Darian Nourian

Darian Nourian (JD ’24) is Professional On and Off the Field Fowler School of Law graduate applies law school lessons on the soccer field.

When he was graduating from high school, Darian Nourian (JD ’24) said he would become the first Iranian-American U.S. Supreme Court justice.

When he was graduating from high school, Darian Nourian (JD ’24) said he would become the first Iranian-American U.S. Supreme Court justice.

“Looking back, I can’t believe I said that,” he says with a laugh.

Regardless, Nourian is closer to that possibility, set to graduate near the top of his class from Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law with a federal judicial clerkship and a job in business litigation lined up. He has a laundry list of accomplishments at the law school including being the editor-in-chief of Chapman Law Review, a member of winning negotiation and dispute resolution teams and an academic fellow for various courses including civil procedure and corporations.

Law school Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Camille Heenan says Nourian is the “epitome of a team player.”

“I’ve seen him go out of his way to support other students academically and personally,” she says. “He always has a smile on his face and a can-do attitude about everything.”

Nourian has transferred his team-based approach to law school from the soccer field, and vice versa. An aspiring sports journalist coming out of his undergraduate years, Nourian has refereed soccer since high school.

“It’s similar in that you’re applying and interpreting laws,” he says.

His time on the alternative dispute resolution team taught him how to approach disagreements.

“I’ve taken that same approach onto the soccer field, so it’s translated nicely,” he says.

He referees Division I collegiate and semi-professional soccer, finding time even during the busyness of law school. He hopes to referee professional soccer one day.

“I’ve never stopped because it’s something I love to do,” he says.

Nourian has been part of winning teams that have competed in sports negotiation contests in New Orleans and an international negotiation competition in Dubai. He says Dubai was one of the most memorable experiences he had at Chapman. It was also bittersweet because it was his last competition with beloved Professor Nancy Schultz, who passed away in December 2023.

Relationships with her and other professors and close friendships with classmates is one of the most special things about Fowler School of Law, he says.

Leading the law review also allowed Nourian to continue his love of writing and editing. And under his watch, the Chapman Law Review’s annual symposium — this year themed “Rhythm, Rhyme, and the Rule of Law” sold out for the first time.

“I’ve learned that some people do well with oral advocacy and their voice, but you can also be a great advocate with your pen,” he says.

After voicing his Supreme Court ambitions, Nourian’s journey to his law career took him to a globe-spanning career in consulting for some of the world’s largest financial institutions. Along the way, he managed weekly flights to New York and learned Italian while working in Milan. He found time to study for the LSAT and apply to law school.

“It took a lot of persistence and it takes a village, as well,” says Nourian, a son of immigrants and the first in his family to attend law school.

He is grateful to “everyone who has supported me on this journey, especially my mom, who always told me, ‘The sky’s the limit.’”

One of his main takeaways from Fowler School of Law is that attorneys have “a tremendous ability to help others, whether personally or in their businesses, through some of their most difficult moments.”

“Our legal education equips us to do that,” he says.

Read more stories about our 2024 Commencement. 

Joy Juedes

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