Strathclyde announces John Fitzsimons scholarship for mature law students



Sheriff John Fitzsimons

One of Scotland’s most inspirational law lecturers and highly respected sheriffs, Sheriff John Fitzsimons, is being honoured with a scholarship competition at Strathclyde University.

Strathclyde Law School’s Centre for Law, Crime & Justice is offering scholarships to talented mature students or prospective mature students studying any taught course in the law school, (whether full-time or part-time), who are in acute financial need.

Applicants must be 25 years or older at the point of the deadline for submission: before noon 25 August 2021.

John Fitzsimons joined the newly-formed law school in 1964 and dedicated the next 20 years of his life to teaching and scholarship at Strathclyde before becoming a well-respected sheriff. He served continuously at Dumbarton Sheriff Court for almost 20 years and he is universally remembered as a careful, wise, firm, but always compassionate judge.

After serving in the Royal Air Force as a radar technician, at the age of 25 he decided to read law. He also worked nights as a TV repair man to support his wife, Pat, and two young children, Tricia and James. A highly respected and gifted lecturer, his brilliant teaching of criminal law and jurisprudence was conducted in a lively and contemporary fashion. He had the gift of being able to explain the most complex of issues in clear terms.

Founder and convenor of the John Fitzsimons Fund, Professor Cyrus Tata said: “We are delighted to be able to offer John Fitzsimons Scholarships once again this year. The John Fitzsimons Fund was established to honour the values for which he stood.

“John Fitzsimons believed that talented individuals should have proper access to education on the basis of academic merit, regardless of financial ability. Through his teaching, encouragement, and his own actions, he inspired generations of Strathclyde students to achieve their potential. He was well aware of the particular barriers which mature students can face.

“Now thanks entirely to the contributions of alumni and other supporters committed to these values, we are able to offer, for the seventh year, scholarships to the most suitable applicants.”

Those interested in applying are asked first to read carefully the information about the purposes of the fund, the specific eligibility criteria and the life and public service of John Fitzsimons.

The selection committee will have regard to: i) academic merit; ii) financial need in the context of personal circumstances; iii) evidence of strong interest in the areas of John Fitzsimons’ work namely: criminal law and / or jurisprudence, and/or cognate areas; iv) the availability of other awards to assist with living costs and/or tuition fees.

Please see the scholarships webpage for further details and how to apply.



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