Dr. Reem Ali Al-Ansari

Lawyer and the CEO & Founder

of Dr. Reem Al-Ansari Law Firm

At a very young age, Dr. Reem Ali Al-Ansari took her first steps in the field of Law. However, according to her, that was not a hurdle. If anything, she never viewed the challenges she faced as hurdles, but rather a natural part of any journey. She chose to study Law and after finishing her education, she started her career as an educator and a lawyer. We interviewed her at her law firm, and she shared how her journey has been to date. So, who is Dr. Reem Ali Al Ansari?

Dr. Reem Al-Ansari

I am a Professor of Law and an attorney. I obtained my bachelor’s in law from Qatar University (QU)’s College of Law and received a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Michigan Law School–Ann Arbor in International Financial Law. After that, I earned a doctorate (Ph.D.) from Georgetown University’s Law Center in Washington DC in international criminal law.

After finishing the Ph.D. program, my career consisted of two paths: teaching and being a lawyer. When it comes to teaching, I worked at the College of Law at QU and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) as a visiting professor. I am also a certified lawyer in Qatar, and I recently founded my law firm: Dr. Reem Al-Ansari Law firm. 

I am also a member of the University of Michigan Law School’s  a former Director of the Legal Research and Studies division at the Role of Law and Anti-Corruption Center (ROLACC), and also a chief editor for the peer-reviewed journal that the center produced. I was the Director of Research Development and Innovation Policy at Qatar Foundation – Qatar Research Council. I have worked in other places as well because I started working as a student, one of those positions was working at the World Bank headquarters in the Governance and Anti-corruption unit (GAC).

Academic wise, I was awarded the Education Excellence Day Award (EED) twice. And one thing that not a lot of people know about me is that I am also a professional chef and had collaborated in the past with a Qatari startup project in preparing their menu.


Dr. Reem Al-Ansari beside her father on the day of graduation from the Ph.D. program
Dr. Reem Al-Ansari beside her father on the day of graduation from the Ph.D. program
Dr. Reem Al-Ansari besiDr. Reem Al-Ansari on the day of graduation from the Ph.D. program
Dr. Reem Al-Ansari on the day of graduation from the Ph.D. program

Have you always aspired to be a lawyer?

Not really, especially because I loved chemistry. However, I think that it is normal for people not to be 100% sure of the path they want to follow in life. Personally, I don’t like some of the ideas shared on social media about the need to know the path one wants to follow, as such ideas can make people overwhelmed and worried, especially young people. Although I wasn’t sure that being a lawyer is my destiny, I can recall some of my behaviors in the past that could be an indication that someday I would be an attorney. For example, back when I was in school, I would defend my friends if they got bullied, and that was simply because I saw such behaviors as wrong, but all those are just memories that in hindsight I relate to being a lawyer today.


Could you tell us about your experience in higher education starting with QU and then completing a master’s and Ph.D. abroad?

I had decided to join QU and study Law at QU’s College of Law, but I didn’t confine myself to studying only. I had many jobs during that time; one of them was working in the legal department at Silatech. After graduating, the college offered me a position, and during working there, I think it was then that I got really deep in learning and understanding Law. After that, I completed my masters at the University of Michigan’s Law School–Ann Arbor. I chose to join it for a couple of reasons, one of them being because it is one of the renowned educational institutions and for the quality courses it offers.

I had lived abroad throughout my life due to the nature of my father’s work. However, living abroad during my master’s studies was a different experience than the ones I had before with my family, and it affected me as a person and also affected my career choices.

My master’s thesis was on the best ways to finance stadiums from a legal perspective. It coincided with Qatar winning the 2022 World Cup bid, so it was a fitting topic. After finishing my master’s, I pursued a Ph.D. from Georgetown University with two concentrations in Law: Criminal Law and Commercial Law. During the Ph.D. program, I worked at the World Bank which was a unique experience.


What encouraged you to work at the World Bank?

Working at the World Bank was an exceptional experience for two reasons. One, it was my first real work experience, and two, the World Bank had 8,000 multinational employees, so it was a very diverse workspace. Moreover, all employees were expected to perform their best regardless of their years of work experience. I still remember my first assignment there which was representing the whole department! Regardless of how hard it was at that time, it remained one of the experiences that I hold dear to my heart, and I still view it as a positive experience. I am proud of the work that I did there as it improved my sense of responsibility. Working there was a turning point for me. It made me notice many things that might be considered simple matters, but their effect is big.

After working in that environment for a while, I started feeling that my experience there had prepared me for new paths and bigger responsibilities in terms of my work in Law and my work skills, which are skills that I wouldn’t have acquired if I didn’t work there. 


How was your teaching experience?

I started teaching after receiving my Ph.D. I worked at QU as a Professor of Law. I also worked at HBKU’s College of Law as a visiting professor where I taught graduate students in 2017. At QU, I was also appointed as the Associate Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies. I created a curriculum to teach anti-corruption which was accredited by the United Nations. I have written a few books which are based on the courses that I taught at QU and HBKU.

Some might label teaching as a hard job where the teacher gives with no return. However, and in all honesty, teaching is not only about the teacher being the giver, because I learned a lot from my students. Being a teacher requires one to stay up to date on the latest emerging knowledge in their respective field, which means that the teachers themselves are students for life, even if they receive their Ph.D. There are a ton of things that I learned, or noticed, because of my students, like the challenges that my special needs students might face. This made me decide that all my publications will be made to be accessible, for example, they might be written in Braille or recorded. I am going to work on this in the future for sure. I also view teaching as a fun experience more than a job and the deep bonds that I have created with my students are invaluable.

White-Collar Crime: A book by Dr. Reem Al-Ansari
White-Collar Crime: A book by Dr. Reem Al-Ansari
Anti-Corruption: a book by Dr. Reem Al-Ansari
Anti-Corruption: a book by Dr. Reem Al-Ansari

Another interesting experience I went through was working as an editor for a peer-reviewed journal in law and anti-corruption. The journal showcased the works of the most brilliant minds in the field of Law and working for that journal gave me the opportunity to know those people regardless of their location in this world. During my time working for the journal, we managed to publish three volumes.

One of the things that I really like to do is to give talks at universities abroad. I like to stay active in local and international law fields. For example, I once taught courses in law for some employees in the Public Prosecutor’s Office. When it comes to being active in the international field, I was invited to give lectures at Cambridge University, Georgetown University, Moscow University, and many more. I am really happy about such opportunities as they provide me with a space to share my ideas with the world.

Dr. Reem Al Ansari at CIRS Talk

What inspired you to open your own law firm?

The idea of having my own law firm has been brewing in my mind for a long time, but I always prioritized other things. Once I was absolutely sure that I had the time to commit to my law firm, I decided to open one. What encouraged me to do so was that I have a way that I would prefer to provide my services to my client as an attorney. And I felt that it was the right time for me to create my own space where I can apply that way. Especially because I had experiences that I wanted to recreate in my own place. Also, I gained a customer base who relied on my services. I preferred to open my own office to apply my ways, and that is exactly how I conduct my work now at my firm as I am mentally in a space where I can do that, and also financially. My law firm is my own universe and my favorite place.

When it comes to the work we do at the firm, the cases that we work on are not confined to criminal cases only. A lot of people visit us for consultations or to prepare contracts for them, and we also arbitrate in case of conflict. One of the wonderful things that I got to witness through my work was the ambitions of the Qatari youth and I was amazed by their awareness and ideas.


Dr. Reem Al-Ansari at MIGIMO - Moscow Lectures
Dr. Reem Al-Ansari at MIGIMO - Moscow Lectures
Dr. Reem Al-Ansari at QAI - Washington DC Lectures
Dr. Reem Al-Ansari at Aman Women Day - 1
Dr. Reem Al-Ansari at Aman Women Day - 1

Tell us about your love for cooking and how it started.

It came as a result of my search for everything that benefits the body and the mind, so I was trying to follow a “healthy” diet, which is supposed to be a normal part of our lifestyle. I started cooking my food using local produce and at first It started as a simple interest but when I traveled to the USA to study, I became more invested in it. I also accumulated a group of plates with nice designs, so I started to try plating my food in them, taking pictures, and sharing them on social media. People started noticing my creations and then I presented one of my recipes to a renowned restaurant and the people loved it! So, the restaurant decided to make my recipe a part of their menu. This later led me to work with a Qatari healthy restaurant to prepare a menu for them.


Have you faced any challenges in your journey?

I have been blessed to have a very loving and supportive family and because of that, I grew up viewing challenges as a normal part of any journey. They are never hurdles in my way, but rather a natural part of the process. For example, if we were to look at the time I was studying abroad, I think that what was challenging for me was getting used to the legal jargon because people don’t use them in everyday life. There have been a few challenges that I faced when it came to opening my law firm. Being the founder, I found it challenging to get the right team for my law firm. Moreover, running the firm means that now I have a new role to play, I am the boss. However, I have invested a lot of effort and time in creating an inviting and fun work environment. A leader needs to be flexible and able to adapt and continue learning.

What is your advice for women in Qatar?

Create opportunities for yourself and do not let doubt get in the way of achieving your goals. Write your own story without comparing yourself to others. Be flexible with changes and improvements without compromising your principles or beliefs.

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Published on 18/03/2023

  • All Pictures were provided to us by the interviewee, unless stated otherwise.
  • Interview was edited to improve clarity and readability.