UCD and Mason Hayes & Curran join forces to launch UCD Sutherland Opportunity supported by Mason Hayes & Curran for greater diversity in the legal profession

A new UCD law student support initiative, designed to encourage greater diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, was launched today (6th September 2019) by UCD Sutherland School of Law and law firm Mason Hayes & Curran. UCD Sutherland Opportunity supported by Mason Hayes & Curran is a suite of resources for students from under-represented groups, and communities with typically low progression rates to third level education, in pursuing a successful career in and with law.

Starting with early intervention programmes at primary school level, the supports are holistic and tailored to each student, providing scholarships, travel bursaries, post-graduate opportunities, alumni mentoring, law firm internships and early career support.   Its innovation lies in its support and guidance before and after the four year undergraduate programmes at UCD Sutherland School of Law.  This recognises that the core student experience will be more impactful and effective if underpinned by critical bridges and transitions in the pre- and post- undergraduate phases.

Speaking at the launch, Chair of Mason Hayes & Curran, Kevin Hoy, remarked, “Ireland is the first country in the world where women constitute more than 50% of the solicitors’ profession, but we have much to do for our legal professions to be truly representative on a socio economic basis.  A modern society needs diversity in the law and UCD Sutherland Opportunity supported by Mason Hayes & Curran will help achieve that goal.  We in Mason Hayes & Curran hope that our contribution will enable students from modest financial backgrounds today to become the extraordinary lawyers of tomorrow.”

 “UCD Sutherland School of Law is now among the top 50 law schools globally and we want to ensure that students from marginalised sections of our society can also participate and benefit from a degree in law at UCD”, commented Professor Imelda Maher, UCD Dean of Law.  ‘The number of UCD law students from under-represented groups has doubled in two years (27 students in 2016 to 59 in 2018) and we can now accelerate that activity through this programme.  We’re privileged to have the support of Mason Hayes & Curran and their visionary leadership on this project, and also for the partnership of UCD Access & Lifelong Learning.’

UCD Sutherland School of Law is the leading centre for legal education and research in Ireland, combining engaging undergraduate and graduate level courses, internationally-recognised research, and world-class educational facilities.

Pictured at the launch of UCD Sutherland Opportunity supported by Mason Hayes & Curran in UCD were, from left to right: Kevin Hoy, Chair, Mason Hayes & Curran, Professor Imelda Maher UCD Dean of Law, Professor Andrew J Deeks, President of UCD and Judith Riordan, Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran.