In Memoriam: Providence Ebubechi Napoleon
The Diversity Conference mourns the loss of its past chair, Providence Napoleon, who died Monday, April 19, 2021 at the age of 34. Providence led the Conference in the 2015-2016 bar year, serving as a steadying presence during the period where the Diversity Conference was being considered for funding.
Providence graduated from Florida International University cum laude in 2007 and from the University of Richmond School of Law cum laude in 2011. She was first admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 2011, adding Florida and Washington, DC as her bar admissions in 2013 and 2016, respectively. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Roger L. Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Honorable James R. Spencer of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and as a judicial extern to the Honorable Henry E. Hudson, also of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
She practiced law at McGuire Woods in Richmond before moving to the Washington, DC office of Allen and Overy. She advised clients on complex competition issues, including business actions that may amount to a competition violations, premerger notification filings, and compliance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.
Providence nobly served the legal profession. Her entry to bar service was with the Hill Tucker Institute, a summer camp that introduced youth to the legal profession. She was a young lawyer delegate representing Virginia to the ABA House of Delegates and to the ABA Young Lawyers Division Assembly. She was Chair of the Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference in the 2015-2016 bar year. She served on the Board of Governors for the Young Lawyers Conference from 2014-2018.
Providence was recognized as a rising star in the legal profession. Providence was named a Rising Star by The Legal 500 in 2019 and has been recognized by Legal Bisnow’s Trending 40 as one of the top 40 lawyers under 40 in Washington, DC.
Current and past members of the Diversity Conference Board of Governors expressed shock and disbelief with Providence’s passing.
She was so full of life, so vibrant, so engaging.Judge Manuel Capsalis (Past Chair, 2009-2010)
Providence was so helpful and worked so hard to get the Diversity Conference to where it is today. We will miss her so very much.Michael HuYoung (Past Chair, 2010-2011)
Providence had a heart of gold and an infectious smile and spirit. She was the best friend, colleague, wife, daughter and sibling that one could ask for. Her commitment to serving others was unmatched. Her impact will be felt by many for a long time. We’ve lost a giant.Latoya Asia (Past Chair, 2016-2017)
Providence was such a beautiful person inside and out. The Virginia State Bar is forever thankful and will always remember her unwavering advocacy for the Diversity Conference. Providence made a difference and paved the way for many lawyers and future lawyers. She will be missed very much.Doris Causey (VSB Past President, 2017-2018)
Providence is survived by her husband of 10 years, Wendy, and her family. Visitation is Friday, April 30 at the L.C. Poitier Funeral Home in Pompano, Florida. The service is May 1, 2021 at Haitian Evangelical Baptist Church in Pompano, Florida.