NLSIU Announces the Allen & Overy Scholarships
September 27, 2022
NLSIU is delighted to introduce the Allen & Overy Scholarships commencing in the Academic Year 2022-23. The Scholarships have been instituted with the support of global law firm, Allen & Overy, which recently signed an MoU with NLSIU to support four deserving scholars admitted to the University. Social mobility is a key focus area within Allen & Overy’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE & I) efforts.
The Scholarships will support two students in each of the B.A., LL.B (Hons.) and LL.B (Hons.) programmes, while maintaining at least a 50:50 gender diversity ratio in the scholarship candidates. These are, significantly, the first Scholarships announced for the new LLB (Hons) programme, which was launched in July 2022.
Reflecting on the collaboration, Vice-Chancellor Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy said, “NLSIU is very excited to renew its engagement with Allen & Overy, which first began in 2007. Our shared commitment towards diversity in student enrolment, supported through the A&O Scholarships, will ensure a vibrant and aspirational future generation of legal professionals. We are particularly excited to extend the Scholarships to students in our new 3-year LLB (Hons) programme, which aims to reshape and reimagine graduate legal education in India in the years ahead. We thank Allen & Overy for their continued support over the years.”
We asked Pallavi Gopinath Aney (NLS BA LLB 2004) and Sheila Ahuja, Joint Chairs of Allen & Overy’s India Group, and Gautam Narasimhan (NLS BA LLB 2000), Joint Managing Partner, Allen & Overy Singapore, to share their thoughts regarding the Scholarships. Here’s what they had to say:
1. What was the idea behind A & O setting up these scholarships with NLSIU?
Access to quality legal education can be challenging for students from less advantaged backgrounds. Improving access and encouraging social mobility is a challenge we face around the world. While education plays a crucial role, businesses also have an important part to play in raising aspirations, creating opportunities, and breaking down barriers. A&O is keen to support bright students from diverse backgrounds and to provide them with the tools, confidence and insight to achieve academic excellence and take their first steps towards a career in law.
2. How does it feel to support this initiative and what do you hope it will accomplish?
“We are very excited to collaborate with NLSIU on this scholarship programme. A&O has been consistently impressed by the calibre of NLSIU’s students. Through this programme, we are excited to provide more students from different backgrounds the opportunity to dream and access quality legal education.” – Gautam Narasimhan
“As with all aspects of inclusion, there is a long way to go. As a firm, we intend to persevere in our global social mobility initiatives, helping drive change within our business, our profession and ultimately, the wider society. A&O is very happy to partner with NLSIU to help make a difference.” – Pallavi Gopinath Aney
“We are delighted to be able to make a contribution to the future of these four students. We are looking forward to mentoring them and supporting their journey towards a career in law.” – Sheila Ahuja
3. Since this is part of Allen & Overy’s DE& I initiative, could you speak about the larger vision behind setting up the scholarships?
DE & I is one of A&O’s global and regional strategic business priorities. We are committed to improving diversity both at our firm as well as in the broader legal profession. Tackling inequality is a focus for A&O not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because we believe that bringing together people with different life experiences and from different backgrounds is critical to running a relevant, successful and sustainable business. A&O recognises that education plays a crucial role in social mobility, and believes it has an important part to play in raising aspirations and motivating young people, creating opportunities and promoting an inclusive culture. Across APAC, A&O has a number of initiatives at a local level to improve social equality and we are delighted that this scholarship opportunity will provide aspiring law students with a solid foundation upon which to begin their studies and make a difference in the legal sector in India.
4. Are these scholarships unique to A & O in any way?
In India, this is the first set of scholarships that A&O will be sponsoring. Over the years, A&O has sponsored several programs globally that help introduce diversity into the legal profession. Promoting social equality at the broadest level is coordinated by A&O’s Social Mobility Working Group, which brings together the DE & I, graduate recruitment, and Pro Bono and Community Investment teams to generate ideas and track progress.