In Black and White
Alexandra Wilson’s (2013, PPE) debut book, In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System, will be published on 17 September.
Alexandra is a barrister specialising in criminal and family law. After studying PPE at Univ she did a graduate diploma and Master’s in Law at BPP University. She received the first ever Queen’s scholarship at Middle Temple.
Her book details the life-changing events that motivated her to practise law, including the murder of a close family friend and personal experiences of knife crime. Then, the reader follows her journey as she navigates the justice system as a young Black barrister today.
Alexandra regularly writes about her experiences as a trainee barrister and her passion for access work on her blog, Essex to Oxford. During lockdown she has been running virtual access sessions She is currently offering her services pro bono to Black Lives Matter UK protestors. Last week, she was featured as the “Barrister of the Week” by The Lawyer.
She said this about the process: “The writing process was pretty exhausting with a full-time job! I had the most amazing editor who I worked closely with and it involved a lot of late nights.”
Alexandra has also partnered with The Law Collective (TLC), Black Men in Law Network (BML) (led by Isaac Eloi and John Oladeji), Urban Lawyers and other individuals, to launch a new initiative to facilitate funding and legal representation for disenfranchised minorities with a specific focus on Black African individuals. One Case At A Time (OCAAT) will also advocate for legal reform in Parliament and in the media.
She is part of the Young Univ Gallery, a portrait project that aims to demonstrate breadth of Univ’s younger alumni’s achievements. In her interview, she describes what inspired her to become involved in access projects throughout her time at Univ and now as a barrister, “Throughout my schooling I was discouraged from applying to Oxford and told that it wasn’t for ‘people like me’. Access work is vital in challenging stereotypes that form these misconceptions and I want to be a part of encouraging other students to realise that there are no limits to what they can achieve.”
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