The University of Law has awarded Honorary Doctorates to two of its most high profile alumni: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, member of the House of Lords and former cabinet minister.
The honours were awarded at a graduation ceremony held yesterday at the Barbican Centre in London. Baroness Warsi joined the ceremony in person to accept her award, while Mayor Khan gave his inspiring acceptance speech via video.
Both studied the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at The University of Law before establishing careers as solicitors and then politicians. They were awarded Honorary Doctorates for their extraordinary contributions to public life.
Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London on May 2016, winning the largest personal mandate in the history of British politics. Before this, he served as the MP for Tooting and as a Minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport. Prior to entering politics, he worked as a human rights lawyer and served as Chair of advocacy group Liberty.
Baroness Warsi is best-known for being the first Muslim to serve in a British cabinet, having been appointed to serve as the Minister without Portfolio under David Cameron. She was elevated to the House of Lords aged 36, making her the youngest peer in Parliament. Her first book, The Enemy Within A Tale of Muslim Britain, was released at the end of last month.
The two are high-profile additions to a formidable list of senior figures who have been awarded Honorary Doctorates by The University of Law. These include Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, founder of Liberty, and Lord Goldsmith, former Attorney General for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Baroness Warsi and Mayor Khan have spoken about their illustrious careers and their time studying the LPC in interviews published today on The University of Law’s blog.
Mayor Khan said: “For me, being a lawyer is all about taking on tough cases, standing up for the vulnerable and defending access to justice, the rule of law and universal human rights. I know that the experience my legal background gave me was vital when I decided to enter politics and at The University of Law I really valued the support of my fellow students, my lecturers, and my tutors.”
Baroness Warsi said: “Years in court were the perfect training for answering questions as a minister. When I was at The University of Law, I really valued the quality of our professors and the great debates we had. My top tip for succeeding in a legal career is to be prepared to grab an opportunity with both hands when it presents itself.”
Professor Andrea Nollent, Vice Chancellor & CEO at The University of Law, said: “These Honorary Doctorates recognise years of work and dedication to the legal profession and beyond, and to award these to alumni of The University of Law is particularly meaningful. I am sure this year’s graduates will be inspired by the careers and achievements of the two worthy recipients awarded today.”
Graduating in yesterday’s ceremony were students from The University of Law’s LPC, Master of Laws (LLM), Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).
Soroush Fini was one of yesterday’s GDL graduates. Proof of The University of Law’s emphasis on practical training and real-life experience, Soroush ran his own business while studying for his qualification – and he has now been awarded a training contract for further study and employment post-university by leading law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner.
Soroush: “The University of Law provides excellent educational and employment opportunities. All of the tutors are qualified lawyers, which is a real benefit as you are learning from their real-life experience. You also do not have to take a traditional route to your chosen career and working while studying the GDL provided me with the practical and academic skills needed to excel and manage the day-to-day running of my business.”
Read Mayor Khan’s interview.
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