Adillah Zaki, fondly known as Dell, is an upcoming final-year student at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya (‘UM’). Apart from her innate ability to light up any room she strolls into, Dell is well-known for her compassionate leadership and active involvement in youth activism. After ending her time as the Public Relations Officer for Monsters Among Us (‘MAU’), she is currently juggling four roles simultaneously — the President of MAU, the Vice President of the Training, Exchange and Development (‘TED’) Department for the Asian Law Students’ Association (‘ALSA’) National Chapter Malaysia, a Public Relations Officer for Undi Sarawak, and a Podcast Editor for the National Human Rights Society (‘HAKAM’) Youth. Through these platforms, she has championed various causes, ranging from children’s rights to political literacy and youth development.
Do not be fooled by her petite stature, for Dell is Wonder Woman in her own right. Selflessly, she strives to place herself in others’ shoes to bring light to their struggles. From our conversations with Dell, her keen interest in making the world a better place has led her to explore various pathways — shaping her into the person she is today.
Was reading law a long-time plan of yours, or was it a decision that came to you naturally?
‘Nope, it was not, mainly because my “nenek” (grandmother) used to warn us (her grandchildren) against being lawyers.’
On her mother’s side, Dell has a very close-knit family that embraces their traditions to heart — making her grandmother the matriarch of the house. Due to such unspoken rules, her grandmother’s advice is no laughing matter to the family.
Back in high school, ever since Dell tested the waters of the Accounting stream, several doors had come to close from then. As she did not take any Science subjects, she consequently failed to meet the requirements for most of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (‘STEM’) courses. Initially stepping forward with the idea that accounting-related fields might be easier and more conventional to pursue, she gradually stopped to reconsider. Unable to imagine herself in such professions, she decided to take up the Teaching English as a Second Language (‘TESL’) Programme for a better fit.
Somewhere along her journey, Dell’s grandmother had a change of heart regarding her grandkids studying law. Gradually, her parents also came onboard with the idea. Although she has yet to finish her studies, she believes that her enrolment in law school is organically reconciling the wariness her family harbours towards lawyers.
When asked about her experience in law school, Dell confessed that the trials and tribulations are — albeit unbearable — part and parcel of the general picture. To nonchalantly claim that reading law is a perfect match for her would only be evasive. Still, recent events, notably with Undi Sarawak, has made her more appreciative of her ability to read law.