Tell us a little bit about your background.
My parents originally moved to the UK in the 90s, and like a lot of Gujarati Indian immigrants, settled in Leicester. I was raised in what was largely a working-class area of the city that was, and unfortunately remains, economically and socially disadvantaged. I studied at an inner-city state school and sixth form college which did not have the best of reputations during the day and studied at a mosque in the evenings.
Despite this, I was very fortunate as my parents were extremely supportive, encouraging me to pursue my passions as best as I could, while instilling a strong work ethic. Because of this, I’ve always had side projects which included anything from getting flying scholarships to supporting start-ups. I also love learning about new industries so would seek out work placements in banking, insurance and law.
What was your experience like on Pathways to Law?
The Pathways to Law programme provided a means of growing in ways I had never imagined. On the intellectual front, masterclasses and residentials meant I was regularly meeting with passionate academics who had a genuine desire to help me develop, mostly through intellectual discussions, but also occasionally by allowing me to contribute to their research, which boosted my confidence in my abilities.
On the practical front, networking events and work placements meant I had the opportunity to meet a wide range of industry professionals, some of whom I am still in touch with today. The networking was particularly helpful as prior to the programme, I had no family nor friends in law, so did not have a role model to look up to. Pathways to Law allowed me to meet so many inspirational people – I was left in awe and spoilt for choice.
All of this allowed me to develop to the point where I was able to overcome many of the barriers linked to a career in law. The programme allowed me to grasp an understanding of the law, the people, the etiquette and the general know-how that no one normally thinks to teach a 16-year-old. Six years on, I still use many of the lessons taught on the programme on a day-to-day basis.
How did your career develop afterwards?
I finished college and graduated from the Pathways programme with three awards from my programme coordinator! After this I went on to study law at the University of Leicester as a first-generation student while working part time in insurance.
While at university, I continued to pursue my passion for law through my studies and work placements, but also pursued other interests including flying and banking. I applied for flying scholarships which allowed me to pursue the obsession I had with planes as a kid but also to confirm I enjoyed this as a hobby rather than a career. I also completed an internship with Barclays to explore banking through which I gained valuable skills, exposure and a network of colleagues who are now also clients! All of these weird and wonderful experiences eventually made me certain I wanted to go into law.
While in my final year, I secured a training contract with law firm Clifford Chance. I then graduated, moved to London, and started my accelerated LLM CLP. This involved six months of intense studying, at the end of which I started as a trainee at the firm. I have since completed my first rotation in capital markets, working alongside industry leading lawyers on some of the largest capital markets transactions for financial institutions, corporates and governments. I am currently in my second rotation in real estate, working alongside inspiring lawyers on exciting projects.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I hope to qualify as an associate at the firm and work alongside the incredible teams, developing as a lawyer and progressing year on year. I also hope to pursue projects in the rising field of LawTech, allowing me to help pioneer innovative ideas, boosting efficiencies in the legal profession. I also look forward to continuing my social mobility work to reach as many people as possible too.
What advice would you give to a future Sutton Trust Student?
First, always be enthusiastic: having the right attitude and mindset goes a long way in helping you make the most of an opportunity – and helps you get noticed.
Second, be proactive: don’t wait for someone to tell you what you can or should do, go and find out for yourself, whether that be for school, college, life ambitions, or even work.
Third, try everything: no matter how big or small, relevant or irrelevant an opportunity may seem, do it! People often wait for a big life changing moment, but it’s usually an accumulation of the smaller things that makes the biggest difference.