Commercial real estate attorney Sonia Kaur Bain started her college career at SUNY at Stony Brook focused initially, on pre medicine. A volleyball player, she injured her ankle her first semester and recalls, "I always credit that broken ankle on directing me to law."
Since hobbling across campus in a half-leg cast was made near impossible for her to make it on time to her early morning biochemisty classes, and with the free time she had because she wasn't playing volleyball, Bain took a part time job at a law firm. She went on to get her law degree at New York Law School.
Bain began as a bankruptcy lawyer mainly representing single asset real estate debtors. "It was a really great way to learn about the real estate industry," she says. Since those bankruptcy cases involved an understanding of the debtor's business, it was a natural transition for her to switch to real estate. She is now a partner in the New York City office of Troutman Sanders, an Atlanta-based national law firm.
One of the reasons she loves real estate law is that she is often able to feel as if she "played a small role in being a part of reshaping a neighborhood from the beginning." Bain has done deals to this effect in DUMBO, Brooklyn, the Hudson Yards neighborhood and area around the High Line. The neighborhood she believes will continue to transform is the area being called NoMad, north of Madison Square Park from 25th to 30th Street between 6th Avenue and Lexington.
Bain, who was born in India and grew up on Long Island, says her father is her greatest inspiration, "for his hard work ethics, and his optimism beyond belief. He never lets a setback keep him from moving forward."
She lives in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn (an area she also helped shape to what it is today) with her husband Chris and their two sons, Caleb, 7 and Janak, 4. Her proudest accomplishment, she says, is "being able to do all this and still get great report cards from her kids!"