Our inspiring community: Kwame

In these extraordinary times, we’re celebrating the resilience, resourcefulness and compassion of our community.

  • Date

    Tue 11 Aug 20

When COVID-19 struck, Kwame Taylor's thoughts were with his mother, who works for the National Health Service. But how did this recent Essex graduate scale new heights during lockdown?

"The end goal was always to be a lawyer."

Originally from Ghana, Kwame Taylor moved to the UK as a child, growing up in Waltham Forest, east London.

He graduated from Essex in 2019, with an LLB Law with Philosophy.

How has COVID-19 been for you?

"Lockdown was difficult, but necessary.

"I live with my parents. My mother works for the NHS. There was a period when she was showing symptoms, so it was difficult to focus on anything and also difficult to isolate, because we live in quite a small flat.

"It’s all good now, though.

"I’ve tried to make the most of the time. I’ve noticed a lot of companies have been staging Zoom webinars, so I’ve been learning lots of new things. Not just law: I’ve tried to develop other interests.

"I’m trying to be a bit more active too. I’ve finally got round to fixing my bike, so I try to cycle an hour a day."

How do you remember your time at Essex?

“Essex was definitely a place where I felt I could build a relationship with the academics. My lecturers were always approachable and I’m still in touch with some of them.

“Law and philosophy was a great combination - the two subjects balanced each other well. Taking philosophy gave me room to explore ideas, away from the rigidity of law.

“I felt I got the best of both worlds.”

What’s next for you?

“I’ve just won a scholarship, to start training as a barrister.”

Kwame admits to being “quite surprised” at being awarded the prestigious H.R. Light Scholarship by Middle Temple, one of the four Inns of Court. The Inns are professional associations - all barristers in England and Wales must belong to one of them.

“I knew I wanted to join Middle Temple. They interview every applicant which to me was a sign that they were more progressive. That motivated me - I knew I could make an impression.

“I was interviewed by three QCs, which was very intimidating, but they were very friendly.”

“The end goal was always to be a lawyer,” Kwame says. His achievement, winning a prestigious scholarship in testing times, is a great next step in his journey.