After being told law was not for her Amanda Adeola has now been a practising solicitor for 12 years as well as being named the Tees Valley BME woman of the year.
Where do you call home?
Home is now Darlington, County Durham. However, I also see Nigeria and London as home, as both places played major roles in shaping the woman I am today.
Tell us about your role?
I am a partner/solicitor-advocate at BHP Law in Darlington (lawyer), I also serve as a committee member on the ED&I committee for Resolution (the national family law organisation) as well as a chair of the Valuation Tribunal for England.
How did you get to where you are today?
Remaining resolute in my desire to be a lawyer and not letting any negative experience deter me from forging ahead. Having a support network who were there to encourage me whenever I was struggling, despondent or wanted to give up saw me through the challenges I faced. Always remembering my why, why I wanted to be a lawyer, why I chose this path was a good reminder of my purpose whenever I experienced any disappointment or set back. I met some incredible people along the way who really stood by me and became my mentors and sounding board, they helped in the moments when I felt alone and wanted to give up.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
The road to becoming a solicitor was not easy. I had many hurdles on my way, from not achieving the right grades to not having the opportunity to be seen and heard. From experiencing unconscious bias and prejudice to being told the law was not for me and I should look for alternative careers. These were heavy burdens to carry along and sometimes, it was difficult to keep going.
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
I have been practising as a solicitor for 12 years now and I do the job because I care and love what I do. In 2019, I found out that I was nominated for the Tees Valley BME woman of the year award. I was honoured to have been shortlisted, to then win it was very significant for me. I felt proud and got a feel for success in the sense that my contributions to my community was being recognised. I also felt proud that others can see me and know that they too can make it and can achieve whatever they put their heart to achieve.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young females?
Be yourself, be committed to your goals, root for others because your time will come when others root for you. Never envy the journey of others because you do not know what it took to get there, so focus on your journey.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
That all the obstacles I faced are all life lessons that I must go through to make me a stronger person. To always listen to my inner voice because it will never lead me astray. To remember always that I control my destiny therefore no one’s opinion matters therefore no matter what anyone says or how they perceive the trajectory of how my life should be, it is not for them to determine but mine alone.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
I tell myself each day that I am beautiful, I am bold and I deserve to occupy every space that I find myself in.
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