The Stephen Gale Scholarship Fund

Stephen Gale

Stephen Gale (LLB 1979) was one of the University’s most loyal and committed alumni. As a Sheffield Law graduate working at the very top of his profession, he embodied many of the University’s most valued qualities: ability, modesty, a strong commitment to fairness and equality of opportunity, a deep care for the communities in which he lived and worked, and a true generosity of spirit. His untimely death in 2014 saddened both the Sheffield and legal communities.

Now, thanks to a generous anonymous donation, and equally generous support from Stephen’s firm Herbert Smith Freehills, we have been given a wonderful opportunity to commemorate Stephen’s life and legacy – by creating the Stephen Gale Scholarships for Law.

Stephen strongly believed in giving young people opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible, and in the principle of “paying it forward”. He felt strongly that when fortune had smiled on you, or you did something for somebody else by way of favour, it was not important that it was “paid back” - but that a real difference could be made by giving this fortune, favour, or opportunity to someone else. Stephen felt that his Sheffield education had opened doors to him that would otherwise have remained closed, and was therefore always keen to do whatever he could to “pay forward” his own success to the next generation of Sheffield Law students.

In addition to his role on the Law School’s Advisory Board, he frequently visited Sheffield to undertake pro bono work, advising and mentoring our Law students. He was also a generous personal supporter of our Law scholarship programme for talented students from underprivileged backgrounds. He was deeply committed to the Law School and to the University of Sheffield – and we are pleased and proud to be able to honour and continue his legacy of generosity, by creating a scholarship fund in his name.

The Stephen Gale Scholarships will support Sheffield Law students who want to study abroad as part of their undergraduate degree programme, initially at Chinese University Hong Kong (one of the Law School’s 59 international exchange partners). The scholarships will be awarded on academic merit – but with particular consideration given to students from under-represented backgrounds. The Law School has international exchange partnerships with 59 institutions around the world, the largest exchange programme of any Law School in the UK. Applications for these study abroad programmes are extremely competitive, and students from less well-resourced backgrounds are often deterred from applying because of the significant additional costs they need to find.

The Stephen Gale Scholarships will provide a vital source of funding to talented Law students who might otherwise be unable to afford this opportunity, and achieve their full potential - equipping them with crucial international experience and skills to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers in the global employment market.

Each Stephen Gale Scholarship will be worth £5,000. And thanks to the generosity of Herbert Smith Freehills, scholarship recipients will also receive an internship with their Hong Kong office during their study abroad year.

We are currently able to award two Stephen Gale Scholarships per year for the next ten years. However, with additional contributions to the fund, our aim would be to create a permanently-endowed scholarship that will be a memorial to Stephen; that will educate and inspire future generations of bright Sheffield Law students; and that will provide the legal professions with a permanent source of talented, socially-aware, internationally-experienced graduates from diverse backgrounds.

The University of Sheffield was founded in 1905 “to bring the highest education within the reach of the child of the working man.” Stephen wholeheartedly shared, and indeed lived, many of our founding values: fostering the highest aspiration, making a difference to the community, and empowering those most in need in our society. The University and Law School are honoured to establish this truly fitting memorial to Stephen’s life and work - that will help the next generation of Sheffield Law graduates to follow in his footsteps.

To make a gift to the Stephen Gale Scholarship Fund, please click on “Donate” and select the Stephen Gale Scholarship Fund from the drop-down menu

For further information, please contact:

Mrs Ruth Stanley, Senior Development Manager
Development, Alumni Relations and Events Office

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 1075