Haub Alumni of the Month: Imran H. Ansari


Imran H. Ansari '08 is the lead partner in charge of the civil practice in his firm, Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins PC, and has an active litigation and trial practice. He is also a weekly host on the Law & Crime Network and a weekly guest legal analyst on Court TV. Imran also appears on other networks such as CNN/HLN, Fox, CBS, and others, to provide legal commentary, along with various radio shows and podcasts to discuss legal news.

Let’s start from the beginning, how did your background influence your career and educational choices?

I grew up in suburban New Jersey, however, I spent a lot of time in New York City throughout my formative years. It exposed me to diversity, the arts, life experiences, and I truly fell in love with New York City from a young age. Before starting my law career, I played and toured as a musician with an acclaimed band, and I have had experiences living, studying, and working in Iceland, India, and Italy, giving me a more worldly perspective. With its proximity to New York City, its excellent program and reputation, Pace was the perfect fit for me.  

Can you talk about your journey to law school and thereafter?

Law is a second career for me. I was a television producer at Court TV and worked in film prior to becoming a lawyer. Getting my law degree was something I had set for myself as a goal. When I applied to law school, I was living in Iceland and working on major film and television shoots, such as Batman Begins and others. It seemed like the right time, so I sent in my application, and started at Pace in 2004. Once I was at Pace, I participated in an internship at the Brooklyn D.A.’s Office, which was transformative. I realized the skills I learned writing and producing for TV and film, translated exceptionally into the court room. The cadence of delivering an argument, the presence and body language the jurors expect and like to see, the concise delivery of a point. With these skills, coupled with an understanding of the law, I realized becoming a trial attorney was my calling. After many years as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, I jumped to the private sector and expanded my practice expertise beyond criminal law, to also encompass civil litigation. I am now the lead partner in charge of the civil practice in my firm, Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins PC, and have an active litigation and trial practice, including handling high-profile cases for high-profile clients. Some of my high-profile clients are not popular in the court of public opinion, which makes it more difficult to defend them in the court of law. It is important to remember that a fundamental aspect of our justice system is the right to a defense.

Do you remember your first day of law school?

I will always remember my first day of law school! As with any new venture in life, it was filled with excitement and a dose of nerves. I remember meeting so many great people that day, all sharing similar feelings. We would all form a bond over the next few years through our time at Pace, and I am proud to say that our education at the Law School has allowed many of us to fulfill our career dreams.

How was the rest of your law school experience?

There are so many memorable experiences! For me, moot court competitions and the camaraderie with my moot court teammates will always stick out, especially the competitive edge when we went up against other law schools. I also had a wonderful experience with the externships I did while at Pace.  And, as far as professors – I can safely say that all my professors were my favorites! The faculty at Pace are exceptional, they equipped me with the skills and knowledge to propel me through my career, and for that I am forever grateful. Funny enough, one of my former professors was an adversary in a case, it was an interesting experience!  

Were there any struggles during law school that you want to share?

In 2005, I participated in the Pace Law Internship Abroad program and spent the summer in India working with one of its top law firms. It was a great experience, but then a stroke of bad luck. During my last week in India, I was hit with a horrible stomach virus that knocked me out of commission for weeks, including well into the start of the fall semester. I made the strategic, yet very difficult, decision to take that fall semester off, hence my January 2008 graduation, rather than 2007.  It all worked out for the best though!

In addition to being a partner at a busy law firm, you are also a host & legal analyst on the Law & Crime Network – how did that evolve?

As I mentioned, prior to law, I was a television producer, including at Court TV, so that passion for broadcast media is inherent. Now I have come full circle, but this time instead of behind the camera, I am on-air. I am a weekly host on the Law & Crime Network, where we cover live trials and legal news and break it down for our viewers. I am also a weekly guest legal analyst on Court TV, where I provide commentary as we discuss the latest trials and legal news. I also appear on other networks such as CNN/HLN, Fox, CBS, and others, to provide legal commentary. Additionally, I often appear as a guest on radio shows and podcasts to discuss legal news.
Imran Ansari

How has the pandemic shaped what you do and how you do it – both on a day-to-day basis and for the foreseeable future?

I think we have seen an evolution in the way we practice law due to the pandemic. It will be interesting to see how courts implement the use of virtual appearances even post-pandemic, as I believe that many see this as a more efficient manner of conducting business. I personally love being physically in court. It’s my comfort zone and I love the social interaction, whether I am picking a jury or simply bantering with a fellow member of the bar while we wait for our cases to be called. Back in March 2021, I picked one of the first in-person juries in Supreme Court in Manhattan. The case settled after jury selection, but it was a surreal experience to pick a jury with masks, plastic dividers, and everyone spaced out. A few months later, I picked another jury in Supreme Court in Brooklyn, and tried a case to jury verdict in favor of my client in Supreme Court in the Bronx. All while wearing a mask and spaced out in a specially equipped courtroom. I also tried a bench trial in federal court over the span of a few weeks in the summer of 2021 which was done entirely remotely. It is indicative of how we adapt to change and get used to the “new normal.”

Do you have any advice for current students?

Make connections now! Studying and academics are of course a priority, but the real practical experience you will receive during internships, externships, and working, will provide you the advantage for when you start practicing and when you are looking for a job. It’s important to make those connections while in law school, and I recommend preemptively getting active in bar associations and networking in the profession. It will pay off later!  

 How did Pace shape or help your career path?

Pace provided me with a stellar education, and the experiences I had through externships and internships, changed my career direction, without which, I would not be where I am today.

What are some of your passions aside from the law?

I love traveling, music, and I am avidly into sport fishing! Also, spending as much time as possible with my family, who have supported me through the years. Without that support, my accomplishments would not have been possible.