Freshfields selects 13 new scholars in the eighth year of the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) has selected thirteen new scholars this year, which marks the eighth year of the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, and brings the total number of scholarship awards to 82.
Established by Freshfields in 2013 with support from Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, the scholarship aims to address the disproportionate under-representation in large commercial law firms and other careers in the City of London of black men (African, African-Caribbean, and mixed-race African or African-Caribbean) from less socially mobile backgrounds.
Freshfields’ Partner, Annette Byron, said, “This year’s Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme comes at a time when those with less access to privilege and opportunities are facing greater challenges than ever. The pandemic has disproportionately affected black and ethnic communities, so it is especially important that we bring together this group of talented individuals and give them a sense of community, as well as access to the best possible opportunities to build successful careers in their chosen fields. We are proud to be working with such exceptionally talented students and are looking forward to what we will learn from them as we hope they learn from us.”
This year, 38 universities across the UK nominated eligible law undergraduates for the scheme with thirteen of them also permitted to nominate eligible non-Law students. Due to the pandemic, parts of the selection process operated virtually, with other assessments being completed in person at social distance unless candidates opted for an entirely virtual experience.
The new scholars will receive a bespoke 15-month development programme which includes skills workshops, commercial awareness, interview coaching, networking, mentoring, support with job applications and careers advice. They will also receive work shadowing at Freshfields and a guaranteed interview for a training contract, as well as a contribution towards course and associated study-related costs.
Freshfields trainee and 2016 Stephen Lawrence scholar, Liam Symonds, said, “The Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme provides a life-changing opportunity for people from less advantaged backgrounds. As a 2016 alumnus I’ve been able to witness the long-term benefits of the scheme first-hand and am delighted that it is running for an eighth year. With each year, the alumni network grows larger and our ability to support one another grows stronger. I am looking forward to getting to know the new scholars and collectively building greater diversity and inclusion in corporate law firms and other City careers.”
The Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme assessment centres involved over 130 members of Freshfields London and Salford, with large numbers actively contributing to the scheme’s development and mentorship programme, with support from Aon and The Bank of England, among other firms.
To date, Freshfields has worked with over 70 participating universities across the country, and more than 480 talented law and non-law undergraduates have competed for a place on the scholarship. Eighty-two individuals have now received the scholarship, with the majority of 2013- 2019 scholars accepting roles at large commercial law firms, investment banks, barristers’ chambers and the Civil Service Fast Stream, or on Master’s or Bar qualification programmes. Sixteen have accepted training contracts at Freshfields.
Notes for Editors
About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world's leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates. Our 2,800 plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms. Our commitment, local and multi-national expertise and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most.
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