Afam Ikeakanam ’23 LL.M.: Seeing the World in a Different Dimension

A practicing lawyer in Nigeria, Ikeakanam spent his LL.M. year immersed in U.S. corporate law and taking advantage of experiential learning opportunities to put theory into practice.

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Why the Law: Growing up, Afam Ikeakanam would watch CNN, BBC News, and Sky News with his father. He expressed an interest in international relations, but his father recommended pursuing a law degree: “With a law degree, you can conquer the world,” he said. Ikeakanam’s interest in corporate law and governance began with the 2008 global financial crisis. He was called to the Nigerian bar in 2018 and began working for one of Nigeria's leading commercial law firms, Aluko & Oyebode. By enrolling in the LL.M. degree program, Ikeakanam planned to broaden his perspective on how law and business connect. “I still had this soft spot for international law, and that’s one of the reasons why I applied to Columbia Law School for the LL.M., because [the program] isn’t specialized. It has a wide range of course offerings, giving students the privilege of designing their program.”

Favorite Law School Experience: Ikeakanam was drawn to Columbia Law’s innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, and experiential learning opportunities, but bonding with his classmates and exploring New York City rounded out the experience. “One of the moments that stands out for me is the breakfast that we have in William and June Warren Hall. You have the opportunity to interact with other students, not just the LL.M.s, faculty, and staff,” he says. “It’s a great networking opportunity. Friendships have been built based on having a five-minute breakfast.”

At Columbia Law: Extern, Colgate-Palmolive Co.; member, Columbia Business and Law Association; member, Black Law Students Association. 

After Columbia Law: Planning to continue working in private legal practice.

“As a lawyer, my ambition is to meet the legal and business needs of my clients, while supporting them through an increasingly complex global regulatory framework.”