If you are among the minority groups in the US and you wish to pursue a legal profession, there are scholarships that can help you with the cost of law school. Curated in this blog post are the law school scholarships for minorities to go to a law school without bothering about the cost.
Having written and published hundreds of articles on scholarship guides, I can tell you one thing for sure and that is scholarships are evolving by getting more specific. This is probably done by the scholarship donors as a means of directing the funds to deserving students which is good in a way because you can now easily find a scholarship in a criteria or group that you belong to.
If you excel in sports then you should just apply for an athletic scholarship or if you wear glasses, then you are qualified to apply for scholarships for people with glasses. The last one must have come as a shocker to you but trust me there are even more out there that will blow your head off. But anyways, you do get my point which is that more and more scholarships are getting target specific which reduces the daunting task of finding one whose criteria you fit into.
Law school scholarships for minorities and law scholarships for first-generation students are among the kind of specific scholarships you will find for those looking to study law. Although there are general law school scholarships that everyone can apply for they can be quite competitive compared to the ones that are meant for a specific kind of student.
While I’d advise that you apply for regular scholarships, it is best that you put more effort, time, and resources into the ones that are specific to you. What I mean is if you are an African student who wants to study law abroad, it is best you put in more effort applying for law scholarships for African students and not so much effort in applying for law scholarships for international students because this one would be crowded with applicants from different parts of the world which makes it highly competitive and further reduce your chances of earning one of the awards.
But the one for African students means that only Africans will be applying for them and there won’t be so much crowd and competition as compared to the one for all international students, this increases your chances of getting a scholarship.
So, if you are a current or incoming law student belonging to one of the minority groups it is best you put in more effort applying to law scholarships for minorities rather than the general law scholarships for everyone because there is less competition and there is a high chance of you obtaining that – minority – scholarship. Before we get into the main topic, let’s see who minority students are.
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Who are Minority Students?
Minority students are students who are members that do not belong to the major racial or ethnic group of a country. A minority student may identify as Black or African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native Hawai’ians, or Arab and other Middle Eastern Americans.
Most minority families are below the poverty line and are mainly among low-income families, it is difficult for them to afford law school which, as you already know, is expensive. But with the law scholarships curated here, minority students are encouraged to apply to a law school of their choosing and get the funding they need to cover the cost of their education.
Some of these scholarships does not offer financial support alone, they also offer guidance and other opportunities such as internships and fellowships to help minority student stand out in the legal field, encouraging and inspiring the next generation of minority students.
How to get into Law School
Here are steps to guide minority students intending to apply for law school.
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.
Law School Scholarships for Minorities
The following are scholarships specifically for minority law students to apply:
- Underrepresented and Oppressed Law Students Scholarships
- Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Law School Diversity Scholarship Program
- The University of the Pacific Diversity Scholarships for Law Students
- Puerto Rican Bar Association Scholarship Fund
- Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program
- Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) Silicon Valley Diversity Awards
- Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship Program
- Silver Scholar Program
- Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
- Shumaker Diversity Scholarship
1. Underrepresented and Oppressed Law Student’s Scholarships
First on our list of law school scholarships for minorities is the Underrepresented and Oppressed Law Students Scholarships provided by the Colorado Lawyer Team. It is a scholarship offered annually to law students from underrepresented ethnic groups which also means minority groups. The scholarship aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal field and contribute to creating a 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. Transcripts from your current school and a 1,000-word essay describing the adversities you have faced as a minority are also part of the requirements.
2. Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Law School Diversity Scholarship Program
This is one of the law scholarships for minority students funded by a law firm – Buckfire Law. It is awarded every year to students who are members of an ethnic, racial, or other minority community. The scholarship award is $2,000 and it is offered to one student selected by the scholarship committee at Buckfire Law.
You must have been enrolled in an accredited law school in the US and have a minimum of 3.0 GPA to be considered for the scholarship. Requirements for the application include a copy of the law school transcript, a complete application form which is on the scholarships page, and a one-page typed essay describing how you have utilized your time promoting ethnic diversity within your community.
3. The University of the Pacific Diversity Scholarships for Law Students
The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law is one of the best law schools in the US for minority and underrepresented students. Aside from the world-class law education it offers to students developing their potential to become the best in the legal field, the institution also offers a wide range of scholarship opportunities to its students who identify as veterans and minorities.
There are scholarships for nearly everyone, ranging from Native American and Asian American Scholarships to Summer Diversity Fellowships and Latinx Scholarships. The college also helps to make it easy to find the right scholarship for you by setting up a Career Development Office that you can contact at any time and they will direct you to the right scholarships and opportunities.
4. Puerto Rican Bar Association Scholarship Fund
Every October during its Annual Gala, the Puerto Rican Bar Association awards scholarships to students of Puerto Rican descent enrolled in a full-time law program at an ABA-accredited law school in New York State. Applicants must also be residents of NY or have a confirmed commitment to work in NY after completing law school.
5. Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program
The Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program is targeted at minority students who wish to pursue a career in law. The program awards $10,000 as well as other non-financial assistance to selected scholars during the law school admissions process and throughout law school, which makes it $30,000 in total.
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. You will further be required to provide a personal statement and a current FAFSA as evidence of financial need. Applicants are assessed based on financial need and merit.
6. Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) Silicon Valley Diversity Awards
Each year at its Gala, APABA Silicon Valley awards scholarships to recognize minority law students who demonstrate exceptional commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the greater legal community.
There are two different awards; the Corporate Legal Diversity Award and the Law Firm Diversity Award. Applications for both awards are different, head to the scholarships page through the link provided below and apply for the one whose criteria you meet.
7. Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship Program
The above-named scholarship was established in 1998 by the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco. It is for minority students looking to enroll or already enrolled in one of the following law schools:
- University of California – Berkeley School of Law
- Golden Gate University School of Law
- Stanford Law School
- University of California – Hastings College of the Law
- Santa Clara University School of Law
- University of San Francisco School of Law
The Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship Program is tenable only at the law schools listed above. The scholarship value is $10,000.
8. Silver Scholar Program
The Silver Scholar Program award scholarship of up to $30,000 in cash award to encourage minority students to pursue a career in law. First-year and second-year students are welcome to apply for the Silvers Scholars Program. Selected students will also receive a summer associate position at Proskauer.
Additional eligibility requirements include enrollment in a full-time program at an ABA-accredited law school, demonstrating leadership qualities, active community involvement, citizen of the US, member of a minority group in the legal profession, and law school academic achievement.
9. Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
The Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund 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.
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.
10. Shumaker Diversity Scholarship
In a bid to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP established the Shumaker Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship seeks to support the law education of a minority student who demonstrates personal and professional excellence, leadership abilities, and community involvement.
The scholarship value is $7,500 for year one or year two enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school and who participate in the firm’s summer associate program. Application materials for the Shumaker Diversity Scholarship include a current law school transcript, 1-3 letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a 500-word essay.
Do not limit your applications to just the scholarships here, you can also apply for law school scholarships for Hispanic students or law school scholarships for Black students in addition to the law school scholarships for minorities. The more scholarships you apply for the higher your chances of winning one.
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