Yorm Ama Abledu has been named as the 2022 International Bar Association’s (IBA) Outstanding Young Lawyer Award recipient at the recently concluded IBA Annual Conference held at the Miami Beach Convention Center from 30th October to 4th November, 2022. Ms. Abledu is the second African, the first African woman, and the first Ghanaian woman lawyer to receive the prestigious award.
Ms. Abledu is a legal academic at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA Law School), a Senior International Attorney at Centurion Law Group, and a Harvard-certified negotiator with significant expertise that cuts across diverse sectors such as project finance, infrastructure development, tax, real estate, and other noted key practice areas. She is a corporate lawyer with expertise in corporate law, energy, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, corporate governance, and company secretarial services. Ms. Abledu has certifications in human rights, and Oil and Gas Law from Fordham University. Her passion for human rights Law led her to win a total of 57 human rights cases on behalf of several indigents over a 12-month period in her position as Assistant Public Defender under the Legal Aid Commission, where she continues to offer pro-bono service. She is a seasoned advocate with in-depth knowledge of navigating regulatory affairs in Ghana and she has exemplified a commitment to advancing many charitable and civic causes, most notably in her support for legal services to the poor.
As someone who is passionate about diversity and inclusion of women in the energy industry, to her, winning the prestigious IBA Outstanding Young Lawyer award drives home the assertion that the result of hard work does not distinguish between a man and a woman.
“I realize that whether male or female, you can make it and you can rise above all odds. The days where gender was a limiting factor to success are over. We are in a new order where success has no gender color, where greatness is neither male nor female – it only belongs to the one who works hard and is well prepared,” she said.
Ms. Abledu believes that her obsessive knack for excellence, her desire to rise and stand above in all she does – even the seemingly unimportant tasks – and her commitment to maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards are contributing factors to winning that prestigious award. Further, she believes that her desire to give back to her community – sometimes at her own cost – is also a factor to her win.
She admits that challenges are bound to be faced by anyone who wants to climb the ladder of success in the legal profession. Much more for the African woman, these challenges are multifaceted and require a strong mind to break through and excel. She encourages African women to be strong-minded and cultivate the desire to win and excel, knowing that all things are achievable by anyone who works hard at it.
“The challenge for me was to reshape my mind and to start thinking that all things are possible, especially for me as a woman. The day I overcame that challenge, I knew nothing could stop me. I knew I was able to do all things by the Grace of God. Next, I had to learn how to balance the pressures of work with my personal life and personal goals. That did not come easy. I cannot emphasize enough to the African woman by saying that success has no gender. Work hard and your dream will become a reality,” Ms. Abledu encouraged.
The International Bar Association’s (IBA) annual conference is the leading conference for legal professionals to converge, learn, network, and solidify business proposals and ideas. It advances the development of international law and its imperative for growing businesses and society. The conference provides members with world-class professional development opportunities to enable them to deliver outstanding legal services wherever they find themselves.