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Naffie Lamin ’17 Charts Her Professional Path a World Away From Home

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Naffie Lamin learned a lot about injustice as a child in her native country, The Gambia. “Growing up in Africa is a pretty unique experience,” she says. “You see poverty and inequity every day. You also see what the law is like when it’s not working. So the need to do something to help is so real.”

Over the years, Lamin was educated in American schools as her family moved from country to country for her father’s work. Her commitment to becoming a lawyer and serving her community remained steadfast throughout, and manifested in her volunteer work with Street Girls Aid Relief Organization, which provides educational programs for the relief and rehabilitation of homeless women in Ghana.

After earning her B.A. cum laude in International Relations, Lamin applied to law school. “The day I heard from St. John’s was a great day,” she says. “I wouldn’t have been able to go to law school without the significant scholarship assistance I received. My family and I were so happy.”

At St. John’s, Lamin stands out as a high-achiever who serves on the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review and as a student fellow at the Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution; who participates in the Dispute Resolution Society as competition planning director and in the Public Interest Center’s student-led initiatives; and who works as a research assistant, among other activities and accomplishments. Lamin is also the proud recipient of the Honorable Theodore T. Jones, Jr. ’72 Memorial Scholarship—one of the many endowed scholarships that the Law School offers deserving students.

While Lamin has no family in the United States, she’s quick to point out that she’s found a supportive and caring second family at St. John’s Law. “I’ve made really good friends here, and being active on campus helps me build a sense of belonging,” she shares. “Also, the alumni have been absolutely incredible. They’re always willing to meet and talk. They really do love to give back.”

Lamin spent the summer after her 2L year at Shearman & Sterling LLP, working with the firm’s litigation and mergers and acquisitions groups. “All the cases and assignments I was fortunate enough to be a part of were exciting and nuanced and kept me on my toes,” she says. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. The rigorous curriculum and co-curricular opportunities that St. John’s Law offers definitely prepared me to thrive in a high-intensity, fast-paced law firm environment. I came away from my summer experience more eager than ever to make my mark as a lawyer.”