Aspiring barrister denied an Inner Temple scholarship raises BPTC funds (and more) after ‘mystery person’ donates £12,500

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By Katie King on

Leila Taleb starred in a new BBC programme about her law school plans

Leila Taleb

An aspiring lawyer says a “mystery person” has given her £12,500 so she can study the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

Leila Taleb recently starred in a BBC short called Breaking out in Bradford. The programme followed the 25-year-old — who is from a working class family in Bradford — as she applied to The University of Law in Leeds. In it, she said:

It must be a cool and powerful thing to know the law and know your shit and then be creative and work within those parameters to seek justice for the person. The reason why I want to become a barrister is because I feel like there’s a lack of barristers that know what’s going on on the ground, that actually know about people.

At the end of the programme, Lancaster University LLB graduate Taleb secures her BPTC place weeks after completing her entry assessment.

A happy ending — however when we got in touch with Taleb things didn’t seem so peachy. She told us she’d applied for an Inner Temple scholarship but was unsuccessful, and was now appealing the Inn’s decision and looking to raise £14,500 to pay for the course.

Taleb — who has a masters degree in applied human rights from the University of York — set up a crowdfunding page to help fund the fees. Though the target was originally set at £14,500, it was later reduced to £12,500 to take into account a £2,000 ULaw advocacy scholarship Taleb says she’s been awarded.

A screenshot of Leila Taleb’s fundraising page

Now, just a week after she began crowdfunding, Taleb claims to have reached her target thanks largely to a “mystery person who donated £12,500”. The full update on her fundraising page is screenshotted below.

Speaking to Legal Cheek this morning, Taleb said she is “ecstatic and extremely grateful” to the supporters who donated to her appeal, though she had nothing to add about the mystery £12,500 donor. She continued:

I want to also thank my family, friends and all the organisations out there, who have supported me and backed me all the way. I was privileged that the BBC made a documentary about me and it would be insincere of me to disregard all of those other people that have worked and continue to work tirelessly to reach their end goal and are not always recognised for such efforts. Privilege is something that should be shared and not held onto by any one person. A true meritocracy is when every single person has equality of opportunity, no matter what background they come from. One day, I aim to return the favour and help someone in the same way that I have been supported.

Inner Temple has informed us it has nothing more to add at this stage beyond its original comment on the story, which stressed its scholarships are awarded “on merit alone” and “assessed against five key criteria.”


Aspiring barrister who documented her BPTC struggles in new BBC programme is appealing Inner Temple’s decision to deny her a scholarship [Legal Cheek]

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