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Young Lawyers Interest Network Diversity Fellow Spotlight – Niloofar Zarei Henzaki

Catalina Fonseca


  • Niloofar Zarei Henzaki, a corporate associate at Fox Rothschild LLP, delves into her professional legal practice areas, including M&A, EVCV, franchising, licensing, and international non-profit entities. 
  • She shares her experience attending the International La Section Annual Conference in New York, where she felt a sense of belonging. 
  • She highlights her educational background in Iran, her move to the U.S.
Young Lawyers Interest Network Diversity Fellow Spotlight – Niloofar Zarei Henzaki
Tuul and Bruno Morandi via Getty Images

Catalina: Thank you for joining me and I’m excited for our readers to learn more about you! Could you first tell us more about yourself and your professional background?

Niloofar: My name is Niloofar Zarei Henzaki. I’m currently a corporate associate at Fox Rothschild LLP, in the Los Angeles office. I work with companies in variety of industries on a range of complex transactional matters. My areas of practice include M&A, EVCV (Emerging Companies & Venture Capital), Franchising & Licensing and commercial contacts. I also advise local and international nonprofit entities from formation to qualification for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status and governance matters. While our firm is a national firm with offices throughout the US, we have an International Practice Group with active members, and we mainly work as either the US counsel to non-US companies or as co-counsel with foreign attorneys and their law firms in cross-border transactions.

To give you some personal background, I have a Bachelor of Laws (civil law system) from Shahid Beheshti University, one of the top law schools in Iran, Tehran – where I grew up - and right after graduation in 2016, I moved to the United States to pursue my Master of Laws in International Business Law at University of Southern California, Gould School of Law. After graduation, I started working first as a law clerk and then as an associate attorney at a boutique law firm in Los Angeles before I started at Fox Rothschild at the beginning of 2021. From the day I got accepted to law school for my LLB, I knew that I wanted to work internationally and with the larger community of people from all around the globe and obtaining a master’s degree in a foreign county was always in my professional/career plan. At the time when I started at USC, the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) was in effect and some of the US sanctions were lifted.

A lot of international companies and investors were interested and planning to expand their business into the Iranian market and my goal was to be working between the US and Iran after getting some experience in the US system. However, when the Trump administration withdrew from the deal, the situation drastically changed and for now, I’ve been focused on the US market (as I explore international opportunities). I still go back and visit my family and friends back in Iran and have been able to maintain my legal network back there and have a firsthand knowledge of the legal system via my law school fellows and many of them practicing attorneys now.

Catalina: Thanks for sharing your background and your expertise and great to learn about your journey. Tell us more about what made you apply for the diversity fellowship program?

Earlier this year, one of the active members of the ABA ILS who is also one of our partners in the NY office told me about the ABA ILS Annual Conference and encouraged me to attend the conference to better learn about the ILS activities and meet the members. I attended the annual conference in New York, and I truly enjoyed meeting so many wonderful attorneys from all around the world! I felt a sense of belonging there talking to both experienced and young attorneys from diverse backgrounds in different practice areas. I also found the panels very informative with practical tips and topics that I either deal with them in my career or I am expecting to encounter at some point as I navigate my path into the international practice realm. Everyone at the conference was eager to learn about the other person and connect.

The Annual Conference inspired me and many of us, first timers, to look into more opportunities to get involved with the ILS and the existing subcommittees. As I was browsing at the ABA website, I found out about the Diversity Fellowship Program and I found the program a perfect fit to support me to get active involvement and participation with the ABA ILS, learn more about the subcommittees, enjoy the benefit of great mentorship with some of the experienced and active members of the ABA ILS and eventually be ready to take on leadership positions within the ABA ILS committees. I’m very happy and excited that I was elected as one of the five fellows.

Catalina: Congratulations for being selected as a distinguished Diversity Fellow! Are there any specific committees that you are interested or planning to work with?

I chose to primarily be involved with the Middle East Committee and the International Contracts Committee. As a middle eastern, I’m hoping that I can contribute to cover range of legal topics related to Iran and help to provide a realistic picture. I am also looking forward to work with the International Contracts Committee to work on legal issues relating to international and cross-border contracts (including acquisitions, franchising or IP licensing and other business transactions) which would tremendously help me with my current practice area. Lastly, I met wonderful young attorneys and friends just like you, Catalina, from the Young Lawyer’s Interest Network and if time allows, I’m planning to get involved or collaborate with the YIN as well.