When Enid Marful-Sau ’07 enrolled into Ashesi in 2003, she was excited about the prospects of studying Business Administration, but admits that she had always loved law. “I had a good interest in law, but I needed a first degree before I could go on to study it,” she says. “When I visited Ashesi for the first time, I found it inviting. Everyone seemed warm, and I loved how positive the environment felt. After that visit, I knew I was applying.”
At Ashesi, Enid got to take her first law class as part of her Business programme, and she knew for sure that her interest was not flimsy.
“I really enjoyed that class, and I remember talking to the professor about doing a bar conversion course and coming back to Ghana to practice,” she says. “However, my thesis supervisor was so impressed with my final project, on finance, that he encouraged me to consider a Masters in that area. I graduated from Ashesi really torn between law and finance.”
Enid decided to keep her options open, and applied to a Masters in Forensic Accounting programme at Sheffield Hallam University, and the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana. She got accepted into both programmes. “That was the most confusing time of my life,” she adds. “But the Faculty of Law is difficult to get into, and I was convinced that I would rather defer studying finance than studying law.”
Enid did two years of study at the Faculty of Law, and another two years at the Ghana School of Law. After graduating and being accepted onto the Ghana Bar Association, Enid went on to work at Ghana’s Attorney General’s Department (Cape Coast), where she did her pupillage. A year later, she enrolled into a Masters in Maritime Law programme at the University of Southampton Law School, where she sat in classes with Ghanaian judges and Navy personnel.
“I chose Maritime Law because I wanted to carve a niche for myself,” Enid said. “With the emergence of Ghana’s Oil and Gas industry, and the Chief Justice’s Department setting up Maritime courts, it was clear to me that there would be a need for expertise in maritime law.”
Now, having been involved in a lot of trials, Enid works with private practitioners, Sory@Law. Even though she laughs the early experiences off, the courage to work as a lawyer did not come easy to Enid.
“At the Attorney-General’s Department, I had a reputation for being tough, but I used to be afraid of my line of work,” she says. “Working on a lot of rape, murder and robbery cases, meant I would go to sleep afraid of the possibility that the people I was prosecuting could have me followed. I had to learn to overcome that fear, because the work I was doing was incredibly important. I am now involved in cases I had never anticipated working on.”
Enid is also open about how being at Ashesi prepared her for a career in law, teaching her the public speaking and interpersonal skills she relies on everyday for her work.
“Ashesi helped me come out of my shell. As a student I was forced to learn how to engage an audience, share my opinions and ideas, and get along with people. When I got to Law School this was an advantage, because these skills were at the core of law training.”
Enid believes that Ghana’s lawyers are custodians of the strong foundations set by the authors of the country’s constitution, and need to commit to strengthening its justice systems.
“I hope we can continue to work to improve the law in Ghana. One of the things that really kill the process of justice is how expensive litigation has become. Most people cannot even afford the fees for filing a suit in court. A rape victim in Ghana today, for example, has to pay medical fees at a hospital to be tested for proof. Most cannot afford this, and end up having to let the rapist go free. We need to do more to make the justice system in Ghana work for the most vulnerable.”