Friendship Sustains Comets Pursuing Legal Careers

Editors’ Note: This feature appears as it was published in the summer 2019 edition of UT Dallas Magazine. Titles or faculty members listed may have changed since that time.
Aisha Noor BA’12, MPA’13 (left) and Monica Niewiarowski BA’13


During an introductory course in 2009, freshmen were asked to lead presentations on topics in which they considered themselves experts. Aisha Noor BA’12, MPA’13 decided to demonstrate her method for wrapping a hijab and chose Monica Niewiarowski BA’13 to be her model.
This moment launched a friendship that has allowed Noor and Niewiarowski to push each other to excel along parallel life paths, including a move from UT Dallas to Washington, D.C., to law school and back to Dallas.
Now serving as associate attorneys — Niewiarowski works in product liability and toxic tort litigation with Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP, while Noor focuses on commercial finance transactions for McGuireWoods LLP — the two found their love of the law at UT Dallas.
Both Niewiarowski and Noor graduated with degrees in political science and served as Student Ambassadors during their time on campus.
Niewiarowski was also a Eugene McDermott Scholar. Noor was too young to be selected for the program — having entered UT Dallas at 16 years old — but ran in the same circles as the other scholars and considered herself an “honorary McDermott.”
As pre-law students, Noor and Niewiarowski took their first major steps toward their eventual careers through the Bill Archer Fellowship Program for Undergraduates, which sends students from the UT System to Washington, D.C., for semester-long internships.
After their acceptance, Noor and Niewiarowski had to decide which internships they would seek, eventually taking positions with the Supreme Court. Although they performed different roles during their internships and were housed in separate apartments, they were inseparable during their time there.
“We walked to our first day together, went to monuments and museums together, and had desks right next to each other,” Noor said.
After completing her Juris Doctor at the University of Virginia School of Law, Niewiarowski returned to Dallas, partly motivated by her relationship with the late Margaret McDermott.
“Mrs. McDermott wanted us students to help build a world-class city here in Dallas,” she said. “This city has experienced a renaissance, and I really want to be a part of it, contributing to the arts, social life and political environment.”
Noor returned to Dallas after attending the University of Chicago Law School, where she discovered a passion for negotiating through the written word, which has inspired her practice representing large financial institutions.
“UT Dallas is the best thing that ever happened to me,” Noor said. “It has a small-family feel but big-school resources. I loved being surrounded by smart people who constantly push you to be better, with professors who give so much attention to the individual success of each student. We left UTD as better, more well-rounded humans ready to approach the world.”