If you ever come across a young, female entertainment lawyer navigating legal conversations on twitter while listening to a self-curated playlist and sipping cranberry juice, you have probably met the renowned ‘Fozadoza.’
Christened Fawoyemi, Oyinkansola, Zeedat, Adesola, she was nicknamed ‘Foza’ by a bestie who cleverly combined the first letters of her names. The suffix ‘Doza’ came later as a result of an unexplained penchant for sleep.
Many years later and with a thriving legal career in place, the unique alias has stuck, softening an otherwise hard-edged, professional legal exterior.
Talking to Foza gives you a clear sense that her life is pretty much planned out; timelines and all. She comes off as self-assured and unfazed by everyday challenges, an element that has no doubt attracted some really influential clients to her side. Her client roster is closed off and laced in secrecy; they would have it so and with Foza, her clients get what they pay for.
Tutored by a crop of premium legal minds from Uduak Uduok to the late Tosin Buknor, Foza seems to have mastered the art of managing all shades of people, even the most unrealistic variety.
“Part of the things I do with my clients is that I try to train them in terms of how it is to be very professional. It takes a minute, you know, sometimes like one year, or a year and a half. I think I’ve been lucky to have very level headed clients though and when we clash, it takes a while, but we reach a balance. It’s a lot of training and educating them on best business practices, and you reap the benefits later,” she explains.
Navigating the lonely streets of entertainment law has taught Foza a thing or two about staying focused and it has also helped her take measured strides, powering her achievements in record time.
“I would say it took a lot of dedication and I had laser focus. I went straight into specialization. That’s all I do. I only do entertainment law, I don’t dabble.
So when you keep doing something again and again and again, you become an expert at it after a given period of time. So I think the laser focus was what helped me reach a certain level, you know, at accelerated time.
You know when people say you need to pay your dues. I think I was lucky enough to get advice from my seniors on how to pay my dues smartly. So I did a couple of pro bono jobs. Just to have access to information or access to a network or access to a particular type of document that I needed to learn from.”
Foza is from a crop of new generation legal minds that are compulsively digital and being a partner at her legal firm, Technolawgical Partners helps her orbit the digital landscape, seamlessly farming for new opportunities.
“At Technolawgical Partners, We’re very focused on how to do things virtually and digitally. So, when this pandemic started, we didn’t really have too much of a problem because we are used to doing things online, either ways, so we’re good. All my biggest clients probably met me or know of me via twitter,” she adds.
For Foza, she and her clients have a clear understanding that makes their partnership work, but she has had her fair share of being ignored by errant clients and she thinks it’s the worst thing a client can do to a lawyer.
“I think generally. It’s when they don’t listen to you. All of them have gone through that when they don’t listen to you they get into trouble and come back and they want you to fix the mess.”
On the flip side, Foza has had clients randomly send her money and she regards that as one of the best things a client has done for her.
On next moves, Foza is many steps ahead of everyone, juggling a successful career with a range of side hustles alongside.
“As a career person, my next move is to transition into an entertainment business executive, as opposed to being just a lawyer. So yeah, I am currently in the middle of that transition, I’ll be making announcements soon. I want to retire from being a lawyer by 30 so I am kind of like in that process already. And by 35, I want to transition into a new industry completely, or maybe a new subset of the industry than what I’m presently doing. “
With a vision this clearly articulated, the young entertainment lawyer Foza is blazing a unique trail that will see more legal minds take up shop in entertainment law. Her only advice is for budding legal minds to apply core professionalism to any situation or engagement.
“I get that it’s a very thankless and selfless job but I would like to see us do more paperwork, abide by contracts, be more accountable with expenses and money, and also be very meticulous with transparency.”
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here