Aug. 5, 2019 — Stephanie Nweke, a second-year student at the University of Houston Law Center, was recently named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar and will attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit from Oct. 27-30 in Detroit.
“I was super excited to be selected because many of the people who are on the Forbes 30 under 30 list inspire me,” Nweke said. “I look up to many of the people who will be present at the summit like Serena Williams. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to interact with them and learn more about how they are changing the world.”
Part of the application process involved Nweke responding to two essay prompts. She wrote that she embodies leadership because of her desire to empower and inspire other young black women to pursue a legal education and break the status quo.
“Being a leader is about helping other people to understand who they are and empowering them to bring their skills, passions and talents to the table,” Nweke said.” “Leadership is really showing people that there is a leader inside of them. They don’t have to wait to be officially recognized to know that they have something valuable to contribute to their community.”
During her 1L year Nweke and several colleagues established Blademy, an online learning platform intended for black millennials to learn new skills, land better jobs and reach their full potential.
“We started Blademy to address the increasing racial wealth and economic opportunity gaps that exist in this country between black millennials and millennials belonging to other racial and ethnic groups,” Nweke said. “We are helping companies address diversity issues by giving them greater access to a diverse pool of talent, while also teaching students how to get top jobs and advance in their careers.”
As an avid reader and writer, Nweke considered law in her long-term career plans, but it was the Law Center’s Pre-Law Pipeline Program and the 3+3 Program at the University of Houston Honors College that helped her ambitions become a reality.
"The Pipeline Program was instrumental in bringing me to where I am right now," Nweke said. "I always knew that I wanted to go to law school, but the program solidified my plans to get there. I'm going to be the first lawyer in my family. I didn’t have anyone to pick up the phone to call and ask for advice.
“I had to figure everything out on my own and go after opportunities I found. Nothing was handed to me. The Pipeline Program really gave me the tools and the resources I needed to dive into the deep end and swim towards the goal."
Nweke said her favorite courses during her first year at the Law Center were Contracts with Professor Johnny Buckles, Property with Professor Dave Fagundes, and Constitutional Law with Professor Teddy Rave. She said she envisions herself doing transactional work at the intersection of law, business and technology.
“I'm really interested in utilizing technology to make the delivery of legal services more efficient,” Nweke said. “I also want to challenge the legal profession to make adequate strides towards diversity and inclusion. Ultimately, I want to be a catalyst for change and provide minority and underrepresented students with greater access to the legal profession.”