Aïssatou Bah, a bank finance associate in our Paris office, advises banks and financial institutions on domestic and cross-border transactions. She took a few minutes to talk about her career and her volunteer work with the African Business Lawyers' Club, a non-profit group of legal practitioners who foster business development in Africa.
Q: What drew you to White & Case, and what keeps you here?
Bah: I have spent my entire career so far with White & Case. I was initially attracted to both the Firm's strong reputation in banking and finance and the opportunity to work with the partners, in particular Denise Diallo. Our Paris banking team works very well together, with a collegial spirit. This spirit is evidenced by the extra-curricular activities we organize, especially around Christmas.
Q: How much do you interact with individuals in other White & Case offices?
Bah: Quite a lot. I enjoy the frequent contact we have with people from a variety of teams and other locations. We get to know and work with people from many different offices and practices throughout the Firm.
Q: You have an international background. Do you often use it?
Bah: Although I am based in Paris and my family came from Guinea (where the official language is French), I have also lived in two English-speaking countries (the UK and Canada). I find that my work frequently involves interacting with clients and others in both French and English.
Q: What activities do you participate in with the African Business Lawyers' Club?
Bah: I currently serve as the ABLC's Secretary General. Our main focus is to raise investor awareness about the opportunities and quality of the African legal and business environment. We host an annual conference, promote opportunities in Africa and conduct training sessions for students and legal practitioners in Africa. In addition, I am active in the ABLC's women's leadership program.
Q: Has White & Case been supportive of your volunteer work with the ABLC?
Bah: Very much so. Denise Diallo was a guest speaker at one of our women's leadership breakfasts. Moreover, two of our Paris partners, Paule Biensan and François-Guilhem Vaissier, spoke at one of our Practice Dinners about secure renewable energy transactions in Africa.
White & Case has sponsored some of its events and the ABLC itself. As a partner to the Club, White & Case is currently working with the ABLC to organize a seminar in Côte d'Ivoire targeting lawyers and advanced law students – a project I strongly believe in.