If you are a Black student who wants to attend law school do not let the cost discourage you. There are amazing law school scholarships for black students out there that you can take advantage of to support the cost of your legal education. I’ve compiled a list of many of these scholarships below for you to find them all in one place and apply for them easily.
The cost of law school has made many potential African-American lawyers give up on their dreams. Well, I wouldn’t blame them, law schools are expensive, especially in places like the US and Canada. But if you are a Black student in the US intending to pursue a career in the legal field, you should not get discouraged by the cost because there are scholarship opportunities established to support and fund your dreams.
These scholarships are offered by those same expensive law schools in the US and from a number of other sources like state and federal government, law associations and organizations, and law firms. Sometimes, the scholarships come with extra perks that continue to benefit the scholarship recipients even after graduating from law school.
As a Black or African-American who intends to go to law school the thought of how you can afford it must have been killing you and you must have thought of many ways to pay for law school but nothing is really making sense. Then scholarships are the surest way out because, unlike a student loan, you do not have to pay back a scholarship and there are so many of them that you can apply for that, at the end of the day, could cover the entire cost of your law school education and I am not even capping.
There are full-ride law scholarships that cover the entire cost of law education, there are also law fellowships that will pay for your full tuition and still provide you with a monthly or annual stipend to help cover your cost of living. This is an opportunity that you do not want to miss and all of these scholarships are curated for you here.
The law school scholarships for black students curated here will help Black and African-American students earn a law degree at one of the best law schools in the US without breaking the bank. But these scholarships come at the cost of excellent academic record/achievement, relevant experience in the legal field, and commitment to work in the legal field.
Don’t worry, you will still see more specific requirements for each of the law school scholarships for black students.
Do not limit yourself to just the scholarships you find here. You should also apply for other general scholarships that can support your law school education such as law scholarships for first-generation which you can apply for if you are first in your family to pursue a law degree. Even athletic scholarships are not left out for you to explore.
Table of Contents
What is the Cost of Law School in the US?
Annual tuition for law school in the US is between $88,830 to $159,102. You see how high it is but scholarships and fellowships can cut it considerably lower or cover the entire cost.
How to get into Law School in the US
In six simple steps, you can get into any law school in the US.
1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree
Before entering law school, you must have completed and earned a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited college or university. You should also graduate with a high GPA or a GPA that matches the requirement of your school of choice because this is what law schools focus on the most.
2. Pass the LSAT
The LSAT is the Law School Admission Test and you will need to take the test and pass it as part of the application process into law school. The LSAT is a 4-section, multiple-choice test that includes reading, comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning questions.
Each law school set its own LSAT score so you would have to check in with your host institution to know what theirs is and prepare rigorously to ace the test.
3. Request for your Transcripts
Even when you were about to enter a bachelor’s degree program, your transcripts were required as part of the application process. Transcripts are usually required when enrolling into a new school to study for a new program and law schools are no different.
So, request your transcripts from previously attended institutions as they will be required as part of the admission application process into law school. It is also used to assess and qualify you for entrance scholarships.
4. Personal Statement
The personal statement is usually required for every graduate program and is also one of the requirements for admission into law school. A personal statement allows you to present yourself to the admissions committee through writing, it is more like a reflection of your true self but ensure that you keep to the maximum number of words required by your host institution.
Your statement should include your career goals, academic achievement, relevant experience, and any other information you feel is relevant.
5. Obtain Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are often required for graduate study and since law is a graduate program, it is required by law schools across the US. To obtain your letters of recommendation, you should ask your former professor and/or employer to write you one. Recommendation letters aim to help the school see how the people who used to work with you or taught you saw your character and if they can vouch for your abilities.
6. Start Applying to Law Schools
After you have gathered the necessary documents and satisfied other requirements then you can begin your application to law school. You should consider applying to more than two law schools to increase your chances of acceptance. If you do not know which law schools to apply to, the list below will guide you.
List of Best Law Schools for Blacks/African-Americans
Although every law school in the US accepts African-American students some law schools accept more Blacks over other races as a way of promoting diversity and inclusion or rather Blacks tend to apply more to such law schools and are easily accepted. The following are the best law schools for blacks:
- Thurgood Marshall School of Law
- Howard University School of Law
- North Carolina Central University Law School
- Washington University School of Law
- Columbia University School of Law
- Harvard Law School
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law
- Rutgers Law School
- Texas A&M University School of Law
- Boston College of Law
- Moritz College of Law
- Emory University School of Law
- Yale Law School
- Stanford University Law School
- NYU School of Law
- Georgetown University Law Center
- Fordham University School of Law
- The University of Tennessee College of Law
You may consider applying to one or more of the law schools above and tap into their scholarship opportunities by contacting the Admissions Office. You can do this before applying for admission into law school.
Law School Scholarships for Black Students
Below are the law school scholarships for black students:
- Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Scholarship
- Underrepresented and Oppressed Law Students Scholarships
- Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
- Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program
- The University of Windsor Black Law Student Scholarships
- The Common Law Black Students Entrance Scholarship
- The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP)
- The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship
- Earl Warren Scholarship
- Black Law Students Association of Canada Scholarships
1. Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Scholarship
First on the list of law school scholarships for African-American students is the Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Scholarship, awarded to female Black or African-American law students committed to pursuing careers as prosecutors. The scholarship awards $5,000 to cover the cost of the bar application and preparation and another $5,000 incentive for scholarship recipients who secure employment as prosecutors.
To be eligible, you must be a US citizen, a graduating law student preparing to take the Bar Exam, demonstrate financial need, a record of academic achievement, and demonstrate a commitment to public service. Application materials required for this scholarship include a resume, two letters of recommendation, one essay, an official transcript from your current law school, a copy of your Student Aid Report, a photograph, and a complete online scholarship application form.
2. Underrepresented and Oppressed Law Student’s Scholarships
This scholarship was established by the Colorado Lawyer Team and offered annually to underrepresented and oppressed law students which includes Blacks and African-Americans. The scholarship aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal field and by offering a scholarship award to the minority population to bring racial balance in the legal profession.
If you identify as a minority and intend to pursue a law degree or are already enrolled in law school, you are eligible to apply and get $1,000. Additionally, you must be a legal resident of the US, be in good academic standing with a minimum of 3.0 GPA, and submit a professional resume displaying your professional and academic experience, a transcript from your current school, and a 1,000-word essay describing the adversities you have faced as a minority.
3. Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
The above-named scholarship was created by the American Bar Association (ABA) to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply to law school and provide them with financial assistance to achieve their goals. Since Blacks are among the minority group, this makes African-American law students eligible for this award.
The scholarship provides $15,000 each to 10-20 first-year law students over their three years of law school and it is offered every year so if you missed it this year, check in next year. Applicants are also required to have a minimum CGPA of 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 at their undergraduate institution. You will not be eligible if you have completed one or more semesters in law school and if you apply to a non-ABA-accredited law school.
4. Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program
Here is another amazing scholarship that you can apply for as a black law student, although it is not specifically meant for blacks only it is targeted to individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups which includes blacks, Hispanics, etc. The Scholar Program awards $30,000 as well as other non-financial assistance to selected scholars during the law school admissions process and throughout law school.
In addition to the criteria, you must be a STEM-educated individual intending to apply or already applied to an ABA-accredited law school to explore a career in patent law in the US. applicants are also required to provide a personal statement explaining their interest in the patent law profession and some personal background information.
5. The University of Windsor Black Law Student Scholarships
The Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor provides up to 9 different scholarship awards every year to incoming and current black law students who are applying for a place at the university’s law division. Although each of the scholarships has its distinct requirements and the award they offer, one thing they have in common is that they award the scholarship to students with demonstrated academic excellence and/or financial need.
There is no application for any of the awards, you will be automatically considered through your application for admission and will then be interviewed if you get selected.
6. The Common Law Black Students Entrance Scholarship
The Common Law Black Students Entrance Scholarship was established in 2020 by the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Common Law Section. This entrance scholarship provides $20,000 to 5 black students: $10,000 upon entering, renewable for $5,000 in each of their second and third years of law school.
By removing financial barriers, the entrance scholarship helps attract more amazing Black law students who may not otherwise have access to this valuable education.
7. The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP)
This is one of the best law school scholarships for black students who are committed to pursuing a career in civil rights law. This program provides a fully-funded law scholarship that covers tuition, room, and board, and incidentals to alleviate the debt burden that can prevent future lawyers from pursuing a career as civil rights lawyers.
In addition to the free funding of your law education, you will also engage in a 2-year postgraduate fellowship at civil rights law organizations in the South fighting to achieve racial justice.
8. The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship
The Herbert Lehman Scholarship was established by the Legal Defense Fund, it is a scholarship award that is offered every year to black students who want to pursue careers in the legal profession. It is awarded to outstanding undergraduate students with financial need.
No minimum test score or GPA is required for the scholarship but you will be required to submit two letters of recommendation and demonstrate financial need by providing a copy of your FAFSA form and have a family income of $70,000 or less.
9. Earl Warren Scholarship
Earl Warren Scholarship is also offered through the Legal Defense Fund to rising law students whose commitment to racial justice reveals outstanding potential for training as civil rights and public interest attorneys. Those entering the first or second year of full-time legal study at an accredited law school are also eligible for the scholarship.
The scholarship value is $45,000 split into three years of law school as long as scholars remain in good academic standing and continue to meet the scholarship criteria. In addition to the financial assistance, scholars will also get the opportunity of an internship, externship, or guided research project. The scholarship is awarded annually.
10. Black Law Students Association of Canada Scholarships
If you are a black student looking to study law in Canada without paying hefty tuition fees, here is an opportunity that you should not miss. Black students who wish to pursue a law degree at any Canadian law school are eligible to apply for the BLSA Canada Scholarship. You must have been accepted or newly enrolled in a JD or LLB program to be eligible.
As a black student, the cost of law school should not scare you into giving up your dreams. Take charge of these scholarship opportunities here and get the funding you need to actualize your dream and become an inspiration to others.
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