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My name is Pamela Okende, I am a mum to three lovely 'little monsters' and have an adoring hubby. I love music and dance - I think that it's route coded in my blood and veins, thanks to my African heritage.
I love being social with family and friends as well as with virtual people. I'm an absolute movie nutter who loves rom-coms as well as action packed films. I thrive on defying negative statistics about my background. My dream is to leave a lasting legacy to inspire young women (particularly young mums) to achieve highly - despite their past or present circumstances.
In 2012, heavily pregnant, completed an undergraduate degree in Law with First Class Honours and now I aspire to become a barrister. I am serious about pursuing a career at the bar and keen to become a member of this prestigious profession. As a barrister, I will have opportunities to influence and shape the development of the law. Human rights, housing, social security, immigration, crime, company and contract law are my interests. The thought of being privileged to influence the justice system as a barrister excites me.
As a woman of refugee background and a mother of three children - I am passionate to ensure that the fundamental principles of law are upheld. In whichever legal area I practice, I am determined that its principles - that none is above it, and the well-being of citizens are paramount - will be maintained.
Law is a very competitive career, and for this reason I have been proactive in seeking and gaining relevant experiences to enhance my position. For example, I undertook work experience at chambers in London, shadowing barristers, attending court and learning first hand, best practice first hand for a successful legal career. I have had valuable opportunity also to marshal a judge at a criminal court. During this experience I sat on the bench with a judge and observed several criminal trials and witnessed excellent and courteous advocacy.
Since May 2014 I have been volunteering with an organisation that offers free legal advice and representation. Cases I have taken on include those where disability or ill health allowances have been stopped by a government department. I prepare the arguments for reinstatement of the applicable allowances and present the case at appeal hearings using the relevant rules and regulations.
My success and enjoyment of experiences have really confirmed my career choice. They have given me a holistic view of life as a barrister and I LOVE IT!!
I am crowd funding to cover the remaining cost of my tuition fees to study on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Upon completion I will achieve a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Skills, which is the requirement to be called to the Bar and to begin practice.
In 2014 I was offered a place to study on the course, however after having missed out on crucial scholarships, I deferred my start date until September 2015. Fortunately, this year I have been awarded with a £5,000 scholarship which has reduced the overall tuition fees. Together with the £400 deposit I have already paid, the remaining cost of the tuition fee is £12,100.
I am determined not to miss out again this year after having secured one of the two scholarships which were available. Following a competitive application process, this scholarship award has recognised my academic achievements so far, dedication to the career and contribution to the wider community. I have exhausted all other options to raise the money through other bursaries, grants and scholarships. I plan to borrow very little to assist with living costs.
This project is really important to me because when I qualify I will be the FIRST lawyer in my family. More than a qualification, this achievement will inspire others to aspire despite anything because if I - Pamela from a refugee background, a young mum with three kids, with limited financial resources can do it, then anyone can. Your generosity and support of my project will contribute towards getting this message across and opening up opportunities which are typically limited to the elite and wealthy.
All funding raised will go towards the tuition fees and be paid directly to the law school.
£17,500 - is the total cost of the course
£400 - is how much I paid as a deposit in 2014
£5,000 - is the Scholarship amount I have been awarded as a fee reduction
£12,100 - is what's left to pay!!
Any extra funds raised above my target will go towards travel expenses and other costs associated with my studies.
Thank you for your generosity, and for helping me to succeed.
To thank you for your donation, I have some fab rewards to offer including a chance to attend my prestigious 'Call to the Bar' ceremony. Check out the list alongside my pitch.
For updates during my fundraising campaign, you can follow me on:
You don't need to give money to help me succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support me – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, even as a message in a bottle :)
Share it with everyone you know as the more people who know about it, the more likely I will reach my target.
And I know I said you don't need to give money to help us, but I'd love it if you did! Please sponsor me and help make this happen.
Select this reward if you just want to donate to the project without receiving a reward.
For these social butterflies a shout out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Estimated delivery: 1 October 2015
A personalised 'Thank you' message on an official Honourable Society of The Inner Temple postcard.
Estimated delivery: 1 October 2015
I will proof read your work, up to a 5,000 word limit
Estimated delivery: 1 November 2015
I will speak at your event or organisation addressing any issue mentioned in my pitch. (within a reasonable distance from London)
Estimated delivery: 1 December 2016
For these Heroes an invite to attend my personal graduation party, likely to take place in London/Greater London/Essex in August 2016
Estimated delivery: 1 August 2016
For these Angels an invitation to attend my formal 'Call to the Bar' night graduation ceremony at Inner Temple
Estimated delivery: 1 July 2016