Negin Nader Bazrafkan
Name: Negin Nader Bazrafkan
Hometown:Copenhagen, now New York
Law School: Fordham Law School
Graduation Year: 2023
What inspired you to go to law school?
Three things had impacted my law school path:
1) My grandfather started his journey to pursue his passion for law in Iran in the 1950’s. However, fate had a different plan in store for him. He could not finish his studies because of political chaos and uncertainty in the streets. My grandfather’s story inspired me to study law and go for a degree at Fordham when I finally had the opportunity to move.
2) When I was 13 years old I started my first job as a young reporter where I wrote articles and columns in English and Danish for a well known Humanitarian Magazine. I wrote about law, Human Rights, topics related to politics, health and society in general. I found out that I wanted to be involved with the world and law was interesting, because it is a tool; a power tool that can benefit your life, your family and you can change the world.
3) For some reason I always ended up in situations in life where I had to help someone with a complaint or a case and I still do!
What area of the law interests you and why?
I am primarily focused on Criminal Law, International Criminal Law, and Human Rights. This is because these areas of law generate significant interest among people from all over the world; from the hardworking craftsman you meet on the street to a top diplomat you meet at an event. I don’t just want to discuss legal matters with other lawyers; I want to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds around the world. Lawyers typically don’t engage in arbitration discussions with non-lawyer neighbors. No non-lawyer wants to hear about how a contract has been breached. Additionally, high-profile and international cases often revolve around the fields I mentioned, and political dynamics are influenced by these areas as well.
What extracurriculars are you involved in and how have they impacted your experience?
I dedicated my free time to serving as a volunteer in Queens arranged by New York Immigration Coalition’s and New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) Key to the City Immigration Screening Clinics. As a law student privileged with knowledge and skills, it is my duty to give back to my community wherever I live. It has had a huge impact on me and I learn so much from all the stories the immigrant might have form their journey. I also feel like New York is not New York without immigrant because the city is build by immigrants. The New Yorker experience has to include talking to immigrants, eating hot dogs, embracing rats on the streets and enjoy the most interesting boroughs and areas in the world!
Committee work: New York State Bar: International Section, Cannabis Law Section, and Criminal Justice Section, New York City Bar Association: MENA Committee and the United Nations Committee, Federal Bar Association Law Student Division (Second Circuit Representative) and Islamic Law Board Member (American Branch of the International Law Association, ABILA).
What do you hope to achieve after you graduate?
I hope to pass the bar and start my international career. I want to show that a law degree can be used for so many different paths.
What advice would you give to your fellow law students?
Do other things in your free time. Life is not all about working or studying law. I have not had one path. I have a non-linear approach to life and I lived the life of many lives, because I chose to go in several directions in my life. I did not want to follow the traditional and linear path.
Be creative and get involved with pro bono work. Apply for an internship. I currently work as a intern at the Queen’s District Attorney’s Office (Human Trafficking Bureau). It is so fascinating to understand and explore the American Criminal Justice System. It is very different from Denmark where I was born and raised. I learn so much every day! The books can’t even compete to all the important details and element that my supervisor teaches me every time.
Why should other law students join NYSBA?
Students may choose to join the New York State Bar Organization for several reasons. Becoming a member of this organization can provide valuable networking opportunities with legal professionals in the state of New York. I have already connected with several NYSBA members and co-chairs. It is more intimate than other great Bar Associations which is beneficial if you want to be seen and heard.