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Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Two Cambridge Law students become Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scheme Scholars The Faculty is delighted to announce that two Cambridge Law students, Jason Mbuku (St Catharine’s College) and Diallo Williams (King’s College), have been awarded scholarships on the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme.

The scheme, established by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2013 with support from Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, aims to address the disproportionate under-representation in large commercial law firms and other careers in the City of London of Black men from less socially mobile backgrounds, by creating access to opportunities.

Eligible applicants must be in their first year of study at a UK university and are evaluated using non-traditional methods to innovatively assess the talent and potential of applicants across a wide variety of criteria, not just academic performance.

Scholars in the scheme participate in a 15-month development programme, which includes skills workshops, interview coaching, networking, mentoring, support with job applications and careers advice. They will also receive work shadowing at the firm and a guaranteed interview for a training contract.

The scholars will get first-hand experience in problem solving within a high-pressure corporate environment in the form of a project week. Overall, the scheme endeavours to provide its scholars with the skills and confidence to thrive during their studies and beyond.

When asked to comment on his experience of the application process and his success, Jason had the following to say: "To say I was grateful to be named as a Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholar would be an understatement. The application process was tough but enjoyable and I’m very proud of myself for having been successful. I can’t wait to get started and learn the invaluable skills Freshfields have in store for us, [and] meeting some amazing people in the process."

I’m most looking forward to working on a project with ambitious, like-minded people as I feel that it will be something I will be able to learn a lot from. Diallo Williams, Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholar

Diallo’s anticipation to learn from the scheme is palpable in his statement: "I’m really excited to be a Freshfields scholar. The assessment centre was really fun and not like anything I’ve experienced before and I’m sure the next year or so with Freshfields will be the same. I’m looking forward to being mentored as I feel this will beneficial to me, in both my career and in life in general. Above all, I’m most looking forward to working on a project with ambitious, like-minded people as I feel that it will be something I will be able to learn a lot from."

Professor Mark Elliott, Chair of the Faculty of Law, reacted to the news: "I am delighted that Jason and Diallo have been selected for this opportunity. I offer them my warmest congratulations and wish them well as they embark on this innovative mentoring scheme. The Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scheme aligns closely with the Faculty’s and the University’s aims, and the extensive work that we are undertaking, in the access and widening participation area, and I welcome the participation of two of our students in this invaluable programme."