Experience


Chioma Azi
Nigerian Lawyers Association Merit Awards 2015

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

African Communities Together

Philadelphia, PA

National Legal Director ( 2021-current)

  • Provide oversight, guidance and training for legal departments for the New York & Washington D.C. offices
  • Strategize and coordinate national immigration litigation 
  • Develop partnerships with key stakeholders that enhance the organization’s advocacy, direct legal service and national African community coalition building goals
  • Collaborate on grant and project proposals and interface with public & private funders and grantors

Law Office of Chioma Azi

Philadelphia, PA

Managing Attorney ( 2009-current)

  • Specialties: small business development, human resources, immigration, and criminal defense
  • Immigration: Family based matters, permanent residence, naturalization, work authorization, asylum, vawa & victims of crime or human trafficking

African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc. 
Philadelphia, PA

Chief Staff Attorney ( 2012-2020)

  • Founder of the legal department and served as chief legal counsel of ACANA, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that assists African and Caribbean immigrants in their resettlement and adjustment in the United States.
  • Represented or assisted more than 120 individuals in matters covering immigration law, criminal defense, family law and small business consultation.
  • 57% winning case record for removal (deportation) cases
  • Processed P-1 visas for international artists, dancers and musicians
  • Assisted with grant writing, drafting of project proposals and grant implementation
  • Led community advocacy and direct engagement with a variety of public, private and non-profit sector organizations

Law Office of Thomas Massucci
New York, NY

Volunteer Immigration Attorney (2009- 2010)

  • Volunteered with boutique immigration firm specializing in asylum and removal defense.
  • Performed master calendar in New York and Philadelphia for immigrants seeking asylum based on family planning, religious persecution and political opinion
  • Drafted memos, researched laws governing asylum and removal, cancellation of removal and the Convention Against Torture treaty

Maximus Federal Services                                                                                        

Philadelphia, PA

Appeals Officer (2008- 2009)

  • Appeals Officer for Maximus Federal Services, a federal contractor working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), a division of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services,
  • Reviewed previously denied claims filed with Medicare & Drafted decisions on claims
  • Researched regulations, laws and policy governing Medicare contained within the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and other federal medical policy sources.

M Davis & Company
Philadelphia, PA

Research Assistant (2004- 2005)

  • Assisted on a collaborative mental health and housing study involving the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Philadelphia office of Mental Health and the University of Pennsylvania. 
  • Interviewed study participants, performed data entry, made phone calls and other administrative duties.

EDUCATION & TRAINING
International Institute of Humanitarian Law (September 28- October 2, 2009)
San Remo, Italy

  • Obtained a Certificate in Migration law from the Attended the 5th Annual International Migration Law Course organized by the International Organization for Migration and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law
  • Completed course work on a range of areas within European Union and International Migration Law, including International Humanitarian Law, International Labor Law, International Maritime Law and International Refugee Law

Duquesne University School of Law

  • Juris Doctorate degree awarded June 2008
  • Awarded a full academic scholarship by Duquesne University
  • Awarded the James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 2007
  • Awarded the Oliver L. Johnson Scholarship, sponsored by the Homer S. Brown Law Association of Pittsburgh in 2007
  • Secretary of the Black Law Students Association, 2006-2008

University of Pittsburgh 

  • Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology, magna cum laude awarded April 2004
  • Minor in French, Certificate in Global Studies
  • Member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Inducted November 2002
  • Studied abroad in Nantes, France, September 2002- December 2002
  • Secretary, African Students Organization, 2003-2004

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

  • Member of the Pennsylvania Commission on African-American Affairs-April 2021-present-Appointed by Governor Tom Wolf, commission comprised of 20 professionals from around the state, advises the governor on policies, procedures, legislation, and regulations relevant to African-Americans in Pennsylvania. GACAAA also works to expand and enhance the civic, social, educational, cultural, and economic status of the African American Community.
  • Executive Director of the Norah Anena Foundation-2015-present-a non-profit organization that promotes cultural restoration and provides access to tuition assistance, skills development for underprivileged youths in Northern Uganda
  • Member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Paid Sick Leave-June 2014-December 2014-Appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter, worked alongside 2 co-chairs, 13 other task force members and 5 staff to review the economic, public health and business implications of mandating paid sick leave for individuals working in the city of Philadelphia.
  •  Chief Executive Officer & Founder of the Philly Nigerian Professionals-June 2011-present– a networking and professional development organization that hosts and promotes social, charitable and cultural events for African professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area.
  • Treasurer of Friends of UNIFAT Inc. (the Upper Nile Institute for Appropriate Technology)-2013-present-a Philadelphia-based 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that supports UNIFAT Primary School located in Gulu, Uganda

SKILLS/AWARDS

  • Recipient of the 2015 Exemplary Service Award from the Nigerian Lawyers Association
  • Proficient in French (reading, written, spoken)
  • Beginners level in Acoli Luo (spoken only)