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Grateful grad: Bangor student collects first class law degree following successful fundraising appeal

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Tuition fee debt had prevented the wannabe lawyer from graduating

Akorede Samuel Omotay pictured outside Bangor University with his degree certificate

A cash-strapped international law student has now graduated after members of the public clubbed together to help clear his university debts.

Akorede Samuel Omotayo, who recently completed his LLB at Bangor Law School, was unable to attend his graduation ceremony last month because he still owed the Welsh university £3,525 in fees. Refusing to admit defeat, the young Nigerian-born wannabe lawyer, like many before him, turned to crowdfunding in the hope of raising the much-needed cash.

Now, just a month after his GoFundMe page went live, Legal Cheek can reveal that Omotayo has cleared his debts with Bangor and officially graduated. “Delighted” to finally get hold of his degree certificate, he told us:

I would like to thank everyone for their donations and support and I hope I can help others achieve their goals as you have done for me. And a special thanks to Legal Cheek for sharing my story.

Prior to hitting his target, the Legal Cheek Journal contributor revealed that he had two masters degree offers, both of which were dependant on him producing his undergraduate degree certificate. He had one offer from Renmin University of China on a full scholarship, and one from Newcastle University on a partial scholarship.

So with his degree certificate now safely in his possession, has he made a decision? He told us:

I have decided to take up the scholarship offer from Renmin University of China — as this helps me understand the law in an emerging economy and will hopefully prepare me to address human developmental issues at a global level.

It’s probably fair to say Omotayo hasn’t had the easiest start to his legal life.

His fundraising page revealed that he spent three months between late 2015 and early 2016 working as a toilet attendant at Bangor’s Peep Night Club. This helped him raise £1,000 towards City law firm events and internships at the likes of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Simmons & Simmons and Reed Smith. Moreover, in an attempt to clear his debts he worked various jobs including stints in a warehouse, a nursing home and a food factory.

Watch Legal Cheek’s Katie King and Tom Connelly discuss crowdfunding law school fees:

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