Meet Dehlia Umanna, first Nigerian professor at Harvard Law School

Prof Umunna (above) and with colleagues 

Dehlia Umunna, deputy director, and clinical instructor at the Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute (CJI), has been appointed Clinical Professor of Law at the 'Harvard Law School' making her the first Nigerian to be appointed as a professor at the school.

Umunna has been a lecturer at Harvard Law School since 2007.

She authored the article, Rethinking the Neighborhood Watch: How Lessons from the Nigerian Village Can Creatively Empower the Community to Assist Poor, Single Mothers in America, which was published in the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law.

As the Deputy Director and Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School’s CJI, Umunna oversees third-year law students in their representation of adult and juvenile clients in criminal and juvenile proceedings and arguments before Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals court. These students represent adult and juvenile clients. 

Before joining Harvard, Law School, Umunna was was 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.

In her career, the eminent Lawyer was a lecturer for several years at the George Washington University Law School.

In addition, Umunna is a board member of the District of Columbia Law Students Law Clinic and serves as a faculty member for Gideon’s Promise, and as well a frequent presenter at Public Defender trainings across the country. 

Sharing her joy, Umunna said, “I am blessed and honored to join Harvard Law School’s remarkable faculty.

“I relish this extraordinary opportunity to continue work that I am truly passionate about, and I am grateful for the deep interest and commitment of the school to issues of criminal justice, mass incarceration, indigent defense and social justice.”

Educationally, Umunna holds a Law degree from the George Washington University Law Center and a Masters in Public Administration (MC) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

She also has a B.A. in Communications from California State University, San Bernardino.

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