The RDJ Diversity Scholarship 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 are awarded to two UCC School of Law students each year.
Imamma Eunice and Laya Little — the first scholarship recipients in 2021 — each received a scholarship worth €5,000 and a work placement opportunity with RDJ. The award was made 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.
Imamma Eunice Ikebuasi has just completed her third year of the BCL Law (International) programme. Speaking on the scholarship and her experience of working at RDJ, she said:
The RDJ scholarship came at a pivotal point in my law career and has opened many doors of opportunity for me. Their commitment to promote diversity in the Irish legal system is something I am delighted to be part of. Working at RDJ this summer has also broadened my perspective and understanding of commercial law whilst giving me a hands-on experience of their inclusive and progressive culture.
Laya Little is an international student from the USA currently undertaking the LLB in Cork. Speaking on the scholarship and her experience of working at RDJ, she said:
I have personally interacted with people from various cultures, with different experiences, and backgrounds in all levels of the firm. The unique personal, physical, and social characteristics of trainees, partners, and my fellow interns has culminated in promoting my understanding of the corporate commercial legal practice and how my own diverse background can contribute to the legal sphere in Ireland. Thanks to this scholarship I now know that I can have a future in practicing law here.
Acknowledging the importance of encouraging diversity in the legal profession, Richard Martin, Managing Partner at RDJ said “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.”
The 2022 RDJ Diversity Scholarships are now open for applications. Details on the scholarship and how to apply can be found here. The closing date for applications is 31 July 2022.
UCC School of Law
The UCC School of Law is a leading international school, committed to excellence and innovation in legal education and research, with the aim of shaping a just society. Ranked among the top 100 Law Schools worldwide, students receive a first-class education from a vibrant community of legal scholars who are leading experts in their fields. The School offers a wide range of high-quality programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, such as the flagship BCL Pathways undergraduate degree, where students have the opportunity to specialise with a clinical placement or international exchange component. UCC School of Law graduates are career-ready, equipped with the legal knowledge and practical workplace skills needed to take on the challenges that we face in today’s world.
RDJ is one of Ireland’s leading corporate law firms. With a team of more than 260 people and offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway and London, the firm’s clients include global insurance companies, financial institutions, scaling and established Irish companies and multinationals.
RDJ is committed to fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion through recruitment, career development, and ongoing outreach to the communities in which RDJ has a presence. By taking active steps to increase diversity in the workplace and promote a culture of equality, openness and belonging, we can deliver meaningful careers and the most progressive answers for our clients.
RDJ has been recognised by the Irish Centre for Diversity and awarded their Investors in Diversity Silver Standard.
* Pictured above (L-R): Laya Little, UCC law student; Richard Martin, Managing Partner, RDJ LLP; Imamma Eunice Ikebuasi, UCC law student. Laya and Imamma were the recipients of the 2021 RDJ Diversity Scholarships and are currently working at RDJ as part of their summer internship programme.