During his first year of law school at George Mason University, Uzoma Nkwonta grew more interested in civil rights and wanted to be at a school with depth in that area.
“These were issues I had not fully been exposed tobefore,” says Uzoma, who was born in Nigeria, immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada, when he was seven, and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba.
Uzoma cites Columbia’s “phenomenal faculty” and the international law and human rights programs as key reasons he chose to transfer here. He took advantage of classes such as Law & the Political Process with Visiting Professor Lani Guinier, Integration in American Jurisprudence with Professor Olati Johnson and Civil Rights with Professor Jack Greenberg.
“Nowhere else could I have done this,” Uzoma said.
Uzoma also got involved with the Black Law Students Association and the African Law Student Association. Through the spring break caravans, he organized a group of 16 students who went this year to New Orleans to do pro bono legal work.
After graduation, Uzoma moves to Chicago to clerk for Judge Ann Claire Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He will use his clerkship year to determine his next career step, which may be working for a firm or working for a civil rights organization.