Attorney Nailah Gordon-Decicieo was honoured at the National Bar Association’s renowned 40 Under 40 Awards Gala on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, during the NBA’s 92nd Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada.
The awards recognize the nation’s top lawyers under the age of 40 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement in the legal field, including in advocacy, innovation, vision, leadership and overall legal and community involvement.
“As one of the preeminent bar associations in the world, the NBA has an obligation to ensure that our communities are informed of their rights, and placed in the best position to receive justice when challenged. Each of our 40 Under 40 award recipients possesses remarkable intellect and a professional drive that enhances the future of our profession. On behalf of an organization with a magnificent history of great leaders, I am proud to give the 2017 inductees the recognition they deserve as they will no doubt continue to make the legal field and our communities a better place for all,” said Kevin Judd, president of the National Bar Association.
Gordon-Decicieo was selected from a cross-section of legal professionals, including lawyers from big, medium and small firms, solo and industry practitioners, government lawyers, judges, academicians, corporate counsels, young elected officials, and various other lawyers, all of whom are using their juris doctor degree in innovative and community impacting ways.
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of more than 65,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 84 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit: https://www.nationalbar.org/.
Gordon-Decicieo shares a Brampton, Ontario law office (Joanna Gordon Law Firm P.C.) with her mother Joanna Gordon.
Nailah paid homage to her mother by saying, “My mom studied while raising us, she made education an adventure and in the process showed me how that could change your life. She is certainly an inspiration for me.”
Nailah graduated from the University of Windsor and articled at Blaney McMurtry LLP before joining her mother’s law firm in September 2014.
Gordon-Decicieo, who, along with Mariam Moktar are graduates from the University of Windsor were the only Canadians that made the National Bar Association (NBA) ‘Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under-40’ 2017 list, commented that it was no coincidence.
“This is a university that prides itself on social justice,” the former Ontario Justice Education Network social justice fellow pointed out. “It’s not just turning out practitioners who understand legal theory. It’s producing practitioners who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.”
Gordon-Decicieo who is of Jamaican heritage was selected in 2008 to participate in the Grace Kennedy summer internship program in Jamaica.
The GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme is a fully paid cultural and professional internship geared towards second and third generation Jamaican university students who are living in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It promises to highlight many aspects of Jamaican life while furthering the career goals of the selected candidates.
“That program opened my eyes to really appreciate my Jamaican heritage and understand that I am the product of a strong, tenacious, hardworking and bright people,” said Gordon-Decicieo whose family migrated to England before settling in Canada.
By Karl A. Haughton