Ndifreke “Ndi” Uwem, J.D./LL.M. '19
Name: Ndifreke “Ndi” Uwem
Country of Origin: Nigeria
Year of J.D./LL.M.: 2019
Law School(s) attended: Bachelor of Laws, University of Jos, Nigeria; Barrister-at-Law, Nigerian Law School; Master of Laws, Columbia Law School; Master of Laws and Juris Doctor, University of Miami School of Law.
Current Position: Associate, Akerman LLP, Miami, FL, USA
Relevant past position(s): Intern, International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Washington, DC; Practicum Extern, Shutts & Bowen LLP, Miami, FL
Awards, Honors, Publications: International Academy for Arbitration Law, Paris, France, July 2016 – Dechert LLP Scholar; Miami Law International Arbitration Institute Scholarship; Director’s Award – Legal Communication & Research, University of Miami School of Law
What Are Your Current Position, Title, and Day-to-Day Tasks?
I am an associate in the litigation/international arbitration practice group at Akerman LLP. Generally, my tasks cover the entire gamut of litigation and arbitration. These include researching, preparing pleadings, motions, and other litigation documents. I also draft select portions of submissions to arbitral tribunals, and generally assist in ensuring a seamless process from the beginning to the end of proceedings.
How Did Your LL.M. Studies Help You Build a Successful Career in the Field?
The balanced hybrid nature of the program is invaluable. As an LL.M. candidate, I learned the theory, and also experienced the practical aspects of international arbitration. This helped me hit the ground running with little difficulty. Additionally, candidates in the program get the rare opportunity of having considerable face time with renowned practitioners. This provided me a platform to quickly become familiar with the arbitration community.
What Was the Most Impactful Experience During your Studies at Miami Law?
My internship at ICSID and my participation in the Vis Moot International Commercial Arbitration competition were the highlights of my LL.M. year. With those opportunities, I gained meaningful experience in both investment and commercial arbitration.
What Advice Would You Give an Incoming LL.M. Student for How to Make the Most of Their LL.M.?
Much as the program provides innumerable opportunities, you need to actively take advantage of those opportunities. Do as much as you can! Get involved in arbitration-related activities!! Participate, volunteer, coach, go for coffee, lunch, office hours, etc. The duration of an LL.M. program is relatively short. As such, if you do not get involved from the get-go, you may not be able to harness the opportunities.
How Has the Graduate Experience Impacted Your Current Work?
Quite apart from providing me with a solid knowledge base, thanks to the program, I now have a close-knit network of colleagues in the field. We remain in close contact, and on occasions have exchanged ideas about complex issues we face in our respective practices.
Miami is a beautiful city. Be sure to enjoy it as much as you enjoy the program!