Funding a law school education is not an easy feat. There are many expenses that go into attending law school such as tuition, fees, books, boarding, travel costs, and any extra expenses for organizations and extracurriculars. Also, law school typically lasts about three years for most students so all your costs are really multiplied by three. While a legal education is extremely beneficial for your future, it can be a detriment when it comes to finances.
Although each law school sets their own tuition and fees, a legal education costs upwards of $150,000. This amount can seem pretty daunting especially considering you are only allowed to work twenty hours a week while enrolled in classes. Going to law school is a large monetary decision that can be made easier with financial assistance. There are several merit-based and need-based scholarships and grants that are available to incoming and ongoing law students in order to ease the burden.
INITIAL ADMISSION MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS
Typically, law schools offer some sort of scholarship based on merit. These awards are based off your undergraduate or graduate GPA and your score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). These differ from need-based scholarships because they only take your achievements into account rather than your financial situation. Some law schools even offer scholarships to transfer law students based on their achievements at their previous law school. For these awards, you typically automatically apply for them when submitting your enrollment application. After your admittance to the law school has been confirmed, your presented information goes to an admissions scholarship board where they allocate funds to specific students based on current enrollment and the student’s qualifications.
ADDITIONAL UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS
On top of initial merit and transfer scholarships, most universities have other forms of financial aid such as endowed scholarships. These awards are specific to the university that are available to students that meet a certain criteria. Each scholarship is unique and provided by a distinctive donor. Since the awards vary, there are a limited number per scholarship and have a range of specific dollar amount. The qualifications for these also differ. Some scholarships are for a specific ‘grade’ level (1L, 2L, 3L), others focus on a specified legal field, and a few are even designated for a certain club or organization. Many of the endowed scholarships take financial situations into account, making some of them need-based but there are several merit-based awards as well.