Maritime trade is one of the most essential elements of a healthy world economy, and protection of its workers is one reason that Laborde Earles established our Maritime Workers Scholarship. This year, the $2,500 award goes to Cynthia Olowu, who often goes by her Yoruba name Tenilola.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Olowu’s first interaction with maritime trade was at an early age. She explained in an interview with Laborde Earles representatives that her father, a Nigerian Naval Officer, was a huge influence on her life. Originally, she intended to follow in his footsteps. Instead, she has pursued a legal career in Maritime and Admiralty law.
Tenilola Olowu’s Studies
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Olowu graduated with a law degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria (UNILAG), where she founded and served as the first president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society. Then, she entered a top firm in Lagos, settling into the Shipping, Aviation, and International Trade Practice group.
Today, Olowu studies in the Maritime and Admiralty Law program at Tulane University, where she is pursuing a Master of Laws (LLM) degree. She served as managing editor of a recent collaborative study, the Tulane Chinese Maritime Case Project, in conjunction with the Shanghai International Shipping Institute and Shanghai Maritime University.
In the future, Olowu has big plans. After getting her LLM, she plans to get additional Optional Practice Training, achieve a position in a government regulatory agency, use both of those private and public sector positions to achieve her long-term goal. That goal? Serving as an International Consultant on International Maritime Affairs across borders.
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Ultimately, Olowu seeks to use the education she receives through school and hands-on experience to facilitate the improvement and development of Nigerian maritime trade in particular and African trade in general. She’s a big fan of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), but she foresees plenty of room for growth (especially given necessary regulations regarding emissions and climate change.)
Laborde Earles is proud to support an attorney like Tenilola Olowu, and we’re confident that her passion for improving international trade and protecting maritime workers will justify her $2,500 win.
You can read Tenilola’s winning essay here.