Next 100 Years launches new scholarship campaign

updated on 20 March 2024

Reading time: two minutes

The Next 100 Years, a project founded by Dana Denis-Smith, has launched a new £100,000 scholarship campaign, Paving the Way, “to give the next generation of game changers help on the first step of their journey into a legal career”.

The campaign will support 30 scholars over a three-year period, starting in 2025. It’s open to men and women from all backgrounds in the final year of their undergraduate degree at a non-Russell Group university. The students’ dissertation or research must be focused on an aspect of women’s legal history.

Denis-Smith, who’s also the CEO of Obelisk Support, says the new campaign is “designed to support students building on that body of work, shining a light on the often unrecognised role of women who’ve challenged societal norms, confronted injustices and helped to shape our laws and legal system”.

The launch of the new initiative comes as the project celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the First 100 Years project, founded in March 2014 by Denis-Smith. Each of the 30 scholarships will be named after a different trailblazer from the first 100 years of women in law, including:

  • Stella Thomas, the first Black African woman to be called to the Bar and the first female magistrate in West Africa;
  • Dr Ivy Williams, the first woman in England to qualify as a barrister; and
  • Carrie Morrison, the first woman to be admitted as a solicitor.

Successful applicants will:

  • receive a grant;
  • be offered mentoring;
  • have the opportunity to speak at Next 100 Years events; and
  • secure potential placements at UK law firms to support them in taking their first steps into the legal profession.

The fundraising campaign will run for a year, until March 2025 and the first cohort of 10 scholars can apply in early 2025.