From being Rejected At GSL to Graduating With An LLD: The Story Of Theophilus Edwin Coleman


No matter your direction of pursuit in life, life seems not to shy away from showing you its ugly part. Life will threaten you with failure. For those who view this as the end of the process definitely will terminate the process of growing and achieving their purpose thereby failing brutally.

The story of Theophilus Edwin Coleman unfolds the greatness that can be achieved by those who persevere amidst life’s troubles.
He graduated from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) with a first-class degree in Law but failed to pass the entrance examination to the Ghana School of Law (GSL), Makola, to pursue a Professional Law programme.


The well known Makola law programme is a thing that is absolutely necessary
for any living entity within Ghanaian legal jurisdiction to be called to the Ghana Bar Association as a Lawyer, Attorney, or perhaps Counsel, or any position within Ghana Bar Association.


However, to the dismay of all and sundry including Theophilus Edwin Coleman himself he couldn’t pass the exam. He was then utterly disappointed. Thus he couldn’t qualify for Ghana’s school of law.

He then decided to seek a higher qualification, by travelling to South Africa for a master of law also known as LLM and a doctor of laws also referred to as LLD.
He said “I completed UCC Law School in 2016 with a CGPA [Cumulative Grade Point Average] of 3.83. It came as a surprise that I failed the exam – and many of my classmates were also surprised! I don’t think I underestimated the exam, so I really don’t know what happened,” Coleman recounted in a recent Joy News report. “I even got a very rare opportunity to prep most of my classmates that made it to Makola. So, it came as a surprise to me……I felt a bit disappointed in the system, especially knowing I couldn’t challenge the outcome.”

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After his enrollment at the University of Johannesburg, he graduated top of his class in International Commercial Law under that university’s LLM programme.Not stopping there, He advanced further pursuing studies for the award of an LLD on the theoretical foundations and practical perspectives of the concept of contractual freedom and autonomy in Commonwealth Africa.

With this achievement he was invited to serve as a Research Fellow at the Institute of European Law in Germany and In 2018, he received an award from the Ghana National Students’ Awards Scheme as one of the Six Most Influential Student Personality in Ghana, both home and abroad.
now an old student of The Hague Academy of International Law, The Netherlands. He underwent an internship programme at the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).

For his LLD, Coleman explored how commonwealth African countries ascribe respect to the notion of contractual liberty by taking into account the politico-economic orientations of governments, pronouncements by courts, constitutional underpinnings, and the impact of traditional African values on contract and commercial law jurisprudence. His thesis, Coleman developed a matrix for assessing the degree of respect and commitment to contractual freedom and autonomy in Commonwealth Africa.

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With this achievement is there any chance of this intelligent fellow going to the Ghana school of law to study his professional law programme?. I am devoid of such a knowledge.

But from the horses own mouth,He said: “I do not see myself going to Ghana law school anytime soon. There are so many problems with legal education that has to be resolved. One of it is the lack of academics. The number of doctorate holders in law can be counted couldn’t even get to 60. The average currently is around 42. So there is a real problem.”
“Besides, I believe, if becoming a courtroom practitioner is a calling, then becoming a teacher of that practitioner is a higher calling. I believe I have that higher calling and will therefore fully commit myself to academia,” he indicated.

He added that “my goal is to make academia attractive and encourage young smart law students to embark on the path of the higher calling, instead of making that repetitive decision of going to Ghana law school.”
From the young man’s utterance, it can be seen that chances of him going back to pursue his professional program in the Ghana school of law are very thin and the odds are in favour of the opposite end.