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Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562 is one of the most famous cases in the common law world, remembered by legions of Law students, as much for the remains of a snail allegedly found in Mrs Donoghue’s ginger beer as for its seminal place in the developing law of negligence. Donoghue and Stevenson were also two cats, who for years sat with students through supervisions on tort in Tony Weir’s distinctive rooms on the upper floor of Nevile’s Court.

The Donoghue and Stevenson Law Fund

The students – and the cats – received what Tony promised in his Casebook on Tort: comment on, and criticism of, the law, “occasionally extreme, in the hope of stimulating a response and of dispelling the aura of inevitability which the judgments themselves properly exhale” (Preface to the 1st edn, 1967).

“Reading Law at Trinity was life-changing for me. The inspiring cast of characters in the Law Fellowship inspired and supported me throughout. The humanity and kindness I was shown were just as important as the rigorous intellectual training I received. It is vital that the legal professions recruit and retain the best candidates, whatever their background. I am delighted to see that the Fund will extend the opportunities on offer to sixth-form students and continue to support outstanding graduates as they embark on their legal careers after College.” Angela Rafferty QC (1989)

Tony Weir was not alone. Trinity students have benefited from being taught by some of the finest legal minds, including Professor Gareth Jones, Professor Tony Jolowicz and Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht. Together they, and their successors, have contributed to Trinity’s long and distinguished tradition of teaching law students not what to think but how to think.

In the 50th anniversary year of the first edition of Weir’s Casebook on Tort, the College launched the Donoghue and Stevenson Fund, to enhance the educational experience of Law students at Trinity.

The broad object of the Fund, “to support education, learning and teaching in Law”, will enable the College to pursue a range of initiatives over time, according to needs and income. To complement the expanded provision, via the Hollond Funds and the Whittaker Fund, of postgraduate studentships at Trinity and overseas, our initial priorities for the Donoghue and Stevenson Fund are to support:

• Student grants and projects in Law – to ensure that all students have the best possible resources and opportunities during their time in the College; and

• Access, outreach and admissions in Law – to attract and encourage the very best students to apply to study Law at Trinity.

“Meeting the College’s commitment to admitting and nurturing the very best Law students, regardless of their educational, social and economic circumstances, is more challenging than ever. The Donoghue and Stevenson Fund will support tangible initiatives to encourage the best students to apply to Trinity, to help them excel while they are here, and to enhance their career opportunities when they graduate.”

Professor Catherine Barnard, Senior Tutor

How your donation will make a difference

  • £200 would subsidise legal book purchases.
  • £300 would support an award in the Robert Walker Prize for Essays in Law.
  • £500 would support a maintenance bursary for a summer legal internship.
  • £2,000 would enable an additional 20 school students to attend the Law Residential for one night.
  • £3,000 would support a three-month travelling summer studentship for comparative legal scholarship.
  • £6,000 would fund an additional night’s accommodation on the Law Residential and an additional day’s activities for 40 school students.
  • £10,000 would support a studentship for a professional training course such as the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

Support for student grants and projects, and for access, outreach and admissions represents the first phase of Trinity’s ambitions for the Donoghue and Stevenson Fund. The College also welcomes input from its Law alumni into future priorities for endowing and enhancing education, teaching and learning in Law at Trinity.

Please follow this link to support the Donoghue and Stevenson Fund. 

If you prefer, you can read the Donoghue and Stevenson Fund brochure in full here or download a copy.

“I used the award from the Donoghue and Stevenson Fund to attend the 2019 Hague Academy of International Law’s course in Private International Law. I am very grateful for the opportunity that the Fund gave me, not just because of the outstanding scholars I discoursed with, but also because of the long-lasting friendships I could make with law students from all over the world. The experience certainly deepened my comparative legal knowledge, and allowed me to think of the law from the perspective of different countries and not just from the English one I am used to in Cambridge. Thank you to the generous alumni donors who made this possible for me.”

Alessandro Angelico (2018)

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