Fellowship founded to help students from under privileged backgrounds to become barristers

Credit: Rebecca Lumley

A new fellowship offering two aspiring barristers from disadvantaged socio-economically backgrounds a chance to study at the King’s Inns in Dublin was announced earlier this month.

The chosen candidates will be given financial, professional and educational support through the fellowship.

The ‘Denham Fellowship’, named after Chief Justice Mrs Susan Denham, offers the selected candidates waived library fees for the first four years of their studies at the Bar of Ireland.

Chosen candidates will also be exempt from fees Barrister-at-Law degree programme at the Kings Inns and will receive an annual allowance of €6,000 for at least five years which will be put towards living and accommodation expenses.

The successors will also be assigned various mentors throughout their studies and given support when finding a Master for each year of devilling.

In a statement about the introduction of the new fellowship, Chief Justice Mrs Susan Denham said “I am honoured to be associated with this new Fellowship and I commend The Bar of Ireland and the King’s Inns for providing this fantastic, life changing opportunity for students who want to pursue a career as a barrister but may not have the financial means to do so.”

Referring to the equal opportunity offered by this new fellowship, Denham said “Everyone benefits when the makeup of the legal profession reflects the diversity of the society it serves.”

Barrister Sara Moorhead, who lead the initiative on behalf of the Bar of Ireland and the King’s Inns said “We want to encourage students from all backgrounds to consider a career at the Bar.

“As with many professions, becoming a barrister can be a daunting prospect for students if they don’t have the necessary support and we hope that, through the financial, educational and professional supports offered in this fellowship, we will be opening a door that otherwise may have appeared closed.”

Applications for the fellowships will begin in March and the two successful applicants will begin their studies in the barrister-at-law degree programme in October 2017.

Shirley Donlon

Image Credit: Rebecca Lumley