Fast 15: Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler

by Nancy Peevy ([email protected]) 1,616 views 

Class of 2021 Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler Attorney/Owner Prude Legacy Law Group PLLC

Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler’s desire to be an attorney began as a child, watching Clair Huxtable, the attorney/mom on “The Cosby Show.”

“I saw the prestige associated with being an attorney, the respect you received and how you’re able to impact so many people’s lives,” she said. “Then my family had some terrible experiences with the criminal justice system, and I realized they need people who look like me in these spaces.”

After completing a philosophy degree in 2013 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Prude-Wheeler graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville in 2017. As a student attorney during a bankruptcy clinic, she helped an indigent, disabled client discharge a considerable student loan debt. The experience proved she could do the job and fulfilled her.

“I wanted to help people feel the way my client felt when she was able to walk away from all that student debt,” she said.

After law school, Prude-Wheeler worked in ethics and compliance at Walmart, for The Law Group of NWA and then at Mercy Hospital. Furloughed when the pandemic began, she opened her virtual law firm in July 2020, focusing on bankruptcy, business law, estate planning and probate, and criminal record sealing.

“I wanted to create a space for people of color to go to for legal services,” she said. Being virtual gives her flexibility to help people across the state and cuts down on costs, savings she passes on to her clients.

In five years, Prude-Wheeler wants to have a million-dollar firm with multiple attorneys. She’s on her way, having made more money in the last eight months than in any previous year.

Prude-Wheeler wants to have enough money to start a nonprofit geared to diversifying the legal field and serving as a pipeline to expose children, as young as middle school, to law school and the legal field, including offering them scholarships. Helping the next generation is crucial to her because of the support from her family.

Wanting to give back, Prude-Wheeler serves on her Pi Alpha Omega sorority’s social justice committee and the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. She is also active in her church, St. James Missionary Baptist.

Married for two years, Prude-Wheeler enjoys cycling, traveling and watching reality TV shows.