Taking an LLM degree is made simple by the existence of a huge number of LLM programs offered by numerous law schools worldwide, as well as the scores of scholarships and funding provided at these universities. They are made even more accessible by the different platforms by which the LLM programs are offered, eg distance learning (online), hybrid LLMs, and part-time programs.
This is why it is difficult to understand why a barrister needed to lie about her qualifications and experience, including having an LLM degree. Based on this and further lies, Anisah Ahmed was disbarred. At the time this happened, Ahmed was non-practicing/unregistered. In her pursuit of getting a pupilage and asking the Bar Standards Board (BSB) to shorten its length, her lies were discovered following the submission of requirements.
After submitting her curriculum vitae to apply for the pupilage from Staple Inn Chambers, the Bar disciplinary tribunal found Ahmed's falsehood through the entries in her CV, including the following:
- holder of an LLM in Legal Practice at Cardiff University;
- awarded a distinction for the LLM degree;
- have written a dissertation on the topic "rights to die;"
- holder of a diploma in forensic medicine;
- worked for Free Representation Unit and handled unfair dismissal claims for 8 clients;
- worked at Malawi's Center for Capital Punishment Studies in 2010 and saved 10 prisoners from the death penalty; and,
- has 9 years of legal work experience at a law firm.
None of these claims in her CV were true. Instead of her claim of 9 years of legal experience, she was employed by the law firm for only one year as a receptionist/secretary. Besides the fraudulent claims, Ahmed also forged the references she submitted, supposedly from the law firm's principal and assistant solicitors. Due to the seriousness of her actions, Ahmed has been disbarred.