Congratulations are in order for Nnamdi Ezenwa. For the first time in 13 years, the highest performing person in the graduating class at the historically-Black, Thurgood Marshall School of Law is a Black man.

In 1978, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, agreed to name formally the “Law School of Texas Southern University,” the “Thurgood Marshall School of Law. (TMSL)” Each year, the Law School ranks in the top five (5) in the nation in the number of African-American law graduates. In addition, it ranks in the top twenty-five (25) in the number of Mexican-American or Chicano graduates.

This month, TMSL recognizes the next class of leaders, led by Ezenwa. He shares:

“Academics has been important to my family and has been important to me for my entire life. It’s an amazing feeling to be recognized like this. I wanted to get my law degree and be a positive example to others. I wanted to prove it can be done and it an be something anyone can achieve with hard work and a great work ethic.”

Without question, Ezenwa proved his point. Although he leads his class, he was also active on campus, participating in Honor Court and the African Law Student Association. He also finds time to be one of the editors for the Thurgood Marshall Law Review.

In high school and college, Ezenwa played basketball, like his father Francis, and had ‘hoop dreams’. He even went on to sign with an agent. When professional basketball didn’t work out, he took another route. Lucky for him (and his future clients), another major plan was in store.

“Continuing my career in basketball didn’t work out and that’s OK,” says Ezenwa. “Sometimes life takes us in another direction and I’d love to stay involved in sports with my law degree and there are multiple possibilities I can do that. I’ll take the Texas bar exam and then we’ll see where I go from there.”

Congratulations again to Nnamdi Ezenwa and all of his colleagues.

Update: May 13, 2020 11am EST: “18 years” has been changed to “13 years” to recognize the valedictorian in 2007.