Karim Mahmud

Lawyer, Jones Day

Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Political Science, 1988

I can think beyond the letter of the law and consider factors that are more subjective.

Ask your average Canadian liberal arts student where they’ll be in 25 years. They probably won’t tell you they’ll be in London, practising international law for the oil and gas industry.

But the great thing about liberal arts students from King’s, Karim Mahmud explains, is that there is no such thing as average.

Karim arrived at university with ‘decent’ high school grades and a sense of adventure. “I went to King’s and got inspired,” he said. By his third year he had received two scholarships, while maintaining a place on the men’s rowing team.

Finishing with a degree in economics and political science, Karim went on to complete a degree in jurisprudence at Oxford University before returning to Halifax to receive a second law degree at Dalhousie. “I knew that I wanted to start my career in Canada,” he explains. “Halifax was a great bonus.”

Once he started practising law, he saw the teachings of his Foundation Year tutors pay off. “FYP really helped me connect the dots,” he says. “It gave me the ability to step back when I was being taught something rigidly. I can think beyond the letter of the law and consider factors that are more subjective.”

It’s that big-picture thinking that makes Karim passionate about his law career. Today he is a partner at Jones Day, a legal firm that works with approximately half of the Fortune 500 companies in the world.

“In other areas of the law, you become tied to a jurisdiction. But oil and gas is far more global.”

Karim has worked in 40 countries during the course of his 22-year legal practice, helping clients implement energy projects all over the globe. “I don’t have an average day,” he says. “In one recent three-week period, I was in in Norway, Houston, and Dusseldorf. I’m fortunate to have a very supportive family and great clients.”

Posted: Apr. 2016

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