How to Spot A Lying Law School Student

You think lawyers are trustworthy? The stereotypical Hollywood lawyer isn’t; from criminal lawyers to corporate lawyers. The few exceptions are Alan Shore and Matlock. Has Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) casted its own stereotypical lawyer yet? They might want to consider the Nigerian Students of Law School.

A few days ago, the results for Law School students was released. You have to be around a few of the students to appreciate the excitement and how it is all that they talk about. The history of difficulty of the exams is mythical; there is so much mystery around the actual marking scheme (at least as understood by the students). This myth is further perpetrated by lack of transparency in the assessment process; students are not provided with their individual scores per subject/course, only the grade. So much is unknown.

Given the abundance of mystery around assessments in Law School, some students are exploiting that fact. Well… at least they think they are; but are totally wrong. Some students bluff about their results; dem dey LIE. They go lying about their scores (pushing it higher) because they are certain that the truth is safe in the mystery that pervades Nigerian Law School Examination. But is their truth really safe?

Everyone has a friend or two that are pathological lairs. If you don’t have, then its possible that you are that pathological liar. These people we have met throughout our school days. But in Nigerian Law School, it seems social pressure to impress is pushing more people into lying about results.

Unfortunately, and perhaps unknown to the liars, it is quite easy to verify their results especially by their classmates. All a person needs is an internet connection, basic understanding of alphabetical ordering, and a Law-School student’s valid examination number (this number is why a it is easy for a classmate). Also important is that you might need to have time to spare for this truthful digging.

This is how it works. Say your name is Danladi Olu Emeka (Emeka being the surname). Say I am a student, my number is 123456 and my surname is Daniel. I know that Emeka comes before Daniel (alphabetically), so I make a rough estimation of how many digits I will go backwards to arrive at surnames starting with E. Eventually I will get to Emeka by jumping numbers. For more detail read the following paragraph; skip if not interested.

To make a calculated estimation do some maths: find out the average number of students  starting with each alphabet assuming students’ surnames are spread evenly across the alphabets. Then use that number to jump as you attempt. Assuming there were 260 students in the class, a good jumping number would be 260/26 = 10; where 26 is for number of alphabets. In my example I would jump from 123456 to 123446 (and to 123436 if not there). Once I hit E, I will move at slower increments… until I find the Truth. YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH! (Tom Cruise’ character in A Few Good Men)

Do you swear to dig The Truth, The whole Truth and nothing but the Truth? I do… with my internet connection.

Why am I writing this? Is it gossip, Amebo, being nosy… ? It could be construed as any of the options listed but (if you believe me) I see it as one more way we can use technology to keep people honest. I mentioned in a previous post the effect of paying taxes electronically in Ekiti; and how it saved them about 900% (yes nine hundred, not a typo) of their revenue. In the mentioned previous post, several options of engaging the government using technology were explored and some are soon to be implemented in Nigeria. That is at the government level. It doesn’t hurt to keep some of us honest as well; especially the very important  lawyers.


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