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FORCES OF NATURE: Kameelah Hakeem

Name: Kameelah Hakeem

Profession: Administrative Director at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Twenty years ago, I was a newly-minted, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed litigation associate at a firm called Jenkens and Gilchrist (R.I.P.). As luck would have it, I was assigned an amazing legal assistant named Kameelah Hakim. My immediate impression of Kameelah was that she was an intelligent, take-charge, no-nonsense person with a very sunny disposition. While both Kameelah and I had a good-natured “can do” attitude, we quickly learned that we were both freshmen when it came to perfunctory litigation tasks, such as court filing protocols.

I’ll never forget the day I pulled an all-nighter completing a motion only to find out shortly before the court closure that I was supposed to have alerted Kameelah that we needed an attorney service to execute the filing. Kameelah and I drove to Santa Monica Superior Courthouse with me frantically assembling the filings in the passenger seat while Kameelah bolted to court. I remember running down the Santa Monica Superior Court hallway reaching the filing window breathless. That experience sealed me and Kameelah as an unstoppable dynamic duo.

Jenkens and Gilchrist dissolved a couple of years later and Kameelah and I moved on to different firms. We lost touch and by happenstance ran into each other a few months ago. Not to my surprise, Kameelah has propelled herself to the upper stratosphere of the corporate world all while single-handedly raising a mini Force of Nature or as I call them “FONlings.” 

While researching her for this blog, my mind was blown by the fact that what I knew about Kameelah 20 years ago, was only a fraction of impressive attributes and skills. 

A very small list of Kameelah’s accomplishments and attributes as a Force include:

  • An MBA
  • A certified life insurance agent
  • A professional singer in the family vocal group, Royalty, previously signed with the Warner Bros. recording label and she lends her voice to the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic/Legal Voices.
  • She served as the Chapter President 2021-2022 for the Greater Los Angeles Association of Legal Administrators (GLA ALA), and developed content for the continued education of its members.  After her GLA presidency, Kameelah was elected to serve as their Community Connection Chair in 2023 and to partner with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in a fundraiser to support children in the Los Angeles foster care system.
  • The national Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) recently elected Kameelah to their Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA) Committee. 
  • She is also the recipient of the Century City Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Women of Achievement Award 2022. 
  • Kameelah is passionate about her work with non-profit organizations, such as New Friends Homeless Center (NFHC), the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, and the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). 

Kameelah is a Force in every sense of that term.

Enjoy her music video here (note, she’s in a curve-hugging, neon yellow mini dress!).

Learn more about Kameelah’s resilience here.

Author: Benny Roshan, Chair of Greenberg Glusker's Trust and Probate Litigation Group

Categories: Forces of Nature