Next 100 Years launches campaign to raise £100k for undergraduate scholarship fund

Project aims to offer 30 students researching women’s legal history grants, mentorship and placements in UK law firms
Sexist remarks remain commonplace within UK legal profession, survey finds

The First 100 Years founder Dana Denis-Smith

The Next 100 Years project has announced a new campaign to raise £100K for an undergraduate scholarship fund.

The Paving the Way campaign will support students whose research examines women’s legal history and their contribution to the evolution of the UK’s legal system.

It will back 30 scholars over a three-year period starting in 2025 and will be open to men and women from all backgrounds in the final year of their undergraduate degree. In addition to a grant, each scholar will receive mentoring, the opportunity to speak at Next 100 Years events and potential placements at UK law firms to support them in beginning their career in the legal profession.

Applicants must be studying at a non-Russell Group university and be dedicating their dissertation or research to an aspect of women’s legal history.

The campaign launch marks the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the First 100 Years project, the predecessor of the Next 100 Years project that promotes gender equality in the legal profession by raising awareness of women’s contributions since they were first admitted to the roll in 1922.  

Each of the 30 scholarships bear the name of a prominent woman from the first 100 years of women in law, including 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.

Dana Denis-Smith, CEO of Obelisk Support and founder of the Next 100 Years, commented: “Ten years ago, we set out to recognise the female trailblazers who laid the groundwork for progress in the legal profession, celebrating their legacy and drawing inspiration to continue to push for equality for women in law.

“Our new Paving the Way campaign is designed to support students building on that body of work, shining a light on the often unrecognised role of women who have challenged societal norms, confronted injustices and helped to shape our laws and legal system. We want to give the next generation of game changers help on the first step of their journey into a legal career.”

The scholars’ fund will be managed by Spark21, the charity supporting both the First 100 Years and the Next 100 Years projects. The fundraising campaign encouraging organisations and individuals to donate will run until March 2025 and the first cohort of 10 scholars will be able to apply in early 2025. 

More information can be found here

Email your news and story ideas to: