Junaid Ahmad '10 was recently elected president of the National Muslim Law Students Association (NMLSA). The national organization brings together Muslim law students for job, networking, and mentoring opportunities in the legal community.
Ahmad was elected by a committee of NMLSA's sister organization, the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML). As president of the law students association, Ahmad says he's looking to expand the organization's grass roots, involving law schools' Muslim or Islamic law student associations.
"Only by having locally rooted organizations can we have a strong national association," Ahmad said.
NMLSA began in the mid-90s, but the organization became inactive as founding members left law school and joined the legal community. NMLSA saw a revival a year after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2002 when Muslim identity and legal issues, such as civil liberties and racial profiling, commanded the headlines.
The association sponsors an annual career fair for Muslim law students. The association also co-sponsors with the Muslim lawyers association an annual conference for Muslim lawyers to meet and mentor Muslim law students.
The association also provides a forum for uniquely Muslim legal issues. For example, last year the association sponsored a forum on Islamic legal theory and the West. The forum asked what role Islamic legal ideals had in a much different Western legal tradition.
A Yorktown, Va. native, Ahmad graduated from Old Dominion University in 2003. He is active with the Public Service Fund at the Law School and received a summer 2006 Public Service Fellowship, which he used to work with "Positive Muslims," a group in Cape Town, South Africa, that supports Muslims who are HIV positive. He is also a member of the International Law Society and the Law School's Muslim Students Association.