Bar Alpha is pleased to introduce Ikemefuna Stephen Nwoye, our newest Young Bar Alpha (YBA).
Ikemefuna is a naturally energetic and self-driven legal professional. He started his legal journey from a very young age, studying law at the Enugu State University where he finished as the Best Graduating Student in 2010. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2012 with strong leadership and interpersonal skills.
He has written on a broad range of issues such as the abuse of human rights by transnational corporations, International Arbitration, International business transactions and many others.
With awards from New York University School of Law, experience with the World Bank and a concentration of his passion of the law in the promotion of international investment, trade, business transactions and the strengthening of (public and private) institutions, this highly hard working young lawyer is a YBA!
Young Bar Alpha (YBA) showcases a vast array of prodigious young lawyers, both home and abroad desirous to create a niche for themselves in the legal career through their unique success stories and perseverance that exudes diligence, competence and experience.
It is was a pleasure speaking to ikemefuna. In this interview we learn about his amazing work background and what he does in his spare time.
BA: Hi Ikemefuna
BA: Thank you so much for taking your time out to be interviewed.
Ikemefuna: You are welcome!
BA: We always start with this question, did you always know that you wanted to study law and be a lawyer?
Ikemefuna: Yes, I have always wanted to study law. In fact, I think issues concerning law and rule-making do come to me naturally. Growing up, I was a very curious and inquisitive child that always refused to take any idea on its face value without evaluating it. My parents, relatives and friends always ‘complained’ that I asked too many questions. I was nicknamed ‘Lawyer’.
BA: Lol! So this means that you have enjoyed studying law. How has the experience been so far?
Ikemefuna: Law school was an awesome experience. In particular the Lagos campus experience reinforced my conviction that Nigeria, despite its diversity can achieve greatness. The collegiality that we shared was like no other. Everybody was a team player and leader. In addition, NYU School of Law takes a special place in my life. I was taught by professors that I consider as ranking among the best in their areas of specialization. The unique nature of an NYU education is the diversity of the class! You get the feeling that you are in a class that has people from every region or even countries around the world. There is a free flow and exchange of experienced information at academic and extracurricular activities.
BA: Amazing! You have really done well for yourself.
Ikemefuna: Hmm…Well, by God’s special grace, I have done and achieved quite a good number of noble things that I am very proud of. Personally, I feel listing them out might appear immodest.
BA: What then has been your driving force been in your strive for excellence?
Ikemefuna: A strong desire to improve things from the position I met them. In addition, the joy and happiness of my parents and sibling, I feel they have made a lot of sacrifice for me. Their fervent prayers brought me this far. I see my success as their success.
BA: What area of law do you have a passion for? Do you take interest in or specialise in any particular area?
Ikemefuna: I love constitutional, business and international law. I have specialized more in the area of business and international law.
BA: How were you able to build an interest in this area? Were you inspired by any one in particular or did you conduct your own research?
Ikemefuna: From a very young age, I was exposed to the notion of trade/business at home. I guess that simply explains why I chose business law. Secondly, I admired the intellectual depth of the Professors that taught me constitutional, business and international law at undergraduate level and Law schools in Nigeria and the United States. I feel very comfortable discussing issues relating to investments and trade.
BA: Who is your role model?
Ikemefuna: Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN (The Law Oracle) and Barack Obama
BA: Do you have long-term goals? If so, where do you hopefully see yourself in the next 10 years?
Ikemefuna: Sure I do. I see myself making partner in a top international law firm. Ultimately, I hope to retire as a law professor.
BA: How have you been working towards achieving your long-term goals?
Ikemefuna: I recently completed my LLM degree. I intend to spend the next couple of years acquiring hands-on transactional experience in a law firm with a global spread. In addition, I am also involved in several public interest related projects and activities to give me a balanced perspective in my career development.
BA: If you don’t mind, can you give a brief profile on where you work
Ikemefuna: I recently completed a Short-term Consultancy (STC) contract with the World Bank Group. Prior to that role, I worked as an International Finance and Development Fellow with the World Bank. Before joining the World Bank, I have interned with Sidley Austin LLP under its Africa-Asia pro-bono projects. In addition, I worked as Research Assistant to two Professors at NYU School of Law. I have also gained experience working as an Associate for a leading Nigerian law firm.
BA: Are you member of any professional organisation or groups?
Ikemefuna: I belong to several professional and academic networking groups e.g. Nigeria Bar Association Section on Business Law and Young ICCA. I strongly believe a successful career is not dependent on intellectual ability alone; a network of like-minded people that you stay in touch and synergize with should complement it.
BA: What are your hobbies?
Ikemefuna: I love playing and watching soccer, basketball and board games (chess is my favorite). In addition, I enjoy cooking and listening to music a lot.
BA: Your favourite book and movie?
Ikemefuna: This is a tricky question. Well, I have read lots of books and materials. Generally, I think I have favorite authors/writers. I enjoy literal works by Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, Wole Soyinka, John Grisham and Mario Puzo. I think Barack Obama’s two books (Audacity of Hope and Dreams from my Father) stands out.
Thank you Ikemefuna Stephen Nwoye
Young Bar Alpha recognises, praises and celebrates young Nigerian Lawyers! If you believe you ought to be recognised or somebody should be then visit the YBA Page