April 2017 Alumni Highlight

Saad SiddiquiSaad Siddiqui (’07) is part of an eleven year Pace Law tradition, which began in 2006.  Each year, during the Public Interest Law School Organization Auction (PILSO Auction), Saad and a group of Pace Law alumni bid to win a game of poker at Professor John Nolon’s home.  “It’s a win-win situation.  We support current Pace Law students while we enjoy a night filled with laughs, food, and poker at Professor Nolon’s house.  We look forward to it each year.  And though others have tried and failed, we have never been outbid during the Auction.  This year will be our twelfth time getting together.”

Before Saad was a 2L bidding to win a poker game with Professor Nolon, he was a 1L learning the legal ropes.  “I grew up in White Plains, I knew that ultimately, I wanted to practice in the area.  Pace made sense logistically and educationally.”  During law school, it became increasingly apparent to Saad that he wanted to practice criminal and public interest law.  “During my 2L year, I did guided research with Professor Gershman and was Professor Doernberg’s research assistant, so it was solidified by that point.  I wanted to practice criminal law.” 

After graduating from Pace, Saad was fortunate enough to co-teach Advanced New York Civil Procedure with Professor Jay Carlisle.  “It was one of the most important courses I took during my time at Pace.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Professor Carlisle.”  From there, Saad obtained a position as an attorney with the law firm of Young & Bartlett, LLP in White Plains.  At Young & Bartlett, Saad worked with fellow alumnus Mayo Bartlett (’92) and learned the intricacies of criminal practice – from drafting motions to conducting suppression and sentencing hearings, and even having the opportunity to second-seat criminal trials.

After a year of private practice with Young & Bartlett, Saad was offered a position as Associate Counsel with the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County.  “I was with the Legal Aid Society for nearly six years and a half years and I learned so much.  The Legal Aid Society of Westchester County only handles felonies.  So over the course of my tenure, I represented thousands of clients in a variety of matters ranging from DWI to burglary, assault, rape, robbery, murder, and other serious felonies throughout Westchester County.  Every day was something new.” 

Then, in 2015, Saad took the leap that he had been building up to for much of his career – opening his own practice – Ferrante & Siddiqui, LLP.  His partner in the firm, Richard Ferrante (’92) is also a Pace Law alumnus.  The law firm mainly handles criminal matters and a majority of them are court appointed.  “It is a very trial heavy practice, and very busy, but we love it and It keeps us on our toes.  I definitely enjoy what I do and it is important – every single person we encounter, regardless of what he or she is charged with deserves and needs representation.”

As if running his own practice wasn’t enough, Saad is very active in the Westchester community.  He has been on the on the Board of Directors of the Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union since 2009.  “Pace has a strong history with the Organization.  Professor Ralph Stein served on the Board before he passed.  And several other Pace professors have served on the Board including John Humbach, Vanessa Merton, and Don Doernberg.”

Saad is also on the Board of Directors of the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester (YSOW), an alternative program to incarceration.  Along with Professor Lissa Griffin and Professor David Dorfman, Saad is a member of the Advisory Board for the Criminal Justice Institute of the Law School.  He has assisted Professor Lou Fasulo at Pace in coaching trial advocacy teams, specifically the Buffalo competition a few years ago.  “I am glad I have been able to stay involved in the community and with the Law School.  It is important to give back to the places and people who have given me so much.  I try to do as much as I can.”

Notably, Saad is currently running for White Plains Common Council.  After becoming involved with the White Plains City Democratic Committee, he made the decision to run with a slate of candidates challenging the incumbents who are up for reelection.  “I want to serve my community.  And, whether we win or lose, if as a result of becoming involved we get better government then we accomplished at the bare minimum what we set out to do.”

In his spare time, Saad enjoys spending time with his wife, Samantha (’08), and their son, Asher.  He is working on cultivating an adoption practice while continuously getting more involved in the public interest aspect of legal work.  “I would encourage all current and future law students to become active in their communities.  It opens more doors than you could ever imagine, both professionally and personally – it feels good to give back!”