Law firm to provide 'Bright Future' for Queen's students

Andrew Wilson, senior associate at Allen & Overy, with Michelle Edwards, a law student at Queen’s University

LAW firm Allen & Overy says it will provide 45 bursaries over the next three years in a new initiative with Queen’s University aimed at helping young people reach their full potential by removing barriers to education.

As a member of the 'Bright Future' Collective, it will contribute to the Pathway Opportunity Programme bursary fund, an initiative which offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds support to access a world class education from Queen’s.

Andrew Wilson, senior associate at Allen & Overy Belfast, said: “We believe in giving everyone a fair chance. Not everyone has the same opportunities in life, or the same access to education, but our backgrounds should not define our future success.

“We believe that by working together, we can make a significant contribution and help to change the lives of young people. We look forward to working with those students who could be under-represented and supporting them during their time at Queen’s University. The bursaries will enhance the university experience and encourage students to help Northern Ireland thrive in the future.”

Allen & Overy employs more than 600 staff at its Belfast office and has a long tradition of investing in young talent and nurturing careers.

A number of initiatives are already in place in Belfast including an Apprenticeship scheme, a graduate programme, a postgraduate diploma with education partners, together with offering their legal professionals career pathways to legal qualification as chartered legal executives and solicitors.

Being a member of the Bright Future Collective gives potential for the A&O team to progress workplace visits and projects as well as mentoring and personal skills development with bursary recipients over the next three years.

Professor Ian Greer, vice-chancellor of Queen’s University, said: “The Pathway Opportunity Programme has made a huge difference to hundreds of talented young people, who are least likely to attend higher education, because of their background. For many of these students, living expenses can become the major barrier to their success.

“The Bright Future Collective will help us to create life changing opportunities for determined young students. It is a shining example of what can be achieved when industry and higher education work together for the economic benefit of the region and beyond - the benefits to wider society are immeasurable.”

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