This month’s spotlight is on Hassib Hasanzadeh, one of the volunteer contributors to our popular practice manual Advising BC Businesses, which will be updated in February 2017. Hassib practices as a solicitor at Hamilton Duncan, with a focus on business law, real estate, and estate planning, which makes effective use of his dual MBA and JD degree from the University of Victoria.
How has your experience volunteering with CLEBC been so far?
My experience volunteering with CLEBC has been excellent. I find that volunteering with CLEBC not only allows me to contribute to the local legal community, but also provides me the opportunity to stay abreast of trending areas in my practice area. Moreover, the team at CLEBC is friendly, accommodating and supportive, which makes the experience further rewarding.
We noticed that you are very involved in the community, including being treasurer for the Young Lawyers section of the CBABC, a founder of the Young Afghans Professional Alliance of BC, and a volunteer contributor at CLEBC. What motivates you to volunteer your time and expertise?
I am never satisfied with the status quo and I loathe complacency. I have spent the last decade and a half tirelessly working towards achieving growth in both my career and personal life. My strong desire and intention to be successful in my career is matched by my passion to be a distinguished humanitarian. I am taking advantage of volunteer opportunities to refine my skill set and to network with like-minded individuals so that I may work with others to collectively generate a larger, more positive impact on the local and global community
What inspired you to go to law school and pursue a legal career?
My inspiration was to develop the ability to effectively articulate sound arguments that I could incorporate with my inherent diplomacy to inspire and to positively influence outcomes.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have received?
Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work with Mr. Justice W.J. “Bae” Wallace before he went to the bench. His approach was “minimalist” in case presentation at trial, particularly as defence counsel. Since every witness you put on the stand has the potential to destroy your case, his advice was to try to make as much of the defence case during cross-examination of the plaintiff’s witnesses as possible. This technique is truly an effective tool if you can do it.
What advice would you give newcomers interested in working in the legal profession?
Keep in mind that it is a “profession” and not a job. If it becomes a job, quit and do something else.
How does being an MBA graduate influence your legal practice?
My MBA training allows me to be curious about a client’s business and ask pertinent questions to gain a deep understanding of the business. This in turn allows me to be pragmatic in providing cost-effective business solutions.
What are some rewards and challenges you’ve experienced so far as a young lawyer?
As a young lawyer, I have experienced the reward of non-stop learning and the constant challenge of novel circumstances within files which allows work to be stimulating.
The challenges I have experienced as a young lawyer are relevant to all lawyers across all firms. Learning to balance my career with my personal life is a considerable challenge as is the need to balance the requirement of precision and perfection with the need to supply cost-effective services.
What are your plans for the future?
I work hard on refraining to speak in certainties and absolutes. I always encourage others to evaluate every opportunity and to never be quick to dismiss. As such, career-wise, I am uncertain what the future has in store. The uncertainty may be anxiety-inducing at times, but I mostly choose to approach it with the lens of excitement.
Other than law, what are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about startups and business in general. Moreover, I am passionate about fitness, family, international travel, and philanthropy.
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Sandra Weafer and Darryl Larson
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