Nearly every law school in the US offers full-ride scholarships but which ones are considered the best? Join me as I walk you through the list of best full-ride law school scholarships and if it is what you are looking for, you can begin applying for them instantly.
Law schools are nearly as expensive as medical schools which has, unfortunately, crippled the dreams of many, especially those from poor backgrounds, who wish to pursue a career in the legal sector. If your dream is to study law but you cannot afford it, there are varieties of options such as scholarships, student loans, grants, bursaries, etc. that you may opt for to pay for your law degree.
Among the options above, scholarships, grants, and bursaries are the best. Why? Because you don’t ever have to repay them, unlike student loans you have to pay back with interest. So, it’d be in your best interest to put all your efforts into securing a scholarship, grant, or bursary as these can cover the entire cost of your law school education and more like room and board, living expenses, etc.
In this blog post, you will find a list of full-ride law school scholarships which are provided by law schools, government, individuals, charity organizations, and law associations and organizations. But before we get into the list, let me help you get a better understanding of what a full-ride scholarship means and then how you can secure a full-ride law school scholarship.
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What is a Full Ride Scholarship?
The terms “full-ride scholarships” and “full-tuition scholarships” gets confused a lot and many people think they mean the same. Well, they don’t although they are quite similar. So, to clear up the confusion I will give a simple definition of both terms starting with full-ride scholarship.
A full-ride scholarship is an award that covers tuition and fees, books, room and board, and cost of living. A full-tuition scholarship only covers tuition and students will have to cover for the rest. Both types of scholarships may or may not be renewable depending on the scholarship body offering them but in most cases they are renewable.
Full-ride scholarships are awarded to students from all backgrounds, skills, and expertise so, just as there are full-ride law school scholarships there are also full-ride medical school scholarships. Full-ride scholarships, just like full-tuition scholarships, are awarded based on academic performance, athletic abilities, heritage, leadership qualities, or merit. It can be based on more of these criteria. Even if you want to study law and you stand out in sports, you can apply for a full-ride athletic scholarship.
With a full-ride scholarship, you don’t have to worry about the cost of education but they are highly competitive. In fact, less than 1% of students receive a full-ride scholarship this is to show you how difficult it is to earn one. So, if you are going to be applying for them, you should have an outstanding application to set yourself apart from the crowd and increase your chances of securing one.
How to Secure a Full-ride Law School Scholarship
Although highly competitive and difficult to get but acquiring a full-ride law scholarship is not impossible. The guide below is how best you can stand out in your application and increase your chances of securing a full-ride law school scholarship.
1. Pass the LSAT
Every aspiring law student must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before they can be offered admission into law school. There is usually an aggregate score set by each institution, which is common but if you are looking to secure a full-ride scholarship for law school then you should ace the LSAT to make you stand out from other applicants.
A high LSAT score of 170 can get you considered for a merit-based scholarship but if you are applying for a need-based scholarship then a high LSAT score is not required.
2. Strengthen your Resume
Strengthening your resume means gaining relevant work experience, skills, and law certifications maybe from online law programs. Your resume should also contain your outstanding qualities and leadership achievements, these are components of a strong resume. The stronger your resume, the higher your chances of securing a full-ride scholarship.
3. Submit a Solid Application
Most full-ride law scholarships require a separate application while others do not instead they use your admission application to assess you for scholarships. Whichever of the options, still put in the work of submitting a solid application by writing an impressive essay and personal statement that aligns your interest with that of the school.
It should also tell your story in a unique and impactful way that leaves a great first impression. Your application should be free of grammatical errors and well-constructed.
4. Apply Early
Applying for admission or scholarships early increases your chances of getting a full-ride law school scholarship and this is because since your application is coming in earlier than usual, the Admissions and Scholarships Office would take their time assessing your application. Submitting it late or close to the deadline, the officers won’t take their time to assess your application.
5. Negotiate your Scholarship Offer
Don’t be afraid to negotiate your scholarship offer you are open to negotiating by sending a letter expressing that you want to attend that particular law school but will need a financial award package.
Best Full-ride Law School Scholarships
The following are the best full-ride scholarships for law school:
- Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program
- The University of Chicago Law School Scholarships
- University of Georgia School of Law Authentic Scholarships
- Sturm College of Law Scholarships
- Illinois College of Law Dean’s Scholarship Program
- Columbia Law School Human Rights Fellowship
- Jagdish Bhagwati Fellowship
- Baylor Law Scholarships
- The Appel Fellowship
- The University of Texas at Austin School of Law Scholarships
- Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Law School JD Scholarships
1. Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program
Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program is a scholarship program established by Yale Law School and offered every year. The program is a full-tuition scholarship, that is it only covers the total cost of tuition, offered to J.D. students that demonstrate financial need. The program aims to offer J.D. students who cannot afford a world-class J.D. program are allowed to immerse themselves in the rich academic experience that Yale Law School offers.
Applicants are considered if they are from families whose income is up to 200% of the federal poverty guideline, their family’s assets are below $150,000, and the student is in good academic standing. The Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program is a need-based type of scholarship that means you or your family’s financial documents will be required as part of the application.
2. The University of Chicago Law School Scholarships
As a newly admitted student of the University of Chicago Law School, you are automatically considered for scholarships to support your education. And if you want to be considered for financial need, domestic students must complete the FAFSA while international students must complete the UChicago Need Application. You must be a full-time law student to be considered for the award and it can be extended for the three years you would be studying at the law school.
Additionally, the University of Chicago Law School offers two full-tuition scholarships through the David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program and the James C. Hormel Public Interest Scholarship. You can only qualify for one of the awards. There are also other scholarship opportunities offered by the University of Chicago Law School that range from a few thousand dollars to full-ride scholarships with stipends.
3. University of Georgia School of Law Authentic Scholarships
The School of Law at the University of Georgia provides various partial and full scholarships to new students based on their academic achievement, potential for the study of law, ability to contribute significantly to the field of law, and other factors. Merit scholarships provide a few thousand dollars up to full tuition plus a fellowship or graduate assistantship.
There are more than 8 different scholarships offered under the Authentic Scholarships Program, and up to half of them provide full tuition. Only one, the Alston Distinguished Law Fellowship provides full tuition and stipend both for the first and second year of law school. The scholarships do not require a separate application, you will be considered for any of the awards based on your admission application.
4. Sturm College of Law Scholarships
You may want to consider applying for a law program at Sturm College of Law as new students are considered for various scholarship options including the full-tuition Chancellor’s Scholars Program. The scholarships for first-year JD students are:
· Sturm Elevation Initiative
This scholarship is sponsored by the Denver-based Sturm Family Foundation. Twenty students are awarded 20 full-tuition scholarships based on merit with a stipend for the first year.
· Chancellor’s Scholarship Program
The Chancellor’s scholarship is awarded to first-year JD students entering Sturm College of Law with excellent academic records and demonstrated public service. The award is full tuition.
· Merit Scholarships
Sturm College of Law offers merit scholarships also to first-year JD students and it can range from $15,750 to over $38,000. Entering students are automatically considered for the award.
Not only do new entering JD students get to enjoy scholarships at Sturm College, but there are also other scholarships for current students such as the Master’s LLM Scholarships, Tax Scholarships, and scholarships for continuing JD students.
5. Illinois College of Law Dean’s Scholarship Program
Illinois College of Law offers financial aid and scholarship programs to students entering the JD program to support their education. There are a couple of loan and loan repayment programs on the school’s web page but the one you should be interested in is the Dean’s Scholarship Program which provides full tuition and extra benefits to students who have demonstrated academic excellence in their LSAT and GPA scores.
6. Columbia Law School Human Rights Fellowship
Human Rights Law is one of the branches or disciplines within the law and also a reputable career. If this is an aspect of law you wish to study but cannot afford then you should consider the Columbia Law School Human Rights Fellowship offer. The Fellowship offers partial to full waivers of tuition as well as additional benefits.
To qualify for the Fellowship, you must first be admitted into the LLM program at Columbia Law School and demonstrate experience in international human rights work. To apply, two letters of recommendation and a financial aid essay are required.
7. Jagdish Bhagwati Fellowship
The above-named fellowship is offered by Columbia Law School established to support graduates specializing in international trade, public interest, trade law, and human rights. The fellowship is underwritten by the Indian Government and provides partial to full funding for up to three fellows per academic year.
You must have been admitted into the LLM program at Columbia Law School and apply using your resume or CV and a 500-word financial essay describing your academic and professional exposure to international trade.
8. Baylor Law Scholarships
Baylor Law is the law school of Baylor University and just like the others on this list offers scholarships to new and incoming students who meet the criteria for the awards. Baylor Law offers four different scholarships to support educational dreams and recognize the achievement of new and incoming law students.
Baylor Law Dean’s Academic Excellence Scholarship is offered based on merit and does not require an application, all applicants are automatically considered and the award will only cover part of your tuition, also, it is renewed every year. However, the Leon Jaworski Scholarship for Outstanding Undergraduate Advocates and the Presidential Scholarships offers full tuition, they have separate eligibility criteria and are renewable for three years of your law studies at Baylor Law.
9. The Appel Fellowship
The Appel Fellowship is offered annually by Columbia Law School to an LLM degree candidate whose research is focused on regulatory or policy issues emerging from transboundary operations of multinational or transnational enterprises. The fellowship provides full tuition for one academic year. To apply, submit a completed application to the LLM program which will include your resume or CV and a 500-word financial essay addressing the reason in support of your candidacy for the Appel Fellowship.
10. The University of Texas at Austin School of Law Scholarships
The University of Texas at Austin School of Law offers merit-based and need-based scholarships to incoming students who may be domestic or international. If considered for the award, it will be renewed for the second and third year of law school provided you meet the criteria for renewal which you shall find on the scholarships page.
11. Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Law School JD Scholarships
If you are applying to the JD program at LMU you will be automatically considered for a range of merit-based scholarships that can cover partial to full-tuition fees and still provide a stipend. This is one of the full-ride scholarships that you do not want to miss out on and since it does not require an application that means you have to put in the extra work in submitting a good application when applying for admission because that is what will be used to consider you for the scholarship.
Full-ride law scholarships exist in nearly every law school in the US and are awarded based on merit or need. To increase your chances of winning one, apply the following tips:
- Be creative
- Look at your heritage
- Keep applying
- Always apply
- Be ahead of deadlines.
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