Good afternoon great Nigerians! Once again, we are here to celebrate our fellow Nigerians who have carved a niche for themselves in their different field of endeavor.

On today’s episode of the Rebrand Nigeria Ambassador series, we will be showcasing a great amazon who has made us proud in the academic world. Meet Mss Dehlia Umunna, the first Nigerian Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (HLS).

Dehlia is also the Faculty Deputy Director of the Harvard law school’s Criminal Justice Institute (CJI), where she supervises third-year law students in their representation of adult and juvenile clients in criminal and juvenile proceedings in Massachusetts Courts, including the Supreme Judicial Court.

Professor Dehlia is a member of the Massachusetts, Maryland, and District of Columbia Bar Associations.  She holds a B.A. in Communications from California State University, a Masters degree in Public Administration (MC) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Juris Doctoris (JD) from George Washington University Law School, where she was awarded the J.B. Shapiro Prize for Public Interest ($10,000).  Her teaching and research interests are focused on Criminal Law, Criminal Defense and Theory, Mass Incarceration, and Race Issues.

The Nigerian born American Professor coaches the HLS National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy and the HLS Black Law Student Association Trial Teams, and has led them to numerous regional and national awards. She also serves as a Faculty Adviser to some student organizations.

In furtherance to her academic career at the Harvard Law School, Professor Dehlia serves as a faculty member for Gideon’s Promise (formerly the Southern Public Defender’s Training Center), and is a frequent presenter at Public Defender Training Conferences and Social Justice Reform Panels around the country. She was recently appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to the newly-established Bar Admissions Curriculum Committee to assist in crafting the Uniform Bar Exam.

In recognition of her efforts, Professor Dehlia has received a number of awards some of which are; Harvard Law School’s Dean’s Award for Excellence, in acknowledgment of her outstanding service to the HLS community where she has excelled as a student supervisor, staff manager, lecturer, coach, and mentor, and the Southern Public Defender Training Center Outstanding Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.

Her article “Rethinking the Neighborhood Watch: How Lessons from Nigerian Villages Can Creatively Empower Communities to Assist Low-Income, Single Mothers In America,” was recently published in AM. U. J. GENDER, SOC. POL’Y & L. (Volume 20, Number 4). 

We celebrate the laudable achievements of this great mother of two and we are honoured to showcase her as our Rebrand Nigeria Ambassador!

Nigerians are indeed good people.


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