Why I Joined Forces With Mass Ndow-Njie to Build Bridging the Bar

Part One: Why?

Why?

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
  1. How was I going to afford this? The BPTC (as it was named at the time) was just shy of £20,000. Neither of my parents had incomes or inheritance which could spawn that amount of money (and it certainly wasn’t hidden away in a cupboard in one of the social housing flats I grew up in).
  2. Despite graduating with a first, I still had to shake off the stigma of not going to Oxbridge or even a Russel Group university. Did I have to go and undertake a Masters degree at one of these universities just to have their name on my CV? How much would that cost?
  3. We had no lawyers in the family. I didn’t personally know any barristers. I had heard about barristers such as Courtenay Griffiths QC and Leslie Thomas QC who had risen to the top of their profession despite their non-traditional backgrounds. Nevertheless, based on our research, their experiences seemed to be the exception rather than the rule. How was I going to develop a network of colleagues and mentors which could provide guidance and opportunities? How could I breach the seemingly impermeable wall of prestige?
  4. How could I set myself apart from other applicants by demonstrating something uniquely different about me? What was my X factor? Maybe I didn’t have one yet. Where does one find an X factor?
  5. Why do some chambers have little to no people of colour, with the exception of a few people who appeared to be of Asian heritage? Of the very few who were black, why is it that so many went to private school and/or Oxbridge? Of course at the time this laid the foundations for imposter syndrome. Even if I managed to surmount all of the aforementioned hurdles, would the journey be worth it? If I am to get there, will I feel like I belong?
Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

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