On Monday, March 16th, as part of the Careers in Law Series, the Career Development Office
sponsored an immigration law panel featuring two Widener graduates practicing in immigration law, Steven Barsamian, Esq. ’75 and Nahid Wilf , Esq.’91. The panel took place in the library’s Alfred Avins Special Collections Room, offering a quiet backdrop that allowed the students to really interact with the panelists
After a brief introduction from Assistant Dean for Career Development LeaNora Ruffin, Ms. Wilf spoke about the career path that led her to immigration law, noting that she started out in general practice and that she found that background very helpful. She pointed out that “practicing law is a stressful thing,” and that it is important to find an area of the law that you enjoy. Her own background as an immigrant from Iran helped her connect to her clients, saying, “If you really care about your clients and treat them right, the rest will work itself out.”
“You have to specialize,” emphasized Barsamian, stressing the importance of finding a niche throughout his remarks. He too started out in general practice, but found that immigration law was an underserved market. Discussing the importance of being willing to appear before a judge, he said, “A lot of people are afraid to go to court.” He also emphasized to the students that being a sole practitioner required some business sense.
Both attorneys graciously took questions from the student audience and addressed a number of issues, including how to develop a client base, advertising, and how helpful knowing a foreign language can be.