Hard Work, Moving On, and a Voice to Love

Discovery with Oderah C. Nwaeze

Published in 2023 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine

By Oderah C. Nwaeze on May 17, 2023


My nickname is … O.D. or OD, depending on who is spelling it.

I can’t go a day without … my headphones.

When I was a newbie lawyer I … once drafted a rescission contract for the return of a broodmare to my boss. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what a broodmare was, either. I assumed we’d be working on a corporate governance matter. Instead, I helped my boss get his injured and retired horse back after he learned her life might be at risk by being returned to the racetrack.

The lawyer I most admire is …  Judge Jerry Blackwell.

The quality I most like in a lawyer is … reasonableness and civility.

My career high point (so far) has been … winning both the cases I first-chaired in 2021—one in the Court of Chancery, and the other in the District of Delaware.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … a podcaster, speechwriter or news anchor.

When I win a case, I celebrate by … moving on. There are so many factors that can impact whether your client prevails, so it is best to be thankful for—and/or relieved by—the outcome, but not let it define you.

The SCOTUS decision I’d overturn is …Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

A different practice area that intrigues me is … employment law. Based on the stories I’ve heard from friends in the space, an employment law practice could prove to be highly entertaining people-watching.

I can do a pretty good impersonation of … Elmo. In particular, Tickle Me Elmo. It is a hit with my nieces and nephews.

My real-life hero is … my mother, Ijeoma Nwaeze. There has never been a person so solidly in my corner, or a better example of a good human. Lord knows where I would be without her wisdom, kindness, intellect and grace.

On weekends I … used to play basketball, but my legs have aged far quicker than I have, so now I’m looking for the next thing. But I’m not ready for white sport sets and racket games.

The talent I wish I had is … singing. I wanted to be in a boy band in middle school. I learned to dance, but the singing part escapes me.

My motto is … Hard work pays off.

My earliest memory is … the time I spent in London with my aunt and cousins before moving to the U.S.

The movie line I quote most often is … “Life’s not fair, is it? You see I … well, I shall never be king. And you … shall never see the light of another day. Adieu.” – The Lion King. Shoutout to my younger sister for making me watch that movie at least 100 times.

I wish I had invented … the credit card readers at gas stations. When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I pitched the idea of a machine that accepted cash and would dispense the amount of gas you paid for. I did not have an understanding of credit cards at the time. … I’m sure that was the only thing stopping me. 

My favorite podcast is …Pivot and SquADD Cast.

If I had a morning show, my co-host would be … Comedian CP.

The last TV show I binge-watched was …Power Book III: Raising Kanan.

Nothing cheers me up like … reminiscing about days in Trans-Ekulu, Enugu, with my cousin.

If I had a time machine, I would … go back and spend more time with my maternal grandfather, or at least call or write more.

If I won the lottery I’d … make sure my family members were stable and debt-free.

The question I wish people would stop asking is … “Are you happy?” Like most immigrants, happiness has not been my focus.

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