'An absolute triumph; a compelling and courageous memoir forcing the legal profession to confront uncomfortable truths about race and class. Alexandra Wilson is a bold and vital voice. This is a book that urgently needs to be read by everyone inside, and outside, the justice system.' THE SECRET BARRISTER
'I glanced around the courtroom, quickly at first and then repeated it. Slower this time, taking in the details of everyone's faces. I began to play the game I'd played my whole life: spot the black person. Of course, I wish it didn't matter what I looked like or where I came from, but it was obvious that no one there looked like me.'
Alexandra is 25, mixed-race and from Essex. As a trainee criminal and family law barrister, she finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. This is her story.
We follow Alexandra through a criminal justice system still divided by race and class. We hear about the life-changing events that motivated her to practice law, beginning with the murder of a close family friend and her own experiences of knife crime.
She shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin or someone you suspect is guilty, and the heart-breaking cases of youth justice she has worked on. We see what it's like for the teenagers coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers.
Her story is unique in a profession still dominated by a privileged section of society with little first-hand experience of the devastating impact of violent crime.
'An inspirational, clear-eyed account of life as a junior barrister is made all the more exceptional by the determination, passion, humanity and drive of the author. Anyone interested in seeing how the law really works should read it.'
'The personal narrative of a young female lawyer of mixed heritage who is defying the soft bigotry of low expectations by sharing her journey inspires us all to do the same in our own way, and this is a powerful message which needs to be shared.' DR TUNDE OKEWALE MBE, FOUNDER OF URBAN LAWYERS