This week, Nigerian born Beatrice Hamza Bassey, the first African partner of one of the most prestigious law firms In the United States, Hughes Hubbard and Reed will feature on African Voices, CNN’s International weekly half-hour programme highlighting Africa’s most engaging personalities.
In the interview with CNN correspondent Zain Asher, she talks about her childhood ambition to become a reputable lawyer, and how she opted for a higher education at Harvard Law School to achieve her goal. She plans to use her position and experience to influence aspirating young lawyers about good work ethic and integrity.
She says, “I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer and one of my major reasons was because I wanted to be able to speak against gender inequalities which is predominant in the Northern part of Nigeria where I grew up. Encouraging basic and higher education for women is also very important because this will bring about self-sustenance and reduce the poverty level in the country”.
A graduate of the University of Maiduguri and the Nigerian Law School and also an alumnus of Harvard Law School, this highly trained lawyer has shown expertise in her profession for almost two decades which is evident in the countless number of high profile cases she has handled for her firm.
She was listed among the Forbes Africa Magazine’s top ten Africans in New York City in 2012 and New York Super Lawyers, 2012 Top Women Attorneys in the New York Metro Area. She is also among the Empowered Newswire’s Nigeria’s Top 50 Award for the Most Outstanding Nigerian Lawyer in Diaspora, in October 2010, amongst other recognition.