Daniel Sahraee – Fourth Seat Trainee, Reed Smith
I have been involved with KIND UK projects since I started the second seat of my training contract, which is just over a year ago now. I initially became involved as my trainee supervisor headed up a KIND team that was looking for extra support, so I volunteered to join the team.
There are a number of reasons why I was particularly keen to get involved in KIND. First, the aims of the project are something that I personally feel closely aligned with. I think that it aims to tackle an incredibly important issue, and makes a tangible difference to the clients’ lives and that of their families. Hearing about the positive experiences of my colleagues who were working on KIND cases, particularly other trainees in my cohort, also confirmed my decision to get involved.
On the first case that I worked on, we assisted our client with an application for further leave to remain, along with a corresponding fee waiver application. I was responsible for the latter, and worked closely with the team and the client’s mother to put through the application and provide the supporting financial evidence. The fee waiver was successful and we proceeded with the main application, in respect of which we are expecting a decision from the Home Office later this year.
A particularly memorable moment was when the team invited the client and her mother to the office to review and sign-off on a witness statement. As I had not been working on that statement, it fell to me to keep the child occupied while her mother reviewed with the rest of the team. Within fifteen minutes I had been challenged to demonstrate my best chicken dance to a partner and three associates – a request that I could not to refuse. A high (and low) point for me.
I found our supporting solicitor, Sumita Gupta, incredibly helpful and I am very grateful for her support on the project, which was invaluable.
I would highly recommend KIND to anyone interested in pro bono. In addition to the reasons I mentioned above, it is refreshing to be able to work in an area of law that is completely different to the areas we normally operate in, particularly in the context of such a worthwhile cause.