Rukayatu Tijani

Founder and Creator of the First Generation Purpose Project

📣 ChangeLawyer Award Recipient

Rukayatu Tijani, the founder and creator of the First Generation Purpose Project, is a First Generation Nigerian American from the projects of Brooklyn, New York.  At the tender age of five, she knew she aspired to become an attorney, particularly  after hearing about Justice Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP-LDF, including the monumental case of Brown v. Board of Education.
And this feeling never wavered; even in the midst of witnessing countless murders and gang violence in her hometown, the feeling did not waver.

But, after 18 years of being committed to the goal, the first few years as an attorney shook Ruky’s foundation, and in the end, the hardships in navigating the legal field caused her to waver in her commitment.  She wanted to quit being an attorney.
But her purpose would not allow for this.  Through multiple mentorships and through countless instances of divine intervention, Ruky decided to remain an attorney.
But she knew that if she were to remain an attorney, the journey would have to be different.  After all, as the first African American associate in over a decade in her Silicon Valley law firm office, she knew she could not engage the journey in the same way as her peers.
So she made a promise to God that if he allowed Ruky to figure out how to become a successful as a First Generation attorney in the Silicon Valley, she would share her story with everyone.
And now Ruky stands, as a member of the number one litigation firm in the country, as a past law clerk for an Obama-appointed federal judge, and as a member of both the California and New York state bars, to tell her story.


California ChangeLawyers

California ChangeLawyers (formerly California Bar Foundation) is a statewide foundation that empowers the next generation of lawyers, judges, & activists.

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