, what fictional character do you identify with the most and why?

Ifemelu in Americanah. She questioned everything. And she kinda lived life on her own terms.

Who else would you like to answer these questions?

Bukola Ibirogba.

The Workchop Conversation with Joseph Badru, Senior Product Manager

The Workchop Conversation with Joseph Badru, Senior Product Manager

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the law, tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

For this week, we have Joseph Badru, a trained Lawyer, who has transitioned into the Tech Ecosystem to become a thorough-bred Agile Product Manager with experience in ICT4D. In the past 4 years, Joseph has successfully managed 15 Tech Products while providing innovation and digital transformation consulting services to different clients. He is always excited to engage in new challenges and build products that users love. He volunteers as the Lead Organizer for Product Tank Abuja and Abuja Legal Hackers. He is also the Host and Lead Curator of the PM Magic Podcast, where he discusses tips, tricks and strategies to get ahead in Product Management. He writes about his learnings, courses and journey regularly on LinkedIn.

Tell us briefly how the transition was, from being a lawyer to becoming immersed in the tech ecosystem, even as far as leading tech communities like Decagon and becoming a Product Manager. Was there anything in particular that spurred your interest in the tech ecosystem?

My interest in Tech started growing even before I got into Law School. I realized that all the ideas and interests that excited me had a major component of digital technology in them. I didn’t know there was such a career path called Product Management at the time, but I wanted to get into the ecosystem. Two weeks after my Bar exams, I got a job as a Brand and Communications Associate in a Tech Company, where I was required to create and devise strategies and content for oral and written communications for the Company. It was during my brief time in this role that I discovered the role of a Product Manager. It picked my interest and the rest is history. The thought of managing the process of building digital products from just ideas to live products people can use made product management so fascinating.

As a lawyer, product manager and now a COO, what would you say your greatest challenge has been? Considering how rigid the legal profession can be.

It was not easy transitioning because I was moving from a very technical role to another field that was really technical, that is, from Law into tech. I had to really learn a lot and learn on the job, I was expected to deliver as someone who already had some sort of experience and exposure. I didn’t know a lot, I had to check a lot of things on Google even during meetings but I also had really helpful colleagues who made the whole process easier even though they still used me to catch cruise.

With all your experiences from leading tech communities, being a Product manager, tech lawyer etc, what one experience would you say has shaped you so far and why?

I would say the experience I had starting a career in tech and product management, having to learn the ropes. I had really supportive colleagues, even as they knew I didn’t know a lot, they helped me through the process. Although, they could be mean a few times, lol but it was all part of an interesting moment that built a kind of foundation for all the things I have learnt so far in my journey.

You lead Product Tank Abuja and Legal Hackers Abuja, with the experiences you have, what would be your advice to lawyers interested in the tech space?

My advice to lawyers who are interested in tech would be, don’t take the backseat, don’t look it at it from the sidelines, find something to do within tech. Do your law stuff but also get real domain knowledge. Volunteer to do some things in tech, decide to learn something that may not be in your regular legal work. Stick in your head into it and understand how it all works, the process itself. Be active in tech.

What is your go-to app for staying productive?

My Go-To app for staying productive is my Google Calendar and Microsoft To-Do. They help me get work done and track my progress.

Would you either read a book or listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube video? What book or podcast or YouTube video would it be?

I really love books but I have not been reading enough of them. I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos about Product Management and Faith. I also listen to Podcasts quite often.

Finally, and a funny question, if you had a time machine, would you travel to the future or back to the past? If it is the past, what would you change? If it is the future, what would you like to know?

Seeing as I already know everything that has happened in the past, I would prefer to go into the future to see my progress with my product management. I would also like to know what I eventually did with my law degree. It would be really interesting to have that kind of time machine.

Who would you like to answer these questions?

Phillips Nwachukwu and Adeboro Odunlami

The Workchop Conversation with Vincent Okonkwo, Legal & Compliance Associate at Renmoney.

The Workchop Conversation with Vincent Okonkwo, Legal & Compliance Associate at Renmoney.

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the legal, tech and justice space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

For this week, we have Vincent Chimobi Okonkwo, a Legal and Compliance Associate at Renmoney Microfinance Bank, a leading fintech company in Nigeria. Before joining Renmoney, he was an Associate with Jackson, Etti & Edu. He is a tech-focused lawyer (and a budding product manager), with diverse experiences cutting fintech advisory, finance and financial services, regulatory compliance, commercial intellectual property, corporate law and technology policy. Beyond professional life, Vincent is fun-loving and an ambivert. He is a writer, an unpublished poet and a pseudo-music-snob (with a preeminent taste for indie rock).

  1. Tell us briefly how you started and how you got to where you are today.

The short story is that I started from the bottom now I am here. Lol. The long story though, is that I started out working with a top law firm in Lagos. I got an offer to work with them during my service and I worked there for three years before making the ambitious transition to my current role as an in-house counsel. It has been a pretty incredible journey so far, with a lot of learning curves and fast-tracked growth.  

2. Walk us through what your job at Renmoney entails? What is it about your job that you enjoy the most?

In my current role, my work ranges from regulatory compliance (which typically includes navigating AML/CFT, CTR and STR compliance, to just about any other CBN or bank related compliance requirements), to product compliance (which entails interfacing with the Products team or the Marketing team as the case may be, to ensure products are either in line with regulatory requirements or are well provision for in terms of documentation), to contract negotiation, drafting and management, to company secretarial, to a bit of financial advisory, and some form of general risk advisory. The part of my job I enjoy the most is the fluidity of the work I do. Because Fintech is such a tightly regulated industry and because my Company gets quite busy (both literally and figuratively), I get to be involved in the work done in many of the operational parts of the Company and contribute value directly through the work they do in the form of the advice I support with or documents I help prepare or manage. This gives me a sense of variety, since the thinking or skills I apply to each task depends on the nature of work done by the operational team I am supporting and may be quite varied. It also give me a sense of excitement, as it always feel like I am contributing value direct to source.  

3. With your work at Renmoney, the ILCA, Millennial Lawyer, how do you keep track of what you have to do?

I would be lying if I said I am doing very great at joggling everything I have going on and that all of the things I have on the stove are cooking fine. Some end up burning a bit and for some, I may forget to even light the fire. But to be fair, what helps me keep on track is the people I work with on each of these platforms. With my job, I work with an amazing team of people who are always hands on deck and who are always looking to better themselves or those around them. This helps keep me fully grounded and serves as a constant source of direction and motivation. The same goes for the other platforms. For the ILCA, I have had the luck of working with really forward-thinking people, who are always outdoing themselves. When I feel out of touch, I only have to go on the platforms emails and see the amount of crazy stuff the Capacity Building or Partnership guys are cooking and that would re-calibrate me right into form. For Millennial Lawyer, I have an amazing team which I am still trying to get fully functional – so it is not all rosy yet, in all honesty. It helps though that the people I do have on the team are really competent people who I believe I can rely on when things finally get ticking. 

4. What tasks do you dislike but still do? What gadgets do you rely on to stay productive?

For the first part of the question, I wouldn’t say dislike per say, but I am not much a fan of regulatory filings, which is funny because it is a huge part of what we do as in-house counsel in the Fintech/Banking industry. I find them routine, and routine can get very boring, very fast. But they are faciendum – they just must be done. In terms of gadgets, I rely on my phone, alarms and my fully synchronized calendar. I also try to scribble on notes, in the old fashioned way, to keep track of tasks. I don’t have a catalog of gadgets that help me keep productive. I tried some productivity apps previously, but it turned out I need to deliberately map them into my existing systems and I struggled with that. I am looking to start using Calendly and Engross. Since those are targeted to improve efficiency in specific quarters, they may be easier to work with. 

5. What are the things you enjoy doing on a typical weekend? How do you recharge or take a break?

My typically weekend has an element of “smash and grab” to it. (Not in the sense of a robbery, of course.) They basically trickle into existence and then take off, ram into something and crash land on Sunday evenings as I am scramble to recalibrate in time for Monday. Usually, I catch up on some personal tasks over the weekend, between doing laundry and other house chores. Personal tasks could include working on some parts of the deliverables for Millennial Lawyer or getting two hours in on the Product Management course I am currently taking on Udemy. They could also mean finishing up articles or coming good on gigs from friends. On a very good weekend, I might have time to cook, binge on anime a bit and maybe even visit friends. On a bad weekend, I just stumble through and hope against hope for a second Sunday. 

6. What are you currently listening to, watching or reading?

Listening: I love rap – so I have been binging on J. Coles Off-Season for a while now. I have also been trying to discover new alternative/indie rock bands to listen to. I have recently discovered/rediscovered Matt Maeson, Doc Aquatic, Foster the People, Two Door Cinema Club and Kodaline, so I have been listening to those as well. Watching: The Euros – although my favourite teams Portugal and France suffered early disappointments. I am rooting for England now, because, well, Commonwealth. I am also on two animes with weekly releases, Boku No Hero Academia (Season 5) and Tokyo Revengers. Reading: Currently, I am only reading materials from Cole and Evan to be honest. (Cole and Evan teach the Product Management course I am taking).

7. What is a problem you are still trying to solve?

The one problem I can remember off-the-cuff which I am currently struggling with is getting everything going with Millennial Lawyer, the content-aggregation platform I am trying to build. I think I  am way too finnicky with everything and I am slowing down progress myself. I must find a way to get things to a place that I can accept that the train can get on the track and just let go.

8.  If you had the chance, what would you tell your younger self?

To my “pre-adulting” self, I would say “get even better grades, do even more extracurricular and try out for more opportunities, especially those with international flavour.” I have learnt that despite how much I like to think I did in my younger days, I left too much time for faffing and I have paid for it in some ways. I would like to have given my current self even more boost, if I can afford to. Also, I would tell myself to get involved in the tech industry, in whatever capacity, as early as I can.

9. Who would you like to answer these questions? 

I would recommend Ademola Adeyoju.

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