Keeping it in the family

Sumera, Misba, Naz and Ihtishaam ShabirSeveral families can trace their links to the University back through three generations, and the University has one family with eight members who are alumni.

The School of Law is proud to have taught a family of four siblings who all chose to study law between 2008 and 2016.

Sumera Shabir (LLB Law 2008, MA Legal Practice 2012) is now Principal Planning Solicitor for Rotherham Council.

Misba Shabir (LLB Law 2008, PG Dip Legal Practice 2009) now works as a Real Estate Solicitor for Irwin Mitchell, here in Sheffield.

Naz Shabir (LLB Law 2012, MA Legal Practice 2015) is now an in-house Commercial Counsel and Solicitor at AESSEAL plc, Rotherham.

Ihtishaam Shabir (LLB Law 2006) works for PM Law in Sheffield, as a Property Assistant. 

We spoke to the Shabir siblings to learn about their journey at Sheffield. Read the Q&A below.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sheffield?

Initially, it was an aspiration. We have lived in Rotherham all of our lives and given the University's reputation and status, there was never any dispute that this was where we would undertake our higher education.

The University of Sheffield is a traditional red brick and well-established University both nationally and internationally and so it made absolute sense for us to utilise the advantage of being on its doorstep to its fullest. The law school in particular has received many prestigious awards and levels of recognition over the years and so it was an honour for us all to be accepted as worthy candidates for the University.

Why did you want to study Law?

It can sometimes be easy to brandish dreams and aspirations of being a lawyer or a doctor from a young age because of what you see on the television as well as generally around you in society. That was partially true for every one of the Shabir children who all individually grew up aspiring to become budding young lawyers so that they could make their own difference to the world.

As we grew older, it became more obvious that we all shared the same dreams and more importantly all shared the same passion and love for the law, its intricacies and its sometimes quirky way of working. It was then decided that we all become lawyers.

In order to pursue a career as a Solicitor, the traditional LLB was the obvious path into the profession and one that we were all keen to pursue. After endless post midnight legal debates, usually after a several cafetieres of coffee, it became the family Shabir tradition.

Did the family connection encourage your choice?

Most definitely. Whilst we studied law over various years, our passion only grew greater and greater with each sibling. As one can only imagine, the standard dinner table chat quickly became heated with our parents taking a back seat and sometimes even enjoying listening to us using it as a forum for debates on the law and real life perspectives. It was obvious from that stage that we all loved to debate and were confident in getting our point of view across. We were born to be a family of lawyers.

We always used each other for support, both emotional and for knowledge. This meant that we could share thoughts and opinions on matters and build up an understanding of sectors of the law sometimes years before actually studying the topic at University.

We all stayed at home for University, commuting for lectures and seminars. This meant that we all still share a very close bond and regularly share insights about the University, thus advancing our love for the University of Sheffield even further!

Would you recommend Sheffield to other family members – if yes, why?

Absolutely. It may be that other Universities are good or even better, but (as a certain biscuit maker once said similarly) you have to go a long, long way to find a better University!

We all thoroughly loved our time at the University of Sheffield and one by one we all wish it could go on and on – but all good things must come to an end sometimes and since we have now all graduated at the University, it is time for another young budding ‘legal family’ to take the baton and run for another generation!

Have you got a similar story to tell?

We'd love to hear from you! Email us