The Harvard Law Professor
In 2015, Dehlia Umunna was appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (HLS), becoming the first Nigerian to achieve that feat. She is a 44-year-old woman, one of HLS’ best. She became a lecturer there in 2007. She is also the Deputy Director and Clinical Instructor Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) there.
She is renowned for providing classroom instruction on legal skills and the application of criminal law, procedure, rules of evidence, motions and trial practice, and constitutional protections to the development of defense strategy. She also coaches HLS teams at the National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy and the HLS BLSA Trial team and they have won numerous national and regional awards.
Before joining HLS, she spent seven years as a trial attorney with the D.C. Public Defender Service and an adjunct professor of law and Practitioner in Residence at the Washington College of Law, American University. She was also a board member of the District of Columbia Law Students in Court Clinic and was a guest lecturer for several years at the George Washington University Law School.
While at Washington College, she was also a supervising attorney and practitioner-in-residence in the Civil Practice Clinic. She serves as a faculty member for the Southern Public Defender’s Training Center (SPDTC), she is a frequent presenter at Public Defender trainings and is the recipient of SPDTC’s 2011 Outstanding Faculty Mentor of the year Award. She is a member of the Massachusetts, Maryland, District of Columbia and New Jersey bar associations.
She received her BA in Communication from California State University, San Bernardino, and earned her law degree from the George Washington University Law School. She also holds a Masters in Public Administration (MC) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has two kids, a daughter, Ifeanyi and a son, Edozie.
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