Two aspiring barristers from Kent Law School secure Middle Temple awards

Two law students from Kent have secured the Michael Sherrard Award from The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (one of four Inns of Court) in recognition of their advocacy skills and their commitment to pursue a career as a barrister.

Xavier Alexis-Greenfield and Tayla Dwyer have each been awarded two funded weeks (£250 per week) of work experience; one week marshalling (shadowing a judge in court) and one week in Chambers.

The award, one of Middle Temple’s Access to the Bar Awards, is funded by donations of senior members of the Inn and is designed to support undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds who aspire to a career at the Bar.

Law schools are invited to nominate no more than two candidates who are expected to attain a good upper-second or first-class degree and who also show potential to be a successful advocate through their participation in mooting or debating. Successful candidates must also demonstrate self-confidence, strong communication skills along with motivation and determination for a career at the Bar.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Xavier and Tayla will have to wait until they can take up their placements (which would normally run in the summer) but, in the meantime, they’ve been offered general advice on the next stages of their career or on applying for a Major Scholarship at any of the Inns of Court. Copies of their CVs will be circulated to all chambers and Judges participating in the scheme and, in due course, they will also receive invitations to networking events.

Xavier, a final-year Law LLB student, said: ‘I’m very grateful to have been nominated by my University to take part in this scheme. I’d like to thank Kent Law School and, specifically, Jayne Instone, Darren Weir and Alan McKenna who were all instrumental in aiding my application.’

Xavier credits his experience of mooting, negotiation, and participation in mock trials at the Law School with progressing both his interpersonal communication skills and his public speaking abilities.

Tayla, a second-year Law LLB student, said: ‘Winning this award is incredible, I was so shocked to receive it as I know how competitive the legal industry is. I think it’s going to provide me with an amazing experience and I’m hoping to build on lots of credible skills which I can apply to help me become a barrister.’

Tayla has previously completed work experience with a full service law firm and is a student volunteer with the The ‘Dying Homeless Project’, a campaign project run by the Museum of Homelessness, that remembers the stories and lives of people who die homeless in the UK.

Kent Law School Employability and Careers Development Officer Jayne Instone said: ‘Diversity initiatives such as this are so important. Our students need to be able to see that the Bar is a career for all and not just the privileged few. Both Tayla and Xavier are well deserved recipients who show great aptitude for a career at the Bar. I look forward to hearing about their experiences and supporting them as they progress. I hope this encourages other students to be brave and bold in putting themselves forward for such opportunities – keep an eye on the weekly bulletin I distribute to student inboxes for news of more opportunities to come!’


Xavier was able to complete his Linklaters Virtual Internship at the end of May. In a post on LinkedIn, Xavier said: ‘It was a very exciting opportunity as it enabled me to experience life as a legal trainee within a corporate firm – despite being in lockdown. Having finished my dissertation and final year exams a week prior, I started to miss law. This internship was exactly what I needed to alleviate my withdrawal. I highly recommend any law student to take part in a virtual internship as it not only allows you undertake work as a trainee, but also helps you to determine whether the corporate field is right for you. The Linklaters Virtual Internship taught me a great deal about the life of a legal trainee and reinforced my desire to work in the field of corporate law.’

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