Alumni News

As a student on the University of Richmond campus, Nader Salehi, L’95 and GB’95, had little time to spare while pursuing simultaneous degrees at Richmond Law and the Robins School of Business. Though Salehi wasn’t sure whether to focus on law or business, he ultimately discovered he could combine them.

He now represents investment banks, investment advisers, and public companies as a practicing attorney and the co-head of securities at New York firm Sidley Austin. Salehi thrives in fast-paced, high-pressure environments by juggling his attorney and managerial roles, aided by his upbeat outlook and aptitude for building strong interpersonal relationships.

Positive outcomes in financial law can feel rare, acknowledged Salehi, who mentioned that he is frequently “in situations where the facts look very bleak, and it’s easy to say that we’re in trouble.”

But, he added, “No matter how bad it looks, my job is to continue to be optimistic and creative.”

Though his educational and professional experiences, including a stint at the Securities and Exchange Commission, have certainly helped mold Salehi’s legal career, he credits much of his success to his ability to step back and truly understand what drives people.

“Along the way, I’ve learned that at the end of the day, no matter what field you’re in, it’s all about people,” said Salehi, who takes great pride in mentoring younger attorneys. “Your ability to be a good lawyer is your ability to connect with people and influence people.

“There are a lot of people who know the law, but if you don’t have hobbies and interests, it’s really hard to build that connection.”