Stefanie De Saude-Darbandi

De Saude-Darbandi Attorneys

What does your company do?

Stefanie De Saude-Darbandi is the founder of De Saude-Darbandi Attorneys, a law firm specializing in immigration law in South Africa. Her expertise encompasses immigration, citizenship, constitutional law, and the interpretation of statutes. Stefanie’s professional journey was inspired by her personal experiences with the immigration process when her father emigrated to South Africa during her youth. This led her to focus on making the legal environment more just and equitable for immigrants. The firm provides a wide array of services aimed at addressing the challenges faced by immigrants, including: • South African Immigration: Handling all aspects of the immigration process to South Africa. • South African Citizenship: Assisting clients in navigating the complexities of acquiring South African citizenship. • Notary Services: Offering official notarization of documents needed for immigration and other legal processes. • Appeals and Litigation: Representing clients in appeals and litigation related to immigration and citizenship matters. • Other Law Services: Providing additional legal services that may be required by immigrants or other individuals dealing with constitutional issues. Stefanie's work is characterized by a commitment to human rights and justice, which she applies in her legal practice to advocate for fair treatment and access to justice for all individuals, particularly immigrants and those seeking residency in South Africa.

What is your biggest success?

My greatest success has been asserting myself as a female lawyer in a predominantly male industry, especially when I first started practicing. This journey was challenging, as I was often the only woman in the courtroom. Gaining the respect and trust of male clients, colleagues, and advocates was not easy, but it was a significant achievement. I worked diligently to ensure my voice was heard and my expertise recognized, breaking through the barriers of gender bias. Additionally, earning the respect and trust of government officials, clients, and colleagues has been a major success. People recognize my work ethic, my passion for justice, and my deep commitment to my clients. My dedication extends beyond mere professional duties; I genuinely care about our country's immigration system. My work is a testament to my belief in justice and my desire to contribute positively to society.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

One of the biggest hurdles I faced was the challenge of being the only female lawyer among male counterparts when I started practicing. It required immense determination and resilience to ensure that my voice was respected and my advice taken seriously. Overcoming this challenge involved consistently demonstrating my expertise, maintaining professionalism, and building a reputation for reliability and competence. Another significant hurdle has been learning to manage emotional involvement in my cases. As someone who is deeply passionate about helping others, I've faced moments where the emotional weight of certain cases was overwhelming. I had to develop the ability to separate my personal feelings from my professional responsibilities to represent my clients effectively. This process involved continuous self-reflection and discipline. Balancing a demanding career with my roles as a mother, wife, daughter, and sister has also been challenging. My family is incredibly important to me, and finding the right balance between my professional and personal life requires constant effort and prioritization. I strive to ensure that neither my family nor my work suffers, which involves careful time management and support from my loved ones.