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The benefits of role modelling

Last updated: 8 April 2019

In these podcasts, members of the Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division draw attention to the importance of role models in inspiring people to achieve their goals.

Black, Asian and minority ethic (BAME) lawyers represent a small percentage of the profession so the more visible and active these lawyers are, the more it will encourage children, young people and anyone with aspirations of becoming a lawyer.

Role modelling is a key priority for the Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division (EMLD) committee, who have launched an EMLD university student roadshow with visits to universities with a high representation of BAME students.

The roadshows give students access to role models who share their journey and provide the students with practical tips on navigating their career path into a career in law.


Leena Savjani, Irwin MitchellLeena Savjani, partner at Irwin Mitchell

Leena is a partner at Irwin Mitchell. She practices medical negligence law and is a renowned expert in that field.

Leena also leads her firm’s internal diversity group ‘IM Respect’ in London, a listening group for BME staff members at her firm. The group promotes and champions diversity both internally and externally.

Leena is passionate about law, diversity and inclusion and is the vice chair of the Association of Asian Women Lawyers. She speaks regularly at educational events for law students and is keen to play a key part in improving diversity in the legal profession.

Umar Kankiya, Sternberg ReedUmar Kankiya, head of mental health at Sternberg Reed

Umar is a solicitor and head of mental health for Sternberg Reed.

He has represented people detained under the Mental Health Act since 2011 and has been a Law Society Mental Health Accredited member and qualified solicitor since 2012.

Umar is also a trustee for the charity Lovelife Generation.

Listen to Leena's podcast:

Listen to "The benefits of role modelling - Leena Savjani" on Spreaker.

Listen to Umar's podcast:

Listen to "The benefits of role modelling" on Spreaker.
Ethnic Minority Lawyers podcast series

Our podcasts explore themes and topical issues of interest to Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) solicitors.


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