Alexis Gbemudu: Everyone Has a Story

BLSA President Alexis GbemuduSecond year law student Alexis Gbemudu has a global perspective on life and the law. The first generation Nigerian-American grew up just outside of Philadelphia in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, but maintains strong ties to her roots in the southern region of Nigeria known as the Delta State.

Whether she is travelling the world or sitting in a class room at Maryland Carey Law, the influence of two cultures – African and American – colors her outlook on the world.

“When I’m in class,” she says, “and we talk about administrative law and how different agencies are affecting what’s going on here in the US, I’m sitting back thinking about the implications globally and how that may affect immigration laws and my family.”

She credits the immigrant experience as part of what makes the United States stand apart as a beacon for the world. “Everyone has a story, everyone has a different perspective, whether they’re first generation or 10th generation here.”

Alexis currently serves as a peer advisor, a member of the United Students of African Descent, a part of the Student Health Law Organization, and a member of the National Trial Team. The summer after her first year she worked at Maryland Legal Aid where she saw deeply invested attorneys serving the state’s most vulnerable populations. “The work they do can stand between their client losing custody of their kids; someone sleeping on the street; someone getting their next meal. Their work is important and I was happy to be a part of it,” she says. 

As the current president of Maryland Carey Law's Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Alexis serves as a bridge between black American students and those who have closer ties to the African diaspora by bringing them together for BLSA sponsored events and community service activities.

“I’m really excited about our community service events this year,” she says. “Whether that’s partnering with Gordon Feinblatt at the Ricky Myers Day of Service or visiting the Reginald Lewis Technical High School to talk to students considering college and possibly law school one day, BLSA has really made it a point to make sure we keep community service at the core of who we are.”

BLSA marked Black History Month with a series of events culminating in the 44th Annual BLSA Banquet: Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Future on February 28 featuring keynote speaker Alicia Wilson ’07, senior vice president of impact investments and senior legal counsel to the Port Covington Development team.

Members of BLSA were also treated to "A Conversation with Judge Russell,” an opportunity for students to interact with United States District Judge George Russell, ’91 on February 24 followed by a firm visit to Murphy Falcon Murphy on February 25.

“Sitting down with Judge Murphy, who was a BLSA president, and hearing his advice on how we can get to the next level is an honor and having Judge Russell come speak to our students is an incredible opportunity,” says Alexis. “We understand the importance of looking back and hearing from people who have done really great things within the community.”

Looking to the future, Alexis sees herself working internationally, possibly in public health law. She is inspired by her undergraduate work in Rwanda, Jamaica, and London and most recently by a trip to Nigeria where she worked at a community health fair organized by a cousin who is a physician. “I want to take what I’m learning here at Maryland and utilize it to assist people in the reform or building of their health care infrastructure,” she explains.

Despite having big dreams, Alexis remains humble admitting: “I am just one of many. I’m just one story out of a quilt of who we are as black students, whether it be at Maryland or across the country, who are striving for excellence.”

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