NOOR-UL-AIN HASAN ’20
As a person of color from a low-income family who understands the hardships of navigating the education system, Noor-ul-ain Hasan has long championed equity and inclusion.
Despite juggling a double major at Northwestern (English and Legal Studies), she dived into several hotbutton issues with the school’s Campus Inclusion Task Force. Hasan also cofounded a program that tackled racism and socio-economic inequality, designed to bring students “from all walks of life to come together and solve issues of inequity” at the university.
Named one of Northwestern’s “Top Ten Graduating Seniors to Watch,” Hasan still figured she needed more practical experience before applying to law school. After graduation, she went to work for Allstate in Chicago as part of its Leadership Development Program.
Hasan promptly became the youngest person ever appointed to the company’s Diversity and Inclusion team. Just 23, she was charged with crafting a corporate infrastructure for employees who were transitioning gender identities.
“I had to ease the social setting, to create a space in which education was available and transgender employees could be safe during their often lengthy transition periods, among many complex company subcultures,” Hasan recalls.
Some fallout, of course, was inevitable.
“With any diversity issue, there can be resistance,” she says. “I found myself channeling my inner English major and using the power of storytelling to combat that.”
Hasan made a video with a transwoman colleague to illustrate Allstate’s new direction and help generate widespread buy-in. Her success and extensive area volunteer work landed her on Chicago Scholars’ annual “35 Under 35 Young Leaders Making an Impact” list.
At Berkeley Law, Hasan is associate editor of the California Law Review, academic empowerment chair of the Coalition for Diversity, and an Academic Support Program fellow for 1Ls in Civil Procedure.
She ended her own 1L year with a bang, receiving a $20,000 scholarship from Sallie Mae—one of four awards given in a pool of 3,400 applicants. As the summer wound down, she also received a $25,000 Diversity Fellowship from Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, where she will work next summer.
“I’d love to eventually practice at a big law firm,” says Hasan, whose recent essay on colorism among South Asian women communities in social and digital marketplaces will soon be published in an anthology by NYU Press. “Big Law really struggles with diversity and inclusion, and I’d like to transform that culture from the inside.”