Forty Under 40: Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,475 views 

Class of 2023 Forty Under 40 Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler Owner & Founder Prude Legacy Law Group PLLC, Bentonville

In May 2020, due to the pandemic, Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler was furloughed from Mercy Hospital, where she was in-house counsel.

During the break, she pondered why she became an attorney. As a result, she started her firm that summer.

With a philosophy of “listening to understand versus listening to respond,” Prude-Wheeler focuses on estate planning and business transactions, and her firm tripled in profit and added four positions since 2020.

Prude-Wheeler wants her firm to have multiple locations, including her hometown of Blytheville providing criminal law services. She will create scholarships for Blytheville High School students planning a criminal justice career.

After graduating with a philosophy degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2013, she completed a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2017.

During childhood in Blytheville, Prude-Wheeler watched how the justice system affected her family, leading her to a career in criminal law. Realizing the heavy emotional toll criminal law took, and through the mentorship of Dean Cynthia Nance and Professor Tim Tarvin, she decided on corporate law.

After graduation, she was U.S. Ethics Case Manager for Walmart Inc. before becoming an associate attorney at The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas. In December 2019, she became in-house legal counsel at Mercy Hospital in Rogers.

Now an adjunct professor at her alma mater, she plans to hire law clerks to give them practical experience.

Prude-Wheeler led her sorority alum group on a service trip to Africa, speaks at churches and community events on estate planning and volunteers at the law school’s competitions and with The Bail Project.