Two UCC students awarded diversity scholarships

Two UCC students awarded diversity scholarships

Pictured (left–right): RDJ partner Jennifer Noctor and managing partner Jamie Olden, law students Chidindu Ukah and Caitlin Ong, and Professor Mark Poustie, Dean of Law at UCC.

UCC law students Caitlin Ong and Chidindu Ukah have each been awarded a diversity scholarship worth €5,000 and a work placement opportunity with RDJ.

The RDJ Diversity Scholarship, which commenced in 2021, supports students from ethnically diverse backgrounds studying law at UCC, with the aim of encouraging diversity in the legal profession.

The law firm has donated €40,000 over four years for the scholarships, which are awarded to two UCC School of Law students each academic year.

Ms Ong and Ms Ukah were chosen as the scholarship recipients following a competitive selection process based on exam results, a personal statement, a 1,000-word essay discussing the topic “The Need for Diversifying the Legal Profession in Ireland” and an interview.

The students were officially awarded their scholarships at UCC last week by Jamie Olden, RDJ’s managing partner, and Jennifer Noctor, an RDJ partner and member of the firm’s diversity and inclusion committee, as well as Professor Mark Poustie, Dean of UCC School of Law.

Mr Olden said: “I am delighted to meet this year’s recipients of the RDJ Diversity Scholarship today. Caitlin and Chidindu are both outstanding students and I look forward to following what I have no doubt will be successful career paths for them both.”

Professor Poustie added: “I am delighted and grateful that RDJ continue to sponsor this transformative scholarship in partnership with the School of Law.”

Ms Ong, a final year law student on the BCL International course, said: “I would like to express my gratitude to RDJ and the UCC School of Law for this incredible opportunity. It is important for the legal profession to reflect the diverse society it serves, and this award is a great way to achieve this.

“I am honoured to be a recipient of this award and a part of this active movement which strives to diversify the legal field.”

Ms Ukah, who has just started year three of the BCL Law (Clinical) programme, said: “Diversity and inclusion is an important part in any society and I am very honoured to be working with a firm that recognises this and acknowledges the value and strength that diversity brings to the legal field.

“The trust people have in the legal system is very important and diversity increases this by showing that it is accessible and available to all. This award is a testament to RDJ’s commitment to contributing to creating a diverse legal system in Ireland and I am grateful to be a beneficiary of it.”

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