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Oluwakemi (Kemi) Odusami - President of Nigerian American Lawyers Association (NALA)

Oluwakemi (Kemi) Odusami was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She migrated with her family to Fort Washington, Maryland when she was 14 years old. She attended Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Maryland. In high school, Kemi was a member of the Mock Trial Team and she competed against several teams across the state. She was a force to be reckoned with at mock trial competitions and her success earned her numerous accolades and scholarships. Upon graduating from high school in 2006, she attended the University of Maryland, College Park. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology in 2010. Upon graduation, Kemi worked at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her scientific research at WRAIR, was subsequently published in the Journal of Medical Entomology in 2014, and titled “Wicking assay for the rapid detection of Dengue viral antigens in mosquitoes.”

Kemi always believed that her true calling was to become an advocate. Thus, she furthered her studies and attended the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland. In law school, Kemi was an associate editor on the Journal of Business and Technology. She was also a member of the Maryland Fredrick Douglas Moot Court Team. She worked as a judicial intern for the Hon. Chief Judge Robert M. Bell at the Maryland Court of Appeals in Baltimore Maryland. She graduated cum laude with her Juris Doctorate in 2014. Kemi is currently admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Kemi currently works as an Attorney Advisor at The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) at the Social Security Administration. She enjoys travelling, spending time with family and dancing.  

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Welcome to the Nigerian American Lawyers Association (NALA). I am truly honored to serve as President of such a prestigious and monumental organization. NALA was established to advance the cause of American lawyers of Nigerian descent in the Washington DC metro area. NALA is pivotal in ensuring the perpetuity of Nigerian-American legal professionals through providing continuing legal education and creating a welcoming and diverse environment that facilitates the interchange of ideas.

I was first introduced to NALA upon graduating from law school. As a recently barred attorney in Maryland trying to navigate my way in the legal profession, it was a relief to be introduced to other attorneys with similar ancestral backgrounds who understood the challenges of the profession.  NALA members were embracing and eager to assist me in any way they could. They immediately took on the role as my mentor, equipping me with the necessary tools I needed to succeed as an attorney. Before long, being amongst NALA members felt like home. I wanted to be a part of NALA so that I too could offer the same warm embrace and support I was afforded. Thus, over the years, I became a general body member and served on various committees within the organization. I was determined to be a part of this monumental organization.

In only a few short years since its inception, NALA has made great strides by supporting its members, serving the community and working closely with other organizations to progress its missions. Every year, NALA hosts its annual new admittee’s cookout to celebrate recent law graduates and to introduce them to the organization. While this event is designed to create exposure for the organization, it also serves an avenue to educate the community about NALA’s mission and efforts. With respect to community service, NALA has collaborated with other organizations to host annual domestic violence seminars. This year, the panelists included an attorney from House of Ruth, a Baltimore City State prosecutor and other medical professionals. Furthermore, NALA hosts forums to encourage discussions about ways in which the legislative bodies could focus and address issues affecting African immigrants. This year, I am particularly excited about NALA’s immigration efforts. As an organization comprised of primarily first and second generation Nigerian immigrants, immigration is especially dear to NALA’s core. Therefore, NALA will be hosting its first annual immigration seminar in January 2018. Following the seminar, NALA plans on hosting “Ask a Lawyer” forums, where individuals could meet and consult with an immigration attorney at no expense. NALA further supports its members by providing continuing legal education (CLE) courses and a Lawyer Referral Program. Finally, I note that in the past year, NALA has increasingly progressed and become a platform for candidates interested in seeking public office.

I hope that you will support NALA’s efforts by becoming a member and attending our events. Join us at one of our monthly meetings where we are known for serving hot akara!!

 

Kemi Odusami, Esq.

NALA President