by Suzan Sadek
Seyed Mohammad Ahlesaadat, Class of 2020, is currently pursuing a Master of Laws at University College London and is set to join Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, a leading international law firm, as a trainee solicitor in 2022.
His path into law, however, was not always clear cut. When he first started at NYU Abu Dhabi, Ahlesaadat was almost certain that he would major in computer science, drawn in by “the ability to simplify complex scenarios into simple code.” He soon realized that something was missing. He wanted to be in a field that gave him the opportunity to build long-term connections with individuals.
After taking a course on international business during his freshman year, he realized that a career in commercial services would be the right match, allowing him to solve real-world issues and form connections with real people. That’s how his legal studies journey began.
Ahlesaadat spoke fondly of the London Track, a one-year program where legal studies students can take English law courses at NYU London, calling it a life changing experience. “It truly is a remarkable experience to come in direct contact with the jurisdiction and the legal system that you are studying,” he remarked. During his time in London, he networked with various law firms through open days and fairs to find the firm he knew would be, as he said: “committed to my professional growth as much as I am committed to its development.”
When asked what advice he would share to students who are considering a career in the legal profession, Ahlessadat says that resilience is key, “Every successful person has faced a history of failure and rejection in their career alongside their accomplishments. There will be times when you believe that you are the ideal candidate for a certain company, have put your best foot forward, but are still faced with rejection. You need to remember that the rejection you just faced does not define you, but your reaction to it does. Your resilience is your most valued asset.”
At NYUAD, I was surrounded by colleagues who were keen to understand my views and professors who supported my development — experiences which have had a huge impact on my growth and inspired me to cultivate supportive and understanding communities.
Additionally, having founded the NYUAD Law Society, he encourages students to be proactive in their actions. To ensure that he had chosen the right career path, Ahlesaadat says that he “made the effort to learn as much as I could about the industry, by going to various talks, setting up meetings with the CDC, finding internships and placement schemes, and so on. Once I was certain about my decision to be a solicitor, that effort only increased.”
Finally, for Ahlesaadat, identity and self-realization is of utmost importance as it is often easy to lose oneself in the process. His experiences have taught him that the value of being in a place that appreciates your ideas and encourages you to go further with them. “At NYUAD, I was surrounded by colleagues who were keen to understand my views and professors who supported my development — experiences which have had a huge impact on my growth and inspired me to cultivate supportive and understanding communities.”