Law school is expensive; that’s just a fact. In order to go to law school, many students face the challenge of finding enough money to attend. Often, aspiring lawyers take on large quantities of debt, most commonly through student loans, in order to pay their way.
While taking on debt may be the norm in most cases, it is not the only option available. There are a multitude of scholarship options available to law students, as long as you take the time to track them down and apply. Whether you are trying to become a London criminal lawyer, or an environmental lawyer in Florida, you may be able to find ways to help keep your tuition costs, and associated debts, down. If you are considering law school, and are looking for help finding the scholarships you need, here are some options to get you started.
American Bar Association Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
The ABA offers scholarships through the Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund. Each year, 20 incoming law students will receive $15,000 over the course of their three years of law school. The scholarship focuses on providing assistance to a diverse selection of students interested in pursuing careers in a variety legal specialties.
Gates Millennium Scholars Program
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program focuses on providing scholarships to students of color who also qualify for the Pell Grant. The scholarship is designed to help minority students enter fields of study where they may be otherwise underrepresented. This means that the scholarship is not limited to student pursuing careers in law, though it can be applied for that purpose. It can also be applied to various degrees including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates. Additional support to the recipients is also provided to help them succeed in their pursuits.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Focused on providing assistance to minorities, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund helps qualified students gain access to education that may be otherwise unaffordable. The Earl Warren Scholarship is specifically awarded to law students who are interested in providing services in the area of civil rights, public interest, and social justice. The Herbert Lehman Education Fund is also geared towards students interested in pursuing careers in law.
United Negro College Fund
The UNCF offers a variety of scholarships, internships, and fellowships to students who meet certain qualifications. Both need-based and merit-based award are available, allowing a variety of students to qualify for assistance. Merit-based scholarships may be awarded based on excellence in the areas of academics, athletics, or artistic ability. The majority of opportunities are focused on providing assistance to minority students.
Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
The Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles offers scholarships to those who have demonstrated an interest in issues affecting women and children. In order to apply, you must be accepted by an accredited law school that is located within Los Angeles County in California, and plan to ultimately practice law in Southern California. Additionally, you must be within the top 50 percent of your class.
While these are not the only scholarships available to students interested in careers in law, it can serve as an excellent start. Take the time to review these options, and see if you can find others yourself. You may be able to fund your entire education without having to spend a single dime of your own money.