If you are considering a law career, you are more than likely well aware of the soaring costs of attending law school.
It can be daunting to consider taking on thousands and thousands of dollars in student loan debt, especially if you have already accrued debt earning your undergraduate degree.
Still, you should not let the cost discourage you from becoming a lawyer. Law school degrees have one of the highest ROIs among graduate degree programs across all fields.
This means that getting a law degree is a smart investment and one that will pay you back in due time. There are many law schools that boast nearly 100% employment rates for their graduates within as little as a year after graduation.
All in all, you can rest assured that going to law school is a wise financial choice in the long term. The cost of law school is dwarfed by the huge number of opportunities that will open up to you after just three years of intensive study.
Of course, depending on your financial circumstances, you may feel apprehensive about how you will make ends meet while you are in the process of getting that valuable law degree.
Thankfully, there are also many different options for financial assistance out there for aspiring law school students and graduates. A little bit of time and research finding a great scholarship could make a massive difference in the cost of law school.
Here, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best law school scholarship opportunities out there. Read on to see how you could get some or all of your law school expenses covered.
Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP)
The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program, named in honor of civil rights activists Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, provides full funding for all law school expenses and career opportunities or other professional experiences for 50 aspiring civil rights lawyers from the south each year.
Established by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program is intended to provide financial support to the next generation of civil rights lawyers. Recipients of the scholarship will receive full funding for all civil rights law related expenses over a duration of five years.
The MMSP covers full law school tuition room and board, and incidental expenses. It also includes summer internship expenses with law offices in the South that focus on civil rights law and racial justice, plus exclusive access to training seminars offered by the LDF and the National Academy of Sciences.
The five year duration of the MMSP extends to cover two years of postgraduate fellowship at Southern civil rights law organizations.
The deadline to apply for the MMSP is in February each year.
LGBT Public Interest Scholarship Program
Sponsored by the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, the LGBT Public Interest Scholarship Program is an award of up to $5,000 for law school students or graduates who either identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community or are allies who intend to pursue public interest work relating to the queer community.
Established in 2007, the ABA SOGI Commission consists of 11 commissioners and one chair who work to make decisions regarding the programs and policies the ABA will pursue in order to secure a brighter future for LGBTQ+ individuals in the legal profession and in the criminal justice system.
Applicants must be law students or graduates who have secured an internship or job with a pubic interest organization whose work has a direct impact on queer lives.
The Gates Scholarship
The Gates Scholarship is an extremely selective scholarship for high school seniors who are from low-income households, are part of a minority group, and have stellar academic records. Each year, TGS selects 300 student leaders to receive the award.
Awardees will receive full funding for the remaining cost of attending law school after other financial aid awards and expected family contributions, according to calculations made with FAFSA information.
In addition to tuition fees, the scholarship also covers room and board, books, transportation, and may include additional personal expenses.
In order to be eligible to receive the Gates Scholarship, students must be high school seniors who are eligible to receive the federal Pell Grant. They must have a GPA of no less than 3.3 on an unweighted scale and intend to enroll full-time in a four-year degree program.
Rizio Lipinsky Lawyer Scholarship
The Rizio Lipinsky Scholarship is a $5,000 award for the purpose of alleviating the burden of law school tuition costs on aspiring lawyers.
In order to apply for the Rizio Lipinsky Scholarship, students must submit an essay of no more than 1,000 words.
The essay prompt asks applicants to explain why they want to pursue careers in the legal profession, and how they plan to use their law degree to advocate for justice for others in the future.
The scholarship is open to students who are permanent United States residents and have been accepted to a law school, as well as current law school students. The award will be paid directly to the student’s law school of choice.
Blueprint LSAT Law School Scholarship
The Blueprint LSAT Law School Scholarship is a unique scholarship: there is no essay required for entry. On top of that, the recipient is randomly selected.
Offered by Blueprint, an LSAT preparatory company, the scholarship is an award of $20,000 to put toward the cost of law school tuition. The scholarship will be paid directly to the law school the recipient will be attending.
In order to be eligible to enter to win this scholarship, students must be planning on taking the LSAT in order to enroll at an ABA-approved law school within a year of the date of taking the test.
The application process is straightforward: students only have to fill out the short questionnaire form on the Blueprint website.
7Sage 7K Scholarship
Open to incoming first-year law students, the 7Sage 7K scholarship is a $7,000 scholarship awarded to one lucky future-1L student each year.
On top of the $7,000 to put toward law school tuition, the winner also receives a year-long subscription to 7Sage’s LSAT prep course, as well as an admissions consulting package.
In addition to the one very lucky winner, one runner-up will receive $1,000 and the other additional perks. Five other runners-up will receive the free LSAT prep, admissions consulting, and editing services.
The 7Sage 7K scholarship is open to all students who plan to apply to a law school in the United States within the next three years.
To apply, students must submit responses to two short essay questions. Each answer should be no more than 2000 characters in length.
The first essay prompt asks applicants what their mission is, why, and how they plan to accomplish that mission. For the second short answer question, students have the opportunity to include whatever additional information they would like 7Sage to know about them.
Harness & Dickey Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship
The Harness & Dickey Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship provides first-year law students with the opportunity to develop their understanding of intellectual property law and gain valuable insight into their career by working at a Harness Dickey office location of their choosing.
During their clerkship at a Harness IP firm in either Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis, or Washington, DC, candidates are paid standard summer associate rates.
At the end of the summer clerkship, Harness IP fellows will also receive a $5,000 scholarship to put toward law school tuition.
Applicants must be current law students to be eligible for the Harness & Dickey Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship. Additionally, candidates must be either a woman, LGBTQ+, a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, an individual with a disability, or belong to a racial or ethnic group historically underrepresented in the legal field.
One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship
The Barbri Law Preview One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship is a $10,000 scholarship award for first-year law students. The only eligibility requirement is that candidates must be incoming 1L students.
In order to apply for the One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship, applicants must submit an essay of no more than 500 words.
The essay prompt asks applicants to explain how they intend to use their law degree to make positive changes in the world and how the $10,000 award would change their own world.
In addition to the $10,000 grand prize for the first-place winner, a $5,000 law school scholarship of $5,000 will be awarded to one second-place winner. Eight runners-up will also be selected to win a $1,000 scholarship to use to defray the cost of 1L tuition.
ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
Offered by the American Bar Association, the Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund selects 20 diverse incoming law school students to receive a scholarship of $15,000.
The scholarship is awarded over the course of three years, meaning that selected candidates receive $5,000 in tuition assistance for each year of law school.
The purpose of the scholarship is to make obtaining a legal education more accessible for historically underrepresented groups, and, as a result, paving the way for a more diverse generation of lawyers in the near future.
To be eligible for the LOSF, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation.
In addition to membership in a racial or ethnic group that has historically been underrepresented in the law profession, other factors relating to the applicant’s background will be taken into consideration in the selection process.
These additional considerations include degree of financial need, the strength of the submitted personal statement, and past engagement in community service efforts.
Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program
The Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program provides a $30,000 tuition scholarship award for incoming first-year law school students with interest in pursuing a career in patent law. The award is paid in $10,000 increments over the course of the recipient’s three years of law school.
Offered by the Foundation for the Advancement of Diversity in Intellectual Property Law, the Scholar Program is intended exclusively for students who may eventually become registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark office.
As this generally requires a science or engineering degree, this means that in order to be eligible to receive this award, students should have a STEM education.
In addition to the tuition assistance, Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholars also receive free test prep and fee reimbursements, professional mentoring, and networking opportunities.
No more than 25 law students are selected to receive the award each year.