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A&O to help fund disadvantaged students through Queen’s University Belfast

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Magic circle player to provide 45 bursaries

Magic circle outfit Allen & Overy (A&O) has announced it will provide 45 bursaries over the next three years in a new initiative with Queen’s University Belfast.

The firm will be contributing to QUB’s Pathway Opportunity Programme bursary fund, an initiative which offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds support to attend the university.

The programme is open to Northern Irish sixth formers currently in their first year of A-Level studies, or equivalent, who meet the requirements listed on QUB’s website. This includes being the first in their immediate family to attend university and achieved at least six GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English language.

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The magic circle player already has connections in the Northern Irish capital, having launched an outpost in the city in 2011. This office has since become the second largest A&O office, with the firm also launching a Belfast-based training contract in 2019.

Andrew Wilson, senior associate in A&O’s Belfast office, commented: “At Allen & Overy, we believe in giving everyone a fair chance. Not everyone has the same opportunities in life, or the same access to education, but our backgrounds should not define our future success.”

He added:

“We believe that by working together, we can make a significant contribution and help to change the lives of young people. We look forward to working with those students who could be under-represented and supporting them during their time at Queen’s University. The bursaries will enhance the university experience and encourage students to help Northern Ireland thrive in the future.”

This isn’t the first time A&O has put its money where its mouth is when it comes to social mobility. The firm offers both financial and non-financial assistance for aspiring solicitors on its social mobility programmes, A&O Accelerate and Smart Start.

A&O efforts follow similar social mobility initiatives by other City firms, including Ropes & Gray, Shoosmiths and Osborne Clarke.

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