Nadeeya Salleh ’17 LL.M.
Nadeeya Salleh ’17 LL.M. arrived at Columbia Law School this past fall as a Fulbright Scholar from Brunei—a tiny nation located on an island in the South China Sea—to study international law under leading faculty in the field.
She had decided to pursue further training in the United States after spending nearly a decade working as an in-house legal counsel at the Brunei National Petroleum Company, an integrated energy company. Salleh believed she could build on her practical experience and the legal education she initially gained at the London School of Economics, where she received an LL.B. in 2007.
“I wanted to look at things with a fresh perspective, and devise ways to contribute to a better society,” says Salleh, who specializes in drafting agreements for the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas in both domestic and international ventures.
During her LL.M. year at the Law School, Salleh served as a research assistant at the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI), where she helped analyze the implications of trade and investment agreements on food systems and food security. She also served as a legal intern at the New York State Department of State Utility Intervention Unit, which represents consumers’ interests during utility rate proceedings before state and federal regulators. While there, she helped research and analyze financial, regulatory, and other issues related to a proposed hike in gas rates.
Such experiences helped deepen Salleh’s understanding of how business practices can affect the future of a society, insights she says she will apply to her work when she returns to the Brunei National Petroleum Company.
“There are many long-held beliefs about the right way to draft contracts and policies,” she says, adding that these processes could be improved if companies and institutions made sustainable development a priority.
Salleh will further her understanding of sustainable development issues during her upcoming summer fellowship at CCSI. Combined with the knowledge she gained during her LL.M. year, she says she’ll be better prepared to work towards her overall goal of incorporating sustainable development into traditional business practices. “Now, I can think more critically and reassess whether the objective a contract aims to achieve is truly the correct one for the company,” she says, “and for society as a whole.”