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Mahogany Bean overcomes obstacles to get called to the Bar

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Call to the Bar: Lawyer Mahogany Bean with her mother Gloria Bean (left) and her grandmother Helene Bean (right) at the Supreme Court on Thursday. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

After a difficult struggle, Mahogany Bean said she was honoured to become the newest member of the Bermuda Bar.

Ms Bean, a Berkeley Institute graduate, told the Supreme Court at her Call to the Bar on Thursday: “I’m blessed and grateful to have finally reached this monumental moment which at some points along the journey felt like it would never happen.”

Speaking in front of a courtroom full of friends, family and supporters, Ms Bean said she had always wanted to become a lawyer and urged others not to give up on their dreams.

“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” she said. “All of my hard work, stress and tears have been worth it.

“Anything worth having is worth the sacrifices and worth fighting for.”

Ms Bean said after she completed her Bachelor of Law at the University of Birmingham and earning her master’s degree at the BPP University for Law in London, she returned to Bermuda with the hope of starting her career.

However she said she was heartbroken to not receive a pupillage despite a number of applications.

Ms Bean said: “I would cry and pray, asking God when do I get my turn.”

Her perseverance paid off in 2021 when she received two pupillages – first with the Department of Public Prosecutions and then with the law firm Carey Olsen.

Ms Bean said she was thrilled to have Cindy Clarke, the Director of Public Prosecutions, take her under her wing during her time at the DPP’s office.

She added that Carey Olsen had given her the opportunity to work in a variety of different areas of law – and quickly threw her into the deep end.

“On my first day Kyle Masters hadn’t even allowed me to rest my purse down before he came to me and asked if I have capacity,” she said. “I was thinking to myself I haven’t even logged in yet.”

She thanked the teams at both Carey Olson and the DPP for their constant support and encouragement.

Ms Bean also thanked her friends, her “sister circle” and her family – in particular her mother and grandmother.

She said: “Your love and support has been massive. I love you so much and I owe this accomplishment to you.”

Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden said he recalled meeting Ms Bean when she was a student working at the Department of Public Prosecution, and noted that as a judge he had already found in favour of her work in a civil case.

He urged Ms Bean to continue to find ways to give back, both to the community and the Bermuda legal world.

Call to the Bar: Mahogany Bean (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 18, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated April 18, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Mahogany Bean overcomes obstacles to get called to the Bar

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