Many are called, but few are chosen. Many people are called to a life of servitude, but very few choose to accept that calling to become a servant. Olanike “Nike” Adebayo grew up as a biracial female in Chicago, Illinois. However, she first realized the calling to serve in the area of criminal justice during one of her annual visits with her father in Nigeria. During that particular visit, Nike was a firsthand witness to a crime that was reported to law enforcement, but never investigated. Even as a child, she was troubled that Nigeria’s few existing laws were not necessarily enforced. Nigeria’s law enforcement had a limited infrastructure and their legal obligations to investigate and prosecute crimes seemingly did not exist.
Upon returning to the United States, Nike realized how fortunate she was to live in a country where laws are enforced and people are held accountable for their actions. At the same time, Nike faced her own harsh reality in that she was teased and bullied because her mother was white. Nike learned at a young age to speak up for herself, which made her self-aware, strong and resilient. Dealing with both of these situations, Nike realized her calling to serve. She recognized that she would spend her life defending and upholding the law, and fighting for those who needed help. She knew then that she wanted to be a lawyer and a judge.
Nike followed her childhood dream and obtained her law degree. Her entire legal career has been dedicated to bringing justice to victims and defending the rights of others. Today, more than ever, she is still fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves and those who have no voice.
During law school she interned at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and was hired in 1997 as a permanent employee by Katherine Fernandez Rundle. After working in the misdemeanor and felony domestic violence units, she worked her way up to the Chief of Litigation of the Juvenile Division. Nike successfully tried over 50 cases.
After almost 8 years at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, Nike left to gain some civil litigation experience, but knew that she still wanted to stay in the public sector. She joined the Police Legal Bureau for the Miami-Dade Police Department in July 2005. While working as a Police Legal Advisor and in the Community Outreach Division in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, she was heavily involved in community policing. She organized and participated in a number of community forums along with officers from the various police departments throughout the county to speak to residents and participate in activities, such as the gun buy-back program, Thanksgiving food drive, Christmas toy give-a-way. These events helped the community see police in a different light and helped to build the trust between the police and the public. The hope was to not only do good for the community, but to let the residents know that they could go to the police when they were witnesses to crimes in their community and believe that they would help. As a Police Legal Advisor, Nike also taught courses to law enforcement and civilians at the Metropolitan Police Institute, in the areas of Child Custody Disputes, Juvenile Procedures, Domestic Violence, Landlord and Tenant, and Civil and Criminal Liability. Nike worked with the Miami-Dade Police Department for over five years before returning to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to work in the Community Outreach Division.
In Nike’s new role at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, Community Outreach Division, she provided prosecutorial, law enforcement, and quality of life initiatives throughout the county. She developed training outlines and provided instruction to police officers from different municipalities, assisted in the development and implementation of the Junior State Attorney’s Program, and represented the State Attorney’s Office at meetings with elected officials, law enforcement, and concerned citizens. After working for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for more than one-half of her career, Nike decided to leave again to work as a defense attorney in order to become a well-rounded attorney.
In August 2014, Nike formed her own firm, Olanike Adebayo, P.A., and practices in the area of family law, criminal and juvenile defense, and personal injury. In December 2014, Nike joined the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Third Region of Florida as an Assistant Regional Counsel in the dependency division. Nike tirelessly represents and defends parents who have been charged of abuse, abandonment, and neglect of their children by the Department of Children and