[Community call] Legal Empowerment in Nigeria (21 November, 2019)

@fatimaadamu and I hosted a community call on 21 November, 2019 to brief the community on the state and prospects of legal empowerment efforts in Nigeria. A summary will be posted below.

When: Thursday, November 21, 2019 2:00 PM (2pm GMT/UTC)

Where: This event took place using the GoToMeeting platform. Click here to view the recording


  1. :clock1: Recommended: arrive 5-10 minutes early to get settled in
  2. :wave: Welcome, open shared notes, adjust agenda, topics for future calls (5 minutes)
  3. :rocket: Introductions Lightning round (10 minutes)
  4. :nigeria: @fatimaadamu Conversation about recently held paralegal summit in Abuja, status and prospects for legal empowerment work in Nigeria (20 minutes)
  5. :computer: @tobiaseigen Guided tour of key features of this online platform (5 minutes)
  6. :earth_americas: @martaalmela Update from Latin America
  7. :exclamation: Other topics arising (10 minutes)
  8. :spiral_notepad: Wrap up after one hour (5 minutes)
  9. :speech_balloon: Open discussion for anyone who wants to remain to chat

Who was present:

@abigailmoy @ajioye @APAVLOV @aminahanga @DennisEkwere @fatimaadamu @Ifeanyi @marlonmanuel @martaalmela @michaelotto @peigen @tobiaseigen @zeenat


I will be glad to join for the first 3 items on the agenda

Peter Eigen

Founder of Tranparency International (TI)


Great! I am glad we’ll be able to take advantage of this meeting to have a family reunion. :family_man_woman_girl_boy:

Joking aside, I know you are knowledgeable about the CSO community in Nigeria, so it will be interesting to hear your reactions to the legal empowerment work going on in the country, and any suggestions you may have for Fatima and co.

So far we’re up to 8 RSVPs which is not bad for the first meeting of this kind. Would be nice to get us up to 20!


Please count my RSVP as well. Thank you very much, Alexandar


Hi @tobiaseigen and @fatimaadamu, I would love to join the community call and hear more about the paralegal summit in Abuja and prospects for legal empowerment work in Nigeria, as well as updates from other members. On my end, I will be happy to update on any potential opportunities/news from the network team and members in Latin America.


Hello everyone! This call is taking place next week and I am really looking forward to it. We’ll have an opportunity to take a “deep dive” into legal empowerment in Nigeria during this call and also to get updates from everyone else with news to share. I also intend to give a brief guided tour of key features of our online platform.

So do RSVP if you plan to come, and invite your friends! Just select the Going button at the top of this topic. Even if you are not able to come this time, feel free to reply here to add an update from your end and to let us know if you are interested in participating in community calls like this in future.

Thanks @martaalmela for confirming you will attend and brief us on the many great recent developments from Latin America. :seedling:


Dear @tobiaseigen I look forward to joining the meeting.



i should be available first 60minutes


Wonderful. Look forward to seeing you at the call, @preciousayobami! I RSVP’ed for you.

Let us know here if you have particularly burning issues you’d like to talk about, or have an update to share with everyone on what you’re working on these days.

1 Like

RSVP. Will love to be part of this and also available for legal empowerment work in Nigeria


Hi @tobiaseigen - very exciting to finally see the first community call taking shape! I wanted to ask whether the times are correct since it lists over 2 hours for the call in the agenda, which is a bit long? If that is the correct time, I can definitely join for part of it.

It would be worth talking with @AimeeOngeso and @staceycram to coordinate around topics in the monthly coalition call since both the paralegal summit and events in Buenos Aires would likely be covered there too (depending on overlap of members who attend of course).

Lastly, i am most excited about the updates from members section of this call and would suggest having a few questions lined up, whether generic roundtable updates (i.e. what have you been working on this week?) or discussion based (e.g. what do you think about XX subject - for instance, ideas to connect climate change and LE). I wonder if any members have suggestions or burning questions for our discussion?

Either way, it will be a great opportunity to hear from members who we often do not hear from! :sunflower:


Thanks, Michael! These are great suggestions.

Looking forward to the call on Thursday and hope lots of members decide to participate! RSVP at the top.

@fatimaadamu and I will be meeting on Wednesday to finalize the plan for the call, and will likely shuffle agenda items around and change the time alotted for each item. My general thinking has been that as this is the first of these calls, we can play it by ear and be flexible. Hopefully everyone will agree. Two hours is indeed long but it’s nice to provide a bit of space and not rush through an agenda for those who want to stay on and chat a bit longer. I’ll be happy to stay for the full two hours if there is interest, but of course understand if others want to drop out at some point. We can always catch up here on the forum.

I was thinking we’d have a lightning round of introductions at the beginning. Everyone on the call can introduce themselves. Maybe we can ask a specific question, e.g. “tell us your name, country you are calling from, your organization, and (briefly) answer the question: what are you working on this week?” Depending on how many people join, 15 minutes may be too short for this but we can adjust.

As regards coordinating with the monthly campaign coalition call, I’m open but agree we do not need to replicate.


Hello Tobias, How are you? I have a job interview on Thursday which starts at 9,30am and will last 30 minutes so I will participate in the community call before and after the interview with my phone. I am looking forward to hear from the other participants. Warm greetings, Alexandar


Ok that sounds fine. The recording will also be available. Good luck with the job interview! :crossed_fingers:

1 Like

Good morning everyone, I am interested to participate in the community call set for tomorrow for the time when I am available. I would be happy to learn about the work and the enthusiasm of the community paralegals around the world. I see they are very innovative, educated and motivated. In Canada I witness a big disproportion between the growing demand for legal services and the lack of affordability of legal advice mostly because of the high fees of the lawyers. On the other side there are many new projects based on the technology and on the traditional legal practices of the native people of Canada. These projects are designated to help to the customers to get legal help. I am excited to learn how the legal professionals from Namati are providing affordable legal services. Another very important subject which I hope to be discussed tomorrow is the relation and the difference between the legal advice and legal information. In Canada there are some projects about informing the clients to self-represent themselves in the courts. Of course, this is not enough but at least they can become informed about their rights in the court. There is very subtle difference between the legal advice and the legal information. And for me also is very interesting to learn how lawyers from different countries can perform cross-border cooperation for completing international legal projects. Thank you very much for your time. Alexandar


Thanks everyone who RSVP’d! Look forward to hearing your voices and hopefully seeing your lovely faces on my computer tomorrow! @davidarach @mrtoreye @judekija @mohammedaman @aimeeongeso @peigen @bernardthankgod @APAVLOV @ajioye @martaalmela @michaelotto @preciousayobami @miawolfrey @Aishaisa @dennisekwere @fzngagan @abigailmoy @josephndirangu

@fatimaadamu and I talked today to make final preparations. We updated the agenda, quoted below for your convenience. As you’ll see, we tightened it up to fit as much as possible in the first hour. This is still a draft - we can finalize the agenda together as a group. Also, we can share updates in the shared notes and in this topic. :seedling:

PS - @michaelotto happy cake day! :cake: Wow. Today is your 5 year anniversary of joining the Global Legal Empowerment Network. Congratulations! :sparkles:


Thanks. Have a great day. Alexandar


Great arrangement. Congratulations for wonderful program

1 Like

Thanks everyone who attended the call today. You all are great! @abigailmoy @ajioye @APAVLOV @aminahanga @DennisEkwere @fatimaadamu @Ifeanyi @marlonmanuel @martaalmela @michaelotto @peigen @tobiaseigen @zeenat

I will upload the recording once it is finished processing, so anyone who is interested can check it out. It is long, however, so I will also share summary notes. (Thank you @abigailmoy for taking such detailed notes!!) It was good to hear from @fatimaadamu about Nigeria, @martaalmela about Latin America, and to get good questions from participants and to have a conversation about common themes such as protection for justice defenders. My father @peigen jumped in at the last moment to say hello and brief us about the Africa Progress Group (previously Africa Progress Panel), which he leads together with Olusegun Obasanjo out of Abeokuta. After most people left, @APAVLOV @josephndirangu and I stayed on for a few more minutes to chat and get to know each other. @APAVLOV indicated that getting access to legal information in Canada is a challenge for many, and that he is interested in learning how others are grappling with this issue in their country, and thinks technology can play a large role.

Clearly more scope for conversation, so do follow up here with any observations or key take aways from the call. Also let me know if you have feedback on the organization of the call. If you’re interested in co-chairing a future call with a member of the network team on a topic you want to lead a discussion on, let us know that as well!

For my part, here are a few things I learned already for future reference:

  • I have to admit that initially I thought the update from Latin America was a bit off topic, given the focus on Nigeria for the call. :slight_smile: But as it turns out, @martaalmela’s update stimulated an interesting and high value exchange and illustrated some important shared concerns. We should build this into any future community call.
  • I will prepare backup slides in case the live demonstration of the forum does not work, as happened today. I was hoping to show what forum email looks like and how to click through to the forum instead of replying by email, and key features of the forum that illustrate the value of logging in. Not such a big issue in this case because most people present were familiar with the forum and do log in regularly already. :wink:
  • the google doc is a good way to keep shared notes, but perhaps we should more explicitly share it far in advance and allow members to fill in some sections (introductions, celebrations, upcoming opportunities etc) before the meeting starts. Once we are in the meeting it is hard to pay attention to all the different sections.
  • I need to test what happened with the sharing of links in the chat. For some reason people were not able to see the links I shared. I was counting on that and did not have a good backup means for making sure everyone on the call opens the shared notes.