The first scholar – Kate O Suilleabhain, then and now

The first scholar, Kate O Suilleabhain, describes her life before and after the Davies Jackson scholarship. In third person. She’s like HRM. Also, she’s moving to London soon. 

Kate Ó Súilleabháin grew up in Chicago and is the daughter of a single mom, who was a grammar-school teacher while Kate and her sister, Carolyn, were growing up. Kate was a senior at Loyola University of Chicago and had her sights set on law school when her English professor suggested that she apply for the Davies-Jackson Scholarship. To Kate’s delight, she became the Scholarship’s first recipient, and she attended St. John’s from 1990 to 1992.

Not just a pretty face

Kate, who had never traveled outside the United States, found the experience awe-inspiring. Although the educational program was unfamiliar, she was welcomed by students at St. John’s. She enjoyed having graduate student status while taking the structured “Part 2” of the undergraduate English course. She was on the College’s rowing crew and participated in many activities at the College and beyond.

After graduating, Kate worked in Texas as an editor and writer, first at a PBS television station and then for The University of Texas medical center. She was an officer of the Medical Writers Association’s Southwest Chapter and volunteered for PBS and Taping for the Blind Radio. She also served as a legal advocate for abused children.

It was in the latter capacity that Kate’s interest in law was again piqued, and she decided, in 2004, to return to school. Kate attended Georgetown Law and earned her J.D. in 2007. While in Washington, she came to know members of Cambridge in America through social events.



Kate is an associate at the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie LLP. Her practice includes antitrust, product liability, medical device and pharmaceutical compliance, arbitration, and contract matters. She still rows, has returned to the College several times, and keeps in touch with several friends from Cambridge.

Kate just learned she will spend most of the next year at the firm’s London office. She is looking forward to returning to the UK.

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One response to “The first scholar – Kate O Suilleabhain, then and now

  1. Pingback: The last time I saw Cambridge… A scholar moves back to the UK 20 years later | Davies-Jackson Blog·

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