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My name is Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye. I am originally from Providence, RI and graduated from Classical High School in Providence. I attended the University of Rhode Island and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. While I was completing my undergraduate coursework,...

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Cheers from London, mate!

Posted by Kevin Olasanoye on 06/16/2010 at 10:42 AM

I have been in London now for a week and have had quite the adventure thus far. On the flight from Boston, I sat next to a musician who was travelling on business. As we started chatting, we discovered that we both lived in Providence and had a mutual friend who is also a 2L at RWU Law (it really is a small world). I then had the chance to visit with some family who live in the suburbs of London and get myself acclimated to life across the pond (for example, young people here wear their polo shirts with the collar up all the time and you have to look right when you cross the street because the British drive on the wrong side of the road which might get you hit by a bike like I almost did a few days ago). I also caught World Cup fever and watched several really good football matches (yes, I know I just called it football). The English are crazy about their team (apparently they invented the game) and they were not pleased when the US played them to a tie (partially because the entire country missed the goal that Stephen Gerrard scored when the BBC mistakenly cut to a commercial early. It caused a huge scandal over here).

On Sunday, I got to Ramsey Hall (our accommodations seem to be surrounded by furniture and camera shops on seemingly every block) with the rest of the RWU London crew. The next day, we started our classes in the Inner Temple and I have to tell you, it was well worth the wait! The Inner Temple now houses the barristers in London, but the buildings were built in the 12th century when the Knights Templar occupied them. After the Great Fire of London in the 17th century, the buildings were rebuilt in a classic Victorian style (I was a History major in college, so getting a chance to study here has turned me into a kid in a candy store). They are beautiful buildings that have everything a barrister needs to complete his work: robes, wigs (no I haven’t gotten a chance to wear one yet), offices, cafeterias, and even living quarters.

Professor Webster has been teachings us all the law, history, and current events that we need to be familiar with to begin our internships next week. This afternoon’s lecture included a discussion of privacy rights, a relatively new phenomenon here in the UK. We talked about cases involving paparazzi photos of Princess Caroline kissing her boyfriend in a restaurant and Naomi Campbell leaving a drug treatment facility after saying she had never taken drugs before (good to know I will be able to keep up on pop culture without a TV in my room). I particularly enjoyed our discussion of Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government and the role the Queen plays in Parliamentary affairs. The classes have been tremendously informative and Professor Webster is always good for a few laughs.

One last thing about this city. London is a very expensive city. Everything from window fans to keep the room cool (apparently air conditioning is very rare in London) to brollies (a fancy British word for umbrellas) cost a pretty penny. When I got here I paid £ 75 (almost $115 bucks) for a 30 minute cab ride from the airport. My cousin had to remind me not to convert everything over from pounds to dollars or else I would starve. I think he might be right!