A Memo on What Fuels Memo: Family, Spittin' Hamilton and Sweets

Discovery with Maryam Karnib

Published in 2019 Michigan Super Lawyers magazine

By Maryam Karnib on August 22, 2019


My nickname is … Memo. My nephew Jude couldn’t say my full name when he was younger, and started calling me Memo about eight years ago now. It stuck with my family.

I can’t go a day without … ice cream or any sort of chocolate. I love sweets! 

If I had a time machine I’d … go back to my childhood and really cherish the moments I had with my sisters and cousins. 

My earliest childhood memory is … being really upset when my parents ran out of chocolate milk. I LOVED chocolate milk and had to have it every morning. I don’t know when I got over that, but sometimes I still crave it. Maybe this is why I love sweets so much! 

My real-life heroes are … my parents! They came to this country to provide a better life for their daughters and worked so hard to get us to where we are today. I don’t know how they did it, but I am so thankful for them each and every day. I wouldn’t be as successful as I am without them. 

On weekends I … like to enjoy time with my family and spend as much time as possible outside—at least in the summer months. I really enjoy riding my bike and walking around downtown Detroit. With all the new shops and restaurants opening up, there is so much to do and see. 

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … a florist! I always wanted to own my own flower shop. 

The SCOTUS justice I’d like to meet is … Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. How is this even a question? 

The talent I wish I had is … reading people’s minds. How cool would it be if you could know what someone is thinking when you are talking to them? It would make negotiating a lot easier, too!  

My motto is … always work hard and be a good person. No matter what the situation is, you can always control your own emotions and how you react. 

My favorite song lyric is … “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” – Mumford and Sons, “Awake My Soul” 

The movie line I quote most often is … not really a movie, but I quote a lot of lines from Hamilton. My favorite is in the song “Aaron Burr, Sir”: “If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?”

The last TV show I binge-watched was … Parks and Rec.

My new favorite podcast is … aHERo. Two of my friends from law school started it, and it covers issues women face—big and small. 

Nothing cheers me up like … ice cream and my four wonderful nephews and nieces, who are the light of my life.

The one thing that I would change about the legal profession is … I would like to see qualified women and minority lawyers be given more opportunities to excel in the field. 

The one piece of advice I’d offer young attorneys is … to make sure you learn as much as possible from the start and always have confidence in yourself. This field is not easy and you have to speak up when you do not understand something. You also have to believe in yourself before others will.

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