Announcing Lydia Obasi Hills as Acting NLA President
Dear Members and Friends,
I enthusiastically write to announce that as of January 1, 2017, our Vice President, Lydia Obasi Hills, will be assuming the role of Nigerian Lawyers Association President. Lydia has worked tirelessly over the passed two years as NLA Secretary and Vice President, respectively, and I can think of no better person to take over the helm of the NLA’s affairs and to continue the upward trajectory of our association.
Lydia is the owner of The Hills Firm, a general practice law firm located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York, and her practice includes Immigration, Family Law, Civil Litigation, Small Business Services and Entertainment Law. Most recently, Lydia secured a federal temporary injunction in the Eastern District of New York, on behalf of Eric Many, Ltd., barring all U.S. performances of its artist, Runtown. The injunction was highly publicized in the Nigerian media, and is just one example of Lydia’s work ethic and legal prowess.
With Lydia acting as President, she will be sure to continue what we started two years ago – the path towards expanding the NLA’s ever increasing role as the national umbrella for all Nigerian lawyers in the United States.
It has truly been a privilege to serve as NLA President, and I’m proud to say that since we’ve been called to serve: (1) NLA membership has increased exponentially, with an increase of over 1500%; (2) our treasury has more than doubled; (3) our free legal clinics, scholarships, and law school pipeline initiatives have been expanded; and (4) the NLA brand has become more vibrant than ever before. It’s imperative that we keep the energy and enthusiasm going, and I trust that Lydia will do just that as President.
Serving as your President over the past two years, has been an incredible experience and a true honor. During the course of my administration, we emphasized the importance of networking, mutual investment, mentorship, and the importance of everyone working together toward a common goal. We also increased outreach and strategic partnerships – an effort which saw an 800% increase in our scholarship outlays within the past year alone. We also made investments in our online technology through the new NLA website. With the new website, administration of membership dues, fundraisers, and the NLA dinner has been much more efficient. The cost savings in fees we would have otherwise needed to pay by using a third party vendor, helped with increasing the monies available for scholarships. I trust the new site will continue to be instrumental as the NLA continues to grow and expand across the country.
Nonetheless, there still remains lots of work to be done. In the coming weeks, the NLA will be working on amendments to its Constitution to set forth the required procedure for establishing semi-autonomous NLA State Chapters, and an expansion of the Board. We also need to continue to work on our CLE accreditation.
Moreover, the NLA must continue to play a strategic role in helping to advance people oriented non-political policy initiatives that can help improve the lives of Nigerians both at home and abroad. The NLA must also work to strengthen its relationships with its corporate partners and with law schools. I trust that with Lydia at the helm, the NLA will be able to achieve these goals and much more.
For those who may ask why elections have not been held or a January schedule announced, it’s because our Board, and specifically our Board Chair, chose to apply a strict reading of the NLA Constitution, which requires elections to be held in June of every calendar year. Although the past several elections have not been held in June, the Board decided that this would be a good opportunity to set the NLA’s election cycle back on track. As such, given the Constitutional limitations on the President’s tenure, I thought it best for our Vice President to take over the affairs of the association until the next election is scheduled and held.
I sincerely thank all those who served on the Executive Board with me over the passed two years, especially Lydia Obasi Hills, Conway Expo, Shereefat Balogun, Stephanie Ijoma, Eunice Adeleke, and Ifiok Nwa. Without these individuals, we would not have come close to achieving the accomplishments we’ve achieved over the past two years. I also write to thank our Board Members, Olayinka Dan-Salami, Chinyelu Udo, Abayomi Ajaiyeoba Whint, Chisom Ananaba, Mariam Sanni-Adigun, and Shereefat Balogun for their service.
Thanks again to you all.
Nexus U. Sea
Nigerian Lawyers Association
Tel: (212) 589-4677
Nexus U. Sea
45 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10111