Freshfields names Stephen Lawrence scholarship candidates

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has selected the first six candidates to join its Stephen Lawrence scholarship, established in conjunction with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

In an effort to improve access to the legal profession for black and minority ethnic (BME) male students and combat the low number of BME male lawyers from low-income households, the scholarship will provide mentoring, work experience, a £3,500 living expenses contribution and a guaranteed training contract interview as well as training on written, presentation and numeracy skills and commercial awareness, interview coaching and career guidance.

Freshfields has signed up for an initial three-year run of the scheme, which was launched last year, and is now searching for its 2014 scholars.

Freshfields’ social mobility partner Annette Byron said: “We have drawn on innovative assessment techniques to gauge potential across many areas, rather than just academic qualifications, and will help develop our scholars into top class lawyers, while adapting our own organisational culture.

“We hope to make a real difference – which we define as people from different backgrounds joining, staying and succeeding with us.”

Baroness Doreen Lawrence added: “My personal ambition is to help provide opportunities for people to become the best that they can be. I have met the scholars and am sure that the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence scholarship will enable them to build successful careers.”

The candidates are Adel Abozaima, Steve Lewis, Cosmos Mutuma, Kobina Bondzi-Simpson, Mohammed Hassan and Kofi Madden.

Madden commented: “Being the first member of my family to go to university makes me feel very proud. When I was nominated by my university to apply for the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence scholarship I was in disbelief that I had been chosen.

“When Freshfields rang and told me I got the scholarship I couldn’t believe it. Since starting on the scholarship the dream of becoming a solicitor has never been closer.”