CHARLESTON – Nigeria native and Bailey & Wyant partner Suleiman Oko-ogua has been selected as a 2017 fellow to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.

Oko-ogua said he hopes to establish a “diversity and inclusion program for the West Virginia legal community” in his time as an LCLD fellow. Oko-ogua said he attended an inclusion and diversity event in Kentucky in 2015, “and it was very insightful and well organized.”

“I am a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion in the workplace,” Oko-ogua told The West Virginia Record. “The benefits of a diverse workplace cannot be understated. To be part of an organization like the LCLD that brings together diverse legal professionals working together to build a more open and diverse environment is exciting.”

Oko-ogua said the LCLD Fellows Program is designed to connect attorneys for a year-long professional development series that focuses on leadership and relationship building. The program employs a range of training methods, which allow fellows to learn from the leaders in the legal profession, and networking opportunities available exclusively to fellows, he said.

Oko-ogua is one of two attorneys in West Virginia to be selected as a fellow this year, Bailey & Wyant said in a news release.

According to Oko-ogua, the recent legal activities/honors he feels were instrumental in his nomination as a fellow include serving as the co-chairman for the labor and employment law group for the West Virginia Defense Trial Counsel, being nominated by the Lawyers of Color to their annual Hotlist in 2014 and being voted among the top 100 National Black Lawyers in 2016 and 2017.

Born in Nigeria, West Africa, Oko-ogua said he immigrated to the United States in the late 1990s to attend college. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Oko-ogua moved to Charleston in August 2011 to work for Bailey & Wyant. He was promoted to partner on Jan. 1.

Oko-ogua has enjoyed his time in West Virginia.

“West Virginia is a beautiful state with a lot to offer those who live and work here,” he said. “I have come to find what I enjoy most about West Virginia are the people; they are very welcoming and hospitable.”

In addition, Oko-ogua said he likes Charleston, especially the fact that it is easy to get around the city.

“Charleston also provides an opportunity for young professionals to get involved and make change happen in real tangible ways,” he added.

Bailey & Wyant said in its news release that Suleiman’s practice focuses on civil litigation, including civil rights litigation, employment law and insurance defense.

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