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Warwick Law student awarded Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship

First year Warwick law student Daniel Nwanebu has been awarded the 2019 Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship.

The Scheme was devised to address the disproportionate under-representation of black men from less privileged backgrounds in large commercial law firms and the City of London. It is a UK-wide scheme aimed at exceptionally talented first year students at UK universities studying Law, and in a small number of pilot universities, other courses too.

In memory of Stephen Lawrence, the Scheme was launched in 2013 by global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’), working with Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE. Now in its seventh year, the Scheme has assessed over 400 candidates and offered 69 Scholarships. The 2019 cohort of 14 scholars were selected in May 2019 and begin scholarship activities in July 2019. Many scholars have gone on to accept training contract offers from Freshfields or join other prestigious City organisations.

Applications are made by universities on behalf of exceptionally talented demographically eligible students, with candidates also submitting a two minute supporting video. Successful applicants then attend a two day assessment centre at Freshfields in London, before final scholars are chosen. Scholars receive a contribution towards study-related costs, work placements during university holidays, an alternative route to interview for a training contract at Freshfields, interview coaching and mentoring.

Annette Byron, Partner Sponsor for Social Mobility at Freshfields, commented: “We are proud to be working with such talented students and learn as much, if not more, from them as we hope they are able to learn from us. As the Scheme has become embedded in firm culture, we have developed our approach to mentoring, to finding and assessing talent, and to creating an inclusive atmosphere.”

After being informed of this scheme by the Law School Careers Adviser, Daniel, who is currently studying on our 3 year LLB degree and will be starting his second year with us in September told us he had to apply for such “a fantastic opportunity.” We caught up with him to find out more.

What’s the scholarship all about?

The scholarship programme intends to help young black males, who are currently in university, to get into the city and familiarise them with the commercial sector. Black males are massively under-represented in this area, and in order to combat this, Freshfields initiated this programme to equip black males with skills by which they can thrive in the city and in other diverse roles.

What was the process for applying?

Firstly, you meet with the Warwick University careers adviser who supports you in writing your application alongside a two-minute video which is sent to Freshfields describing your story. If successful, you are then invited to the assessment centre and this is the final round. After the assessment centre, you will find out whether you have been selected to become a scholar. The careers service at Warwick definitely helped me and were really patient with me as I produced useful and detailed content for my application.

Do you have any advice for those wanting to apply for this award in the future?

Be yourself throughout the whole process and no matter what happens always seek to better yourself and make progress.

What are your plans for the future?

Currently, I plan to venture into the commercial law sector however I have an open-mind to try out different avenues.

The next round of the scheme will open for applications in early 2020.

Congratulations Daniel, this is an amazing award and something Warwick is delighted to be involved with. We are super proud of you.

Thu 24 Oct 2019, 08:42 | Tags: Award, undergraduate, Student Achievement, Funding, Feature