Interview by Anu Radha Lal Let’s start by telling the readers a bit about who you are and how you came to train as a barrister.
I was born and brought up in Birmingham. My parents came to the UK from Bangladesh in the 1960-70s. I am the youngest of five daughters and in some Asian cultures, boys are generally preferred. Despite wider cultural and community expectations, my parents were pioneers. They advocated for us to have the best education and opportunities they could provide us, despite not having those opportunities themselves.
As early as 11, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. This was motivated by a sense of fairness, social justice and wanting to do what was right. Much of my journey into law was driven by the demonisation of Muslims post-9/11 and beyond. One way I felt I may be able to defend my community was through a career at the Bar. I went to my local comprehensive school and then my local state college in Solihull. I did well in school and was encouraged by my tutors to apply to Oxbridge, however I knew myself well enough to know that this was not the kind of institution I could see myself. I went on to study Law at the University of Warwick and I had the best three years and graduated at the top of my year. Now that I am in the profession, I am committed to helping graduates from non-Oxbridge universities believe that they equally belong at the Bar.
My university experience helped me build my confidence to catapult into a career at the Bar. After a gap year of volunteering and interning, I completed my Master’s in public international law at the LSE and went onto do the Bar course. In 2013, I began pupillage in London. As a result of my degree and various scholarships and awards, I did not encounter as many barriers to accessing a career at the Bar as others, although I have encountered challenges within the profession.
I started my career as a barrister in criminal defence which […]