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Law student secures place on scholarship programme set up in memory of Stephen Lawrence

9 November 2021

A Law student from Cardiff University has secured a place on the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme.

Arthur Ddamulira, 21, from Kampala in Uganda, is one of 13 students selected for the scheme, which is designed to address the disproportionate under-representation of Black men from less socially mobile backgrounds in large commercial law firms and other careers in the City of London.

Launched in 2013 by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, with support from Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, the 15-month development and mentoring programme will see Arthur benefit from a range of opportunities led by lawyers and business professionals. This includes skills workshops, commercial awareness training, interview coaching, networking, support with job applications and careers advice.

He will also receive a contribution towards course and associated study-related costs, as well as a guaranteed training contract interview with Freshfields.

Arthur, who moved to the UK last year to begin his undergraduate studies, said: “I was actually quite emotional when I found out that I had been selected for the scheme. It was very humbling and I was so grateful.

“It is also very exciting too as I get the chance to follow my ambitions of working in banking and finance in London.”

Arthur was born, raised and educated in Uganda in East Africa where his parents ran a small business selling household items.

“Going through school was difficult at times, but my parents inspired the ethic of hard work in me because of how hard they worked to put me and my siblings through school,” he said.

This outlook saw Arthur excel in and out of school, becoming one of the highest achieving students in his class, leading a programme which encouraged homeless children to share their experiences through poetry and setting up an online business of his own.

“I feel like all these experiences have made me the person I am today. I suppose it’s a testament to my abilities but also a vote of confidence or form of reassurance that the ambitions I have and what the scholarship scheme is hoping to achieve, in terms of bringing diversity into the City, really align.”

Arthur Ddamulira

Freshfields Partner and a founder of the scheme, Annette Byron said: “I continue to be inspired by the talent and commitment demonstrated by the scholars we welcome onto the scheme. This sentiment is especially pertinent, given it’s been an incredibly difficult time for many students where less in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant those on the ‘wrong side’ of the digital divide have faced even greater challenges and barriers to opportunities.

“It’s vital we continue to identify talented individuals and create an environment where they have the opportunity to achieve their goals and ambitions. I look forward to working with this year’s scholars as we collectively strive towards improving diversity and inclusion in the industry and beyond.”

Annette Byron

Arthur was awarded the scholarship after being nominated by the School of Law and Politics and completing a rigorous selection process.

Professor Stewart Field, Head of Law at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Arthur’s achievements in securing this important scholarship.

"He will be part of the generation that goes on to force a cultural shift in law and business, one that is more representative and diverse. Thankfully, through schemes like this, we are seeing positive change and, as academics and educators, this is evident in our student body who are bringing fresh ideas and perspectives into the university."

Professor Stewart Field Professor of Law

“I am looking forward to seeing what Arthur achieves over the course of the programme and beyond into his future.”