Graduate Spotlight Emaediong Umoh

Graduate Spotlight: Emaediong Umoh
Emaediong Umoh, or EJ as he is known, is a Pro Bono Scholar passed the bar exam in February and spent his last semester working at a Matrimonial law firm in Philadelphia, PA. His inspiration to succeed comes from his mother, and his drive to excel is deeply rooted.

Why did you decide to go to law school? Why Touro Law?
All I have ever wanted to do was help people and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. I chose law school because it provides the ultimate opportunity to help people in a way that almost no other career can provide. The law is bigger than any one person and its impact reaches beyond generations. I specifically chose Touro Law because of the rare combination that it had at the time I applied - a two-year program, a diverse student body, and a significant amount of scholarship money. 

Why did you choose the 2-year program? How do you maintain balance in your life?
I chose the 2-year program because I learn at an incredibly fast pace and condensing legal education from 3 years down to 2 years would most likely match the speed at which I learn. I maintain balance by breaking my studying down into increments and multi-tasking. When not doing classwork or homework I enjoy reading, working out, and staying organized! 

Are you involved in any student groups/clubs/activities? How did they contribute to your overall law school experience?
Yes, I served as the Alumni Liaison for the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) since my 1L year. Being a BLSA member provides an inclusive environment to grow as well as camaraderie and moral support from my peers. I also was a mock trial coach for the Eastern District of New York Justice Institute that was hosted by Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Bianco. The team that I co-coached alongside fellow classmate Jasmine Fitzgerald was the runner-up in the competition. Coaching high school students for a mock trial was very rewarding. I could see the students developing an understanding of the law and the legal system. It was inspirational and I hope to be a mentor when I am a practicing attorney.

What was the most surprising thing about law school?
Although there is a substantial amount of ugliness that is intertwined within the United States legal system, each era of our young nation is filled with legal advocates who relentlessly aspired to make our country a more perfect union for all who call it home. I am humbled to be in law school with so many peers, now friends, who share the same morals and goals for not only ourselves, but for the country and fellow citizens as well.

Do you have a role model?
The main role model in my life is my mother. She immigrated from Nigeria to the states when she was 23 years old and raised 5 children by herself while going to medical school and earning her Ph.D. She finished both with 4.0 GPAs and started a medical practice shortly after. Her work ethic and life story continue to show me that there is absolutely nothing that can’t be accomplished in life if you relentlessly pursue it. 

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan on starting a private practice in Philadelphia working on Family law and Criminal Defense cases. 

What advice would you give prospective students? Current students?
Prospective Students: Find the study aid or practice that works for you and stay focused!

Current Students: Regardless of what type of law you decide to pursue, it is imperative to understand that your clients are human beings in vulnerable situations that have hired you to help solve their problems. In addition to your ethical duties imposed by the bar association, you also have a moral duty to be able to look your client in the eye at the end of the case and tell them that you did everything within your power to help them, regardless of the outcome. Before you help them, you must first learn how to help yourself. In my experience, you learn how to help yourself in law school by holding yourself to a higher standard than your professor holds you. At the end of the semester, regardless of your GPA, you should be able to look yourself in the mirror and say that you did everything within your power to have the outcome that you did. You deserve that, your future clients deserve that and the legal community as a whole deserves it as well.




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