Make Your Case for These Law School Scholarships

Turn to law schools and law firms to find scholarships aimed at reducing the financial burden of earning a J.D.


The Federal Circuit Bar Association reports awarding nearly $400,000 in law school scholarships since 2001. 

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Attending law school can be a prestigious, intellectually stimulating starting point for a successful career. But between rising tuition costs and a highly competitive job market for law school graduates, it can also be a quick path to financial distress for students without a solid plan for paying off student loans. Luckily, there are plenty of scholarships available to help ease the financial burden.

If you’re just starting to consider law school, check out the TruFit Good Citizen Scholarship, offered by Citizens Bank to high school seniors, college and graduate students who demonstrate a commitment to doing good in their communities. As a student interested in law and justice, you probably exemplify the core values they’re looking for. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.

[Get tips on how to pay for graduate school.]

For students in law school or who are preparing to take the plunge, the Federal Circuit Bar Association has awarded almost $400,000 in scholarships since 2001. Applicants must be attending an American Bar Association-accredited law school in the upcoming academic year and can apply by submitting a resume, academic transcripts and a short essay.

There are multiple awards given out by the Federal Circuit Bar Association and the selection process for each one differs, so read through the descriptions on their website to find the program that fits you best.

There are many scholarships available to empower minority law students. Banner & Witcoff Ltd offers the Donald W. Banner Diversity Scholarship for Law Students, to support the development of intellectual property lawyers from diverse backgrounds.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a J.D. program at an American Bar Association-accredited law school in the U.S. Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply and priority is given to students of historically underrepresented minority groups.

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The ABA offers the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund to ethnically diverse students. Twenty incoming law students will receive $15,000 over their three years of law school.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association offers a variety of scholarships to support law students who demonstrate a commitment to serving as leaders in the Asian Pacific American community. These scholarships are listed on their website and include eight to 10 $2,000 awards from the NAPABA Law Foundation; two $7,500 awards supported by Anheuser-Busch; two $5,000 awards supported by UPS; one $2,500 award in the memory of Chris Nakamura and a $2,500 award sponsored by the law firm of Lim, Ruger & Kim in Los Angeles.

American University’s Washington College of Law also has a listing of scholarships for law students from diverse backgrounds. It offers specific opportunities for students who identify as African-American, American Indian, Asian Pacific-American, Japanese-American, Korean-American, Hispanic or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

For law students with hearing loss, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing offers up to three awards of $5,000 each year for law students with hearing loss. Applicants must have moderately severe to profound pre-lingual hearing loss and use spoken language as the primary mode of communication.

[Find out how a legal education can have benefits outside law.]

Finally, the Miss America Organization offers the Leonard C. Horn Award for Legal Studies. This scholarship is available for women who have competed at a national, state, or local Miss America Pageant since 1993, regardless of whether or not a title was won. Applicants are evaluated based on a combination of LSAT score, academics, extracurricular activities and financial aid requirements.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scholarship opportunities for law students, so make sure to conduct your own search based on your specific career interests and background. Contact the admissions office at your law school to find out what opportunities are offered by your school. Many universities have their own scholarship programs – and they may also know of scholarship opportunities sponsored by law firms in your community.