Shaheen Mamun who graduated from University of Westminster with an LLB Honours Solicitors Exempting degree (now MLaw - Integrated Master’s in Law) has been shortlisted for the Junior Lawyer of the Year Award 2016 as part of The Law Society Excellence Awards.

The annual Award is run by The Law Society, an independent professional body, which looks to promote and support all solicitors, and believes that everyone should have access to justice.

Shaheen said that his experience at Westminster played a key part in his achievement. “I owe a substantial amount of gratitude to the University of Westminster where they not only challenged my academic ability to the level I am at now but also greatly assisted in my professional development. Any positive progression I made was always acknowledged as was seen when the University awarded me a Student Achievement Award.

“My academic progression was continuously and carefully monitored by my tutors in a great learning environment and the facilities I received especially from the Career Development Centre was absolute top notch.

“I enjoyed every single minute of my time at the University especially in the seminars and met many good friends who I remain in touch with at the moment. Had it not been the support and assistance I had received from the University, I would find it difficult to apprehend my current situation and therefore will always value the time I had spent here.”

Shaheen is currently a Trainee Solicitor at Milestone Solicitors, a specialist City law firm on Fleet Street, and deals with all aspects of Immigration and Asylum, Administrative and Public Law, Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

In his spare time, he also serves as a Trustee at the Habeas Corpus Project, which is a non-profit organisation that provides pro-bono legal representation in challenging unlawful detention of refugees and migrants in the UK.

Shaheen said: “Prior to entering the legal field, I undertook a voluntary legal placement arranged by the University of Westminster with the Royal Courts’ of Justice Citizen Advice Bureau. Here, I was entrusted with the role of a Duty General Advisor and Gateway Assessor and advised those affected by social issues.” He highly recommends his fellow law students to be involved in legal volunteering and pro-bono activities whilst they are studying in order to boost their CV and gain invaluable experience.

“I believe I was shortlisted as a finalist since I dedicate a lot of my time to the Habeas Corpus Project and other pro-bono and grassroots initiatives which are innovative and ahead of what is currently available in the legal sector.”

When he found out that he was shortlisted for the Junior Lawyer of the Year 2016 Award, he was “ecstatic and over the moon to say the very least. I felt that I had made my parents and peers proud considering such a coveted award was difficult to even be shortlisted for by many junior lawyers in the UK. I am humbled by being shortlisted but believe I can push myself further in the legal profession and look forward to achieving more in the near future.”

Ousman Noor, Barrister and Director of the Habeas Corpus Project, spoke about Shaheen’s talent and passion for justice and human rights. “Shaheen is a talented and inspiring young immigration lawyer who will not only continue to succeed in the legal profession in the near future but will continue to challenge the boundaries of the ever present challenges faced in Human Right matters.”

The winners will be announced at the prestigious awards ceremony taking place on Thursday 20 October, at the Hilton Park Lane, where The Law Society will be celebrating the very best work in the legal profession.


Shaheen’s top tips for current students

  • My route to a legal career was by no means an easy one. I have encountered and overcome several hurdles and obstacles along my way. Being a first-generation lawyer of an ethnic background and also the first individual in my family to complete University, I stepped into a career that from the outset seemed daunting and challenging. I did not have the benefit of previous connections in the legal field and have had to forge my own path through perseverance and hard work. Through my journey I have made life-changing friendships that have enabled me to further my passion and fulfil my dreams.
  • No matter how many obstacles are put in front of you, never lose sight of the final goal. Life is about overcoming obstacles and the more problems you can overcome the richer your experience will be. Through perseverance, patience and persistence there are no limits to what you can achieve. Don’t be afraid of hard work. Don’t be afraid of starting from the bottom because hard work never goes unrewarded. Chasing your passion in life is worth all the hard work because once you taste the fruits of your endeavours, it all becomes worth it.
  • For any aspiring lawyers (solicitors or barristers), it is highly recommended that you undertake as much pro-bono and legal voluntary work as you can in order to achieve the desired Training Contract or Pupillage.
  • Professional networking through events and email is also not a bad idea as it helps to broaden your contacts list and raise your awareness of any potential opportunities. And always to stay on top of exams especially with the amount of competition out there!

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