Emaan Bangash



  1. Hometown: Coppell, TX
  2. Education: B.A. in International Political Economy from University of Texas at Dallas, minor in political science
  3. Organization and position: Middle Eastern and South Asian LawStudents Association, President
  4. What is diversity and inclusion like at SMU Law? Honestly, I came to SMU Law thinking there would be very few diversity and inclusion opportunities, and that I would have to struggle being the out-of-placestudentin class. However, despite being the only one in my class year that wears hijab, I don’t feel alone or out of place at all; people here are quite warm and welcoming of everyone. I’ve found that SMU Law makes considerable efforts to celebrate people of various backgrounds, and encourage sharing their perspectives, be it in class, panel or social events. My favorite was Diversity Week 2022: we got to hear about the after-effects of the Dobbs decision, listen to a formerly incarcerated woman tell her story, and ate various cultural foods out on the Quad. I didn’t think I’d get to eat samosas and drink boba on campus, but I do at SMU Law!
  5. What have you enjoyed most about law school? I’ve mostly enjoyed the storytelling in the cases we read. Case law can be quite dry and lengthy, but it’s the facts and how the story ends that interests me the most. Some of the most interesting cases we’ve gotten to read involve murderous out-of-control dogs in an apartment, a funeral home returning someone’s recently deceased father on their doorstep because they couldn’t pay cremation fees, and a smoker who acted as an expert witness in a trial (his expertise? smoking a LOT of weed).
  1. What, if anything, have you learned about yourself since coming to law school? I’ve learned that being resilient is an extremely important quality. I anticipated law school would be emotionally draining at times because of how much material is covered (and it can be!). However, since coming to law school, I had to take a good hard look at how I felt about myself. Impostor syndrome, fear of failure, rejection, and being around other high-achieving people can do a number to your self-esteem. I had to work on being much kinder and more forgiving to myself, and it is certainly easier said than done. It’s important not to beat yourself up if you don’t get the grade, job, or position you wanted, especially if your peers or friends around you are advancing in areas you want to be. Find out what went wrong, change your strategy, and tell yourself it’ll be okay (because it really will be, in the end).
  1. Any advice for those considering SMU Law? Be open to new, diverse legal experiences as much as you possibly can. SMU Law does a good job of offering a variety of legal work and experience opportunities, so don’t limit yourself to just what immediately interests you or what you want to do in five years. Law school gives you a wonderful opportunity to try out things in a low stakes and supervised environment, and you certainly aren’t stuck with whatever you do. Try out a clinic in an area of law you’re unfamiliar with, work in a transactional position even if you want to be a litigator, or try a position at a non-profit even if your heart is set on Big Law. You might be surprised at what you like (or don’t!), you’ll be armed with knowledge about various aspects of the legal world, and be ultimately more prepared for whatever your future legal career presents.