Student Achievements: Sartaz Billing

It is really lovely to hear about all the activities you have been involved in and all of your achievements! Today we want to congratulate Law student, Sartaz Billing on his incredible achievement of winning the award for Best contribution by an individual in the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2020.

The awards celebrate the best pro bono activities undertaken by law students and the positive impact their actions have had on others. Sartaz has participated in a variety of pro bono projects and has made an outstanding contribution to many different projects. Well done Sartaz!

We asked Sartaz about his experiences and what contributed to him winning the award.
You can watch his vlog or read the interview below:

Written Q&A:

Tell us a bit about yourself 

Hello everyone, my name is Sartaz Billing and I am a Law student at the University of Hertfordshire, and will be graduating in September 2020. I want to share with you how my time at the University of Hertfordshire has been, and also talk about my experience of volunteering for the Hertfordshire Law Clinic.

Why did you decide to study Law at Herts?

I was born in India and I came to the UK at the age of 17 and I wanted to go to University, but as I was only 17 and had done my A levels outside of the UK , all the universities, that I applied to, other than the University of Hertfordshire, gave me an offer to study law once I was 18 years old.

"I opted to the study at Herts and I am glad I made that decision." 

What pro bono projects are you involved in?

Talking about pro bono activities, initially I was involved with the local citizens advice and trained there as a gateway assessor, and then I trained as a webchat assessor at the St Albans Citizens Advice as well. However, the Hertfordshire Law Clinic started towards the end of my second year of reading law, and I joined the clinic as a volunteer for the Street-law project. Later on, I became a volunteer for the Law clinic itself and near the end of my third year’s first semester, I joined Shelter UK as well as a court desk volunteer. 

How did you get involved with the Hertfordshire Law Clinic?

The main reason behind getting involved with the Hertfordshire Law clinic and availing the many opportunities it provides for me, was to enhance my skills, as I intend to practise as a Barrister.

"Volunteering with the Hertfordshire Law Clinic was a great way of honing the skills, which I would require later in my life as a professional." 

Have you faced any challenges?

As I have been doing all of this within the two semesters of my final year, the challenge was to ensure that I did not lose my focus and I was not eating into the time which I had to allocated to my studies. However, the way all these activities are planned by the law clinic, and the fact that you are responsible for planning your own time was great. The flexibility with the amounts of hours or days I wish to commit and control over my time, ensured that my studies did not suffer due to all the volunteering that I did.

How have you found your experience of working with the Law Clinic?

I learned a lot by volunteering. Some of the things being researching an area of law, which I haven’t read and telling people about it; public speaking, which I did as a street-law volunteer; drafting letters, communicating with clients and also how to get comfortable in terms of going court. Being in that environment, observing what happens in a court and what being a lawyer in practice means, which I learnt from my experience as a volunteer for Shelter UK, was really useful.

"Volunteering for the Hertfordshire law clinic gave me hands-on experience."

 Of course just doing one presentation or taking one client interview would not make you very good at it, you can always improve. But having the opportunity to conduct an interview or to give a presentation, or to help a duty desk solicitor with their hearings, that helps you in getting more comfortable with doing all of the mentioned activities. These are all activities that you would be doing eventually if you really wish to practice as a barrister or as a solicitor. This helps in giving you an edge in the competitive law market as well. Be it seeking a training contract or a pupillage.

Congratulations again Sartaz on winning the award and thank you for you incredible contribution to numerous projects!

If you would like to find out more about the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards, click here.


Popular Posts