There are numerous legal studies scholarships available to help aspiring legal professionals detour around the financial distress of tuition costs and start a law career without much loan debt.
Whether at the undergraduate, master's, or Juris Doctor level, legal studies programs are intellectually stimulating and prestigious starting points for carving a successful career in the fight for justice.
Although additional years of schooling and countless nights spent cramming for the Bar Exam may suggest otherwise, becoming a lawyer is a rewarding option that pairs a lucrative salary with the opportunity to work towards the greater good daily. If you're ready to leap from the classroom to the courtroom, the following are 20 great scholarships available in legal studies.
1. AALL Educational Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
Annually, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) offers several Educational Scholarships for up to $5,000 apiece to financially assist students working towards a graduate degree in law or library science with the intent of becoming law librarians. Eligible candidates must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. graduate school, have no more than 36 semester credits remaining before graduation, have AALL membership, exhibit financial need, and possess meaningful law library work experience. Applications must include an official college transcript, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a personal statement discussing future career interests in law librarianship.
2. ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 2nd
With the goal of encouraging racial and ethnic minority students to pursue legal professions, the American Bar Association (ABA) has created the Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund to present $15,000 annual awards to deserving individuals attending an ABA-accredited law school within the United States. Qualified applicants must be entering first-year law students, have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and demonstrate potential for entering a law-related career. Candidates should submit a completed application with federal income tax forms, two recommendations, an unofficial college transcript, and a 1,000-word personal statement discussing their personal strengths.
3. Avvo Pre-Law Student Scholarship
Deadline: January 1st
As an online legal services marketplace offering on-demand legal advice, Avvo has established the Pre-Law Student Scholarship to award $5,000 annually to full-time undergraduate students who are intending to pursue a graduate law program after completing a bachelor's degree in pre-law, legal studies, political science, or criminal justice. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in an accredited higher learning institution in the United States, have at least sophomore-level status, and be in good academic standing. For consideration, students must write an 800-word essay describing how a law degree will help achieve their goals and how they'll leave their mark on the legal profession.
4. Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship
Deadline: March 16th
Sponsored by the Equity Foundation, the Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship is awarded each year for $2,000 to third and fourth-year law students who wish to focus their legal career on advancing equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals. To qualify, candidates must be attending an ABA-accredited law school in Oregon or Southwest Washington, have U.S. citizenship, clearly need financial assistance, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and demonstrate leadership within the LGBTQ community. In the application process, students must attach two recommendation letters, write a 250-word personal statement, and successfully complete an interview.
5. Charles T. Stoner Law Scholarship
Deadline: February 13th
In honor of the first and long-time legal counsel for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), the Charles T. Stoner Law Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 to an outstanding female senior-level undergraduate student who will be furthering her education in legal studies for a rewarding career in law. Eligible candidates must have play varsity collegiate women's basketball, attend an accredited U.S. institution, be actively involved in campus/community activities, and show academic excellence. Selection will be based on nominees' letters of recommendation, grade point average, season game-by-game statistics, and potential for success in the legal profession.
Charles T. Stoner Law Scholarship
4646 Lawrenceville Highway
Lilburn, GA 30047
6. Console & Hollawell Legal Scholarship
Deadline: July 15th
As a team of personal injury lawyers assisting accident victims in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for over two decades, Console & Hollawell offers an annual Legal Scholarship for $1,000 to students accepted into a legal studies program to pursue a degree in pre-law, paralegal studies, legal assisting, or law. Qualified applicants must currently hold a high school diploma or GED, be U.S. citizens, and carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Applications must include unofficial transcripts, proof of enrollment, short surveys, and brief essays describing how a recently publicized verdict or settlement should've been changed for fairness.
7. D'Oliveira & Associates College Scholarship
Deadline: July 30th
Each year, the injury and disability lawyers at d'Oliveira & Associates get together to provide a scholarship for $1,000 to college students who are currently pursuing a degree or certification in law, paralegal studies, legal assisting, court reporting, or any other legal studies. Eligible candidates must be attending accredited universities in the United States, have U.S. citizenship, hold at least a high school diploma or GED, and have financial need for covering tuition-related expenses. Along with the application, students should submit proof of enrollment, valid transcripts, and a 500-word persuasive essay warning young people about drinking and driving.
8. Earl Warren Scholarship Program
Deadline: June 1st
In honor of the 14th Chief Justice of the United States and former California Governor whose stewardship helped end school segregation, the Earl Warren Scholarship Program was created by the National Legal Defense and Educational Fund (NAACP) to award $3,000 yearly. Eligible recipients must be attending an ABA-approved law school in America, have U.S. citizenship, be entering their first year of full-time legal studies, show active involvement in public interest work, and possess a firm commitment to social justice and civil rights. Applicants must submit a completed application form with three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and two 500-word personal essays.
Earl Warren Scholarship Program
40 Rector Street 5th Floor
New York, NY 10006
9. Helen W. Nies Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
Sponsored by the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the Helen W. Nies Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $10,000 to honor the legacy of the former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Qualified applicants must be female students ABA-accredited law schools, be pursuing a Juris Doctor degree, exhibit financial need, have outstanding academic achievement, and write a 450-word essay describing their qualifications for the scholarship. Aspiring women lawyers must have clear legal interests within the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit, including international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, veterans' benefits, and federal personnel.
10. Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship
Deadline: April 6th
Established in 2004 in honor of the Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals who practiced law with the Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein P.C. firm until his death in 2005, the Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship is awarded each year for $5,000 through the New York Bar Foundation (TNYBF). Eligible applicants must be second-year law students, attend an ABA-accredited law school within New York State, and submit a 10 to 25-page essay displaying excellence in legal writing. Recipients will be chosen on the basis of the organization, practicality, originality, creativity, research quality, advocacy, and clarity of their essays.
Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship
1 Elk Street
Albany, NY 12207
11. Leonard C. Horn Award for Legal Studies
Deadline: June 30th
Created in 1998 in honor of the former Chief Executive Officer of the Miss America Organization, the Leonard C. Horn Award for Legal Studies is presented annually for women who are currently pursuing a degree in legal studies for a career in law. Qualified applicants must have competed in the Miss America Pageant system at the local or state level, be attending an ABA-accredited law school within the United States, and display academic excellence. Selection will be based on candidates' grade point average, class rank, LSAT score, extra-curricular activities, participation in Miss America events, and financial need.
Leonard C. Horn Award for Legal Studies
222 New Road Suite 700
Linwood, NJ 08221
(609) 345-7571 ext. 27
12. Mario G. Obledo Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: October 15th
In memory of its beloved co-founder who was a remarkable champion for Latino civil rights by leading several civil rights organizations in the Hispanic community, the Mario G. Obledo Memorial Scholarship is granted each year for $10,000 through the HNBA Legal Education Fund. To qualify, candidates must be of Hispanic/Latino descent, be pursuing a Juris Doctorate degree in legal studies, attend a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) in America, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and display a commitment to representing the Latino community as an attorney.
13. McGuireWoods/NLF Undergraduate Internships
Offering a $1,000 stipend, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) hosts the McGuireWoods/NLF Undergraduate Internship Program annually for support undergraduate college students of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage who wish to pursue legal studies for a career in law. Qualified applicants must show a clear interest in law or public policy, have a keen attention to detail, display excellent writing skills, be able to handle multiple tasks, and demonstrate a high degree of resourcefulness. Recipients will be invited to the NAPABA office in Washington, DC to complete a meaningful 12-week internship conducting research on issues currently affecting the legal profession.
14. Michael F. O'Donnell Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
In partnership with the Marin Community Foundation (MCF), 10,000 Degrees offers the Michael F. O'Donnel Memorial Scholarship annually for up to $5,000 to honor the memory of a brilliant litigator who was highly distinguished for his honesty, humility, humanity, and supreme decency. Applicants must reside in Marin or Sonoma County of California, demonstrate significant financial need, exhibit a strong desire to attend an ABA-accredited law school, have educational goals in any area of legal studies, be pursuing a law-related career, and possess a strong academic record. Preference is given to future legal leaders who have an interest in giving back to their local community.
15. Naqvi Injury Law Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 31st
As one of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers in the United States, the Naqvi Injury Law firm has established an annual scholarship program to provide $2,000 one-time awards to graduating high school seniors or current undergraduate students who are pursuing any law-oriented degree in legal studies. Qualified candidates must be Nevada residents, plan to attend an accredited U.S. higher learning institution, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and possess significant financial need for tuition assistance. Students should attach official transcripts signed by school representatives, current resumes, student aid reports showing income status, and recommendation letters.
Naqvi Injury Law Scholarship Program
9500 West Flamingo Road Suite 104
Las Vegas, NV 89147
16. Nebraska Legal Professionals Association Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
For the 15th straight year, the Nebraska Legal Professionals Association (NLPA) will be awarding a $1,000 scholarship for graduating high school seniors or current college students who wish to further their education in law or the legal support field. Qualified candidates must be enrolled full-time in any law-related undergraduate program, attend a post-secondary institution within Nebraska, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, attach a certified transcript, and write a one-page personal statement explaining why they're pursuing a legal career. There's also a chance for second-place winners to receive a $500 scholarship.
17. Peggy Kommer Novosad Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 1st
Administered through the Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF) each year, the Peggy Kommer Novosad Scholarship Fund is designed to provide $2,500 to deserving college graduates who are pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in law at any accredited institution within Michigan. Eligible applicants must already possess an undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University or Michigan State University in any major, exhibit financial need, plan to maintain full-time enrollment status, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, reside within Kent County, and show a clear passion for a legal profession. Interested students can apply for this scholarship and the foundation's over 70 other scholarships on one general application.
18. P.J.C. Lindfors Legal Studies Scholarship
Deadline: February 2nd
With the mission of encouraging cross-cultural education in legal studies in Finland and the United States, the P.J.C. Lindfors Legal Studies Scholarship is awarded through the Finlandia Foundation National each year for $1,000 to $3,000 in honor of a Finnish-American attorney in San Francisco. Eligible candidates are citizens of Finland currently enrolled in an ABA-approved law school in America as well as citizens of the United States currently enrolled in the law faculty of a Finnish university. After completing the first year of law school, applicants can submit an application form with two letters of recommendation and official transcripts.
P.J.C. Lindfors Legal Studies Scholarship
P.O. Box 92046
Pasadena, CA 91109
19. Tad Nelson Law Firm Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
As a criminal defense firm based in Houston, League City, and Galveston with over 20 years of legal expertise, the Tad Nelson Law Firm Scholarship is awarded on a need basis annually to provide $500 to graduating high school seniors or current college undergraduates who are seeking a degree in legal studies. Eligible applicants must be residents of Texas, be planning a career in law, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, attend an accredited in-state institution, and exhibit significant financial need for assistance. Applications should include student aid reports showing household income status, official transcripts signed by school representatives, current resumes, and letters of recommendation.
Tad Nelson Law Firm Scholarship
1221 Studewood Street Suite 107
Houston, TX 77008
20. Warner, Norcross & Judd Minority Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
Well-known for being one of the most successful law firms in Michigan with over 200 attorneys, Warner, Norcross & Judd LLP has partnered with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF) to grant Minority Scholarships for students of racial or ethnic minority groups who are pursuing legal studies in higher education. The program will award $5,000 to law school students, $2,000 to paralegal or legal assisting students, and $1,000 to legal sectary students each year. To qualify, candidates must be Michigan residents, attend an accredited institution within the United States, and plan for a law-related career.
Students in legal studies programs often have a variety of different career goals, including attending law school, becoming a paralegal, or joining law enforcement services. Regardless of your final objective, you'll likely need to supplement your funding with financial aid resources available to afford the staggering costs of higher education today. Plead your case for some of these excellent legal studies scholarships to finance your endeavors into the exciting judicial system.