Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Undergraduate School: University of Houston-Downtown; Criminal Justice
Job: Associate at Dechert LLP
Temple Law Community
I was a member of the Black Law Students Association (“BLSA”) and I served as a staff editor for the Temple Law Review.
As an anxious first-year law student, I was relieved to find second and third year BLSA members who readily took me under their wings. They gave me helpful law school tips and reminded me that life exists outside of law school each time I got overwhelmed with the demands of law school.
Aside from improving my legal research and writing skills, Temple Law Review’s ed board gave me the resources I needed to ace on-campus interviews and law school classes. It was refreshing to see how devoted fellow law students were to the overall success of my law school experience. All in all, both organizations taught me that law school does not have to be a frightening experience because there are lots of students, faculty members, and attorneys rooting for your success.
In my second year at Temple Law, I participated in Professor Colleen Shanahan’s Justice Lab clinic. As a third-year law student, I participated in the Federal Judicial Clerkship Honors Program (FJC), where I was assigned to the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell who is a federal appellate judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
As a Justice Lab participant, I was a member of a three-person team that compiled a comprehensive report on cash bail reform in Pennsylvania. Justice Lab taught me to appreciate team work, and equipped me with the skills needed to spearhead client meetings and conduct interviews with players in the criminal justice system.
As a judicial intern, I worked closely with Judge Rendell’s clerks to research novel legal issues and draft bench memos and non-precedential opinions. The time spent in Judge Rendell’s chambers gave me a front-row seat to the inner workings of the Third Circuit and forced me to critically and objectively assess the merits of creative legal arguments.
Both experiences improved my oral and written communication skills and taught me the importance of managing the expectations of clients, coworkers, and superiors.
I volunteered at the Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia in my first year at Temple Law. There, I assisted attorneys who provided free legal consultations to low-income individuals with issue-spotting. It was rewarding to see the gratitude in the faces of the individuals who took advantage of the free consultations. Through those individuals and the empathetic volunteer lawyers, I learnt the importance of being an excellent listener and treating clients with respect and dignity, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Dean Bretschneider has been most influential in shaping my legal education. Dean Bretschneider unwittingly taught me the importance of empathy as a legal professional. She was a constant source of warmth in my three years at Temple Law.
I particularly remember an especially stressful period towards the end of my first year of law school. I feared I would lose out on an upcoming summer internship in the Eastern District of New York because I was yet to receive the work authorization that would allow me to commence the employment. Dean Bretschneider assured me she would assist me with obtaining the work authorization and advised me to focus squarely on my finals. She followed through on her promise, and assisted me with obtaining work authorizations throughout my time at Temple Law.
Temple Law was my home away from home because of faculty members like Dean Bretschneider