Taking on the torch': Osuji builds on legal career, family legacy amid pandemic.

Byline: Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Despite a year full of unexpected and difficult events, Attorney Chinonso Osuji has been building a legal career and a legacy for herself and her family.

Osuji is an associate at Reinhart's Milwaukee office. She joined the firm full time in November a natural transition after spending two summers with the firm. The real estate department's expertise and its people impressed her.

"What led me to the firm was the energy of the people when I first interviewed with them," Osuji said. "The real estate department is nationally renowned, so it just made sense for me to push hard to join the real estate department."

Long before deciding on a practice specialty, a firm or even a law school, Osuji knew she wanted to be a lawyer. Growing up, she watched her father give up his ambitions of attending law school to support the family when they moved from Nigeria to the U.S.

"Ever since I was a kid, I said I wanted to be a lawyer," Osuji said. "This is kind of like me taking on the torch and trying to continue what my dad started."

Osuji talked to the Wisconsin Law Journal about starting a legal career amid a pandemic and what it means to carry on her family legacy.


Wisconsin Law Journal: How did your father inspire you and impact your decision to make law your career?

Chinonso Osuji: I was born in Nigeria, and my whole family's from Nigeria. While we were living there, my dad was pursuing a legal career, (but) my family ended up having to relocate to the United States. (Law school) credit will not transfer, so he put it on the back burner in an effort to provide for our family. Ever since I was a kid, I said I wanted to be a lawyer, so this is kind of like me taking on the torch and trying to continue what my dad started.

WLJ: What was his reaction and your family's reaction when you graduated from law school?

Osuji: I graduated (from Marquette University Law School) in May 2020, so it was probably the most anti-climactic graduation that anybody could have. Nothing happened. There were no ceremonies. I got my diploma in the mail, but that was about it. I was in Milwaukee, and my family was in Texas, and the whole country was shut down at the time, so I didn't see my family.

Once I returned to Texas, everybody was super happy and proud, and my family surprised me with cake and balloons. I think everybody is super proud of me and the legacy that I am now building up for myself and my family as...

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