Aaqib is a caseworker at Advocate, previously known as the Bar Pro Bono Unit, where he places pro bono counsel with applicants who do not have the means to pay for legal assistance. In this role, he also helps coordinate the relationship between barristers and solicitors under the Pro Bono Connect scheme. He will commence his family and public law pupillage at Spire Barristers in September 2020.
After graduating with first class honours in Law, Aaqib completed an LLM in International Development Law and Human Rights at the University of Warwick where he was the inaugural student editor of Lacuna, a campus-based online magazine focused on human rights. In keeping with his commitment to social justice, he has been able to undertake various internships that have enabled him to provide support to those most vulnerable. He spent some time at Al-Haq, a human rights NGO in Palestine, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and has contributed to reports published by both institutions. Whilst in Palestine, he was able to visit areas affected by armed conflict in order to document political and legal injustices. He also spent two months with the Texas Defender Services in Texas where he worked on death row and conferenced with incarcerated clients, as well as drafted witness statements for post-conviction appeals by defence lawyers.
Aaqib recognises the value in giving back to the community and has taken on pro bono work in order to do so. As a volunteer at the National Centre for Domestic Violence, he has played a valuable role in assisting vulnerable clients as well as acting as a McKenzie Friend, experiences which he hopes to take forward into his career in family law. He also coaches and mentors students at his former secondary school in the Bar Mock Trial Competition. Aaqib sits on the Young Legal Aid Lawyers Committee and assists with campaigns and events targeted towards advocating on behalf of aspiring social welfare lawyers.
Advocate receives a large number of applications from applicants who are unrepresented and involved in family court proceedings. Unfortunately, Advocate is often unable to find assistance for every applicant.
Aaqib’s project will focus on creating a panel of family law barristers who are able to assist litigants-in-person by providing advice and representation on an urgent basis. The project is intended to complement Advocate’s existing services and aims to provide assistance to applicants who otherwise may not receive any.
The successful implementation of the scheme will enable applicants to receive high-quality pro bono legal assistance and allow them to present their case effectively to the court.
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