Hakeem Onafowokan2016 Rising Alumni

Hakeem Onafowokan photo

Hakeem Onafowokan combined his bachelor’s in sports management with a law degree to rise quickly in his career. As a student, Hakeem was an officer on the CEHD Undergraduate Student Board, and helped grow the annual student/alumni networking event. During law school, his legal internships with NASCAR and the Minnesota Public Employment Relations Board led to a position for the NFL Players Association and recognition from the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers. Today, Hakeem is a staff attorney with the League of Minnesota Cities and a volunteer mentor through Kinship of Greater Minneapolis. He credits his perseverance and supportive parents for his accomplishments.


Attorney, League of Minnesota Cities

Are you involved in any volunteer activities?

I am currently a volunteer mentor through Kinship of Greater Minneapolis.

What honors and awards have you received for your hard work?

  • Undergrad: CEHD Student Board, Treasurer; Dean's List
  • Law School: Co-President of the Sports Law Association; Marketing Director and former President for the Black Law Student Association; Communications Officer for the Criminal Justice League; Dean’s List 2014-2015

What professors were most influential during your time in CEHD?

Both Tiffany Richardson and Rayla Allison were extremely influential during my time with CEHD. In the classroom, I learned a great deal about the sports industry from them. Outside of the classroom, they both helped facilitate my dream and goal of attending law school. I am thankful to have had both of them as professors.

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

My parents have been extremely inspiring and supportive during my career. They have made many sacrifices for me to be able to have the life I have, and I am forever grateful for that.

What skills are important to succeed as an emerging professional today?

In my (brief) experience, I'd say perseverance is one of the most important skills an emerging professional needs to have. I'm living proof that sometimes it takes one hundred attempts for one person to give you an opportunity. But once you work hard to get that opportunity, you have to work twice as hard to keep it.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you spend it?

If I have 30 minutes of free time, I'm usually reading something. Whether it's a newsletter I got in my inbox, a book or Twitter, I'm always trying to read something I can learn from. I've personally found Twitter to be a great resource because it's a platform that allows for an aggregation of information from all over the world into a more digestible forum so anyone is able to learn more about almost anything.

What is a good book you would recommend to others?

Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA is a book I just finished. I highly recommend anyone into big time college football and/or men's basketball to read the book.