Zed Shah, consultant criminal defence solicitor advocate
Zed initially completed a HND in Business and Finance at Derby. His interest in law was ignited during a company law module on the HND so he decided to move on to the second year of a joint honours degree in Law (major) with Human Resource Management.
Working as a criminal lawyer
"I was called to the Bar in 1998 but then qualified as a solicitor in 2002. I represent individuals accused of crime in various settings: at the Police Station, Magistrates Court, Crown Court and in appeal cases.
"I’m a self employed consultant and work for a number of different firms although the majority of my work is for a firm called ITN Solicitors in London.
"I absolutely love my job. I know it’s a cliché but every day is different and I'm not always stuck behind a desk."
Choosing my career path
"I chose criminal law because I enjoyed the subject at University. My criminal law lecturer at the time was very inspiring. I enjoyed studying it at Law School too.
"I have a very strong sense of justice and criminal law also requires you to be a people person – I felt I had the appropriate attributes.”
Studying at Derby
"My degree allowed me to combine the subjects I most enjoyed studying. I enjoyed the course immensely. This was down to having a genuine interest in the subjects and being taught by some inspirational lecturers. The lecturers’ open door policy and friendliness impressed me and I felt there was always somebody to talk to if ever I needed assistance.
"Derby doesn’t remove itself from the world like some other universities might and this ethos has helped me in my role as a lawyer: I deal with real life situations and real people and above all, they want to know that someone is listening to them and that someone will help them.”
Other roles and interests
"I'm also a Football Association (FA) registered lawyer – I can represent footballers in negotiations over transfer and merchandising contracts for example – as well as a school governor at a local secondary school. I also sit on the Society of Asian Lawyers Committee, the Criminal Practitioners Group (Law Society), and the Ethnic Minorities Lawyers Division (Law Society).
"I'm now also a mentor for law students at the University of Derby. The University provided me with life skills, fond memories, a beautiful wife and best friends for life. I am proud to still be associated with its Law School."