Awards and congratulatory messages
Halifax lawyer Mohammad Ali Raza supported on his journey to Canadian Citizenship

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Left photo: Mohammad Ali Raza (left ) celebrates becoming a Canadian Citizen with his colleague and Cox & Palmer Managing Partner Daniel W. Ingersoll QC. Right photo: Mohammad Ali celebrates with his wife. 

Halifax lawyer Mohammad Ali Raza supported on his journey to Canadian Citizenship 

Mohammad Ali Raza, a partner at Cox & Palmer, had a lot to celebrate recently as he became a Canadian Citizen on March 26, 2019.

Mohammad Ali, who moved to Canada in 2014 to reunite with his wife and two young children, shared insight into his journey and offered words of advice for other lawyers on a similar path.

“I was settled in my career so it was a big decision to move to Canada but family comes first at the end of the day,” said Mohammad Ali. He came here after many years undertaking general corporate commercial advisory and transactional and regulatory work, both in private practice and in-house in a number of jurisdictions in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

His initial plan was to move out West after going through the requalification process as it seemed like the best fit for his extensive background in the oil and gas industry.

After his first week here, his plans changed. Mohammad Ali met up with a few lawyers in Halifax from the big firms for guidance including lawyer Daniel (Danny) Gallivan QC, a partner at Cox & Palmer. Gallivan offered him the opportunity to work for Cox & Palmer while completing the requalification process.

Mohammad Ali started with Cox & Palmer as a business paralegal and the firm continuously supported him on his journey and through his studies. In April 2016, after a year and a half working towards requalification, he was called to the Nova Scotia Bar and he continued on with Cox & Palmer as an associate.

He points out how critical it was to find mentors and to build a support system through the requalification and immigration process.

“I was extremely fortunate to find mentors while I was going through that transition. Immigration can be a very draining process. The most critical thing that you need is someone helping you through that phase when you might be second guessing your decision. I had an abundance of those people around me from day one,” he said.

He also highlights the need for lawyers who have also gone through the requalification and immigration journey to support others. “I’m part of the Pakistani Canadian Association of Nova Scotia and I see people immigrating here and going through the process. I completely feel for what they’re going through. My purpose is to help arrange connections for them. Help them meet with people who can help counsel them through this process.”

Mohammad Ali shares a metaphor to inspire others on a similar path: “It’s great what you have accomplished before in life but this journey is just like going through a staircase. You’ve reached one landing but it’s not as if the floors beneath you have disappeared. They’re still there. You’re just going through a new staircase.”

Written by Collette Deschenes, NSBS Communications Advisor. A special thank you to Mohammad Ali Raza for sharing his story.