Blogger is first Open University student to bag Harvard Law School scholarship

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By Jonathan Ames on

From the heights of Legal Cheek to slumming it in the Ivy League


A Legal Cheek blogger has become the first Open University student to be awarded the prestigious Kennedy Scholarship to study at Harvard law school.

Amy Woolfson — who received a first class law degree at the OU in 2013 — worked as an MP’s researcher, drafting speeches, preparing for debates and supporting constituents. She has also been an occasional contributor to Legal Cheek.

Woolfson is now off to the Boston-based cream of Ivy League law schools to do an LLM. The Kennedy Memorial Trust — launched in response to President John Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963 — has awarded her a full scholarship to cover all fees.

And that’s by no means peanuts. Students might well moan about the cost of top-tier legal education on this side of the pond, but the Harvard LLM’s fees alone currently stand at a rather precise $82,123 (approximately £52,600).

After completing her stint at Barak Obama’s alma mater, Woolfson intends to return to Blighty to chance her arm at the bar.

The scholarships — which go to British students — are billed as “the UK’s living memorial to Kennedy.

The trustees insist that candidates must be able to display intellectual attainment as well as polished communication skills. Scholars must also have an “originality of mind, commitment to public service, the potential to make a mark in public life and the ability to overcome adversity”.

Commented Annie Thomas of the Kennedy Memorial Trust:

Amy stood out for the trustees because, as well as having a first class degree, she had been a leader and participant in the wider life of the Open University Law School. At interview, she was articulate; highly motivated to see that the law works for the vulnerable and marginalised; and she had a clear vision of the skills a Harvard LLM would give her.

Current student body figures from Harvard show that 99% doing the LLM are from abroad and 51% are women.