Journey to success: The London barrister who escaped war in Somalia



Hashi Mohamed is a barrister. His day job sees him in courts, representing individuals and organisations, trying to convince a judge that his side should win their case.

Hashi Mohamed
Hashi Mohamed

It’s a challenging profession, but then again at Hashi knows all about difficult circumstances.

Getting a job into what’s considered one of the country’s top professions isn’t easy, even for individuals who grow up studying in over-performing schools in affluent areas.


For Hashi, his childhood saw him whisked away from home to get away from war in Somalia.

At nine-years old, along with his siblings, he touched down in London searching for a better life.


He was not accompanied by an adult, his mum had to stay behind and his father had passed away.

With little knowledge of the English language, it was a daunting experience…

“It was a real culture shock because imagine coming to a new country and a new setting and then moving into a place like this. We didn’t know anybody, we didn’t know the language, it was very very difficult.”

Despite the challenges, Hashi managed to secure a full scholarship at Oxford.

“It was a very long and hard journey. I didn’t have the easiest of starts. The schools around here were deprived, the community around here didn’t have much resources. I did end up going to Oxford for my post-graduate degree and then managed to get into the bar.”

Hashi has clearly worked hard to get where he is now, but he feels other people in similar circumstances wouldn’t be able to do as well, just by putting in the hours.

“I think doing what I’ve done today is slightly harder because the opportunities are fewer. There are very capable people who are chasing a finite amount of places.

The recruitment processes have only allowed for people of a certain background and way of speaking to get through. It is easy to say everybody should work hard – and have the talent – and that they would be able to make it, but in reality it’s far more complicated than that.”

With more transparency and openness in the recruitment process, Hashi hopes others will get experience the same sense of achievement.

“Growing up, I never thought I could be a barrister let alone what a barrister does. Every day I pinch myself.”



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