Law School Scholarships Guide

Beginning the process of searching for law school scholarships can be overwhelming. Prospective applicants may wonder which opportunities they qualify for, how many they should apply to and whether to focus on scholarships for Juris Doctor (JD) degree programs versus more general ones. 

This article can serve as a helpful resource for law students. The following list covers scholarships that are not state- or school-based, which means they are open to more students. In addition to general scholarships, it highlights some that are for diverse populations, women and paralegals. 

General Scholarships for Law Students

There are a variety of general scholarships available to help cover the costs of law school. The following opportunities are open to incoming and current students. 

One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship

The One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship is sponsored by BARBRI, a company that offers law-school prep courses. To enter, applicants must write a 500-word essay. Essays from previous scholarship recipients are published on the BARBRI website. 

  • Qualifications: Be a first-year law student at an ABA-approved law school
  • Awards: 10 awards in descending amounts  
  • Total Amount: One $10,000 award, one $5,000 award, eight $1,000 awards

Rizio Lipinsky Lawyer Scholarship

What inspires you to become a lawyer? How will you help others fight for justice? Those are the questions you must answer in this scholarship sponsored by the Rizio Lipinsky Law Firm. Judges are also interested in past experience you may have in advocating for others or yourself.

  • Qualifications: Students must be accepted into, enrolled in or already attending a JD program in a U.S. law school.  
  • Awards: One
  • Total Amount: $5,000

The Judge John R. Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing

2022 will be the 29th awarding of this Judge John R. Brown Scholarship, which highlights excellence in legal writing and is sponsored by the Brown Sims law firm. Applicants submit a current legal writing sample and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member or other legal professional.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. law school, seeking either a JD or LLB degree.
  • Awards: Five, in descending amounts
  • Total Amount: one $10,000 award, one $5,000 awards, one $3,000 award, two $1,000 awards 

FCBA Foundation Law School Scholarship Program

The Federal Communications Bar Association sponsors the FCBA Foundation Law School Scholarship program, which focuses on students who are interested in pursuing communications law in their careers.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be second- or third-year students in accredited U.S. law schools.
  • Awards: Varies
  • Total Amount: Varies

Answering Legal’s Future Attorneys of America Scholarship (FAAS)

In the 500–1,000-word essay for the Answering Legal Law Scholarship, applicants may choose from three questions: how have your life experiences affected your view on the U.S. legal system, what inspires you to pursue a career in law or how do you see yourself making a future impact in the legal community?

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be currently accepted to or enrolled in an accredited law school and have a minimum 3.5 GPA.
  • Awards: One
  • Total Amount: $5,000 

AAJ Paul J. Scoptur Trial Advocacy Scholarship

Paul Scoptur was an adjunct professor of law at Marquette University, an American Association of Justice (AAJ) teacher, and a mentor and trial lawyer who died unexpectedly in 2018; this AAJ Trial Advocacy Scholarship honors his memory by providing one individual free registration and partial travel costs to attend AAJ Education Trial Advocacy Colleges. Applicants’ essays will demonstrate their commitment to AAJ, skill in trial advocacy and a desire to represent victims and financial need.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be members of AAJ for at least one year.
  • Awards: One 
  • Total Amount: Up to $500 for travel expenses and cost of registration

Diversity Scholarships for Law Students

The following scholarship programs are specifically for applicants with diverse backgrounds or identities. 

ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund

The American Bar Association (ABA) offers the annual Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund to first-year law students who are racially or ethnically diverse. Since the program began, more than 400 students have received this scholarship.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be entering their first year of law school, they must be a member of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group and they must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Awards: 10–20
  • Total Amount: $15,000 over three years in law school

ArentFox Schiff Diversity Scholarship

ArentFox Schiff’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s goal is to support, recruit and promote attorneys that represent society’s diversity. Its Diversity Scholarship program is part of this commitment.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be second-year law students at an ABA-approved law school and members of a population historically underrepresented in law.
  • Awards: Five  
  • Total Amount: $20,000 and a salaried summer associate position in one of the firm’s five nationwide offices (Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.) 

Zelle Diversity in Law Scholarships

Zelle is a national law firm whose Zelle Diversity in Law Scholarships and “pipeline program” aim to support diverse students at all levels of their law education.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be law students who are members of a diverse group (race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical disability or economic/educational disadvantage) or who can show a commitment over time to diversity issues.
  • Awards: One  
  • Total Amount: $20,000 and a possible paid summer clerkship

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Earl Warren Scholarship

The LDF scholarships began in 1964, originating in the organization’s dedication to end segregation in education. It has supported nearly 2,000 students with more than $5.5 million in that time. The Earl Warren Scholarship honors the 14th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, dedicated to racial justice and civil rights, and entering their first or second year at an ABA-approved law school.
  • Awards: Varies 
  • Total Amount: $15,000 per year for three years 

The Point Foundation Scholarship

The Point Foundation Scholarship touts itself as the largest LGBTQ education scholarship organization nationwide, awarding and investing more than $35 million in its Point Scholars since 2002. The Point Scholarship aims to support LGBTQ law students who are working for the betterment of their community. 

  • Qualifications: Applicants must identify as LGBTQ; be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate program full time; have experience in community involvement and leadership; and be committed to improving LGBTQ issues.
  • Awards: Varies
  • Total Amount: Awards vary according to financial need

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Scholarships

The NAPABA Law Foundation (NLF) works to advance the interests of the Asian Pacific American community, awarding multiple NLF scholarships to law students who can be future leaders in the community.

  • Qualifications: For the Han C. Choi Scholarship, applicants must be first- or second-year law students who have shown leadership and academic achievement; for the SAIL Scholarship, applicants must be second-year students who have shown the same attributes.
  • Awards: One for each scholarship
  • Total Amount: $5,000 for the Han C. Choi Scholarship; $7,500 split over two years for the SAIL Scholarship

George H. Nofer Scholarship for Law and Public Policy

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing sponsors this scholarship for law school students with hearing loss who are attending a full-time accredited mainstream law school or are studying public policy or public administration.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must have pre-lingual bilateral hearing loss in the moderately-severe to profound range, communicate primarily by listening and using spoken language, and be accepted to or enrolled in an accredited law school or master’s/doctoral program in policy or public administration.
  • Awards: Up to three
  • Total Amount: $5,000 

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Dedicated to furthering the education of students of Hispanic heritage, the HSF Scholarship awards scholarships to high school seniors, undergraduate students and graduate students.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be of Hispanic heritage; have a 2.5 or higher GPA in their undergraduate studies; be planning to enroll in an accredited university or school full time; and be a U.S. citizen, a permanent legal resident, a DACA student or an eligible non-citizen.
  • Awards: Varies
  • Total Amount: $500 to $5,000 based on relative need

Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF)

The ISF’s mission is to increase representation of American Muslims in the professions that make public policy and influence public opinion; their programs include ISF scholarships, film grants and congressional internships.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be Muslim or active in the Muslim community; be enrolled as a senior undergraduate or incoming first-year, second-year or third-year law student; have a 3.0 GPA; and be a U.S. citizen, permanent U.S. resident or DACA recipient.
  • Awards: Varies  
  • Total Amount: $5,000–$10,000

National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) Bar Review Scholarship

The NNABA Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by the National Native American Bar Association. The NNABA scholarships are awarded on a nationwide basis to law students to assist them in their bar exam preparation.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; active members of NNABA, a regional American Indian Bar Association or NNALSA; be a graduate of or a current third-year law student attending an ABA-accredited law school in the United States; and be registered to take a state bar examination in the upcoming year.
  • Awards: Varies
  • Total Amount: Varies

Law School Scholarships for Women

The following is a list of law school scholarships available to women applicants. 

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Selected Professions Fellowship

This AAUW fellowship was established in 1970 and provides for a year of study in programs in which women have been traditionally underrepresented, including law.

  • Qualifications: For fellowships in law, the applicants must be women of color. To be eligible, they must also be enrolled full time as a third-year law student. Women who do not already have another master’s or professional degree are given priority.
  • Awards: Varies  
  • Total Amount: $5,000–$18,000 

Mike Eidson Law Student Scholarship American Association for Justice

The AAJ’s Women Trial Lawyers Caucus established the Mike Eidson Scholarship in 1998, honoring past president Mike Eidson. It is awarded to applicants who plan to be trial lawyers.  

  • Qualifications: The scholarship is open to female students entering their third year of law school. Applicants must also be an AAJ Law Student member and enrolled in an ABA-approved program. 
  • Awards: One  
  • Total Amount: $5,000

Scholarships for Paralegal Students

There are several scholarship opportunities available for individuals who aspire to become a paralegal.

Ehline Law Firm Paralegal Student Scholarship

This paralegal student scholarship is for those who are attending an accredited or state-recognized paralegal program or who currently work in a law office. The application essay should be 400–700 words and communicate how the applicant hopes to positively influence the public’s perception of legal professionals.

  • Qualifications: If enrolled in a paralegal program, applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, show proof of enrollment and be a U.S. citizen.
  • Awards: One
  • Total Amount: $750

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Paralegal Scholarship Program

The Buckfire Law Firm sponsors this paralegal scholarship to support individuals who need financial assistance to pursue becoming a paralegal. Applicants must submit a 500–750-word essay describing their education and career goals.

  • Qualifications: Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are enrolled in and have completed at least one semester of a paralegal education program.
  • Awards: One  
  • Total Amount: $1,000

Education Accessibility Scholarship

This Education Accessibility Scholarship from Connecticut Trial Firm is awarded to a student who is the first in their family to go to college and who is enrolled in a two-year or four-year paralegal or graduate program. Applicants must submit a 750-word essay on how America’s education system could be improved to give more students the opportunity for higher education.

  • Qualifications: In addition to being the first college attendee in the family, students must be enrolled at an accredited institution and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Awards: One
  • Total Amount: $1,000

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FAQ on Law School Scholarships

How many types of scholarships are there for law students?

There are many types of scholarships for law students. These scholarships are often funded and awarded by law associations, legal education foundations and law schools themselves. Other sources include law firms (sometimes in honor of a former member of that firm), alumni groups, diversity organizations or companies, disability support organizations, states, legal defense funds, private companies and nonprofit organizations.

What are the law school scholarships for women?

While any student can apply for nearly any scholarship, there are many scholarships specifically for women. Those listed above include the American Association of University Women fellowship and the American Association for Justice’s Mike Eidson Law Student Scholarship.

Are there scholarships available to LLM students?

Yes. There are fewer than those for JD students, but students in online LLM programs can indeed find scholarships. In addition to checking with your school, you can search by specialization, residence, school location and gender eligibility for scholarships in the United States and globally.

Are there scholarships available for part-time law students?

While there are fewer scholarships available for part-time law students, they do exist. Many are awarded by law schools themselves. Some are geared toward women or BIPOC students, who often are balancing work and/or family while pursuing a law degree. Some scholarships specify that the student can be enrolled in a three-year day program or four-year night program, for instance.

Am I eligible to apply for scholarships if I am enrolled in an online degree program?

It depends on the school and the scholarship, but, in general, students in online programs can be eligible. What is usually specified in scholarship application requirements is that a student must be enrolled in a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), and many accredited law schools have online programs.

Can I apply for multiple scholarships at the same time?

Yes. In fact, some law schools—in addition to offering scholarships themselves—have portals on their own websites where outside scholarships can be listed for their students to browse and apply for. A limiting factor might be how many scholarship applications, copies of your transcripts and personal essays you can keep up with.

When should I start preparing for law school scholarships?

In general, applicants should start the scholarship process as early as possible. Law school scholarships are generally offered on an annual basis, though some are awarded in spring and fall, and application deadlines occur at various times of year. Because applications require you to fill out forms, order transcripts and write personal essays, it’s not out of the question to begin planning a year in advance.

When can I expect feedback after submitting law school scholarship applications?

The feedback process for scholarship programs will vary. Some scholarship websites give you a general idea of when the announcement will be made while others don’t. It depends on the awarding organization, the number of applicants and the judging process. Some schools suggest waiting until a couple weeks after the deadline for entries closes and then emailing or calling the scholarship administrator.

Law degrees can be expensive, and many students may need a combination of grants, loans and scholarships to afford their education. Scholarships help ease that financial burden and may enable students to pursue a law degree despite economic limitations.

Check out our list of JD degree programs to learn more and find the right program for you. If you love the law but don’t want to be a lawyer, read more about what you can do with a law degree. Additionally, there are more than 30 online Master of Legal Studies programs available for prospective students who want to expand their legal knowledge but don’t want to practice law.

Information on this page was last retrieved in March 2022.