Omari Scott Simmons is the Howard L. Oleck Professor of Business Law & Director of the Business Law Program at Wake Forest University School of Law. He is a recognized expert on college access as well as corporate governance. Professor Simmons is the author of numerous publications and frequently lectures on these topics to academic and nonacademic audiences across the country and abroad. He is a member of the American Law Institute.
Professor Simmons is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Simmons Memorial Foundation (SMF), a grassroots nonprofit organization that promotes higher education access for vulnerable students in North Carolina and Delaware. Over the past two decades, Professor Simmons, on a volunteer basis, has helped hundreds of talented students attain their higher education goals through his nonprofit organization. He captures these experiences in his book Potential on the Periphery: College Access from the Ground Up.
Before entering academia, Professor Simmons practiced law in Washington, DC. He received his undergraduate education at Wake Forest University; his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; and a Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge. At the University of Pennsylvania, he received the Thouron Award and the Fontaine Fellowship. Professor Simmons has received multiple honors in recognition of his efforts promoting higher education opportunity including: the 2016 Winston-Salem Chronicle Community Service Award; the 2015 MERIT Hall of Fame Award; the 2004 Dr. Sadie T.M. Alexander Distinguished Graduate Award for Outstanding Service from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Black Law Students Association; and the 2002 MBNA Foundation’s Best Practices in Education Award.