Her peers don't hesitate when describing Quarles & Brady's Nneka Umeh: They always rank her as one of the best immigration attorneys practicing in the city of Chicago today.
Umeh's success can be attributed to her legal skills, commitment to her clients, and strong work ethic. But Umeh also understands the challenges in immigration. Her parents came to the United States from Nigeria as college students to build a successful life in this country.
Liz Walker, head of product at insurance broker and risk management company Marsh, worked closely with Umeh when both were co-workers in the legal department at Groupon. Walker said that Umeh regularly devoted hours, often after the workday ended, to protecting and maintaining the immigration status of employees at Groupon.
Umeh made sure that all employees understood their immigration status, the process and the steps they needed to take to ensure that they could continue to work for Groupon, Walker said.
"She impacted the lives of many Groupon employees both directly in her role as well as indirectly as a member of the legal team," Walker said. "She was a true joy to work with and cared deeply for those whose cases she looked after and those with whom she worked throughout the company."
Alice Brathwaite at Upwork, said Umeh’s background as a former inhouse attorney makes her the complete the package. “Having been a client herself, Nneka has a unique understanding of their pain points and needs, which she strives to satisfy on a daily basis.” Brathwaite continued, “Nneka approaches this work, which has life-changing impact on individuals and businesses, with confidence, ease, and a constant desire to help drive their businesses and lives forward in compliant ways”
David D. "Dusty" Moshier, Of Counsel to Hampton & Royce, L.C of Salina Kansas, said “I have referred several clients to Nneka with immigration related issues. Some of the referrals, at first, were reserved about being referred to a Chicago lawyer for assistance. Not a single one, however, regretted the referral and the timely and professional assistance that Nneka provided.”
Joy Johns, an associate in the Chicago office of BakerHostetler, said that Umeh is a creative problem-solver, one who anticipates the problems her clients might face in the highly complex and evolving world of immigration law.
"Nneka is able to put herself in her clients' shoes and develop effective policies and procedures for her clients," Johns said. "During the recent global pandemic, Nneka has seamlessly transitioned to assisting clients with emergency services and issues related to immigration and the constantly changing travel impacts."
Umeh is also committed to serving her community. She has spent time helping first-generation women of color navigate the challenges of law school and find work at law firms, tutoring elementary school students, and writing Wills for Heroes.