Freeths launches bursary scheme for Leicester students in honour of Mukesh Patel
National law firm Freeths has established a bursary programme for law students at the University of Leicester and De Montfort University in memory of Mukesh Patel, former Managing Partner of Freeths’ Leicester Office.
The bursary will provide local undergraduate law students with an award of £4,000 a year for three years, with a focus on the socio-economic backgrounds of students who want to pursue a career in law.
The firm launched the scheme to honour Mukesh’s legacy and his commitment to diversity and equality within the legal profession and to the local business community.
A respected and popular member of both Freeths and the local legal community, Mukesh, who was born and went to school in Leicester, led the firm’s Dispute Resolution team in Leicester and subsequently became Managing Partner of the Leicester office in 2014. He died on Saturday, February 18th, aged 54, leaving behind his wife Rita and their two sons.
Lisa Gilligan, Managing Partner of Freeths Leicester, said: “Mukesh was always ready to help, encourage and support students particularly those from less privileged backgrounds”
“We hope that this bursary will not only ensure that we continue to honour his vision and passion but also help to support a pipeline of local law graduates to progress their careers in our region.”
“Graduate retention in Leicester is a well-documented challenge and the bursary will help Freeths to play its part in addressing this head on.”
Rita Patel and her sons continued: “From humble beginnings himself, Mukesh was a firm believer that anyone with passion and drive should be afforded every opportunity.”
In addition to the financial award, Freeths will also provide the students with a mentor throughout their degree course, a paid summer placement as well as an interview for the firm’s graduate apprenticeship scheme (subject to qualifying criteria) based in the Leicester office.
Sarah Thomson, Director of Engagement at De Montfort University, said: “Mukesh was well known and loved by many at DMU so we are delighted that he will be remembered through this fund which will support students to reach their potential whilst studying at university. Scholarships and Bursaries are becoming more essential for more students in the current economic climate to allow them to participate fully in university life. It is fantastic that Freeths are supporting talented students in this way and encouraging them to stay in Leicester to work once they graduate. We would like to express our gratitude to them and to Mukesh’s family for this award.”
Steve Corbett, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at The University of Leicester, added: “The Freeths Skylark Scholarship is a generous package of benefits aimed at supporting Law students who are facing financial challenges throughout their time at university and beyond. From monetary support to mentoring and placement opportunities, the Scholarship has been developed to offer recipients a solid first few steps on their way to a successful career in law. A huge thanks to Freeths for choosing to support Leicester students in honour of Mukesh Patel.2
“The Freeths Skylark Scholarship is part of the University of Leicester’s broader Skylark Scholarship programme, which has been established entirely thanks to the support of philanthropic donors. We look forward to seeing our inaugural Skylark scholars progress and hope to see this transformational scholarship programme grow.”
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