Muhammad Faridi, left, and Adeel Mangi, right.
When Muhammad Faridi arrived in the United States from a tiny village in Pakistan at the age of 12, he could speak only a handful of English words. Today, he is a Big Law partner, an example of the American Dream that he worries is fading.
Faridi, a commercial litigator at New York-based Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, came to the United States in 1994 from Bharth, a community roughly 15 miles from Kashmir with about 25 families, little electricity and no telephones.
“I remember being completely lost,” Faridi said.
But through hard work, Faridi, now 36, found his way, graduating from City University of New York School of Law in 2007 to later become a Patterson Belknap associate in New York who climbed the firm’s ranks to partner—and to take on one of the most emotionally charged freedom of religion cases in recent history.
Faridi, with lead counsel Adeel Mangi, also a litigation partner at Patterson Belknap, earlier this summer in a highly publicized case won a $3.25 million discrimination settlement, pro bono, on behalf of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge over the construction of a mosque in Bernards Township, New Jersey. The U.S. Department of Justice had filed a separate suit against the township that settled, as well. Faridi and Mangi, also from Pakistan, are now pursuing a similar case in Bayonne, New Jersey. A settlement conference is pending.
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