Today we have the exclusive pleasure of bringing you a scrupulous young man one could deem as progressive. Though only 25, Sohali “Ali” Hasanali has already earned a Juris Doctorate and passed the Texas State Bar licensing exam. Moreover, Ali is the publisher of Prythvii: The Forgotten Heirs; he currently is in the works of publishing two more novels. As an entrepreneur the Sugar Land, Texas native currently works at a law firm and manages his own consulting firm; Progressive Campaigns, LLC. Don’t let his age fool you! Ali has had years of experience managing and running politician’s campaigns. In fact, his success in working with various campaigns prompted him to start his own. Below is a Q/A with Sohali Hasanali to provide our viewers with the implementation of Progressive Campaigns, LLC, as well as his current life transitioning into a full fledged licensed attorney. Check it out!
Ali it’s good to have you today, first can you tell us about your collegiate education?
Well, I graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in Chemistry & Political Science in 2009. I had a year off, during which I was a tutor/teacher for an SAT/ACT Test prep company. In fall of 2010, I went back to Cleveland to attend Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In 2013 I received my J.D. and returned back to Sugar Land, Texas.
That’s great, so I hear you initially planned on becoming a psychiatrist, why the sudden change?
I always loved the health policy aspect of medicine, which is one of the reasons why I only applied to graduate schools that had M.D./J.D. programs. During the application process of being wait-listed or accepted, I had an epiphany in which I decided I was going to medical school for all the wrong reasons.
Now that you are a licensed attorney by The State of Texas, was becoming a lawyer the right decision?
Definitely, one of the reasons I wanted to become a doctor was because I was good at science. And what I like to tell people is that; just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that should be what you necessarily pursue as a career. Passion has to be a factor. When I was reflecting on what I wanted, I looked at my life and what I inadvertently have been pursing which was policy, politics, and writing. It wasn’t that hard to then make the leap to realizing that being an attorney is a great intersection for all of these pursuits.
Great, speaking of passion, how did you passion lead to the start of your Progressive Campaigns, LLC consulting firm?
Progressive campaign is a partnership between a friend, Taral Patel and I. Taral is also very active in Texas politics. What we realized is that campaigns are very old fashioned, especially in regards to how they engage constituents in regards to social media and appealing to younger voters. The idea with our company correlates with our age and experience. As young professionals, we’ve worked on these campaigns, and have seen that social media can be very effective, but is often misunderstood by candidates and misused by campaigns. Taral and I ask politicians to let us run the social media aspect of their campaigns, and we’ve been able to reach our demographic more efficiently and at a cheaper fee. This company is something we do on the side, and is ultimately our way of increasing the civic engagement and consciousness of society.
Though you aren’t directing as much time into Progressive Campaigns, LLC as you do your law practice, do you see this becoming a major medium/or entity in the next few years and why?
Like any true pursuit, politics started off as a hobby, and this company started off as a thought. I want it to grow, but don’t see it becoming big over night. And with growth, if the opportunity arises I will pursue this more. However, our company is designed to target the youthful demographic; which as of right now is politically apathetic. However, as our age group begins to rise into positions of power that apathy will change. We want to start our work now to help our generation transition into leaders sooner than later. We want to help cause that shift, and I think because of background and experience Progressive Campaigns, LLC has, our company can be at the forefront of the next era of politics.
You talk about positioning yourself, what do you mean?
I think the way to be a successful entrepreneur is to be a successful opportunist. If you don’t take steps today to prepare yourself for opportunities, then it doesn’t matter how many opportunities come your way in the future since you will never be able to seize them. I can’t argue a case, if I haven’t first learned the law on the issue. Likewise, if I want my company to be in a position to seize the political opportunities that will exist once our generation begins becoming more politically involved, then I have to learn and analyze how campaigns are currently run.
That’s great! We see you’re an accomplished author, when did you begin writing your book Prythvii: The Forgotten Heirs?
I started creating my first draft at the age of 14; it took about 10 years to self publish it. Since then, I’ve written the draft for the prequel, and I’m working on a third. Writing is how I de-stress. It’s how I’ve spent my time instead of playing video games. It allowed me to hone in my creative skills during my spare time. My friends beat me and almost any video game, but at the end of the day I get to see a book on the shelf with my name on it.
How does being a lawyer create an advantage to working with political campaigns rather than a marketer or PR candidate.
Being a lawyer trains you to think creatively and to imagine various scenarios, especially worst=case scenarios. You’re a problem solver. It allows us to provide a different set of skills that someone who is in marketing or PR may not necessarily understand. Plus, a lot of lawyers care about politics. It affects our job more directly than most other professions. Especially, since all our judge in Texas are elected.
Wow, you seem to already have established a very nice resume, are there any other organizations that you are currently are apart of?
I believe in community service and community organizations. I have been appointed to the board of directors for a TIRZ 2. This deals with overseeing master planning and community development in Pearland, Texas as the Fort Bend County Representative. I’m also active with Sigma Nu Alumni Chapter, The Sugar Land Exchange Club, I’m a Local Precinct Chair, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
What focus do you practice using your J.D.?
Primarily small business development and civil litigation. But I’ve done some real estate, family law, and minor criminal matters as well.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Two things you need to truly be successful.. 1) you have to show up! It’s the hardest thing for our generation, but you have to be out there and have a passion to learn. No one cares or has time for excuses if you aren’t present. 2) you must be persistent! It’s about slow-methodical-diligent-effort; this is how any impossible task is overcome.