Solicitor and director, Birmingham
I decided from a fairly young age to pursue a legal career. At school I had a clear vision of a career which worked towards my strengths and would also provide me with job satisfaction. I noticed that I enjoyed class presentations, communication and problem solving, so decided a legal career would be an ideal fit, especially one involving advocacy.
After completing the LPC it was a challenge to secure a training contract. It was shortly after a recession and employers were reluctant to recruit, with many training contract positions placed on hold. While it was a difficult time to start a legal career, I was keen to keep busy and gain legal experience on my CV, which enabled me to experience work in a variety of specialisms and firms. I gained an insight into mental health law, civil litigation, prison law and medical negligence.
These firms were based throughout England and Wales, and on occasions I had to temporarily relocate to places such as Cardiff and Exeter. I eventually secured my two-year training contract at a criminal defence firm in Kent. I would regularly represent clients at the police station and prison adjudications, and prepare cases for trial. The training was demanding but invaluable, providing me with a firm base to develop and fine-tune my career.
My goal was to qualify in a specialism which would provide me with an opportunity to practise court advocacy. I was drawn towards criminal defence because it is fast-paced, interesting and provides immense job satisfaction.
I was motivated to establish Kang & Co Solicitors for various reasons. After qualification, I wanted to provide clients with the very best level of client care and representation; though the constraints of public funding can make this difficult. Kang & Co Solicitors only represents clients on a private fee-paying basis, so I can now provide clients with the very best I have to offer. Another reason I was motivated to establish the firm was the flexibility it would provide, which would then enable me to pursue other interests in the future, such as politics, while working full-time as a specialist criminal defence solicitor.
'The skills and experience I was gaining throughout my legal education, training and practical experience placed me in an ideal position to eventually become an efficient and effective MP'
I have been interested in politics from a young age and, as I developed my legal career, my interest and ambition to become an MP also increased. The skills and experience I was gaining throughout my legal education, training and practical experience placed me in an ideal position to eventually become an efficient and effective MP. This then sparked my desire to stand for selection and then the general election.
In the 2015 general election I was selected as the Labour party candidate for the Cotswolds. I was selected 10 months before the election and shortly after qualifying I decided to work as a consultant solicitor. This provided me with the flexibility to work as a solicitor on a self-employed basis, while actively progressing political campaigning for the general election.
In 2017 I was selected as the Labour candidate for Tewkesbury. This was a ‘snap election’ and the campaign window was reduced to a few weeks. I was working full-time at a firm in Solihull and decided to take time off as annual leave so that I could properly focus on the campaign.
There are many similarities and transferable skills between politics and law. In essence the role of a lawyer is to solve a problem and safeguard the interests of their client; the same also applies in politics. This is why a legal background is advantageous when considering service in politics. If a lawyer also has training and experience in advocacy, this further enhances their ability to become an effective politician.
At present, most of my time is dedicated towards managing and growing Kang & Co Solicitors, along with family commitments. But I still have a strong desire to stand for parliament so that I can contribute towards implementing much needed change and improvement in many areas of life.