Trailblazing lawyer to deliver UMW Commencement speech

by | Apr 16, 2022 | University of Mary Washington

The University of Mary Washington will return to its Commencement traditions with the 2022 ceremony being held for the first time in two years on Ball Circle. This UMW Commencement, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7, will be the first to include both undergraduate and graduate students.

Sheila Shadmand, a partner at Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, has been a trailblazer for women in the Middle East. She became the first female head of an international law firm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012 and in Saudi Arabia in 2020. Fluent in French and Farsi, she is currently in charge of Jones Day’s Middle East and Africa region.The speaker will be Sheila Shadmand, a 1995 graduate of Mary Washington who received her juris doctorate in 1998 from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Presented with Mary Washington’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2010, Shadmand was one of Global Investigations Review‘s top 100 “Women in Investigations” last year. She was also recently named by Asian Legal Business among its MENA Super 50, which highlights standout lawyers in the Middle East and North Africa region. And she is consistently ranked by Chambers and Partners as one of the top investigations lawyers in the UAE.

During her nearly 25 years of practicing law, Shadmand has conducted investigations in over 35 countries in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region – from Iraq, to Pakistan, to Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has represented several of Jones Day’s largest clients before the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg and a number of other news broadcasts and print media in connection with her work. The Legal 500, which has perennially recognized Shadmand as a leading lawyer, says: “She knows how to navigate the law ­– and people – to get results.”

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