Bamisope Adeyanju ’20 LL.M.: The Human Rights Attorney

Hometown: Ondo State, Nigeria

Why the law? Bamisope Adeyanju was involved in environmental advocacy work as an undergraduate and was inspired by how much change came from engaging with states and local governments. She saw the law as being an instrument for social engineering and a strategic means to actualize progress in her community.

Why Columbia? As a human rights attorney, Adeyanju used the law to promote economic and social rights and accountability for spending of public resources in Nigeria. Columbia Law was always at the top of her list for further study with its experiential learning opportunities and strong human rights focus.

Advice: “Utilize all of Columbia’s resources. They are plentiful and very helpful.”

Law fact: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Adeyanju is bringing attention to the issues of water and sanitation in rural communities. (Read her article, written with fellow Columbia Law student Aroosa Khokher ’21, on the topic in the Human Rights at Home Blog.) Adenyanju was also awarded the Parker School Recognition of Achievement in International and Comparative Law.

Outside the classroom: Recipient of Columbia Law’s prestigious Baker McKenzie Scholarship; editor of the American Review of International Arbitration; board member of the Environmental Law Society, Columbia Law Students for Disability Rights, and the Student Public Interest Network; Columbia University Campus Conversations Facilitator; Harlem Tutorial Project tutor, and member of the Human Rights Clinic.

Career plans: Adeyanju will work as a policy fellow at Accountability Counsel in Washington, D.C., with a focus on international development projects and the rights of host communities.