Host Organisation: Barking and Dagenham Citizens Advice Bureau 2022

Alisha Chander

Briefly explain your most recent educational background and any work (paid or voluntary) you were doing before you began your Fellowship?

I studied BA History, completing my GDL and LPC at the University of Law. During my GDL and LPC, I participated in multiple Pro Bono sessions in legal clinics, assisting solicitors providing employment and family advice. I was also volunteering at Citizens Advice Barking & Dagenham, providing face to face and telephone advice to residents.
After I finished my LPC, I began working at CABD as an Advisor and quickly progressed to Deputy Lead. My role involved providing advice in numerous areas, including welfare benefits, employment, housing, in London’s most deprived borough, and training volunteers to enable them to assist residents.

Why did you want to apply for a Justice First Fellowship?

Given my personal experiences and time at the Citizens Advice, I have seen a large number of people struggle to access support and justice and how crucial it is for people to access advice and legal help early on, especially in time sensitive cases such as homelessness and evictions. One of the main reasons why I wanted to be a solicitor was so I could help vulnerable people in the deprived areas that I have grown up and worked in.
The Justice First Fellowship also aims to ensure that vulnerable people are able to access legal help and how important it is for these people to have this access. I connected with the aims that the JFF has and therefore applied for the Fellowship.

Complete the following sentence: ‘Outside of my legal interests, I enjoy…’

Outside of my legal interests, I enjoy listening to music and baking as I find it very therapeutic; working in a highly emotional environment can get a bit intense so it is a nice escape. I also enjoy spending time with my families and friends, whether that’s going out on walks or doing activities; I recently discovered I am pretty good at darts. I enjoy learning new things because it helps me grow and allows me to become the best of myself.

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