This semester Assistant Professor Justin Hansford is in South Africa studying the legal career of Nelson Mandela. Hansford received a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to support his work. He describes his research as a way to uncover more about the activist’s career.
“One of my favorite authors, Toni Morrison, once wrote: 'If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.' During my Fulbright scholarship research in South Africa, I hope to do more than uncover Nelson Mandela's lost cases, documenting for the first time the full 12 years of his legal practice. I hope to uncover the way that his experience as a lawyer influenced his theory of social change, and how he approached the dual identity of being a lawyer and an activist at the same time. I've always wanted to follow his example. But although Mandela in his early years created the best blueprint for the lawyer-activist life path, the detailed record of it doesn't exist. I hope that I can help to create that detailed record, and analyze it as a legal scholar.”
You can find out more about Professor Hansford’s studies in South Africa in the next issue of Saint Louis Brief.