Raazia Ibrahim | Linder Myers
“Personable, always professional, an amazing solicitor,” is a pretty brilliant way to be described by your clients. Raazia Ibrahim is a Diamond problem solver – “I love solving complex legal problems and finding solutions” – in a time where it can often seem our list of obstacles, personal and in the sector, are never ending. “If we have an issue arise on a case she will work to find a solution so we can carry on,” her team says. In a world of critics and people seeking to tear others down, we need dynamic fixers more than ever.
Underlying this work ethic, however, is a realisation, that, in Raazia’s own words, “in this competitive profession, women feel they have to work harder in producing results to be recognised in comparison with their male counterparts”. The law, like property and finance, are changing for the better, but all three professions, especially in the senior ranks, remain dominated by older white men who act as gatekeepers to those trying to break in which can be harder for those who do not fit this mold. “I would say being heard and being recognised as an individual in my own right was probably the most difficult barrier to overcome,” says Raazia.
Like many professional women, Raazia has endeavoured to balance a demanding family life alongside challenging roles. It is, as she points out, still commonplace for women not to receive additional recognition in this regard. In mastering the art of managing her role and staff remotely, she persists in her endeavour to be a role model to other female professionals while walking a tightrope of concerns unique to those not part of the dominant group in their field. “To show assertiveness without the appearance of being domineering has been a crucial part of my role,” she says , an approach she adds that can “often be misconstrued”. As she tries to navigate this maze of career challenges, Raazia says she is “extremely fortunate to have a supportive environment” at Linda Myers.
Being an unrelenting resolver comes at a high price. Raazia puts in long hours at work to make sure she sticks to deadlines, despite having a young family, emailing solutions late into the evening and over the weekend, always at the end of the phone, nothing is ever too much trouble. Burnout culture is real and increasingly employers are moving away from the ‘always on’ culture, realising its damage long-term. But for the young and hungry going way above and beyond the 9 to 5 still offers a fast track to future success.”She is very much a trusted solicitor of ours and I would have no hesitations of her looking after any of my cases,” says one of her clients.
From a young age Raazia has been interested in the legal profession. Unusually, instead of watching soap operas she spent her teenage years reading about the law. “My interest grew accordingly,” she says, “not to mention my father had cleverly and gradually instilled the idea in my mind of becoming a lawyer”. Her father’s admiration for the law made its way into Raazia’s academic psyche. “My entire education was geared towards my ambition and enthusiasm for the legal profession,” she says. During her training an interest in property finance flourished, and she began specialising as a banking lawyer. “It was these formative years that really shaped my interest and provided the platform for my experience and expertise in this field,” she says.
Passion, even coupled with immense hard work, does not mean plain sailing, however. Raazia entered the law 2002, when the necessary training contracts were scarce. “I remember going to countless interviews and filling dozens of application forms,” she says. Undeterred, the work ethic she is now known for in her role at Linder Myers, kicked in, even as a student. “I worked very hard and sought to prove my academic and practical worth,” she says, the proof being her ability to secure a contract while still in the second year of university with a reputable law firm. Her greatest lesson though? That really when it comes down to it, from her dad pushing her to Linder Myers Solicitors’ support, is that achievement is a team sport. “I realise there are no ‘one-man bands’. Success in this industry takes the collective and concerted effort of teams of people, on whom I have come to rely”.