With the ever-rising cost of college tuition, many students are turning to scholarships to be able to afford to study. As with many other fields of study, pre-law has its own scholarships only for students of pre-law.
See our ranking of the 30 Best Value Schools for Pre-Law.
Many universities, foundations, memorial funds, and other entities provide pre-law scholarships for enterprising students so that they can study pre-law. Listing them all would be counterproductive, but one bears special mention. Avvo, the lawyer rating website, provides a scholarship of at least $5,000 for students who qualify. For "submit-an-essay" scholarships, it is one of the most lucrative, so it is a good choice even if the evaluation criteria of submitted essays are stringent.
Scholarship qualifications vary widely. Some are for high achievers. Others are for disadvantaged students. Still others are for members of certain ethnic groups. Some even combine these, and other, qualifications. In all cases, it pays to "do your homework" regarding any scholarship for which you plan to apply.
How to Prepare
It's not possible for you to prepare for a scholarship based on ethnic background. Still, the other requirements for such scholarships are as tough as those for others if you happen to fall into the right category. For example, if you happen to be "Background X," you still must fulfill all of the other obligations to earn the scholarship.
Good evaluations and academic achievement are a must. If your grades are not up-to-snuff, take other classes again until they are. Sharpen your writing skills. Find out if the reviewing committee for any scholarship wants you to use AP Style, Chicago Manual of Style, or any other applicable style. In fact, it would behoove you to purchase a subscription to these style books online. The cost is reasonable, and it would be a valuable investment.
Practice your interview technique. Many pre-law scholarships require an interview. The process is not unlike job interviews, but instead of, "What can you do to help me make money?" the questions concern your character, record of achievement, and in some cases, your personal beliefs. It must be stressed: NEVER lie. They will find out, and once they do, not only will that particular scholarship be beyond your reach no matter your other qualifications, but you will have trouble securing other scholarships because they will share your deception.
If your scholarship application requires an interview, dress for success. If you cannot afford dress clothes, there are programs available to help you buy or rent suitable clothes. IndiCo, for example, has launched "Suitable Attire" at campuses nationwide. It operates through campus stores and offers affordable options for professional attire for interviews and other functions.
Applying for scholarships requires patience, perseverance, and grit. Find out everything you need to know to apply before applying. Do the proper preparation. Apply to as many as you can because you very likely won't earn all of them. Ask for assistance from people who have done the process before. Not only will that help your application process, but it will also help start you with networking.