Alumni profile: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by The University of Law at a graduation ceremony in April 2017. He was elected Mayor of London in May 2016, winning the largest personal mandate in the history of British politics. Before this, Sadiq served as the MP for Tooting in south London, going on to become Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and the Shadow Minister for London. Before entering politics, Sadiq studied at The University of Law (ULaw) Guildford and worked as a solicitor. Here, he shares more of his essential career advice. 

My advice to anyone on their graduation day is to take it all in. You’ve sacrificed a lot to get to this point so enjoy it, be proud of your achievements and feel motivated for what lies ahead. The hard work, to make a difference, starts now.
At ULaw I really valued the support of my fellow students, my lecturers and my tutors. They kept my motivation levels up through many long days and late nights of revision.

To be a good lawyer, you need to have a burning desire to make society a better place, and that can only be achieved by getting out and helping others. This can be volunteering in your local neighbourhood, giving legal advice through free legal clinics, or even becoming a local councillor.

When I was a student, I volunteered at my local theatre, helped out at community law centres and did all I could to help my local community. This, without a doubt, gave me the grounding and experience I needed to become a human rights lawyer.

For me, being a lawyer is all about taking on tough cases, standing up for the vulnerable and defending access to justice, the rule of law and universal human rights. My advice to any aspiring politician or lawyer would be to live up to those values in every part of your work, and help make the city and the country a better and fairer place.

I know that the experience my legal background gave me was vital when I decided to enter politics. I was a Member of Parliament for my home town in Tooting before becoming the Mayor for all Londoners. As a human rights lawyer, I defended people who were victims of discrimination and that made me more determined than ever to fight injustice wherever I see it.

Start your career as a solicitor like Sadiq; our Legal Practice Course (LPC) can get you there. Visit law.ac.uk/lpc