Crowdfunding wannabe barrister pledges free careers advice in return for donations

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By Thomas Connelly on

Mohamed Hussein Iman needs £15k to start GDL

Mohamed Hussein Iman

An aspiring barrister seeking to raise almost £15,000 to cover the cost of the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is offering free tuition and careers advice in return for donations.

In a bid to get the public to part with their cash, University of Oxford history grad Mohamed Hussein Iman has pledged to donate one hour of his time to students from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds for every £15 donated to his cause.

Croydon-born Iman — who was raised by his mother, a Somali Muslim immigrant who arrived in the UK unable to speak English — says the 60-minute sessions can cover everything from A-Level advice through to pointers on university applications.

The 23-year-old’s pledge comes after he received an offer to study the GDL at City University Law School and now needs to raise £14,900 to cover his tuition fees and living costs. He has so far raised just over £7,000.

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“Unfortunately the bar has severe access issues,” Iman writes on his crowdfunding page. “Financially, for non-law undergraduates such as myself, the GDL is expensive, with student finance unavailable for the course I have chosen to pursue.”

Iman, who intends to work throughout his studies, says he remains undeterred from a career at the bar despite exhausting scholarship options and resorting to crowdfunding to raise the cash.

“I’d like to be a barrister rather than a solicitor because of the advocacy potential,” Iman told Legal Cheek. “I would like to directly represent clients and be vocal about their causes, and a career at the bar lets me do this.”

He continued: “I would also like to practise human rights law but since I haven’t started my GDL, I am not sure what area I’d most enjoy, be interested in or be good at.”

The bar hopeful has already received backing from barrister turned daytime TV celeb Judge Rinder, who last month shared Iman’s fundraising page along with the tweet: “If we are serious and — honestly — care about social mobility we need to help Mo.”

This isn’t the first time a student has turned to crowdfunding in a bid to fulfil their dream of becoming a barrister. Legal Cheek reported earlier this summer that Dylan Kawende had successfuly raised £65,000 to cover the costs of studying law at the University of Cambridge.

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