More than 20 years ago when Bushra Ali said she wanted to study law while at school in North Wales the response was shocking.
She can still remember the words from the careers advisor, who said: “You are female, Asian and not a straight A student. there is no place in law for you…why not try home economics”.
The good news is she ignored the advice and has had the last laugh with a highly successful and award winning career – setting up Bushra Ali Solicitors in Leicester.
Now she is opening a second site in Wrexham, where she was brought up.
Bushra Ali, founder and director of Bushra Ali Solicitors, said: “Whilst I was born in Huddersfield my parents, myself and my younger sister moved to Wrexham when I was aged six.
“It was home for me for many, many years and whilst professionally I’ve moved around the UK eventually settling in Leicester, there’s always been a part of me that considers Wrexham to be my home. Indeed, my two younger siblings were born here. “
She added: “Back in my youth we were the only family of colour in our local village and I remember specifically sharing my dream to study law only to be told that that there was no place in law for me and was advised to study home economics instead.
“Now, times have changed of course, but I think there’s still much to be done in terms of specifically addressing the diversity and inclusion issue.
“That’s been a big driving force in my work in Leicestershire and, given that Wrexham is where I grew up, I felt very strongly that it was also time to give back to my family’s local community and to encourage young aspiring lawyers to achieve, even if they don’t have connections or relatives in law.”
She set up Bushra Ali Solicitors in Leicester in 2015 and opened a second office in Wrexham as part of the firm’s plan to provide high quality legal services across both England and Wales.
Bushra, 40, added: “With my decision to grow Bushra Ali Solicitors it made total sense to me to open up our second office in Wrexham.
“This was safely achieved during lockdown in April of this year and I’ve been really enjoying working to establish us as part of the community which has included joining networking organisations including BNI as well as the Cheshire and North Wales Law Society where I’ve been co-opted onto the Committee and am heading up an initiative to set-up an equality and diversity sub-board.”
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Her work has been recognised and she was awarded Solicitor of the Year by the Leicestershire Law Society in 2012 and is the only person in history to win it for a second time in 2016. She has been shortlisted for the current 2021 The Law Society Awards in the category of Woman Solicitor of the Year.
Bushra herself has taken on some extremely high profile cases including representing 10 Leicestershire businesses bringing legal proceedings against UK Government for their handling of the Leicester lockdown.