Ifeoma M. Ukwubiwe, 25 years old
My name is Ifeoma Ukwubiwe and I am a proud native of Queens, New York. I graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in 2007. At the age of 16, still while in High School, I became an Intern at Washington Mutual Bank (now JPMorgan Chase). Thereafter, I attended St. Johns University and graduated with a B.A. in Speech: Rhetoric and Public Address. While attending St. Johns University, I was an active member of the St. John’s Debate Society and continued to work at JPMorgan Chase as a Personal Banker.
Despite working 7 years in Retail Banking, my passion lied in the law. I hate the feeling of being powerless. The saying is cliché but it is undeniably true that knowledge is power. Following my graduation from college, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. The skills that you learn as a lawyer–analytical thought, the ability to separate relevant facts from philosophical clutter, the ability to write clearly and concisely, the ability to present yourself and your ideas persuasively–are skills that are truly invaluable. Today, I am in my last semester of law school at Rutgers School of Law-Newark in Newark, New Jersey. I have had the pleasure to intern in various public interest offices including District Attorneys offices to further develop my professional skills. I am currently a Student Attorney in the Criminal & Youth Justice Clinic at Rutgers Law-Newark where I provide legal representation to incarcerated youths and to adults in minor criminal, parole, and actual innocence matters. I believe the best people to represent the state are people who have direct experience representing the accused. My clinical experiences have thus far been unique and invaluable to my education.
I want to be a Criminal Prosecutor. My decision to pursue a career in prosecution is a part of my larger commitment to building a career in public interest law. As problems facing society get ever more vexing, the need for public interest lawyers is even greater. After years of working in my local community, I know that given my experience, I can make a valuable change in the legal community.
Upon graduation, I will serve as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Superior Court of New Jersey. I hope to build upon the work that I have commenced at my internships.
I am purposefully pretty for four main reasons. First, I am a child of God. Second, I am constantly developing my talents and gifts. Third, I let go of excuses, and embrace fear and failure. Lastly, I surround myself with good people and consistently seek to serve others.
I commend the work of Diamond Craig and Purposefully Pretty and encourage my peers to continue living their dreams and serve others for “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” MLK