A Series: Public Interest Careers Pt.2 (JLAP Interviews)

 Walker Syachalinga 

Interviewed by Brendon Yik 

Walker began his successful career at the University of Kent where he studied an undergraduate degree in law, alongside a volunteer role at the Kent Law Clinic which played a key role in his career progression. After passing the Bar Professional Training Course, he embarked on a Master of Laws course in International Law at UCL, which equipped him with the knowledge he still uses today to help those who have been victims of various human rights abuses and corporate injustices around the world.

Walker undertook a three month internship with the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, where his work involved examining areas like abortion rights in Latin America and the rights of the LGBT community in parts of Africa.

He is a huge advocate of pro-bono work, and encourages students to search for pro-bono opportunities not only locally but on an international level too in order to gain a more global perspective on socio-political issues. He says that undertaking pro-bono work can enhance one’s cultural awareness as well as enrich your knowledge of the law in a way that cannot be taught in textbooks and classrooms.

Walker is currently a paralegal in the International & Group Claims department at Leigh Day, a firm dedicated to increasing access to justice for some of the most vulnerable people in the world. He recently assisted on a case that secured a settlement for 2,500 Zambian villagers in an environmental pollution claim against a UK-based mining company. The settlement followed a landmark Supreme Court decision (Lungowe v Vedanta Resources plc [2019] UKSC 20) which widened access to justice in the English courts in business and human rights cases. Walker is set to train as a solicitor at Leigh Day from September 2021.

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