Klentiana Mahmutaj has written about her journey to the Bar for a feature in The Middle Templar magazine. The piece entitled: "My Journey from Albania to the United Nations via the English Bar" looks at her growing up in Albania during the era of communism and political instability. Inspired by readings of the Tudors at the age of 13 years she fell in love with England and went onto secure a scholarship at De Montford University to study Law. She said:
"the reality of being a foreign student, studying foreign law in a foreign language, was very different. Having no family in the UK and being exposed for the first time to the English weather, did not help either. In fact, the romantic allure of Tudor England was almost annihilated. Nevertheless, I persevered, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the focus of the course was on how to think and less on rote-learning"
Klentiana speaks in the piece about her move to London, living in the Inns whilst partaking in her pupillage and hailing from a non- traditional background:
"My journey to pupillage and tenancy was far from effortless but on the other hand it was faster than those of some of my contemporaries at Bar school who came from the affluent English middle-classes. I think it fair to say that it is to the credit of the Bar that there were at least some members who had the flexibility, imagination and broad-mindedness to welcome someone of my less than traditional background."
In 2020 Klentiana became a United Nations mandate holder holding an immense sense of responsibility and an ability to influence global politics and human rights. Before that, in 2018, she was given the opportunity to negotiate on behalf of the Albanian government, a draft treaty on business and human rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Read her full story here: [Middle Templar]