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WJA 2021: Chioma Chukwu-Smith

Before entering the field of law, Chioma Chukwu-Smith worked in the St. Louis nonprofit sector. As she worked in nonprofit, she discovered that some issues could only be addressed through the legal system. After living in Tokyo, Japan for two years working with the same nonprofit, she moved back to St. Louis to attend law school and begin addressing those very issues.

chukwu-smithWhile at Saint Louis University Law, she served on the editorial staff of the university’s law journal for a year before becoming the publication’s first-ever Black woman to take up the mantle of editor in chief. She also submitted student notes that became one of eight students chosen to be published in Volume 65 of the St. Louis University Law Journal.

In 2020, she served as a judicial intern for Judge John Ross at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, before she spent a summer at HeplerBroom in Greater St. Louis as a Summer Associate Law Clerk.

In 2019, she worked as a legal intern for the MICA Project in greater St. Louis.

She’s been exposed to various areas of law, and is now clerking at the Missouri Court of Appeals. In the short term she is satisfied with clerking, but eventually she may want to work in private practice or continue in public service in a different capacity. In the meantime, she said she’s focused “on becoming a really good litigator” no matter the area of law.

She’d like to thank her parents, two Nigerian immigrants who she said modeled hard work for her while growing up, her husband Brian for taking care of their two kids while she finished law school, and her editorial board and staff at the SLU Law Journal.

Women's Justice Awards 2021