Although a legal education gives you access to several lucrative career paths, it can be quite difficult to obtain. One of the major reasons for this difficulty is the high costs associated with attending law school. Law scholarships are a great way for current and incoming students to reduce the financial burden that comes with obtaining a law degree.
Today, law students can access a wide variety of scholarship opportunities including law scholarships for high school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students, with each scholarship award designed to solve a specific need for students. If you want financial aid but don’t know how to get a law scholarship for your specific need, this is the article for you.
What Is a Law Scholarship?
A law scholarship is a form of financial assistance given to a prospective or current law student who meets specific selection criteria. Law scholarships enable students to afford the education they need to start their legal profession. Although most law scholarships are merit scholarships, you can find some based on need, legal career goals, leadership qualities, and community involvement.
Most people agree that the cost of attending law school is substantially high. According to Law School Transparency, in 2019, the average tuition cost of law school was $49,312 for private schools and $28,186 for residents in public colleges. Being selected for a renewable scholarship can allow you to partially or fully cover your tuition cost. Some scholarships even offer mentorship and post-graduation job guarantees.
Common Law Scholarship Requirements
- FAFSA Requirement. Most law schools require scholarship applicants to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid application before the application deadline. This is a separate application from any scholarship application. The FAFSA application increases your chances of being considered for several financial aid programs provided in your school or state.
- Law Degree Requirement. Most law scholarships are restricted scholarships. They are directed at specific types of law students who are currently enrolled or will be starting full-time accredited law programs in the Fall or Spring semesters. If, for some reason, you’re no longer enrolled in the law program, your scholarship fund may be withdrawn. Depending on why you left the program, you may also be asked to refund the award.
- Academic Performance Requirement. Most law school scholarships are merit scholarships. Even some of the need-based scholarships favor students with impressive academic records. To be considered for these scholarships, you may be asked to submit your law school transcript, undergraduate studies transcripts, and resume so your academic standing can be evaluated.
- Award Requirement. The most common scholarship award requirement for law scholarship applicants is a personal essay. Some scholarships also require letters of recommendation and personal statements before applicants can be considered for the award. Your personal statement informs the scholarship committee of your interest in any specific legal studies or fields.
- Online Application Requirement. Both public and private law school scholarships require applicants to electronically submit their scholarship applications to be considered for the funding. In this application form, you’ll need to fill out a form concerning your personal background, your contact information and email address, and your education and work history. It may also include space for you to attach documents.
How to Find Law Scholarships
In most cases, you’ll need to submit your scholarship application along with your law school admissions application. If it’s an internal scholarship offered by the school, it’ll be part of the admissions process. If you apply while you’re already enrolled in law school, you’ll likely be judged based on your current performance in law school. Here are some tips that can help you find scholarships.
Check Your Law School’s Financial Aid Web Page
You can contact the admissions committee in your law school to request a list of available scholarships. You can also review the scholarship and aid page on your school’s website. Most law schools compile a list of scholarships on an annual basis which you can use to apply to scholarship programs that fit with your law program.
Use Authoritative Platforms Like the LSAC
To easily find available scholarships for law students, you can use scholarship finders provided by authoritative sources like organizations and government bodies. Prospective law students can use The Law School Admissions Council as a platform to find and prepare for law scholarships. It also provides other financial aid options.
Make Your Law Scholarship Search More Direct
To make your search faster, define your ideal law scholarship program. Most scholarships target students with unique legal interests or students from specific, usually underrepresented, demographics.
If you have a clear idea in mind of what you want, you can target scholarship organizations that are in line with your goals or that you have a better chance of landing. Narrowing down your scholarship search also increases your chances of landing full-ride law scholarships.
Tips to Find Law Scholarships for High School Students
Collaborate With Your High School Counselor
High school seniors planning to attend law school and secure law scholarships in the future have to start preparing while they are still in high school. To ensure you don’t miss any opportunities, get help from your high school counselor. They can help you earn the right course credits and a strong cumulative grade point average, which are factors that law scholarship providers look at when reviewing applicants.
Build Your Professional Standing
To boost your chances of receiving a bursary from a law scholarship provider, you need to build your professional image. As possible, try to secure an internship or take courses that allow you to build legal knowledge while you’re still in high school or college. Some law scholarships are awarded based on an applicant’s career aspirations or legal work history.
Beware of Law Scholarship Scams
Not all scholarships are legitimate. You should make in-depth research about the provider and the scholarship’s requirements before you divulge sensitive details about your personal and professional history. Make sure others have previously benefited from the awards. Keep in mind that all scholarships are supposed to be free. If you have to pay for one, it’s almost certainly a scam.
10 Best Law Scholarships in 2022: Overview
|Scholarship Name||Who Is Eligible||Amount Covered|
|Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship Program||Law students from select California schools||$10,000 per year|
|Blueprint Law Scholarship||Incoming law students from the Fall of 2023||$20,000|
|Earl Warren Scholarship||First and second-year law students from a US accredited law school||$45,000 ($15,000 per year for three years)|
|Federal Circuit Bar Association Scholarships||Law students in a JD program. Incoming JD students from an accredited law school in the US. Applicants interested in Federal Circuit Jurisdiction of the US Court of Appeals or showing financial need||Several $10,000 and $5,000 scholarships|
|Legal Opportunity Scholarship||Incoming law students from underrepresented backgrounds||$15,000 over three years|
|One Lawyer Can Change The World Scholarship||First-year law students from accredited law schools in the US||$10,000 (first position), $5,000 (second position), $1,000 (thrid position)|
|Paul Hastings Diversity Scholarship Award||Second-year law students from a full-time accredited law school||$25,000|
|Sidley Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship for Summer 2022||Full-time second-year law students from US accredited law schools||$25,000|
|Sidney B. Williams, JR. Scholars Program||STEM candidates seeking admission into ABA-Accredited Law School||$30,000|
|The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship||JD and LLM law students currently enrolled in US accredited law schools.||$10,000 (first place),$5,000 (second place),$3,000 (third place),$1,000 (finalists),$5,000 (scholarship fund)|
Top 10 Law Scholarships: In Detail
1. Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship Program
- Awarded by: Justice & Diversity Center
- Deadline: May 27, 2022
The Minority Law Student Scholarship Program was launched to help end race-based admissions in UC Schools. This annual scholarship is awarded to students enrolled in the law programs offered by the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, University of California, Hastings, Golden Gate University, Santa Clara University, and the University of San Francisco.
2. Blueprint LSAT Scholarship
- Awarded by: Blueprint Test Preparation
- Deadline: April 30, 2022
To qualify for the Blueprint LSAT Scholarship, all you have to do is submit an online application. If you’re randomly selected as the winner you’ll receive $20,000 to contribute to your law school tuition. However, only those who’ll be taking the LSAT between April and December 2022 in preparation for law school in the Fall of 2023 can apply.
3. Early Warren Scholarship
- Awarded by: NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund Inc.
- Deadline: May 1, 2022
The Earl Warren Scholarship gives law scholars who are already enrolled in three-year law schools and possess good academic standing the chance to receive a total of $45,000 over three years. The Early Warren Scholarship Program also provides additional scholarship benefits such as externships, internships, and research project guidance.
4. Federal Circuit Bar Association Scholarship
- Awarded by: Federal Circuit Bar Association
- Deadline: No deadline for 2022
The Federal Circuit Bar Association provides two classes of scholarships for law students enrolled in ABA-approved law schools. It offers three judicial scholarships with $10,000 awards. There are also three associate scholarships, one being a $10,000 award and the remaining two awarding $5,000 each. To qualify, students need to submit a cover letter and resume, their graduate and law school transcripts, and an original essay.
5. Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
- Awarded by: American Bar Association
- Deadline: April 15, 2022
The American Bar Association is an annual legal scholarship provider to first-year students. Each year, 10 to 20 minority students receive a $15,000 scholarship dispensed over three years to cover the cost of attending and completing law school. To qualify, you must be an incoming law school student enrolled for the Fall of 2022 session.
6. One Lawyer Can Change The World Scholarship
- Awarded by: BARBRI Law Preview
- Deadline: June 1, 2022
Each year, BARBRI Law Preview offers 10 scholarships to first-year American students in law schools who meet the scholarship eligibility requirements. To qualify for this award, you need to be starting law school by the Fall of 2022 and present a 500-word essay by June 1, 2022. The awards are usually sent directly to the finalists’ law schools.
7. Paul Hastings Diversity Scholarship Award
- Awarded by: Paul Hastings LLP
- Deadline: September 1, 2022
The Paul Hastings Diversity Scholarship is for first-year and second-year law students. The scholarship recipients receive a $25,000 award and a summer associate internship. The scholarship is for candidates already enrolled in a full-time ABA-accredited law school in the United States who are willing to promote diversity by practicing in any of its US offices.
8. Sidley Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship For Summer 2022
- Awarded by: Sidley Austin LLP
- Deadline: Students can apply at their earliest convenience
The Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship was launched to attract and train lawyers from diverse backgrounds. The $25,000 scholarship awards are for a limited number of second-year law students who demonstrate leadership qualities and academic excellence. Applicants need to submit a resume, personal statement, and an online application.
9. Sidney B. Williams JR. Scholar Program
- Awarded by: Foundation for Advancement of Diversity in IP Law
- Deadline: April 30, 2022
Sidney B. Williams JR. Scholar Program was founded to equip STEM graduates from ethnic minority and underrepresented racial groups with the means to become law school graduate students.
This scholarship is meant for applicants interested in pursuing careers in US patent law. Aside from the $30,000 award, winners also receive additional financial and non-financial assistance while in law school.
10. The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship
- Awarded by: Brown Sims
- Deadline: May 31, 2022
The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship is an annual scholarship award given to law students currently pursuing either a JD or LLB degree program in an accredited school in the United States. As part of the scholarship requirement, applicants need to submit two legal articles to the scholarship foundation. The articles should be accompanied by a letter of recommendation.
Should I Apply for a Law Scholarship?
Yes, you should. The most obvious advantage to applying for a law scholarship is that it reduces the high financial cost associated with attending law school. However, depending on the scholarship programs you apply to, you could also get access to paid internships, job offers, and professional leverage which could benefit your law career in the short run and long run.
The wide array of law scholarships out there is further proof that a law degree is worth it. With a law degree, you could earn an average median salary of $126,930, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Law Scholarships FAQ
To get a full ride to law school, you need to ensure you are sending in scholarship applications to full-time scholarship programs. More importantly, you need to ensure you have an impressive academic standing. Most of the full-ride law scholarships are based on academic merit. These programs are looking for outstanding students who have defined legal professional goals. Keep in mind that you can apply to and receive more than one scholarship at a time.
Yes, it is. There aren’t many full-ride scholarships available to law students and those that are available are quite competitive. To increase your chances of landing a full-ride scholarship to law school, you need to distinguish yourself from the applicant pool. Start by building your grade point average, working towards your career aspirations, and seeking scholarships that cater to your target demographic.
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No, they don’t. Law schools don’t include credit scores as part of your eligibility requirement. That being said, you should try to have a good credit history. Paying for college may require you to solicit funds from loan providers who will run credit checks on educational loan applicants before considering them for financial aid.
There isn’t a universal minimum grade for law scholarship applicants and, unless clearly stated, most scholarship offers don’t demand a particularly LSAT score from applicants. However, you need to ensure your academic record is impressive if you’re planning on applying to a merit-based scholarship, as the scholarship committee will consider it when making their decision.
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