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HOW Do I Get LAW SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS?

To receive a law school scholarships, you need to be a new and first year (1L) law student in a Juris Doctor degree program. Many schools  consider admitted students for merit scholarships while financial need based ones require you to fill out a FAFSA.

If you got this far, you likely took your LSATs already. The LSAT is the only test accepted for admission purposes by many ABA accredited law schools. 

A high LSAT score may help you qualify for full funding for a three year Juris Doctor program. The highest possible score of the test is 180.

Schools generally use these scores as a metric for acceptance and the amount of scholarship money they offer you. As a college student, an impressive GPA plus high test scores may help you when it comes to getting graduate scholarships for law.

Once you earn your JD degree and pass the Bar Exam, one option may be to pursue a career at a law firm. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many lawyers today earn a median annual salary of $122,960 per year. 

The legal profession also includes many niche fields. If you like sharing your knowledge and teaching law, then becoming a law professor could be your calling. Law professors could receive tenure at a university. They could publish articles and their research in trade journals and legal publications.

Another example is intellectual property law. This area focuses on the laws surrounding inventions, patents and trademarks. They also prepare various documents to file patents, trademarks in the U.S. and global legal system. Most IP lawyers may enjoy the exposure to new science and tech developments which makes their jobs rewarding and interesting.

How To Apply for a Law Scholarship?

Besides your test scores, each scholarship program comes with a set of criteria to meet. These awards could be for women, minority groups and specific law majors. But in most cases are for U.S. citizens.

Eligible students who qualify for a law school scholarship have to fill out a scholarship application form. It is wise to follow the directions and apply by or before the application deadline.

Along with the form, you might need to supply transcripts, resume, and explain your goals. Some providers seek a very strong community service background too. If there is an essay, be clear and use the directions as a guide. 

10 Law School Scholarships You Can Apply for

Are you wondering what scholarships are available for graduate students attending law school? You’re in luck because we have hundreds of law school awards. These awards may help you pay for law degree and reduce your school debt by the time you graduate. Check out these ten scholarships that you can apply for now!

  1. Anhelo Dream Project Scholarship
  2. Legal Opportunity Scholarship
  3. Earl Warren Scholarship
  4. Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship
  5. MALDEF Law School Scholarship
  6. Attorney Ken Nugent Legal Scholarship
  7. ABA Academic Merit Scholarship
  8. LimNexus Scholarship
  9. La Raza Foundation Scholarship
  10. Warner Norcross & Judd Law School and Paralegal Scholarship

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF LAW SCHOOL?

The cost of law school may vary depending on where you study. Tuition and fees differ across institutions and whether you are in state vs out of state. Additional college expenses such as housing, books, and transportation  contribute to the cost of law school.

According to the NCES, the average tuition cost of a graduate degree is $11,617 per yea at a public school. If you choose a private school, you are likely to pay more at $26,551 per year at a nonprofit college. The difference between tuition and fees at private schools and public schools is huge: around $14,900.

The NCES also found that 75% of students who completed a professional doctorate such as a law degree had student loans. They also report the average total loan balance was about $145,500 per borrower.

WHAT ARE Some of the The Most COMMON WAYS TO PAY FOR LAW SCHOOL?

Loans, grants, and scholarships for graduate students are three most common ways to pay for a JD degree. Some students may also get part time employment through the federal work study program.

First year students are expected to fully focus on schoolwork. Also, there is an ABA mandated limit on the number of hours full time law students are permitted to work.

Here is a bit more information about popular sources of financial assistance. Compare these guidelines to your goals so you can make an informed choice.

LAW SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS

Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not typically need to be paid back. Providers tend to award scholarships and grants on the basis of merit and or financial need. For those that renew, the rule of thumb is to stay in good academic standing. 

MileMark Media Legal Scholarship offers an annual $1,000 scholarship to incoming and current law students. To apply, eligible applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and currently studying law, criminal justice or forensics. Also, you must submit an essay of 500 words or less, of 500 words or less.explaining why you are interested in the law, criminal justice or forensics.

The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund grants eligible minority 1L law students up to $15,000 of financial aid during their time at law school. To apply, eligible applicants must have a 2.5 GPA and submit personal statement, transcript, and recommendation letters. He or she must attend an ABA accredited law school.

You may also see if your school offers grants to pay for half of the tuition and fees. Grants are need based and you do not need certain GPA, test scores or school activity to receive one. The American Bar Association (ABA) and law firms are great resources to find law school grants. 

Are There Full Tuition Scholarships to Law School? 

Full tuition law scholarships are more common. These pay tuition and mandatory fees for all three years. Most schools make them available to students who qualify. 

For example, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School awards full tuition through the Toll Public Interest Scholars program. You also a receive a stipend to fund unpaid public sector internships. Eligible scholars must be in good academic standing, commit to work in public interest and the community.  

PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS

Another option if you want to borrow money is to apply for a private student loan. Private student loans often help qualified students who are not eligible for federal aid  or need additional funds to help pay for college.

These loans tend to be available through  banks, credit unions, or online lenders. If this is your preferred form of aid, make sure you have good credit or a cosigner who does and only borrow what you need.

Then you might shop around for competitive interest rates and repayment plans. You should also compare and consider borrower protections such as deferment and forbearance. Don’t forget to see if lenders offer a grace period after you graduate. That means you do not have to make student loan payments right away, typically about six months. Grace period may vary for each lender. Take advantage of the grace period by saving money to help pay off your student debt early.

Which Law Schools Offer Law School Scholarships?

Many major universities in the United States with Juris Doctor programs offer scholarships for graduate students studying law. Here are four law schools to check out.

University of Chicago

University of Chicago School of Law offers a Juris Doctor as well as a Joint JD /MBA program. In the first year of the JD, your courses may teach you about  contracts, torts, property, criminal law and civil procedures. As you get into the upper level courses, you may study equality, civil rights, health law and taxation. 

Every admitted student is automatically considered for scholarships. One to try for is the Tony Patiño Fellowship. Each year there are 1 to 2 Fellows, chosen on the basis of merit. Eligible students must exhibit leadership, academic success and initiative. Each recipient receives  at least $10,000 per year for their studies and takes part in Fellowship events as a side benefit.

Boston University

The Boston University School of Law Public Interest Scholarship program provides a full tuition scholarship for all three years. Awards go to students who want to pursue a career in public interest law. That includes areas like public policy focused on immigration law, human rights, and public defense.

To apply, one must submit an additional essay with their applications for admission. In addition,, recipients receive  a $5,000 stipend for their 1L and 2L summers. In this time, they may pursue public interest internships, as well as career guidance and faculty mentoring.

University of Virginia

University School of Law offers a JD that includes core courses in the first year. Second year law students focus on patent and administrative law, the federal courts and independent research. Year three is research focused and explores areas like trusts and estates. Students also have access to study abroad, dual degree options and externships. 

You may qualify for graduate scholarships as a new law student such as the Karsh Dillard Scholarships. A Karsh Dillard Scholar receives a sufficient amount to cover full tuition and fees for three years of their legal education. Awardee must be in good academic standing in order to receive the scholarship.  

Duke University

Duke University School of Law offers a range of dual law degrees as well as a JD.  One of the programs unique to the school is the Pro Bono Program. It connects law students with attorneys working in nonprofit and government organizations as well as in the private sector. If drawn to this area, you might add a JD Certificate in Public Interest and Public Service Law (PIPS Certificate).

One of the scholarships they offer is the Mordecai Scholars Program. Mordecai Scholars will receive merit scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition. There are about 4 to 8 recipients each year.

Do Law Schools Give Merit Scholarships?

Yes, some law schools give merit scholarships. University of Pennsylvania and UCLA are some universities you may receive merit based awards. Sometimes, there is no separate application and eligible graduates may be automatically considered when applying for admission. 

Each college defines “merit” in their own way. Most law schools look at your LSAT scores, undergraduate GPA, community service and school activities. The admissions office typically reviews eligible applicants for merit based aid. You may also request more financial aid based on admissions and scholarship offers from other schools.

University of Pennsylvania

Penn Law has a full time program leading to the JD. Penn Law also offers an LLM and other law graduate degrees. The JD course plan includes externships, pro bono duties, and senior research and writing project. 

To help those who qualify, the school offers merit scholarships such as the Dean’s Scholarship. These awards range from $9,000 to $120,000 in tuition coverage. In addition to academic achievements, eligible students must show leadership, service, and personal or work experience.

University of California Los Angeles

UCLA School of Law offers two distinct merit scholarships. These scholarship opportunities use criteria such as grades, LSAT scores and leadership. 

One is the the Distinguished Scholars Program. It is a binding merit based full tuition scholarship program. And, only for a few exceptionally qualified applicants. 

Recipients of the award who are CA residents get full resident tuition and fees for three academic years. As long as they remain in good standing. Non CA residents will be awarded full non-resident tuition and fees for L 1. Then, full California resident tuition and fees for L 2 and 3.

Second is the UCLA Law Achievement Fellowship Program. It is is a full tuition scholarship program. Applicants must show academic talents, be high achievers, and have overcome an obstacle such as a disability, poverty or homelessness.

Are There Law School Scholarships for Minority Law Students?

Law school scholarships for minority law students and women help nurture diversity in the field. That goes for various ethnic groups as much as for gender. Such awards also provide valuable financial help to under served law graduate students towards their goals.

Doctorate degrees in legal professions and studies hold a 23% share of all degrees earned at this level. Recent NCES data shows a 50 /50 split in the number of men and women who attained law degrees. The numbers vary for various minority groups below.

  • Black – 23%
  • Hispanic – 33%
  • Asian – 13%
  • Pacific Islander – 24%
  • American Indian – 36%
  • Two or More Races – 26%

Law School Scholarships for African American Students

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc is one provider of law scholarships for African American law students. NAACP is the legal organization that fights for racial justice through litigation, advocacy and public education. One of the programs they run is the Earl Warren Scholarship. 

This is an annual award that goes to rising law students committed to racial justice. Eligible applicants tend to show potential as civil rights and public interest attorneys. To qualify, you must be a first or second year full time law student at an ABA accredited school. 

Earl Warren Scholarship awards are $10,000 per year for three years or for a total of $30,000. 

Along with the award there are two opportunities for an LDF internship, externship, or guided research project and an invitation to LDF’s Civil Rights Training Institute.

Another law school scholarship is from the Foundation for Advancement of Diversity in IP Law. The program they offer is the Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program

It is for minority students who plan to study patent law at an ABA accredited school for the Fall semester of 2021. Up to 5 scholars may receive $10,000 per year or $30,000 for all three years. Some of the criteria they use are financial need and academic merit. Renewal is contingent on academic progress.

African American law students might also find scholarships that are location specific. The James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation is one example. It provides 3 scholarships of $3,000 each to support minority law students at a few partner schools. 

Law School Scholarships for Hispanic Law Students

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) may be a good resource for Hispanic students. MALDEF supports law students who seek to further advance the civil rights of the Latino community in the United States. 

In the past years, MALDEF awarded from 5 to 15 law school scholarships of $2,000 each to deserving Hispanic law students throughout the nation.

The program is open to eligible law students currently enrolled full time at an ABA accredited school. Other criteria they look at are grades, financial need and outside school activities. Above all, eligible applicant must show dedication to advancing Latino civil rights in their careers.

MCCA or the Minority Corporate Counsel Association offers law school scholarships for Hispanic women. They offer  the Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program. It helps law students pay for tuition, books and fees. Eligible fellows receive $10,000 a year for three years to help defray the cost of a JD degree.  They also receive a one time award of $10,000 to assist with 1L expenses.

Law School Scholarships for Women

Female law students may find law school scholarships through the AAUW or American Association of University Women. They offer several fellowships and grants each year. 

The Selected Professions Fellowships aims to boost female presence in fields where it is low (including the legal field). To apply, you must be an L3 full time female law student. You must also attend an accredited school and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Funding ranges from $5,000 to $18,000 and the deadline is Dec 1st.

BARBRI, a provider of legal exam prep courses, offers One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship. It is for eligible first year law students and each year, they select 10. To apply, you need to write an essay about “How you hope to use your law degree to change our world”. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 and $5,000 for second place. There are also 8 runners up who take away $1,000 each.

Law School Scholarships for Immigrants and Children of Immigrants  

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program is an annual award. It honors immigrants and children of immigrants who are in pursuit of a graduate degree. This year, due to COVID 19 they’ve expanded their criteria to include online law degree programs too. 

To be eligible, you must be an eligible New American graduate student who is 30 years or younger by the application deadline. You may either be a naturalized US citizen, green card holder, adopted immigrant, DACA recipient, refugee and asylee. You must plan to start or continue in an eligible program full time in the United States. Each Fellow receives up to $90,000 in financial support over two years.

How Do You Apply for Financial Aid for Law School?

The federal government also offers financial aid. Law students may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, and these go to students who have unmet financial need. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. 

Keep in mind that 12 terms is the max any student may receive Pell Grants. So, if you’ve maxed out on the grants, you may need to borrow a federal student loan.

Federal student loans are another type of aid available through the government. Federal student loans are another type of government aid with fixed interest rates, flexible repayment plans, and six month grace period. Unlike a grant which you do not repay, a student loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest

There are three types of federal student loans for graduate/professional students. It is also called Grad Plus loans. 

Grad PLUS loans pay education expenses not covered by other financial aid. And, while eligibility doesn’t depend on financial need, you must pass a credit check.

Last are Direct Consolidation loans. These allow you to meld all your eligible federal student loans into a one loan with a single provider.

HOW DO YOU FILE THE FAFSA?

To find out if you qualify for a grad PLUS loan, you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This gives the government a picture of your unmet financial need.

Unmet need is the difference between two things. Your Estimated Financial Contribution or EFC and the cost of attendance (COA) of college.

As an undergraduate, your EFC reflects your parental income. But as a graduate or professional student, your status is “independent”. It also explains why lenders look at your credit report before giving the OK on a loan request.

FAFSA requires information from your federal income tax return. Try to file your tax returns as early as possible each year.

It also explains why lenders look at your credit report before giving the OK on a loan request.

That said, school policies about independence vary and some do ask for family info. Above all when you apply for institutional grants, loans and scholarships for graduate students.

Then, the financial aid department is able to figure out how much aid to award you and what type of aid you are eligible for. Don’t forget to submit the FAFSA before the deadline. Also, you may make changes to your FAFSA application after submitting it.

GAR Disability Advocates ™ Scholarship

GAR Disability Advocates ™ is a specialized advocacy firm located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Each year, they fulfill the goal to help more students who are passionate about law pursue a degree by sponsoring a $1,000 scholarship, awarded to one law student, to be put toward their law school costs.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: October 15, 2020

The Helpful Hands Scholarship

The Helpful Hands Scholarship is scholarship award available to a student who gives back to their community. To apply, applicants must describe a time they acted as a volunteer to better the community and the impact it had on the patrons, the organization, and you.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: October 31, 2020

Boyk Law Veteran Scholarship

The Boyk Law Veteran Scholarship is available for student who is currently attending an accredited college or university, who has either served in the Armed Forces or is the child of a US Veteran. The first annual award was awarded nearly five years ago.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 01, 2020

Stevens & McMillan Law Scholarship

The Stevens & McMillan Law Scholarship is available for U.S. students who submit an original essay of at least 1,000 words in length. Applicants must be currently enrolled in or planning to enroll in an accredited institution of higher education no later than Fall.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 15, 2020

UCLA’s Distinguished Scholars Program and Achievement Fellowship

UCLA Law offers full-tuition scholarships based on merit, need and achievement in overcoming adversity. The UCLA Law Distinguished Scholars Program is a binding early-decision program providing full tuition for three years to exceptionally qualified students ready to commit to UCLA Law. Apply today!

Total: $10000

Awards: 10

Deadline: November 16, 2020

2020 Overcoming Adversity Scholarship

Must be a undergraduate or graduate or GED holder with a GPA of 3.0 and higher to be eligible. A detailed essay on how the applicant has encountered and overcame hardship is required.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2020

A Step Forward Scholarship

Personal Injury attorney Davis Haines has decided to offer A Step Forward Scholarship to one deserving first generation college student. The student will receive $1,000 to help them pursue their educational goals.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2020

Howell & Christmas, LLC Visionary Scholarship

The Howell & Christmas, LLC Visionary Scholarship is available for law and pre-law students in the U.S. who submit an original essay of between 500 and 1,000 words in length.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2020

Pay It Forward Scholarship

The Pay It Forward Scholarship is available for graduating high school seniors, undergraduate students, and graduate students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must submit an essay about how they are working to make the world a better place.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2020

Visionary Scholarship 2020

To be eligible for the Visionary Scholarship, applicants must be either a current law student at an accredited law school within the United States or at an accredited undergraduate university planning to attend law school.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2020

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