Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, has broken ground for the remodeling of the University of Liberia law school palava hut into a multi-purpose building valued at over US$80,000 that will create better space for law students and faculty members.
The new project is initiated by the leadership of the Law Students Association (LAWSA) of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia.
The building, when constructed, will comprise a moot court (courtroom), restaurant, bathroom, and big space for orientation for new students entering the law school.
“I know this law school is one of the best in the world. As we grow and develop, we will all do our best. Students who are desirous of being lawyers should have the opportunity to practice at the moot court regularly so that, by the time they get to the court, they have an idea of what it is and already get rid of the fear that comes upon them when they enter the court for the first time,” Howard-Taylor said.
Howard-Taylor, who provided an initial contribution of US$2,000, described the initiative as worthy and said she believes that the completion of the project will make the law school better.
At the groundbreaking ceremony held on September 16, at the Law School Palava Hut, Howard-Taylor said she was delighted about the project and lauded the Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Cllr. Dr. Jallah Barbu, for taking on such an awesome initiative.
The Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Dr. Jallah Barbu said the institution believes in the rule of law and is now helping to make the environment better, where everyone and anyone will want to be.
“I am proud to lead a group of professors who are committed to their work. Most importantly, the administration and the faculty of the law school are very proud to be imparting knowledge to people who we believe — and we are very certain — that they will take this country to the next step, which is evidenced by the leader of law students,” Barbu added.
He said Vice President Howard-Taylor, who is also a graduate of the Law School, will be joining the faculty to begin lecturing at the Law School and will bring her worthy experience.
“The president of the Law Students Association, Williamina G. E. Budy, promised if elected to work with the administration to ensure that the law students have a better place to sit and do other activities,” Acting project coordinator of LAWSA Vivian D. Dogbey said.
Dogbey added that the project, when completed, will be used by both the faculty and students and will address some of the challenges, including the orientation of new students entering law school.
“We intend to ensure that law students will not go everywhere to find food to eat considering that our classes are back-to-back. We will create smaller spaces to sit and wait for class time and also chat with colleagues and faculty members. This facility will most importantly complement the existing structures on campus,” she said.
Dogbey noted that the facility will be used by both the faculty and students entering the law school as a place to sit and wait for class time.
According to him, the project will be completed in three months, stating “this is for us and faculty members, and therefore we need your support.”
Dr. Moses Zinnah, UL Vice President for Academic Affairs, representing President Julius J. S. Nelson, Jr., applauded the faculty of the Law School and the students, noting that the Law School is always one of the pace-setters at the University of Liberia.
Even amid challenges, he said, the law school has always found means to make sure that learning goes on for students and faculty.
Meanwhile, Dr. Zinnah used the occasion to announce that the University Administration is working with the Dean of the Law School to ensure that within the next two years it can begin offering an advanced degree which could be a Juris Doctor (JD) or Master of Laws (LLM).
“We have a lot of good lawyers that have graduated from here. I know in the end they don’t want to just be LLB, they want to pursue something else. So we are working with you,” said Prof. Zinnah.
Meanwhile, the president of the LAWSA, Budy, lauded the students, administration, business community, and faculty, as well as supporters of the project and assured the students of the completion of the project in the course of time stated.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held along with the formal opening of LAWSA and Law Journal Offices. It brought together Ezzat Eid, chief executive officer of International Aluminum Factory; Sam S. Saryon, deputy director for operations of NSA and head of Crime Stoppers; Robert W. Budy, Commissioner General of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS); and Abraham Kromah, former deputy police director for operations.