Perhaps they're opportunists. Or maybe just dreamers.
One thing is for certain -- they're plenty brave.
Two West Hartford, Conn., lawyers with a successful practice are about to give up their comfortable lifestyle and hang up a shingle in the dangerous, war-torn country of Somalia in Africa.
"This seems like something that makes sense to me. Something I can be proud of," said attorney Ryan Bausch.
Bausch, a Quinnipiac University School of Law graduate, did some criminal defense law in Middletown, Conn., before deciding to share office space in West Hartford with former Quinnipiac classmate Abdul Abdurahman, who focuses on immigration law.
Before long, the two were sharing legal expenses and tips on their respective practice areas. Ultimately, they decided to name their West Hartford office The Law Offices of Bausch & Abdurahman. In about five years, the practice has grown to six attorneys, with clients calling from all over New England, as well as other parts of the East Coast and the West Coast. The firm mostly represents immigrants.
"You do a good case for somebody and they tell 10 other people," said Abdurahman.
In the past couple of years, the two lawyers discussed what else they might be able to do to make a difference going forward.
Abdurahman, who was born and raised in Somalia before leaving at age 22, had the opportunity to attend peace conferences in London, England and Turkey. There, he met some senior Somali government officials.
He learned more about what was happening in his homeland. People, like members of his family, left to avoid persecution by the al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate whose arrival in the southern half of the country in the last decade led to several years of war. Abdurahman remembered Mogadishu, a cultured seaside city with immigrants from various countries, including Great Britain and Italy. But al-Shabaab came in and wanted everyone to wear hijabs and follow extreme Islamic doctrine. Some non-followers were dismembered, even beheaded.