Meet the Candidates for MuBANY's 2021 Directors!

2021 MuBANY Director Candidate Statements!

The MuBANY Board is composed of four Officers, who serve two-year terms, and five Directors, who serve one-year terms. This year, the five Director positions are up for election!  

On May 19, voting eligible members will receive an email titled “Vote Now: MuBANY 2021 Director Elections” from an ElectionBuddy email address which will allow for electronic voting. Please check your spam folders if you do not receive it.

Voting eligible members can submit their ballot any time between May 19 to June 2 at 8:30pm EST.

Election results will be announced on June 3. Thank you to all who have submitted candidate statements, and to all of our members who have made MuBANY what it is!

Candidate Statements

Waleed Abbasi

My name is Waleed Abbasi and I am writing to express my interest in running for a Board of Directors seat with Mubany. I am an associate at a litigation boutique working in product liability litigation as well as Title IX investigations and actions at the university level.

I previously had the privilege of serving in this role and prided myself on being able to contribute to an organization comprised of individuals whom I respect so deeply. Advocacy and service are near and dear to my heart, during law school I worked alongside a team of attorneys representing Guantanamo Bay detainees in federal court proceedings. There are lessons that I learned from that experience that I carry with me in every day of my practice as an attorney.

As a Palestinian American, the importance of representation in the legal space is of the utmost importance to me, I believe that I have a unique perspective and it is one that I would seek to share with the greater legal community by way of being a participant in Mubany's efforts to serve. Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy. 

Aymen Aboushi

My name is Aymen Aboushi and I am running for a Director position with MUBANY. My legal experience is varied as it is lengthy. I began my career with a Federal Clerkship, and then moved on to the United States Department of Justice where I was a Trial Attorney. I then entered private practice at a boutique litigation firm. I have been the lead counsel in over one hundred cases. While my practice consists of various litigation matters, the heart of my practice is Civil Rights matters, where we have been able to make a significant difference in an array of Civil Rights cases. These matters include successfully representing several Mosques in RLUIPA claims, winning many trials related to police accountability, and significant victories in Constitutional Employment, and ADA litigation. I have also been active in MUBANY, and volunteered on behalf of MUBANY to be a part of the NYSBA’s Task Force on Racial Injustice and Police Reform. I believe that my experience in the Civil Rights arena, along with my passion for meaningful change, will be an asset to MUBANY. I would be humbled at the opportunity to be a Director. Thank you for your consideration.

Maryam Jazini Dorcheh

My name is Maryam Jazini Dorcheh. I am running for a Director position with MuBANY for the 2021-22 term. I am an Assistant Attorney General in the Litigation Bureau at the New York State Office of the Attorney General, where my practice is focused on representing and defending New York State agencies and employees in a broad range of cases in federal and state courts, including challenges to the State’s health care policies, civil rights matters, constitutional challenges, employment discrimination suits and, most recently, federal cases seeking to enjoin the Governor’s executive orders that impose various restrictions that combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, I teach Legal Writing at Fordham University School of law as an Adjunct Professor. Prior to this, I was an associate at a boutique civil rights law firm and at White & Case LLP. I also clerked for the late Honorable William H. Walls at the District Court of New Jersey.

I was honored to be part of an incredibly active board last year. I organized and chaired a panel discussion on clerking during the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with the Muslim Clerkship Network, aimed at helping interested candidates to learn more about the clerkship process generally and specifically during the pandemic.

I was also honored to be part of judiciary initiative to push for the appointment of qualified candidates who identify as Muslim. As part of this effort, I organized and co-led a panel discussion on the Pathways to Becoming a Federal Magistrate Judge, where we invited three federal Muslim Magistrate Judges to speak about their experiences on becoming a federal Magistrate Judge. In addition, I helped to draft a letter to President Biden asking for the appointment of Article III judges. I am also drafting a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to ask that he use his influence to push for the appointment of Article III judges.

In addition to my involvement with the judiciary initiative, I helped organize a call with a series of Muslim Law Student Associations to identify and collaborate on areas of need, including job searches, career development, and other issues affecting Muslim American law students.

Before being a Director of MuBANY, I served as the Chair of the Judicial Committee and along with our team, helped recruit a group of federal district court and Circuit court judges for the annual gala. I also served on the annual gala committee and helped with organizing this event.

Prior to that, I served as the New York-Chapter President of the Iranian American Bar Association for four years. In this capacity, I oversaw various committees that helped organize galas, CLE events, represented community members on pro bono matters, and put together networking events.

If given the opportunity, I hope to continue to serve MuBANY as a Director to help push for the professional advancement of our membership and the greater community. In particular, I would like to help build upon our efforts this past year to help create an institutional mechanism for identifying, training, and promoting qualified candidates for state and federal judicial positions. I also want to further build upon our collaboration with various Muslim Law Student Associations to help with their career advancement and professional development. Thank you for considering my candidacy for this position.

Lejla Hadzic

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to introduce myself and provide a short candidate statement of what I would like to do and see at MuBANY, if I were elected to serve as one of five MuBANY Directors.

I am a litigation attorney at Hoguet Newman Regal and Kenney, focusing primarily on commercial disputes and investigations.  Prior to that, I was an associate at Clifford Chance, having worked in the firm’s Washington, DC, New York, and London offices. My hope is to get more meaningfully involved in our professional community and work to expand and strengthen the network of New York Muslim lawyers as a MuBANY Director.

If elected to a Director role, I would support the impressive work MuBANY has done over the past few years, particularly with respect to continuing the tradition of the annual gala event (of course, once it is safe again to do so). With respect to smaller events, I would help organize professional development events that focus on in-house legal positions and lawyers in policy making positions.  I believe both pathways can be difficult to navigate and would be of interest to MuBANY members of different backgrounds and those that seek to make an impact. I also believe that such events would compliment and work together with the focus of MuBANY's "How did I get here?" podcast. 

To the extent possible, I would also support expanding the MuBANY resources center, which provides tools to both the legal and the broader community. One topic that comes to mind - and that has come up frequently in our community -  is employment law and employment discrimination. I believe continuing to expand the resources center to provide guidance on this topic would be beneficial. Finally, I would also support and help organize an event focusing on international human rights as I believe it is an issue that continues to be a pressing topic for our community and in which Muslim lawyers can have an impactful voice.

Thamanna Hussain

My name is Thamanna Hussain and I am a second year litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. It has been a pleasure serving on the Board for two consecutive terms, and I would be honored to bring my experiences and skills to a third term on MuBANY's board.  I am immensely proud of the work MuBANY has done and continues to do to promote the advancement of Muslim attorneys and the community at large. 

I believe my experience with MuBANY coupled with my team-0riented attitude and enthusiasm makes me the right candidate. I was first introduced to MuBANY as a first-year law student volunteer in 2016. As a first-generation law student, I immediately felt a sense of community and wanted to actively engage with the organization. Since then, I have played an active role in MuBANY's growth and served as a member of both the 2019 and 2020 MuBANY Gala committees. During my first term, I increased our social media presence, designed promotional materials, and helped with all aspects of the gala. I organized and promoted social events and public service roundtables, assisted in drafting public statements, and helped create MuBANY's COVID-19 Resource Page.

During my second term, I continued to increase our social media and digital presence and built on our organization’s brand. In October, I organized and hosted at my firm a discussion of Tanzin v. Tanvir which was filed on behalf of American Muslim men who were placed or kept on the No-Fly List by the FBI in retaliation for their refusal to spy on their Muslim communities. I also helped organize educational, networking, and professional development events for our members. For example, I moderated a professional development panel focusing on navigating the job market in an economic downturn. In addition, I organized and moderated a Know Your Rights workshop on domestic violence and compiled resources for survivors, victims, and allies. 

If elected for the 2021-2022 term, I would like to build a mentorship program connecting law school students with experienced Muslim attorneys in the field.  I believe our organization can deepen its efforts to help first-generation law students of color, especially in these challenging times. I would also like to strengthen our partnership with law school Muslim student organizations and law firm affinity groups. 

I look forward to the opportunity to serve MuBANY once again as a Director and would greatly appreciate your vote. Thank you in advance for your consideration!

Sidra Mahfooz

My name is Sidra Mahfooz, and I am re-running for a Director position with MuBANY for the 2021-2022 term. Since graduating from NYU School of Law in 2018, I have worked as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

I have had the privilege of serving as a MuBANY director during this previous year. During this time, I  helped organize a number of events and advocated for positions aimed at advancing the Muslim legal community and social justice . I co-organized a panel on the joint CCR/CUNY CLEAR/ Debevoise No Fly List litigation before the Supreme Court, a panel on transitioning to non-traditional legal career paths, and am currently organizing an event on rights abuses faced in detention. I've also been involved in co-writing statements on social justice and helping to advance the judiciary initiative by coordinating with future judicial candidates. Additionally, I continue to work with Muslim law student associations to promote mentorship and access to resources, I served on a panel relating to big law and identity in coordination with the Georgetown Univeersity Law Center, and I am helping to instituionalize a mentorship framework within MuBANY amongst practicing attorneys and students.  Prior to this, I also served as a MuBANY law student liaison, where I served on the MuBANY gala committee, interviewed MuBANY spotlight members for the MuBANY newsletter, and assisted in organizing events to further community engagement. As Director, I hope to continue strengthening the MuBANY community by organizing events geared to our members interests and creating spaces for networking,  mentorship and advancement.

At Debevoise, I work on commercial/restructuring litigation and public international law matters. In particular, I have worked on a number of pro bono matters advancing the rights of Muslim Americans and human rights generally. I have worked on litigation against the governments use of the Muslim travel ban to retroactively deny visas to Yemeni Americans with CCR, a FOIA litigation seeking accountability for the murder of journalist Jamal Khasoggi alongside OSJI, a report for the ICRC, and direct legal services to assist immigrants with citizenship procedures through Legal Services NYC. 

MuBANY helped support me during law school and my professional career, not only through their generous scholarship program, but also by providing meaningful opportunities for growth, a network of amazing colleagues and a platform to support our community. I would be delighted to have the opportunity to further my efforts to serve the needs of our community. Thank you for your consideration.

Subhan Tariq

I'm not one who loves to talk about myself or my accomplishments. Alhumdulillah, Allah has given me the ability and desire to work for our community. I have been honored to be a part of MuBANY for a few years, and have been the solo/small firm chair for the past 3 years.

This is a good time for me to pass the baton to someone else and to grow a bit more into MuBANY. I was always taught that the purpose of Islamic work is to attract more people to the cause and ultimately find a replacement for yourself while you find more issues that need to be addressed.

I look forward to being a part of MuBANY whether or not I'm a board member. We stand on the shoulders of giants who built our institutions and communities, now is our time to continue to build for the future generations of Muslim Lawyers in New York.