Today we’d like to introduce you to Adama Koroma.
Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
Seventh grade at a principal’s luncheon was what lay the foundation for my story. I remember that day like it was yesterday. On that particular day, all the honor roll, the seventh grader from Stephen Decatur, had the opportunity to have lunch with the principal. At lunch, we went around the table stating what we wanted to be when we grew up. One of my classmates, Ma’Nisha Johnson, stated she wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up. Surprisingly, that sparked my attention because as a female child growing up in an African household, you were taught at a young age to grow up to be a nurse or a doctor, and I never heard someone wanting to be a lawyer. I knew at that very moment I wanted to be a lawyer, just like Ma’Nisha Johnson. From that day, I became fascinated with shows like Law and Order, NYPD Blue, CSI, The Practice, etc. I mapped out my life by setting goals: I was going to remain on the honor roll and graduate high school, I was going to excel in college and go to law school, and by the age of 30, own my law firm. That was the goal and the force that kept me going. The first semester in law school was a scary wake-up call. For the first time, I had self-doubt in my dreams. I didn’t think I would make it through law school because, for the first time in my life, I received so many Cs – first semester mid-term grades, straight Cs (no other alphabet in sight). I was devastated and wanted to run. But my dad kept me grounded. He reminded me that Cs were still a passing grade, which meant I had to work harder – which I did. By the end of the first year semester, I received a more diverse grade; I received As, Bs, and two or three Cs. I saw progress, and I held my vision close.
In Law School, I interned with many government entities (mostly State Attorney Offices and Attorney General Offices in Florida and DC). I always liked kids, especially the “bad ones”; they had character. My passion for helping children grew in law school from my internships with the Juvenile Service Department and Child and Family Division. Sitting in the courtroom and exploring the detention center inspired me to write my first published book: ‘I Have Rights Too!’ I wrote ‘I Have Rights Too!’ to educate children on their legal rights. I had never seen any children’s book discussing the legal system. I wanted to create something helpful, out of the box, and easy to understand. Even though it is a children’s book, the 4th Amendment applies to all. As a Maryland attorney, I aim to give voice to the voiceless and educate my community. Today, I am not only an author but also a solo practitioner providing legal representation to the residents of Baltimore with traffic cases.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
By far, my journey has not been smooth. From law school, academic challenges to my publishing company trying to take advantage of me/my work, to find a firm that would take a chance on me were all the hurdles I had to jump over. To date, the road is still not smooth. I am thankful for the people, like Samuel Q. Elira, who took a chance on me by mentoring me, connecting me with his publishing agency, hiring me to work at his law firm, and showing me how to run a business. Only through faith and God’s grace can I get past every obstacle.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Being an attorney was the foundation for writing ‘I Have Rights Too!’ I am proud of my work because it’s a tool that can change so many children’s minds and help them in the long run. Knowing your rights can help one maneuver through the judicial system. ‘I Have Rights Too!’ is the road map every child needs, and every parent should have to set their child up for success, especially in the Baltimore City area, where so many children get wrapped up in the juvenile system. ‘I Have Rights Too!’ and my legal services can all be found at www.legalleyes.com.
What would you say has been one of your most important lessons?
The most important lesson I’ve learned along the journey is to trust the process because God is in control.
- $10 for ‘I Have Rights Too!’
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