Ex-Big Firm Attorneys Open First Female and Minority-Owned Multi-Office Global Law Practice

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Two women lawyers - one from America; the other, Africa - bridge continents and cultures to open first-of-its-kind U.S. law firm focused on immigration law, international law, and global business law.

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We are not just trying to be lawyers of files or matters, but lawyers who partner with our immigrant and business clients to lead them through their global journeys, challenges, and dreams

Former DLA Piper colleagues Patrice Dziire and Mayabanza Bangudi opened Dziire & Bangudi LLC in August 2009 to provide high-quality representation to immigrants and global businesses. The firm is the first female and minority-owned multi-office global law practice in the country.

After practicing at large law firms for nearly a decade combined - Dziire with Shearman & Sterling, DLA Piper, and Kirkland & Ellis; Bangudi with DLA Piper - both women wanted to practice in a manner that was reflective of their rich and diverse life experiences: immigrants, working mothers, young leaders, internationalists.

With the opening of Dziire & Bangudi, they join a larger movement of ex-large law firm attorneys who seek greater freedom and opportunities under the mantra "same lawyer, better rates."

As attorneys for immigrants and small businesses, Dziire and Bangudi reject the notion that sophisticated, high-quality legal representation is reserved for Fortune 500 companies. Both lawyers use their education and experience, gained at the country's most prominent law schools and firms, to offer each of their clients affordable, superior quality legal representation. Human rights and respect for people is at the core of their business model.

"The reason I wanted to start the firm was really to get back to my core passion, which is working on international legal issues," said Dziire, New York University School of Law, J.D. "I worked in human rights in South Africa prior to law school, chose NYU because of its reputation in international law, and joined Shearman & Sterling right after law school to work in international financial law. I see the firm as an opportunity to expose younger lawyers, particularly lawyers of color, to the vibrancy and sophistication of global law."

Dziire & Bangudi co-founders, Patrice Dziire and Mayabanza Bangudi, first joined forces while working as litigation associates in the Chicago and Baltimore offices of international law firm DLA Piper.

Both women were competitively selected to participate in DLA Piper's award-winning international pro bono initiative, New Perimeter, designed to engage DLA Piper lawyers in vital legal projects in Africa and around the globe. The women worked with a team of lawyers to launch and support the Johannesburg-based Southern Africa Litigation Centre, which promotes human rights and the rule of law in the Southern African region through litigation support and training.

Four years later, Chicago native Dziire, and Bangudi, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, launched their multi-city firm on August 1, 2009, with a special celebration at the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Luncheon honoring Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. The women chose the luncheon as the backdrop for the launch to honor the fact that it was their passion for human rights and work on the Southern Africa human rights project that first brought them together.

"We are not just trying to be lawyers of files or matters, but lawyers who partner with our immigrant and business clients to lead them through their global journeys, challenges, and dreams," said Bangudi, Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. "We want to make a difference in the lives of every client we touch and change the perception that legal representation must be unfeeling to be effective."

About Dziire & Bangudi LLC

Dziire & Bangudi has offices in Chicago and Baltimore. To learn more, visit http://www.dblawyers.com.


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