App version: 0.1.0

Guide to Scholarships for Law School

Guide to Scholarships for Law School
Jacqueline DeMarco
Jacqueline DeMarcoUpdated November 7, 2022
Share this article:
Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Students planning to attend law school may face sticker shock when it comes to the tuition and school fees they need to pay. Fortunately, law school scholarships can help provide some financial relief. And there are many such scholarships available.Read on to learn how law school scholarships work, where to find them and how to apply, and some specific scholarship opportunities to check out.

What Are Scholarships?

Scholarships are a form of aid that give students money to pay for school—and they do not need to be repaid. Depending on the amount of the scholarship, students may have some or all of their education costs covered. Some scholarships are granted based on need, while others are based on merit, military service, or meeting certain criteria such as volunteering for a specific cause or having a unique hobby.

Scholarships vs Grants 

In addition to law school scholarships, there are also grants that students can qualify for. Grants, like scholarships, offer students free money that doesn’t need to be paid back. But while scholarships can be based on need or merit, grants are usually only based on financial need. 

Scholarships vs Student Loans

Scholarships are different from student loans. Scholarships give students money to pay for their education that does not need to be repaid. Student loans are money you borrow to help pay for college and then repay over time. Students and their parents can apply for federal student loans or private student loans. Student loans have interest charges and a set repayment schedule. 

Law Schools That Offer Scholarships

To help offset the cost of law school, most law schools offer scholarship opportunities to students. Some of these scholarships pay for the entire cost of attendance. Often, law school scholarships go to the most competitive applicants. While many law schools offer some sort of scholarship opportunities, it can be worthwhile to apply to law schools ranked for offering a lot of this type of aid. 

Employer Scholarships for Law School

Private employers don’t typically offer scholarships for law school in the traditional sense, but they do sometimes provide financial assistance to employees who have student loan debt. A fairly common perk is for companies to help repay some or all of their employees’ student loans. Usually, this is done by offering employees an additional stipend each month up to a certain lifetime maximum (like $10,000) while they work there. 

General Scholarships 

To begin your scholarship search, there are some general law school scholarships available for law students to apply for. Some of them include:

1. One Lawyer Can Change the World

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Must be an incoming first-year law school student and submit a 500-word essay.The One Lawyer Can Change the World scholarship provides 10 scholarships annually to students considered future change agents. It awards one $10,000 scholarship, one $5,000 scholarship, and eight scholarships for $1,000.

2. Rizio Lipinsky Lawyer Scholarship

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Applicants must submit an essay about their reason for becoming a lawyer and how they will use their degree to fight for justice. The Rizio Lipinsky Lawyer Scholarship awards $5,000 to a law student committed to fighting for justice.  

3. Judge John R. Brown Award

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Must be currently enrolled in an accredited law school in the U.S. and seeking a J.D. or LL.B degree. Need to submit legal writing along with a letter of recommendation.The Judge John R. Brown Award of $10,000 has been awarded to law students who demonstrate excellence in legal writing for almost three decades. There is also a $5,000 award to the second-place winner, $3,000 to the third-place winner, and $1,000 awards to two finalists.

4. FCBA Foundation Scholarship

Application deadline: N/AEligibility criteria: Must be a graduating high school senior with high academic achievements and a history of service to their school and community. The FCBA Foundation Scholarship program awards a variety of scholarships, including to students interested in law, ranging between $8,000 and $20,000.

5. Answering Legal’s Future Attorneys of America Scholarship 

Application deadline: November 30, 2022 (2023 deadline has yet to be announced)Eligibility criteria: Must have a 3.5 GPA, submit an application essay, and be currently enrolled at an accredited law school. The Answering Legal’s Future Attorneys of America Scholarship award amount is $5,000 and is open to dedicated law students who meet eligibility criteria. 

6. Robert A. McNew Law Student Scholarship

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Must be a current law student who is a Federal Bar Association Law Student Associate Member in good standing. Academic achievement will be taken into consideration.The Robert A. McNew Law Student Scholarship is open to current law students, and the maximum award amount is $5,000. 

7. 7Sage 7K Scholarship

Application deadline: 2023 applications will be accepted beginning in January 2023; the deadline for submissions has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Applicants must plan to apply to American JD programs within the next three years.The winner of the 7Sage 7K Scholarship will receive a scholarship of $7,000, a pro bono 12-month subscription to 7Sage’s LSAT prep course, and a pro bono Admissions Consulting package. One runner up will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

8. Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholarship

Application deadline: April 1, 2023Eligibility criteria: Must be members of a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in the patent law profession and seeking admission to attend an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law school in the U.S.The Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program provides financial assistance in the form of $30,000 awards to help underrepresented racial and ethnic groups pursue a legal education. 

9. Ken Nugent Legal Scholarship

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Must be a legal U.S. resident and a current law student at an accredited U.S. law school, and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Ken Nugent Legal Scholarship awards $5,000 in the form of a check sent to the recipient’s law school. 

Law School Scholarships for Women 

Some scholarships are designed to assist a certain group of students. For example, there are law school scholarships for women such as:. 

10. AAUW Selected Professions Fellowship

Application deadline: December 1, 2022 (and every following December 1)Eligibility criteria: Must be a woman of color and participate in a designated degree program with a historically low involvement of women, including law. This annual $25,000 funding opportunity through the AAUW Selected Professions Fellowship is awarded to women applicants pursuing full-time courses of study at accredited U.S. institutions during the fellowship year.

11. Mike Eidson Scholarship

Application deadline: 2023 application process begins in February 2023. The submission deadline is May 2023.Eligibility criteria: Must be an AAJ Law Student member and be enrolled in an ABA-approved law school.Annually, the Mike Eidson Scholarship awards $5,000 to a female student entering her third year of law school. 

Law School Scholarships for Minorities 

There are also scholarship opportunities for law students who are minorities.

12. ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship

Application deadline: April 15, 2022 (2023 deadline has yet to be announced)Eligibility criteria: Must be a minority student. The American Bar Association (ABA) Legal Opportunity Scholarship is designed to assist first-year law students in the form of a $15,000 award spread out over their three years of law school. 

13. ArentFox Schiff Diversity Scholarship

Application deadline: N/AEligibility criteria: Must be a member of a diverse population historically underrepresented in the the legal profession. Must be second-year law student at an ABA-accredited law school in the U.S. and have a strong interest in joining the ArentFox Schiff Firm as an associate after graduation. Must join the firm’s summer program after their second year.The ArentFox Schiff Diversity Scholarship offers a $20,000 award paid in two $10,000 installments, with the second installment paid when the student becomes an associate at ArentFox.

14. Zelle Diversity in Law Scholarship

Application deadline: January 18, 2023Eligibility criteria: Must be a law student and a member of a population historically underrepresented in the practice of lawThe Zelle Diversity in Law Scholarship is a minimum $500 award designed to help increase diversity in the legal profession.

15. NAACP's Earl Warren Scholarship

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Must be a U.S. citizen The NAACP’s Earl Warren Scholarship awards $15,000 per year for three years to scholars that remain in good academic standing and are committed to racial justice.

16. The Point Foundation Scholarship

Application deadline: December 7, 2022Eligibility criteria: Must be enrolled or intending to enroll at an accredited college or university based in the U.S. and must be “out” as a person who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community.The Point Flagship Scholarship was designed to empower LGBTQ students to pursue a four-year college education in the U.S. The amount of the award is based on need.

17. AABA Law Foundation Scholarship

Application deadline: February 21, 2023Eligibility criteria: Any current Asian or Other Pacific Islander law student is eligible to apply, but preference is given to first- and second-year law students attending San Francisco Bay Area schools.This award of up to $5,000 for up to six recipients from the AABA Law Foundation Scholarship aims to improve the future development of the Asian Pacific American bar. 

18. George H. Nofer Scholarship for Law and Public Policy 

Application deadline: N/AEligibility criteria: Must be a full-time graduate student with a pre-lingual bilateral hearing loss in the moderately severe to the profound range and use listening and spoken language as the primary method of communication. The George H. Nofer Scholarship for Law and Public Policy awards up to $5,000 annually to up to three law students with a pre-lingual bilateral hearing loss in the moderately-severe to profound range.

19. Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Must be of Hispanic heritage and a U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident, or DACA recipient. Minimum 3.0 GPA required.The Hispanic Scholarship Fund selects approximately 10,000 outstanding students to receive scholarships annually. Award amounts range from $500 to $5,000, based on need.

20. Islamic Scholarship Fund

Application deadline: Late March 2023 (exact deadline has yet to be announced) Eligibility criteria: Must be Muslim or an active member of the Muslim community and be enrolled full-time at an accredited university in the U.S. Minimum 3.0 GPA required.The Islamic Scholarship Fund offers scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

21. NNABA Bar Review Scholarship

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Must be Indigenous and a graduate of or a current third-year law student at an ABA-accredited law school in the U.S. The NNABA Bar Review Scholarship awards scholarships to law students who demonstrate a commitment to serve or contribute to the Native American community as future leaders.

22. ABA LGBT Public Interest Scholarship

Application deadline: N/AEligibility criteria: Must be a first-, second-, or third-year law student, or a recent law graduate who is LGBTQ+ or doing public interest work in the LGBTQ+ space.This public interest law scholarship from the ABA—the ABA LGPT Public Interest Scholarship—is an award of $5,000, and aims to support work in the LGBT public interest arena. 

23. DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship

Application deadline: 2023 deadline has yet to be announcedEligibility criteria: Must be a rising second- or third-year law student from a historically marginalized group. The DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship awards one $10,000 and two $5,000 scholarships to recipients who demonstrate academic excellence and service to the cause of diversity. 

Where to Search for Scholarships

To start your search for law school scholarships, it can be helpful to head to the financial aid office at the school you’re planning on attending. They can tell you about the school’s unique opportunities. Also, search online. The U.S. Department of Labor offers a great scholarship search tool. In addition, check federal and state agencies, community and religious organizations, and associations related to the law and the legal profession.

Applying for Scholarships

When you’re applying for scholarships, read the scholarship requirements carefully to make sure you fit the criteria. Fill out the application completely, include any requested supporting materials, and reread everything before you submit it in time for the deadline. 

The Takeaway

Law school can be worth the cost thanks to the career path it can lead to. Students who want to save on tuition can apply for need-based and merit-based scholarships from the federal government, their university, and private organizations. Scholarships can be competitive, but they may provide a great opportunity to help you pay for your schooling and get started on your future career path as a lawyer.

3 Student Loan Refi Tips

  1. Once the pandemic-related pause on federal student loan payments ends, going back to making payments may be hard on budgets. One solution is to refinance to a lower interest rate, longer loan term, or both, depending on your situation. (The tradeoff is that you’ll be forfeiting federal benefits such as repayment programs.)  Find and compare your student loan refinance options.
  2. Paying extra each month on your student loan can reduce the interest you pay and so lower your total loan cost over time. (The law prohibits prepayment penalties on federal or private student loans.)
  3. If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school, you may be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness.

Photo credit: iStock/AzmanL
LCSL0622010Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

How good does your LSAT score need to be to get a full ride for law school?
How hard is it to get law school scholarships?
What sorts of financial aid can law students qualify for?

About the Author

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco is a personal finance writer and editor based in Southern California. While she spends the bulk of her time writing about complex financial issues, she also tackles a variety of subjects ranging from food to fashion to travel. Her work can be found across dozens of publications such as Credit Karma, LendingTree, Northwestern Mutual, The Everygirl, and Apartment Therapy.
Share this article: