Meet the Barrister – Rehim Babaoglu
A periodic Q & A session with a Lewis Thomason (LT) lawyer
Lewis Thomason: When did you decide to become a lawyer?
Ray Babaoglu: While at Rutgers University I was assigned to the law school as a work-study student. That’s where I met than Prof. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I handled her exam copying assignments and ran errands for other law professors. She was very kind and took time to chat with everyone she met there. After graduating Rutgers University I was hired as a probation oﬃcer in Newark, New Jersey conducting pre-sentence investigations for the criminal courts and also attending court on probation violation hearings. I quickly realized that I could do better than most of the lawyers in those proceedings, and I decided to follow my dream and go to law school. Competition for law school admission was fierce in the NY‐NJ area so I was accepted at several law schools around the country. I chose to attend then Memphis State University Law School and, since then, have always been grateful for the opportunities the University aﬀorded me.
Lewis Thomason: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Ray Babaoglu: I would humbly say that it is having achieved recognition as an expert in the field of immigration law and being asked to testify as such in numerous court proceedings. I once had a close call—a chance to go to the U.S. Supreme Court on an adverse decision of the 8th Circuit which split with the 5th Circuit, but my client could not aﬀord to petition for cert.
Lewis Thomason: What is your favorite thing to do in Memphis/Nashville/Knoxville?
Ray Babaoglu: Letting my dogs walk me in Overton Park and Shelby Forest. Serving on the board of Overton Park Conservancy and leading numerous volunteers from the local colleges and high schools on Overton Park cleanups and maintenance. The spirit of volunteerism in these young kids is incredible to witness and enjoy.
Lewis Thomason: What is your favorite way to waste time?
Ray Babaoglu: Binge watching Game of Thrones and Bonanza episodes and Jason Bourne movies. Let me just say to GT fans: “You know nothing, John Snow.”
Lewis Thomason: What has been your greatest challenge as an attorney?
Ray Babaoglu: Getting my undocumented and immigrant clientele to understand, appreciate, and respect the rule of law.
Rehim Babaoglu is a shareholder in the firm’s Memphis office. He has been honored by Super Lawyers of America as a Super Lawyer in the Mid-South for Immigration Law. He has also received designations of Best Lawyers in America for his work in immigration and consumer law. He has served the Memphis Bar Association as a member of its board of directors on two separate occasions. Mr. Babaoglu is a frequent lecturer on the subjects of immigration and deportation law for the federal, Memphis, Tennessee and American Immigration Lawyers associations. In 2010, he was selected as Volunteer Attorney of the Year by the Memphis Community Legal Center. Mr. Babaoglu has been serving as a part-time judicial official since 1999 as an Assistant Divorce Referee for Shelby County Circuit Division II. Mr. Babaoglu is fluent in Russian and Italian.