In conversation with Casey Sobhani
What inspired you during the project?
Our students, our team and the leadership provided by Jay Finkelstein and Lisa Jacobs, both of whom ran the course at the highest level.
Our students consisted of some of the most elite lawyers and bankers in East Africa. They were exceptionally bright, asked insightful questions, and worked hard in applying course lessons to their everyday practices of law and banking. Watching them in action inspired all of us on the DLA Piper team to raise our own games to keep up.
Our DLA Piper team consisted of an incredibly impressive (present company excluded!) and internationally diverse group of DLA Piper lawyers. The course focused on teaching negotiation skills, and it was incredibly rewarding to see my colleagues apply experiences from their diverse backgrounds to teach our students truly valuable negotiating skills.
We were also able to learn so much from Jay and Lisa, not only in terms of how to teach, but in how to connect with our students. The course struck a perfect balance between academic and practical, teaching both analytical and real world skills. Thanks to Jay and Lisa, we finished the course not only with a better grasp on how to negotiate, but a better understanding of how to work with others.
What was the most fulfilling aspect of the work?
Delivering real world training and skills to students who couldn’t have appreciated it more. It hit home whenever we witnessed a student applying the course materials to make a point. It hit home whenever a student would stay after class to ask follow up questions or offer new and creative ways to apply the course materials. One example in particular stands out: a student, who had just learned a negotiating point in our simulation, pulled out her phone, called her workplace, and applied what she’d just learned to try to advance one of her deals. All we could say is we hoped it worked (the course ended before we could find out the result).
What one word describes your trip?
Rewarding. On every level. Thanks to New Perimeter, we had the unique and thrilling opportunity to teach not only an amazing group of students, but to learn from their record of professional success as well. On a personal level, our DLA Piper team bonded through both the course and by spending our free time together. We had the opportunity to experience Nairobi together through shared meals and some excursions. It was through this shared experience that we became friends and remain in touch to this day. New Perimeter succeeded in bringing us together and, in so doing, elevating us for a wonderful cause.
About Casey Sobhani
Casey is a partner in DLA Piper's Los Angeles office.