The Inside Scoop About Law Scholarships

Thinking about law school after college?  Then you’ll need law school scholarships!




I welcome Jenny L Maxey today to share with you about law school scholarships. Jenny is the author of Barrister on a Budget:  Investing in Law School…without Breaking the Bank.  Jenny earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a J.D., and is licensed to practice law in Ohio.  During law school, she was an associate editor of the law review and her law review note has been cited before the United States Supreme Court.  Her fiction work is also growing as she has been published for multiple short stories and is currently working on her first novel.

A Primer on Law School Scholarships  By Jenny L. Maxey

It’s easy to assume that “everyone” knows how important scholarships are – but not everyone acts like it. Roughly 80% of law students rely on loans to finance their education. It is not possible to overstate the importance of scholarships. It’s free money! To even start this discussion, remember that salaries of recent graduates are lower than expected – sometimes much lower. Thus, any tuition subsidy is important: a lower debt will result in lighter loan repayments, make your cost of living after graduation a little more manageable, and open up career opportunities that might not be practical otherwise.Scholarships with Automatic Consideration upon Application

If you are an “under-represented minority” chances there are scholarships: law schools will have significant scholarships available to you that are not available to others. Most law schools offer some “need based” scholarships, or special scholarships for those embarking on a career in public service. Need based scholarships might be different for public schools, and might be available differently to in-state students. Be sure to check. Applicants are also often automatically considered for “merit” scholarships, such as for high LSAT scores. However, most require that you maintain a certain GPA in law school. Do not assume that this is a given. It is anything but. There are many top LSAT-takers who end up in the bottom half of their class, losing their precious scholarships in the process. You do not want to realize before your second year that you’re suddenly on the hook for a massive expense that you assumed would be covered by a three-year scholarship that’s now good for only one year. Be absolutely clear with the law school what the terms are for a merit scholarship; try to negotiate for an irrevocable scholarship – or go elsewhere (After all, if they really want you because of your stellar LSAT score, chances are others do, too.).

Scholarships from the Law School After Admission

Law schools offer all sorts of scholarships, such as for students who excel during their first year by ranking in the top five, ten or fifteen percent of their class. Other scholarships might be offered to top students in each course, and still others for students who perform research in a certain practice area or who dedicate their summers to public-service work. Find out!

Outside Scholarship Funding 

Research your local and state bar associations to see what scholarships they offer. There might also be numerous non-legal or quasi-legal organizations that have scholarship aid through family connections (children of…), specific factors (such as membership in a union), writing contests, and so on. Among your searches you should include Online Education Database, AdmissionsDean.com, and general search engines for every possible organization or entity you’re a part of or want to be a part of. Use social media. For instance, on Twitter you can perform searches with the hashtag #Scholarships to find companies and agencies offering financial assistance. Follow leaders in student debt, financial aid, and scholarship conversations. Follow me at @JLMaxey for my Scholarship Alert tweets specifically geared toward law school scholarships. You can also set up a Google Alert with keywords to find out the latest information on scholarships. You can make it as general or as specific as you’d like. If you do choose to use social media or general Google searches, watch out for scams with some scholarship offers. Be leery of anything requiring payment or private information. Finally, visit the main page of your school’s website or its financial aid website for lists of school-sponsored scholarship information. In addition, the law school might also post scholarships from local law firms and bar associations.

Jenny L. Maxey is the author of Barrister on a Budget: Investing in Law School…without Breaking the Bank, which is available on Amazon HERE. Visit www.JennyLMaxey.com for more information.

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