We caught up with Sahar, an Associate and former Trainee Solicitor, who studied Law at the University of Oxford and completed the LPC at BPP. She tells us about why she chose to train at Akin.
Akin truly recruits on the basis of merit and not gender, race, sexual orientation or ethnicity. As a state-school educated woman from an Afghan background, at no point did I feel out of place or different. On the vacation scheme, I looked around me and saw a range of individuals from a variety of backgrounds: there was no set “Akin type” but rather everyone was unique and shared a similar enthusiasm for their work. The firm’s genuinely inclusive nature is built into the culture, with female partners inspiring those junior to them and leading by example. Akin appreciates that diversity amongst its workforce encourages diversity of thought and this contributes to the success of the firm.
I applied to the firm’s Pro Bono Scholar scheme and in summer 2017 participated in the Pro Bono Bootcamp, travelling to the US to engage in pro bono initiatives. During my time at the firm, I have coordinated a cross-office project on a European convention protecting women’s rights, assisted a mother and her children in their immigration application and helped defend prisoners on death row in Malawi. The firm’s genuine commitment to pro bono is outstanding and involvement in pro bono activity is not only encouraged of trainees but rewarded.
As a trainee, I undertook a secondment in our Dubai office, after having expressed a strong interest in the Middle East. Although this is not a fixed secondment, as the office has never previously had a trainee, one of the many benefits of a smaller intake is that the training contract can often be flexibly adapted.
My experiences as a trainee in Tax, Litigation/International Arbitration and Islamic Finance/Capital Markets have been resoundingly positive and allowed me to experience areas of law that interest me. As a trainee, you are given immense responsibility and made to feel like an integral member of the team, and the firm, from day one.
In 2020 I qualified into our Dubai Islamic Finance team.