"I have been doing pro bono work for a long time, even before I was called to the Bar. My earliest experience was as a very keen and vocal 6-year-old, speaking on behalf of my parents as English was not their first language. They probably would have got on fine without me, but I was always keen to do the talking!

My passion for speaking on behalf of others led to my successful career at the Bar. From the start of my career in 1999, I have provided pro bono representation to clients in family, employment and immigration matters. I have also provided pro bono support to those from my community, dealing with faith related matters, domestic violence issues, medical care concerns, education concerns for those with disabilities and housing matters.

Doing pro bono work comes naturally to me. If I see an individual, potentially someone who is vulnerable, my natural instinct is to support and advocate on their behalf if needed. There is huge personal and professional reward in doing pro bono work. Professionally, it is a great way of experiencing areas of law you may not practise in routinely. Personally, it is hugely rewarding to know that you have helped an individual or sometimes even a whole family, who might otherwise have a very different outcome in life.

Pro bono work has been the backbone of my career. Like many others, I do pro bono work without giving it a second thought because it is the right thing to do and we all have a social responsibility. It is for this reason that I have set up the ‘Women in Gowns’ (WIGs) project. The core aim of the project is to provide advocacy and judge-craft training to female barristers and Judges working in South Asia, with the overall aim to improve access to justice for those most vulnerable, including; domestic violence and child rape victims.

The training is delivered through shared learning and support, dealing with complex issues such as managing gender sensitive based issues in the courtroom and special measures for those most vulnerable. Setting up and running a project such as this takes hard work, commitment and it is a great use of those late-night hours!

The training is delivered by members of the UK Judiciary and senior members of the Bar. All of the trainers are Benchers and members of Middle Temple, including: the Honourable Mrs Justice Maura McGowan, Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara, Sibby Salter, Louise McCullough and Sophie Panagiotopoulou. It is such a privilege to have the support of the Inn, Bar Council, international pro bono organisations and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Delivering advocacy and judge-craft training through the WIGs project is just another example of doing pro bono work for the good of society and for the benefit of those most vulnerable.

I cannot really imagine a career without doing pro bono work, I started early and will no doubt continue for as long as I can, such is the reward from doing the work. To those who frequently do pro bono work; we all should be proud of ourselves for contributing to society in this way. For those who are new to pro bono work, your contribution, however small or grand, will no doubt have a staggering impact on those who might otherwise have a very different experience through the judicial system."