Law Dean Penelope Andrews expressed great delight at meeting the 2016 Law Endowment Scholarship Recipients at a breakfast held on 25 February.
Law Dean, Penelope Andrews (centre) and Pauline Alexander (left of centre) with some of the undergraduate students benefiting from scholarships from the Law Endowment Fund.
The group, mostly incoming students, but which included some second year students who were re-awarded their scholarships, reflected on their experience at the Law Faculty so far – which they found exciting and rewarding.
Some who were doing the combined BA-LLB course, shared how they were told before their arrival at UCT Law about the cold, alienating environment they would encounter here. Their experience has been completely different, with each one of them speaking about the warmth and generosity they encounter from fellow students as well as faculty and pass staff members.
The conversation between the students and the Dean covered mentoring, professional expectations, learning styles, work-life balance, internships, career possibilities and student-faculty relations. The Dean reminded the students that just as she and the faculty take responsibility for student learning and professional development, the ultimate responsibility was with them.
One of the goals of the Endowment scholarships is to attract top black high school learners to study Law.
The Faculty support for students is extensive. In 2015 some 78 students, mostly LLBs but including some LLMs and PhDs, benefitted from almost R 2.4 million in scholarship awards. This amount comes from the interest earned on the Endowment Fund (established in 2008) plus several specific alumni awards and a cohort of UCT-law firm Diversity Scholarships.
A distinguishing feature of the Law Endowment Fund is the high proportion of individual donors - 74% versus a university-wide average of 7%.