1st Sikh Woman wins Prestigious Barrister Award

Tinessa Kaur has overcome significant challenges to become the first Sikh woman to win a prestigious UK Barrister Award.

First Sikh Woman Wins Prestigious Barrister Award - F

When she had no food, it was the local Gurdwara she turned to

Tinessa Kaur, a 32-year-old barrister made history by becoming the first Sikh woman to win the UK Young Pro-Bono Barrister of the Year award.

The award was one she did not expect.

Tinessa told the BBC: “I was sitting there eating canapes and just sitting on the side, so I didn’t think I would win; so I was quite shocked.

“It was quite a proud moment being up there, being a Sikh, being a Sikh woman, winning this award.”

Tinessa has faced significant challenges and hurdles, such as homelessness.

She stated: “I had a difficult upbringing.

“Coming from a South Asian family, you don’t expect to have the sort of upbringing I did, where my dad went to prison during my GCSEs.

“Erm, my parents separated, and I was kicked out during A-levels. And I was homeless, I was on the streets.”

During these challenging times, Tinessa asserted that her faith played an important role.

She moved from Leicester to Greenford, London at the age of 17.

When she had no food, it was the local Gurdwara she turned to.

Instead of losing hope, she sought the support of a Sikh network group in Greenford to get off the streets and into the classroom.

Moreover, she started working different jobs to develop her CV and gain experience.

She never let her circumstances stop her. Indeed, despite the obstacles she faced, Tinessa’s determination to not just survive but thrive never wavered.

She pursued a law degree and proudly graduated in 2013. She then completed her Bar studies.

In 2019, she was called to the Bar. Four years later, in 2023, she secured Pupillage at the age of 32.

Tinessa is also the co-founder and Executive Officer of the Sikh Lawyers Association in the UK.

She is determined to help future generations and members of the community. She stressed:

“We try and do whatever we can to help not only the next generation but the upcoming generations.

“Through this, we are also able to help members of the community in cases they need assistance with.

“I know what it is like to be at your lowest point in life, and if I’ve got a certain skillset [through] which I can help people then I will.”

It is clear that through determination and hard work, Tinessa has overcome significant obstacles.

Tinessa Kaur is focused on breaking barriers and opening doors for others in all her endeavours.

Her remarkable journey thus far illustrates her resilience, resolve and focus.

Somia is our content editor and writer who has a focus on lifestyle and social stigmas. She enjoys exploring controversial topics. Her motto is: "It's better to regret what you have done than what you haven't."

Twitter @SherniBarrister

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