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Umar Kankiya

Solicitor - Mental Health

I had three amazing years at De Montfort, which included being elected as the President of the Student Law Society.  In that role I was able to run many successful social and career orientated events.  After graduation, in went on to complete the LPC. My career commenced as a paralegal in the Welfare Benefits department at Duncan Lewis LLP. My main role was to assist clients who were vulnerable in their appeals to the Department for Work and Pensions including appeals about non-payment of welfare benefits. After a year, I secured a training contract at the same firm with my main areas being welfare, mental health and community care.

At present, I am a solicitor specialising in mental health law at Cartwright King Solicitors, London. I am also a Law Society accredited Mental Health panel member / supervisor. Mental health law is an area that I am very passionate about. I represent people detained under the Mental Health Act dealing with the deprivation of their liberty and restrictions placed on their lives. I work with clients detained in low secure units right up to those detained in Broadmoor. I have a firm commitment to represent those who are vulnerable and who don't have a voice. Generally, I represent my clients in both mental health tribunals and the county court.  

Alongside of this, I have continued to stay active with politics, assisting with campaigning on a local and national level. This started many years ago from my active role in the UK Youth Parliament. In fact, after graduation, I was appointed as the youngest regional coordinator at the UK Youth Parliament. Here I work with the elected members on a local and regional level in London to ensure that the young people work on projects that give young people a voice. This work has a national and international dimension.

To find the career that you are passionate about, it is important to benefit from as much experience as possible. Work placements, advice from tutors and careers talks are essential. It is also important to work on your skills, in particular drafting and general communication skills. Remember, you have to inspire others to have confidence in your skills and ability. Determination, well that is essential! 

 
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