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Case studies

Anjali Kemwal


Name, current role and centre

Anjali Kemwal, Pro Bono Coordinator, London Centres


Area of law

Employment, Social Security


Previous employer

Legal Director at Law for All, a national Legal Charity with West London roots.


A day in the life...

I completed my training contract with a relatively young and innovative legal charity that was able to service a large number of socially excluded and vulnerable clients with good quality legal advice in the areas of social welfare law. I had to push my CV under the right noses with a lot of charm and cajoling in order to be considered for a training contract and after initially being fobbed off a few times. I think my tenacity impressed and I was eventually fast tracked through the recruitment process to be given a training contract shortly after completing my LPC in Guildford.

My training touched on a wide range of areas including housing, family, immigration, education and mental health but I chose to specialise in social security law and employment law as I enjoyed practicing in those areas the most. I did long hours for the pleasure of seeing a good result for my clients rather than because it was expected or because I was being paid to (I was being paid the Law Society minimum as a trainee which was £12,000p.a. at the time). I was thrown in the deep end, inheriting a full caseload of about 100 files. It was work that required a commitment to social justice and a lot of hard work, patience and skill.

I worked up to becoming the Legal Director choosing to mix case work with management as I was interested in strategy, business development and training. I managed approximately 50 legally trained staff including trainees and fully qualified solicitors and barristers across a number of offices throughout the country. Although it was not glamorous work, it was a reputable charity with some important Patrons including a magic circle firm and a well-known private equity company. Unusually for legal aid work, the lawyers were exposed to some important and high profile stakeholders and through their work influenced policy decisions at a high level and not only through chasing a precedent case.


Best moments

I completed my training contract with a relatively young and innovative legal charity that was able to service a large number of socially excluded and vulnerable clients with good quality legal advice in the areas of social welfare law. I had to push my CV under the right noses with a lot of charm and cajoling in order to be considered for a training contract and after initially being fobbed off a few times. I think my tenacity impressed and I was eventually fast tracked through the recruitment process to be given a training contract shortly after completing my LPC in Guildford.

My training touched on a wide range of areas including housing, family, immigration, education and mental health but I chose to specialise in social security law and employment law as I enjoyed practicing in those areas the most. I did long hours for the pleasure of seeing a good result for my clients rather than because it was expected or because I was being paid to (I was being paid the Law Society minimum as a trainee which was £12,000p.a. at the time). I was thrown in the deep end, inheriting a full caseload of about 100 files. It was work that required a commitment to social justice and a lot of hard work, patience and skill.

I worked up to becoming the Legal Director choosing to mix case work with management as I was interested in strategy, business development and training. I managed approximately 50 legally trained staff including trainees and fully qualified solicitors and barristers across a number of offices throughout the country. Although it was not glamorous work, it was a reputable charity with some important Patrons including a magic circle firm and a well-known private equity company. Unusually for legal aid work, the lawyers were exposed to some important and high profile stakeholders and through their work influenced policy decisions at a high level and not only through chasing a precedent case.


Advice to students

I completed my training contract with a relatively young and innovative legal charity that was able to service a large number of socially excluded and vulnerable clients with good quality legal advice in the areas of social welfare law. I had to push my CV under the right noses with a lot of charm and cajoling in order to be considered for a training contract and after initially being fobbed off a few times. I think my tenacity impressed and I was eventually fast tracked through the recruitment process to be given a training contract shortly after completing my LPC in Guildford.

My training touched on a wide range of areas including housing, family, immigration, education and mental health but I chose to specialise in social security law and employment law as I enjoyed practicing in those areas the most. I did long hours for the pleasure of seeing a good result for my clients rather than because it was expected or because I was being paid to (I was being paid the Law Society minimum as a trainee which was £12,000p.a. at the time). I was thrown in the deep end, inheriting a full caseload of about 100 files. It was work that required a commitment to social justice and a lot of hard work, patience and skill.

I worked up to becoming the Legal Director choosing to mix case work with management as I was interested in strategy, business development and training. I managed approximately 50 legally trained staff including trainees and fully qualified solicitors and barristers across a number of offices throughout the country. Although it was not glamorous work, it was a reputable charity with some important Patrons including a magic circle firm and a well-known private equity company. Unusually for legal aid work, the lawyers were exposed to some important and high profile stakeholders and through their work influenced policy decisions at a high level and not only through chasing a precedent case.