The Law Students Association (LAWSA) at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law of the University of Liberia, has launched a project to remodel the Law School palava hut into a multipurpose facility. The project, which is estimated at a little over US$80,000, is anticipated to be completed and dedicated within three months .
The ground breaking ceremony held at the Law School on UL Capitol Hill Campus on Friday, September 16, 2022 witnessed a boost in cash support to the project from high profile guests. Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor made an initial contribution of US$2,000, followed by International Aluminium Factory Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ezzat Eid’s initial contribution of US$20,000 which will be given in two forms and parts– $10,000 in cash and $10,000 in construction materials. Other pledges and cash donations were also announced by other high profile guests who partook in the groundbreaking program.
When completed this December, the multipurpose building is expected to have a Moot Court (a co-curricular activity) for law students to practice as if they were actually in a courtroom. It is expected to provide a space that can host 100 persons, be used for the orientation of new law students, and also have canteen and bathrooms, among others.
In a special statement, Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor thanked the Law School students’ leadership for the project, describing it as a worthy project that would make the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law a better place. She recommended that the top of the building be cast so that later on much more could be done there.
Additionally, Vice President Howard – Taylor said the Moot Court is an enlightening experience, and she thinks all students who are attempting to be lawyers should have a chance to practice at the moot court on a regular basis.
She said such an experience would make the students get an idea of what it is and get rid of the fear by the time they get to the actual courtroom. She thanked the Dean of the Law School, Prof. Dr. Jallah Barbu, (Cllr.), for taking on the responsibility of building the Law School, saying she knows that they are one of the best in the world.
It was also announced during the program that as a graduate of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Vice President Howard – Taylor will be joining the faculty there to teach a course alongside Dean Barbu.
Dr. Moses Zinnah, UL Vice President for Academic Affairs, representing President Julius J.S. Nelson, Jr., applauded the Law School and the students, noting that the Law School is always one of the pace-setters at the University of Liberia. Even in the midst of 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, Dr. Barbu, 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 at 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.
The Dean of the Law School, Prof. Dr. Jallah Barbu said the Law School will grow in structure, in academia and in self – respect.
“I assure you that as I welcome you here today, this palava hut, when you come here two months from now, I will welcome you in a multipurpose building,” said Cllr. Barbu.
Cllr. Barbu gave appreciation to the students, Administration and Faculty of the Law School who are committed to a work. He said he is glad that the Administration and Faculty of the Law School are together impacting knowledge into people they believe will take this country to the next step.
Student Williamina G.E. Buddy, President of LAWSA, thanked the Administration of the University of Liberia, the Leadership, Faculty and Staff of the Law School and all those who gave support to the project.
“You can rest assured that what you have given today will not go in vain,” she said. Madam Buddy added that a building will be erected and contributors to the project will be called to witness the dedication of the facility.
LAWSA Acting Project Director student Vivian D. Dogbey disclosed that the over US$80,000 project which started from the past leadership is intended to provide a space for students and faculty members.
She said the plan is to have the multipurpose facility more spacious, and modernized.
Student Dogbey explained that when the project is completed, they will have a space that will take about a hundred persons, and they will also use it for the orientation of new Law School students.
Additionally, she said they intend to include in the remodelled palava hut project bathrooms, a canteen and a mini kitchen which will be outsourced, and some comfortable chairs where students can sit while awaiting their class time, among others.