Squire Sanders has awarded vacation scheme placements and prizes to students from Leeds, Durham and Newcastle universities in a bid to tackle student living costs.
Candidates were chosen on the basis of excellent all-round academic performance and contributions to local communities and were nominated by their universites for interview by Squire Sanders. The successful candidates were Rachel Metcalf from Durham University, Joshua Blake from the University of Leeds and joint winners Jennifer Rogerson and Rachel Horton from Newcastle University. They will now all partake in a vacation scheme at a UK office and receive £1,500 each to help with university living costs.
Richard Morton, training principal at Squire Sanders, said: “I have been doing this role at Squire Sanders for a couple of years now and it seemed to me that with people paying [university] fees that we should do something to help the situation.”
He explained that the university students he spoke to about this agreed that tuition fees were a problem but said that they were a longer term issue and cited living costs as a crucial concern, leading to the firm’s decision to award cash prizes.
Morton added: “We were searching for people actually doing something to help their community who could show that they are plugged into their university and the community in which their university resides.”
Community activites varied from visiting prisoners, helping at young offenders’ institutions as well as working as a court clerk in Nigeria.
Roger Masterman, deputy head of Durham University Law School, said: “The award of Squire Sanders’ scholarship prizes to our undergraduates is in deserved recognition of their academic and broader achievements.
“The work placements at the firm will provide them with invaluable experience in an increasingly competitive market, and will allow them to bring insights from the practice to their final year of study at Durham University.”