Meet Tayo Fabusiwa of Legal Pages. Tayo has interest in Corporate Law, Finance and Career Development. He is an alumnus at Obafemi Awolowo University and the founder of Legal Pages. Tayo had a team of five from 3 different countries who worked to create content and shared same across borders. InterviewStories presents Tayo Fabusiwa.
Can we meet you?
My name is Tayo Fabusiwa and I am currently a Bar II Candidate of the Nigerian Law School. Over time, I’ve developed keen interests in Corporate Law, Finance and Career Development.
I am the founder of Legal Pages, a web-based platform committed to helping law students and young lawyers access opportunities and resources.
In my spare time, I write on topical issues around my interests, give personal development tips, and I enjoy networking too!
What inspired Legal Pages?
Primarily, my passion to make impact and effect change in my little way, especially in relation to personal development. However, a chain of events led to the establishment of the platform.
In my penultimate year as an undergraduate law student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, I started getting involved in extracurricular activities. This gave me some level of exposure and room for capacity building.
Subsequently, I was privileged to represent my Faculty at the 2017 Price E. Monroe Space Law Moot Court Competition in South Africa. This opportunity paved a way for me to network with like minds from other Universities across Africa. Having engaged many of these students, it became clear that the information gap between students and the employment market (including the legal profession) wasn’t only peculiar to Nigeria.
These motivated me to launch a pan-African network of students and young lawyers committed to disseminating apposite career tips and advice, and ultimately change the narrative.
How were you able to convert the idea to reality?
After conceiving the idea, it took me over 3 weeks of consultations and thinking to make the first move. I had previously chosen 3 brand names before I finally settled for “Legal Pages”.
Well, following this period of strategic thinking, the first set of things I did include creating an online presence for the brand by securing a WordPress blog, and setting up accounts on four social media platforms. I also wrote articles daily. Later on, I figured that the platform would be more effective with an actual team of committed students. Eventually, a team of five was created (which included representatives from Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria) and we worked to create weekly content and shared same across borders.
Summarily, the idea coming to fruition is attributed to teamwork, commitment and consistency.
How did you select your team of five? What attracted them to Legal Pages?
Networking. Whether on LinkedIn or at events I attended. Upon meeting someone I felt was motivated, I told them about my idea for the platform and offered them an opportunity to get on board. I also engaged them to find out other qualities they might have and finally made selections. Weeks after, in a bid to expand the team, we made calls for brand ambassadors and content providers and eventually received hundreds of applications.
To the second question, I would say it was my motivation at the time. I was able to articulate my goals for the platform, set timelines for certain achievements and lay out a practical approach to attain most of it. More so, the fact that Legal Pages is addressing a relatable issue — information gap among students — got them to buy into the idea.
How was the beginning like after the team of five accepted to be part of it?
It was fast-paced. Everyone was equally motivated to get things done and meet the goal we had set. We understood consistency was key at such an early stage, so we rolled out content almost on a daily basis, developed initiatives to benefit our audience and also engaged in various meaningful partnerships with organizations within and outside Nigeria. More so, we didn’t have many financial commitments, so funding wasn’t part of our immediate concerns. So yes, there was a lot of work, but we enjoyed all of it.
Within our first 6 months of operation, we were nominated by a foremost Nigerian institution as a leading student brand.
How long has Legal Pages existed and what are the ups and downs encountered so far?
Legal Pages was established in the summer of 2017. We will be celebrating our third year of operation on 30th September, 2020.
Just like any establishment, we have also faced several high and low moments.
Some of our high moments include the impact we have made on several students and the positive reviews we receive weekly. We have helped many students review their CVs, some of which eventually secured internships and even scholarships. Other remarkable feats include every single initiative the Legal Pages team has successfully organized and executed, like our quarterly Magazine, periodic virtual mentorship classes, contests and competitions, interviews with seasoned professionals and much more. All of these have helped us in achieving our objectives.
A major letdown has been funding. Like I have expressed earlier, Legal Pages is a student-run platform and we majorly depend on sponsorships for executing various initiatives, but many times, we receive sponsorships either quite late or not at all. This problem was the reason our planned Law Students’ Conference 2019 in Kampala, Uganda fell through.
However, we have started monetizing the platform and are beginning to fund the majority of our needs.
How does the organization raise funding for the platform to keep it running?
Just as I previously explained, we receive sponsorships from some of our partner companies and individuals.
We also monetize the platform through paid adverts on our Magazine, paid media partnerships and a couple more revenue streams. These have been used to cater for operating costs.
What plans do you have for Legal Pages in the future and where do you expect it to be in the next decade?
The plan has always been to create a platform where students across the continent can network, collaborate, and gain free or cheap access to vital career resources that are not taught in the classroom.
By 2030, it’s expected that we are Africa’s number one resource center for students and young professionals.
What will you advice Law students to do differently?
Be more intentional about your career trajectory. Everything you do counts at this stage, even the little ones. Strive to attain the best grades you can, get involved in extracurricular activities, research and apply for internships and other opportunities. At the point of graduation, make your CV into a cocktail mix of academic excellence, experience and achievements. This is because the legal market for young lawyers has become even more competitive.
Also, in this age and time, the importance of networking cannot be overemphasized. Interact with colleagues and practitioners, home and abroad. A helpful tool in achieving this is LinkedIn.
How can one get across to you or the team at Legal Pages?
I can be personally reached by email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legal Pages is also active on social media (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). You can visit this link to easily follow us: legalpages.com.ng/contact-us.
Our email address is email@example.com.
The first step to attaining success is having an ambition. The next step is to take appropriate and deliberate action. One will not thrive in isolation of the other.