Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, on her mother and the women that inspired her

Published 25th November 2015

Chakrabarti was born to Hindu-Bengali parents in the suburb of Kenton in the London Borough of Harrow. Her father, a bookkeeper, has been cited by Chakrabarti as an influence on her gaining an interest in civil liberties. She attended Bentley Wood High School, a girls’ comprehensive school, then Harrow Weald Sixth Form College.[4] Chakrabarti was an active member of the Social Democratic Party from 1985 to 1987.[5]

She studied Law at the London School of Economics, at one point acting as a research assistant to Leonard Leigh who wrote a paper on the British approach to terrorism and extradition; the paper was published in early 1997.[6] After graduating with a Bachelor of Laws, Chakrabarti was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1994.[7] In 1996, she started working as a barrister for the Home Office.