Age: 36, Partner
McDermott Will & Emery L.L.P., New York City
Obiamaka P. Madubuko says her family saw the lawyer in her since she was a child. “I think my family would say that I was destined to be a lawyer. From my early days of arguing with my brothers to my leading an organized protest against my seventh-grade teacher who liked to start class five minutes early, it is clear to all who knew me that I was going to grow up to be an advocate,” she says.
She earned a bachelor’s and a master’s (magna cum laude) degrees from Boston University, graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and found her niche in anti-corruption and fraud matters. Now a partner in the law firm McDermott Will & Emery L.L.P., she advises U.S. companies operating overseas on compliance with U.S. and international trade regulations. “Promoting good corporate citizenship and ethical business practices not only increases global trade and creates jobs, it also lowers the cost of doing business. Helping companies establish and maintain strong compliance programs allows them to focus on delivering their core products and services,” she says.
Madubuko is also an experienced trial lawyer who has represented clients in civil and criminal cases. She has litigated securities, financial services, real estate, health care, intellectual property, energy, manufacturing, and consumer product cases and conducted internal investigations. She also represents clients pro bono in domestic violence, immigration and asylum cases and mentors lawyers, law students and high-school students interested in law careers.
“My hope is that more high-school students, particularly minority and female students, will continue to pursue careers in law. It is important for professionals to give back their time to mentor a young person so that they can be inspired and encouraged to pursue their dreams.”
Favorite author: Isabel Allende
Favorite comedian: Tina Fey
Countries visited: South Africa, Jamaica, Grand Cayman
What artist would you go on tour with: Maxwell
Favorite singer: Sade