Tinu Adeshile (scroll down for video interview) is an inspiration to prospective young lawyers who want to enter the profession but do not have access to the usual gilded pathways.
She is female, black, raised in a single parent household and worked to fund herself through five years of part-time legal qualifications. From a diverse grounding with Calvert Solicitors, Adeshile joined Islam Channel and converted to Islam. In short, she’s not your average lawyer.
This is just as well, because the workload she has as sole legal adviser at the international not-for-profit broadcaster and production company includes defamation and regulatory issues, commercial, employment, IP and contract disputes.
“This reflects the flexibility you need to have now as an in-house lawyer. You have to wear different hats and having commercial acumen really helps,” she says. “The most challenging area is compliance and risk. I can be monitoring our live broadcasts to make sure we adhere to Ofcom guidelines at the same time as constructing legal contracts.
“It is a big responsibility because Ofcom can remove your licence for a breach and set a fine that some organisations cannot afford.”
As the new joint vice-chair of the Plumstead Law Centre, which is under threat, Adeshile fundraises to keep it alive while encouraging the next generation of would-be lawyers to “get as much experience as possible”.
Time is a precious commodity though, as Adeshile’s big task for 2013 is to put the legal framework and organisation for Islam Channel’s Global Peace and Unity Festival in place, which will bring 100,000 people to the ExCel Arena.