UCC students awarded first Ronan Daly Jermyn diversity scholarships

UCC students awarded first Ronan Daly Jermyn diversity scholarships

Pictured (L-R): Eimear Desmond, people and culture director at Ronan Daly Jermyn; Imamma Eunice Ikebuasi, UCC law student; Richard Martin, managing partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn; Laya Little, UCC law student; and Professor Mark Poustie, dean of law at University College Cork

Two students at University College Cork (UCC) School of Law have each received a scholarship worth €5,000 and a work placement opportunity with Ronan Daly Jermyn (RDJ).

Imamma Eunice Ikebuasi and Laya Little are the first recipients of RDJ’s diversity scholarship, which supports students from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds studying law at UCC, with the aim of encouraging diversity in the legal profession.

RDJ has donated €40,000 over four years for the scholarships, which will be awarded to two UCC law students each year beginning this academic year, 2021/22.

Ms Ikebuasi and Ms Little were chosen 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 by RDJ’s managing partner Richard Martin and people and culture director Eimear Desmond, alongside Professor Mark Poustie, dean of the law school.

Mr Martin said: “I am delighted to meet the inaugural recipients of the RDJ Diversity Scholarship today. Imamma and Laya are both outstanding students and I look forward to following what I have no doubt will be successful career paths for them both.

“In recent times, diversity and inclusion has quite rightly shot to the top of the workplace agenda. At RDJ we celebrate and embrace difference. However, we believe that this has to go well beyond diversity policies and aspirations. This is why we are awarding these scholarships; they are about us trying to do something meaningful to encourage more ethnic diversity in the legal profession.”

Ms Desmond added: “These scholarships are about providing opportunity for people of ethnically diverse backgrounds as well as enriching our own workplaces. For us, this is a key part of the programme.

“It isn’t just the financial support that we are giving to these students. It is also our commitment to bringing these students into RDJ to work as interns during the course of their studies so they can learn from us and also to help broaden the perspectives of our own team which comes from working closely with people from widely different backgrounds and traditions.”

Professor Poustie said: “I am delighted at RDJ’s commitment to promote ethnic diversity in the legal profession through this significant scholarship scheme.

“The School of Law’s mission is ‘Shaping a Just Society’ and through working in partnership with RDJ on this transformative initiative we are contributing in a concrete way to delivering on our mission. Increasing diversity in the legal profession will not only be more reflective of contemporary society but will also ensure that the workplace is enriched by different perspectives.

“My thanks to RDJ and my congratulations to the two students awarded the RDJ Diversity Scholarship this year.”

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