Caines on way to achieving ambition
Ariana Caines is on her way to realising her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer.
The 22-year-old winner of the Shirley D. Simmons law scholarship award started the Bar professional training course about a week ago.
After completing the course and gaining some work experience abroad, she plans to return to Bermuda and make a difference in the community that has given her “so much”.
Ms Caines, from Southampton, said: “My goal is to serve my community and my country in whatever capacity I can.
“I feel I can give back to the community because the Bermudian community has given so much to me.”
Ms Caines wanted to study law ever since she heard stories about her grandmother Dame Lois Browne-Evans and watched lawyers on TV while growing up.
She said: “I was really inspired by the law. And also growing up in the United States, I feel like everyone has a relationship with the law one way or another.
“I was really compelled by a lot of the things that were happening and the injustices that I was seeing — my parents kept me really aware of that.
“I was really inspired to make a difference and I found that the law was the best way to shape society, shape a community and make a difference in the lives of other people. Plus, when you’re young, you always think lawyers make a lot of money.”
Ms Caines, who lived in southwest Philadelphia for 16 years before moving back to Bermuda, is a former pupil of the Berkeley Institute.
She said: “I was actually invited back this year to be their commencement speaker. That was a great honour and I love my alma mater.”
After finishing at Berkeley, she spent four months at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, before realising it wasn’t the right fit for her.
Ms Caines said: “I consider Bermuda home and I knew that it was my purpose to come back to Bermuda and serve my country so I knew that being in the United States wasn’t the right place.”
She attended Bermuda College for four months and then started her undergraduate degree at Buckingham University.
Ms Caines graduated with first-class honours and went on to work as a policy officer with Bermuda’s Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation for nine months.
Her work saw her return to Youth Parliament, which she had been involved with while at the Berkeley Institute, but she ended up staying “a lot more and became an unofficial debate coach”.
She also represented Youth Parliament at the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference Regional Debate, which she won, in 2014.
Ms Caines started her course, which will take about a year to complete, at the BPP University Law School in Manchester this month.
She was awarded the Shirley D. Simmons award by law firm Trott and Duncan to help fund her course.
Ms Caines said: “I am very grateful to Trott & Duncan for the opportunity. This award makes it possible for those who have the passion and the drive and the ambition to see their dreams come true. She added: “I am very grateful as a woman aspiring to become a lawyer that I have someone like Ms Simmons to look to as an example and I’m grateful to have an award that carries her name.
“I look forward to doing Trott and Duncan and Ms Simmons justice.”
The next step after completing her course is being Called to the Bar in England and Wales.
Ms Caines said she chose to go the Bar route because she enjoys the tradition, “the sense of camaraderie and fraternity that you get from that community and also the procedure of wearing a wig”.
She followed in the footsteps of her grandmother and her mentor, Liz Christopher, by choosing the Society of Middle Temple as her Inn of Court — one of just four bodies which can call its members to be barristers in England and Wales.
Ms Caines who is also the president of the Law Students Association of Bermuda, plans on doing her pupillage in the UK and hopes to gain some work experience before coming home.
She added: “When I come home, I’m home for good and with my aspirations and the things I want to accomplish when I come back to Bermuda, I want to be a fully formed, fully recognised and professional barrister so I can do the most work and hit the ground running.”
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