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The LLB and PGDL graduate talks about how Cardiff University prepared him for his subsequent career as a lecturer, advocate and Head of Chambers in Bangladesh.
Student name: Jawad Quader
Course title: LLB and PGDL
Year of graduation: 2006
Current employer: Head of Chambers
Distinguishing himself in the legal circle as a lecturer, advocate and Head of Chambers, Jawad is on his way to building a shining career in Bangladesh with the dreams of publishing a book on Land Law in the future.
Providing plenty of sound advice to Bangladeshi students, Jawad encourages students to not only focus on the academic side of things, but also the social life throughout University.
Why did you choose Cardiff to do your LLB and PGDL?
Cardiff University is a well reputed and recognised university in Bangladesh and a degree from Cardiff is given value both locally and internationally. The university is well known amongst the judiciary and legal fraternity in Bangladesh.
I knew that the quality of the faculty and students at Cardiff University was very high and I wanted to mingle with the best in a competitive environment to be honest. It should also be mentioned for prospective Bangladeshi LLB students that an LLB degree from Cardiff University is a QLD to enter into the then BVC (presently BPTC) under the Bar Council of England and Wales to be a Barrister-at-Law.
Do you think Cardiff University equipped you with the necessary skills for your job?
It certainly did. I have benefitted immensely from my education and association with Cardiff University over the years. I have been embedded with a rich understanding about how the law works in England, much of which I have been able to use in my legal practice in Bangladesh.
Non-academic learning from education at Cardiff should not be discounted. I was a Student Warden at the Halls of Residences at Cardiff and worked in various other capacities while I was a student. This gave me invaluable professional experience that I have been able to utilise throughout my career. I have also been privy to the friendship and relationships of various other students and faculties at Cardiff, most of whom are established in their respective fields of practice in their respective countries worldwide.
Tell me a little about your time here. Did you enjoy the degree? Did you learn a lot that was useful to your later work?
I came to Cardiff directly into the 2nd year of my LLB degree. It was a little difficult to adjust with the whole experience at first. Going to study from Bangladesh to a place so far away from home may be a difficult experience for many. The style of study at Cardiff was different from the style we were accustomed to in Bangladesh.
However, I acclimatised with the experience which is when I started to enjoy it to the fullest. I was active at my seminars and had a working relationship with my tutors who guided me to making crucial academic and professional decisions during the time. I benefitted from the guidance I received from my Personal Tutor, being Mr. Richard Lewis, to who I will always be grateful. I was involved in the Cardiff University Debating Society and the ISOC (Islamic Society) at some points.
You’ve had an exciting career, and now you’re the owner and head of Quader Chambers. What does your job entail now? What are your responsibilities?
After returning from Cardiff in 2007 and having from then on worked as an Associate in a leading law firm for nearly two years, I formed my own law firm named Quader Chambers. Quader Chambers is now a full-fledged law firm having a corporate outlook that enables it to provide legal services to clients in a structured, corporate, professional and transparent manner maintaining full paper trail of our services and communications.
To be more specific, a non-exhaustive list of my job duties and responsibilities now are:
- to procure legal work and new clients for the firm and to maintain relationships and liaison with existing clients
- to attend meetings with clients and social dinners and events and to maintain liaison with members of the legal community and government officials
- to supervise the management of the firm’s accounts and finances and to supervise the following up of unpaid invoices and professional fees
- to supervise the administration of the firm and to manage its employees, associates and staff.
What are your career goals in the long term?
In the long run, we aim to have an international dimension to our firm. We wish to work more for the government. I personally will work towards publishing a book on Land Law at some point, a dream I have long cherished. I personally also wish to be able to implement all the philosophies and ideas that I founded this firm on.
Do you have any words of wisdom to share with prospective students who are thinking about coming to Cardiff?
There are several things that I want to share. Dealing with homesickness and learning to quickly adapt to your life in Cardiff is very important for anyone going to Cardiff for the first time from Bangladesh.
There are various ways to deal with the situation. Your approach should be to tell and ask. A lot of new students from Bangladesh in UK are reticent about asking and letting others know of their problems. I want to tell prospective students that Cardiff University has a number of contact points and systems at the Students’ Union, International Office, student wardens at the halls or residences, among others, whose job it is to listen to you and help you. Tell them your problem and take as much help and advice that you can get out of them.
Bangladeshi students should note that the academic experience at Cardiff is not as reliant on lectures as it is in Bangladesh. You have to spend more time in the Library reading and teaching yourself and working (very) hard.
Maintain a good relationship with all your tutors and know them well. They are in a position to help you in every step of your academic and professional careers. Socialise more and be actively part of some of the various societies and clubs in Cardiff University. They will certainly enrich you in knowledge and association. Also, gain some work experience along the way if you can.