Meet Zakiya Clemons (JD ’19)

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Zakiya Clemons (JD ’19) talks about her summer position in the enforcement division of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). She also talks about her decision to attend Wake Forest School of Law.

Where do you call home?

Columbia, SC

Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?

Winthrop University

Where are you working this summer?

I am a legal intern in the enforcement division of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Are you working in a specific area of law?

I am working for a federal agency that is relatively new. I find it most interesting that there are so many legal questions that the agency comes across each week that they’ve never had the opportunity to address before.

Describe a typical day at your summer position.

I have the complete freedom to plan my day. I can start by working on a memo addressing a new question for the agency or I may meet with an attorney to strategize potential arguments. Around lunch time, I could try out a new food truck in the city or attend a lunch-and-learn with notable attorneys in the field. I can finish my day by putting together documents for an attorney to use in an upcoming proceeding or even by sitting-in on a phone call with opposing counsel.

Describe your 1L summer experience.

I spent my 1L summer at Legal Aid of North Carolina in Winston-Salem. There, I enjoyed half of the summer working on a variety of cases dealing with everything from landlord-tenant issues to reinstatement of government benefits. For the second half of the summer, I worked in the domestic violence division conducting interviews and observing court.

Why did you decide to attend Wake Forest Law?

I decided to attend Wake Forest Law, because of its outstanding reputation and commitment to diversity.

Describe the Wake Forest community.

The Wake Forest community is small but mighty.

What is your most memorable experience during law school (thus far)?

My most memorable experience during law school thus far is participating in the 1L trial bar competition. It was a memorable experience for me, because it is what made me first feel like I was really in law school. I had a great mentor and immediately felt involved in the campus.

What are you involved in outside the classroom?

I have served as the social justice chair for the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) as well as a 2L representative for the Public Interest Law Organization (PILO). These experiences have added value to my experience by allowing me to connect with people and have an impact in the areas near to my heart.

What do you do for fun in Winston-Salem when you aren’t studying?

When I’m looking for something fun to do in Winston-Salem, it normally involves trying a new restaurant and touring a new winery.

Where do you want your law degree to take you?

My law degree will give me the knowledge and skills needed to transform our nation’s civil rights and access to justice.