DBT40 Honoree: Wali Rushdan II
Workplace: Fox Rothschild LLP
In February, the lieutenant governor, mayor of Wilmington and New Castle County executive came together with representatives from Delaware’s federal delegation to honor the work of Wali Rushdan II.
A sought-after real estate attorney at Fox Rothschild, member of the Delaware State Board of Education and a mentor to many of the city’s youth, Rushdan has made a mark on his city in a short amount of time.
Despite his successes, Rushdan will admit that he almost flunked out of community college. He struggled after moving from Pennsylvania to Delaware as a teen, and was letting his dream of becoming a lawyer slip away.
After a reality check, he buckled down and earned an associate degree before graduating from the University of Delaware and Rutgers Law School.
Just nine years after graduating law school, Rushdan was named a partner at Fox Rothschild, a Top 20 Wilmington firm. He had won dozens of motions, successfully negotiated even more deals and amassed a six-figure book of business, but the firm also recognized his community efforts.
Over the past decade, Rushdan founded the Ebony Tie Affair Youth Symposium, an annual event intended to introduce young Black students to successful African-American men, and chaired the Achievers Program, a college preparation program geared towards Black high school students. Following the death of George Floyd, Rushdan joined his mentees in the streets of Wilmington to influence them to use the power of their voices responsibly.
It was that kind of leadership and more that convinced New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer to declare Feb. 25 as “Wali Rushdan Day” in the county in 2020. To mark the occasion this year, Rushdan arranged to do a charity breakfast for the 600-plus residents of the New Castle County Hope Center, a homeless shelter.