Born to Indian immigrant parents in west London, Shami Chakrabarti attended state schools before gaining a place at LSE to study for an LLB. She graduated with a 2:1 in 1994, was called to the Bar in 1994 and subsequently worked as a lawyer in the Home Office until joining Liberty - the National Council for Civil Liberties - in 2001 as In-House Counsel. She was Director of Liberty from 2003 and 2016, and is currently Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales.
Shami has said: “Like many students who come here, I had a strong sense of LSE as a place where history is made, where academics scrutinise issues that matter. What was extraordinary about studying an LLB at LSE was the context it gave me. When I studied family law, for example, I was encouraged to discuss domestic relations, to evaluate the constructs commonly used - everything was up for grabs. I viewed this as a course in law as a social science - and loved it. I learnt to see the law as a means of delivering change for people. I think the fact that LSE is such an international place also encouraged that perspective. My friends at LSE came from across the world, from very different backgrounds and legal traditions. This outward-looking place reinforced my belief that the status quo can be challenged.”