Yes, you heard correctly: scholarships for law students do exist and no, they don’t just come from law schools. If you look in the right places, you can find scholarships and grants awarded based on merit and/or financial need. Scholarships and grants as in they don’t have to be paid back! These can be immensely valuable since they do not add to any debt you may already have.
While you can receive scholarships from law schools if your LSAT score is higher than their averages, there are a lot of different organizations and institutes that offer scholarships for more diverse students. Read on to find the best websites to find these scholarships and some tips for applying!
Where To Find Them:
AdmissionsDean provides an excellent filtered search engine to help you start your scholarship search. When looking for a scholarship, understanding all the categories you fall into will drastically help the process. Believe it or not, there are millions of dollars of scholarships out there, so knowing exactly who you are and what you are interested in are key first steps in filtering out scholarships. Admissions Dean is great for this!
This resource provides a solid list of highly respected scholarships for a diverse set of students. Focused on diversity, these scholarships are large and highly competitive. Nevertheless, we recommend you look through this list and see what is applicable to you. You never know – if you are a good fit for the scholarship, you just might get it! Securing one of these scholarships would be a big deal!
Looking for another easy to use, powerful, and frequently updated scholarship database? Look no further than Scholly. Made for students of all ages, Scholly is a highly filterable scholarship matcher that gives you everything you need to know about a given scholarship plus a direct link to the application.
How To Get Them
The first step in getting a scholarship is to actually apply. No joke. If you are starting from the premise that there is no way there is a scholarship out there for you, you are already behind. Having the mentality that, “there is a scholarship out there looking for me, and I just need to find it” will put you on the right track towards finding the perfect scholarship that gives you the highest chance of being awarded.
While this article has focused on outside scholarships, did you know that you can negotiate your merit scholarships from your law school? “Did you just say negotiate??” Yes! If you have received several offers of admission from several law schools with merit scholarships attached, congratulations: you are a wanted commodity. You are probably in that situation because (1) You’re really amazing, (2) You have a high LSAT compared to that school’s averages, or (3) You have a high GPA compared to their averages, or a combination of all four of these factors! Whatever the case, you are now in demand and you should use this to your advantage.
The art of law school scholarship negotiation goes something like this: send a letter to your mid to lower tier school expressing your desire to attend but also your inability to commit just yet because of financial burden. Let them know about your other scholarships, but emphasize your desire to attend their school instead. You can repeat this process for all your schools as well, just keep in mind what their incentive is to help you: will you be the best student they have ever had? Do they care if you go to that other school?
Once you have gone through this process, sit back and watch the magic happen. If you have thought this through, the law schools will want you badly enough to increase your merit scholarship award just to get you to come to them. Once they have done that, well-ah, you just earned yourself some extra scholarship dollars!
We mean this in the most general way possible and we want you to succeed, but in the context of scholarships, this is often an overlooked step. Your scholarship doesn’t begin and end every billing statement when it gets applied to your statement. All scholarships have requirements that you maintain a certain academic standard throughout the school year. While maintaining a GPA like what you had in college sounds like an easy feat, remember: this is law school. Law school is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. Feelings of determination and understanding that the scholarship is yours to lose should go hand in hand with feelings of excitement and relief for having received a scholarship.
And so concludes our intro to scholarships! Remember, there is one out there just waiting for you to find it and apply, you can squeeze extra money out of your law schools, and your scholarship is a year-round commitment to excellence. We wish you the best in finding your scholarship and can’t wait to hear how your award season went! Go get that money!
Looking for some help to do your best in law school? Find out about our law school tutoring options.