Nasreen Alissa, Founder, The Law Firm of Nasreen Alissa
The legal industry has always been a male-driven one for a very long time. In addition, being a lawyer requires a stronghold over communication, judgment, intellect, and lots of courage to fight and prove your standpoint. Today, women are changing the norms of the stereotypes and opting for a career in law. Being a woman and a lawyer is challenging, Nasreen Alissa is one such successful Saudi lawyer and social entrepreneur who has carved her niche in the legal market. Nasreen is the founder of The Law Firm of Nasreen Alissa, a boutique law firm based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The firm is one of the few law firms in Riyadh led by a Saudi female lawyer. She has previously worked as a legal consultant in the UK and Canada, before moving to Saudi Arabia.
A Self-made Legal Professional
Nasreen is an attorney with more than 10 years of experience in corporate and commercial law. Prior to opening her own law firm, Nasreen worked as an attorney at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in association with The Law Firm of Salah Al-Hejailan for five years. She practiced for numerous years at the KSA affiliate of tier 1 international law firms. She is extensively experienced in corporate and commercial transactions, intellectual property rights, and modern technologies. Today, her clients include large multinationals, conglomerates, and startups, from different kinds of sectors. She also provides a variety of advice to tech businesses and additionally, she routinely represents clients in dispute resolution matters.
From the beginning, Nasreen was keen on choosing the path of entrepreneurship as she likes taking risks, brainstorming new ideas, and gambling on the chance of succeeding. She says, “But the real reason why is that I saw an opportunity and I jumped at it. Plus, Saudi vision 2030 includes women empowerment and that was very encouraging for me as well, to try new things and take risks.”
The passionate entrepreneur believes that entrepreneurship is a journey where it will never have the last destination. It only goes on so, that the passion sustains to grow higher and wider. Nasreen is a leader who likes to teach, motivate and inspire others to follow their dreams and help them have a clear vision of what they want and why. “It’s important to connect with the “why” as this is your motivation and what moves you to achieve your goals,” shares Nasreen.
Know Your Rights
“When I moved to Saudi in 2012, there weren’t many female lawyers. So, whenever I go to an event or a gathering and introduce myself as a lawyer, many women come up to me asking me for help about their rights. So, I felt I had a duty to do something and help them out!” shares Nasreen. “At the beginning, I thought I should publish a book to explain to women about their rights. But then I said to myself why not make a mobile application! This way I can always update it according to new laws with no issues.”
She started interviewing women about the problems they face and visiting different courts, speaking to clerks there, and started reading Sharia laws, and organizing the application content. Nasreen created the ‘Know Your Rights (KYR)’ application on July 4, 2016, and it is the first of its kind in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, to empower and assist women and help them with legal issues so they can protect themselves against problems that could befall them owing to ignorance of the law. This application provides free legal information for women and consultation. It is well outlined with a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for any user to engage with the contents of the application and the contents of the application mainly revolve around family matters.
The law in Saudi Arabia is presented only in the Arabic language, so the Know Your Rights mobile application is made to be a bilingual application, to help non-Arabic speakers understand the law. The application is compliant with religious and social standards. Its symbols are simple with a friendly interaction with users.
The whole idea of the App is to help women understand the laws, so if they face issues, they know what to do, and they have options. It also helps them to be independent, because part of the App idea is about ‘you can do it yourself.’ Know Your Rights App is all about women empowerment!
In the future, Nasreen aims to focus on Tech Law as it’s the future and continues to provide world-class legal services to clients.