A STAR student has been given a significant boost in his pursuit of becoming a top barrister after winning a prestigious legal award.

Xavier Alexis-Greenfield, 21, from Walton, is approaching the conclusion of his final year at the University of Kent, where he has been studying a degree in law.

The budding Michael Mansfield, who wants to help inspire other aspiring lawyers from the seaside town, has now scooped a coveted accolade.

The Michael Sherrard Award from The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple is presented in recognition of an individual’s dedication to becoming a barrister.

It is also designed to support undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds who aspire to obtain a career at the bar and show great potential.

Having made an impression with his advocacy skills and determination to reach the top, Xavier was initially nominated by his law school, but has now scooped top prize.

As part of the award, which is comprised of donations from senior members of the renowned Inns of Court, Xavier will complete two weeks of paid work experience.

During this time, he will shadow a judge in court and also experience a case take place in chambers, giving him a real taste of what the future could hold.

“I’m very grateful to have been nominated by my university to take part in this scheme,” said Xavier.

“I would like to thank Kent Law School staff for being so instrumental in aiding my application.

“I’m from the small town of Walton, and I think winning this is great for letting other students in my area know there are ways for them to get into the legal world.”

Due to the pandemic, however, Xavier will have to wait before he can take up his placements but has already been offered advice on the next stages of his career.

The promising young talent will also be applying for a major scholarship at any of the Inns of Court.

This means copies of Xavier’s CV will be circulated to all chambers and judges participating in the scheme, giving him a greater chance of landing his dream job.

Jayne Instone, who is the employability and careers development officer at the Ken Law School, believes Xavier’s win will highlight the inclusivity of the legal sector.

“Diversity initiatives such as this are so important and our students need to see that the bar is a career for all and not just the privileged few,” she said.

“Xavier is a deserving recipient who shows great aptitude for a career at the bar and I look forward to hearing about his experiences and supporting him as he progresses.

“I hope this encourages other students to be brave and bold in putting themselves forward for such opportunities.”