It is no news that law schools are expensive but you can subsidize the cost by applying for scholarships, grants, bursaries, and fellowships to avoid graduating with thousands of dollars in student debt. Here, I have curated the list of law school scholarships for women who aspire to attend law school to apply for them and subsidize the cost.
Starting from the basics, scholarships are non-repayable financial aid given to students to offset or completely cover the cost of their tuition and other expenses while studying. Depending on the donor or sources, scholarships could either be a one-off payment or an ongoing payment that will be renewed each year.
The sources or donors of scholarships may include but are not limited to the following:
- Universities and colleges
- Federal and state government
In some cases, the donors of scholarships set out exactly what you can spend the money on like tuition, study materials, living expenses, etc. but other times recipients can use the fund however they like. But then, who wouldn’t want to apply it toward their education? Always have it at the back of your mind that scholarships are not loans and you won’t have to pay it back.
Applying for non-repayable financial aid seems the surest way to fund your education and graduate without piling up so many student loans that you will have to spend many years paying back.
Now, there are different kinds of scholarships cut across a wide range of categories designed to target deserving students or to recognize a particular population. For instance, you will find law school scholarships for minorities and still find scholarships for people with glasses. From the title alone you already know whom it is meant for and whether you should apply for them or not.
A mistake you should never make is applying for a scholarship whose criteria you do not fit into your application will be rejected with the speed of light and that is an effort down the drain. I understand how hard it can be looking for scholarships but do not allow frustration to make you apply for one that you do not fit into.
As for this blog post, the title – the law school scholarships for Women – already shows you whom it is meant for, and if you that you fit into the criteria, continue reading to see all of the scholarships available, their requirements, and how you can apply for them.
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Law School Scholarships for Women – A Definitive Guide
The cost of law school can be anywhere between $88,830 to over $160,000 per year depending on whether it is a private or public school. With this high cost of law school, it is easy for many to give up on their dreams of pursuing a legal career, and the majority of those who still get their law degree end up with thousands of dollars in student debt.
According to a recent survey from the American Bar Association (ABA), 90% of law school graduates owe an average student debt of $130,000. While that is a lot of debt, scholarships, and grants can help offset the cost of law school for you, men and women alike. This way, when you set out in your career there will be as little debt as possible and if you get a full-ride law school scholarship, there won’t even be any.
Law school scholarships are hard to find and it is even harder to find the ones that are specifically for women because the profession has lesser women. According to 2020 data from Statista, only 37.4% of lawyers are women. So, it is just natural that there would be fewer law school scholarships for women.
But as I dug deeper to gather the scholarships that I would later curate here, I found out that organizations, law firms, colleges and universities, and other donors are providing scholarships to encourage and reward women to study law to ultimately increase the number of women in the legal profession. And it is working.
Although not much, there are law school scholarships for women already in a J.D. program or aspiring to enter law school, and applying for them would help make a difference for you in the legal field. Women’s representation in the legal field is sorely needed for diversity and equity and with more gender diversity, more people can have confidence that the legal system is fair, equal, and representative of their interests.
As I am sure, the next question on your mind would be how you can apply for the scholarships, relax and let the guide below help you out.
How to Secure Law School Scholarships for Women
You were expecting the header to be “how to apply for law school scholarships for women” but I decided to use “secure” because this will guide you better on the things you have to do to earn the scholarship. Applying for one is not a problem as you will learn more about that as we get into the main topic.
Also, it can be tough to stand out among all the other students who are applying to these same scholarships especially when they are nationwide or global but with the guide below, you know exactly what to do to stand out from the competition.
Having said that, the guide below is how you can secure a law school scholarship as a woman already in law school or aspiring to enter one.
1. Ace 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 scholarship for law school, ace the LSAT to stand out from other applicants/competitors.
A 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 or CV
A resume or CV is typically required to apply for scholarships and since you are applying for a law scholarship, as the case may be, you want to present a strong resume or CV to stand out from the competition.
Strengthening your resume means gaining relevant work experience, skills, and law certifications maybe from online law programs/courses. Your resume or CV 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 the scholarship.
3. Submit a Solid Application
Most law scholarships require a separate application while others do not but use your law school application for admission to assess you for scholarships. Whichever of the options, still put in the work of submitting a solid application, whether for admission or a scholarship, 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. Be Ahead of Deadlines
Applying for admission or scholarships early increases your chances of getting a scholarship and the reason for this is because since your application is coming in earlier than usual, the Admissions and Scholarships Officers would take their time assessing your application. But when you submit it late or close to the deadline, the officers won’t take their time to assess your application.
5. Keep up with Your Application
After you have applied for the law scholarship, do not relax rather keep up with your application by staying in touch with the admissions office and checking your email regularly.
6. Do not Limit Yourself
Lastly, do not limit yourself to just applying for law school scholarships for women. There are probably hundreds of other scholarships and financial aid opportunities whose criteria you may fit into. Look for them and apply for as many as you can then direct the funding towards your law school education. However, you have to be careful when doing this and ensure that the fund offered by that scholarship donor is tenable at any university and for any field of study or particularly for law.
To break this down, if you are a black or African-American female student who wants to pursue law, you can apply for law school scholarships for women and still apply for law school scholarships for Blacks or African-Americans since this they are not gender-specific.
List of Law School Scholarships for Women
Scholarships can significantly reduce the cost of your education. They’re often awarded based on merit or academic performance, which makes them competitive. However, many scholarships are specifically intended to support women as they go to law school, and you can benefit greatly by taking advantage of them.
The law school scholarships for women are:
- The University of Toronto Faculty of Law Graduate Scholarships in Women’s Rights
- NCAWA Sarah Parker Scholarship
- AAUW Fellowships & Grants
- UCONN Foundation Women’s Law Scholarship Fund
- OCWLA Foundation Bar & Diversity Bar Stipend Awards
- Trial LawHer Scholarship
- BWL Foundation Scholarship
- Mike Eidson Law Student Scholarship
- Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Scholarship
- Center for Women in Law Scholarships & Internships
- LMJ Scholarship
1. The University of Toronto Faculty of Law Graduate Scholarships in Women’s Rights
This law school scholarship for women is offered by the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. Only law graduates from Africa, Center or South America, the Middle East, East or South East Asia are eligible for this scholarship. They must also have an interest in the human rights of women and be ready to undertake advanced research and study in this law discipline.
The award is offered annually to women and does not require a separate application. You will be considered based on your admission for application into the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Women’s Right Law.
2. NCAWA Sarah Parker Scholarship
North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA) support the dream of women who want to pursue a career in the legal field by providing them with scholarships. The Sarah Parker Scholarship Awards have been going on for over 10 years and continue to date. It is awarded annually to two women enrolled in a law school in North Carolina.
Recipients are awarded based on their active involvement at their respective law schools and communities and best exemplify their approach to the study and future of the practice of law.
3. AAUW Fellowships & Grants
AAUW is one of the largest scholarship providers for women’s graduate education, a practice that began in 1888 and continues to date. The AAUW Fellowships & Grants is not specifically for female law students, rather, it is for female students in graduate programs which also includes those enrolled in justice and law programs.
4. UCONN Foundation Women’s Law Scholarship Fund
The University of Connecticut (UCONN) has a foundation that supports the education of women in law by awarding them with merit scholarships. This merit means that applicants will be assessed based on academic performance. You must be attending the University of Connection School of Law to be considered for the scholarship award.
5. OCWLA Foundation Bar & Diversity Bar Stipend Awards
Orange County Women Lawyers Association (OCWLA) provides stipend awards to female law students about to take the bar exam through the Bar Stipend Award and the Diversity Bar Stipend Award. The former is offered twice per year while the latter offers $1,000 to a recent law school graduate.
6. Trial LawHer Scholarship
Trial LawHer Scholarship was established by Milestone and offered annually to a female law student in her third year of law school. The award aims to assist the recipient to achieve her goal of becoming a plaintiff trial lawyer and educate future trial lawyers about the importance and impact of settlement planning. The scholarship value is $10,000.
To be eligible, you must be a female US citizen or permanent resident, be in good academic standing, and plan to become a plaintiff trial lawyer. To apply, you must submit a 2,000-word essay, a 5-minute video, and a separate document of your personal information including your undergraduate and law school CGPA, LSAT score, and how you heard about the Trial LawHer Scholarship.
7. BWL Foundation Scholarships
Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles (BWL) offers annual scholarships to female law students in their second and third year in an accredited law school. Applicants must have an intent of practicing in the Southern California area.
8. Mike Eidson Law Student Scholarship
Mike Eidson Law Students Scholarship is one of the law school scholarships for women founded by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Women Trial Lawyers Caucus. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded each year to a female student entering the third year of law school and has the intent to become a trial lawyer.
To apply, you must be a law student member of AAJ and enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school, you will also submit a resume and a letter explaining your interest in a career as a trial lawyer.
9. Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Scholarship
This scholarship is offered every year to an African-American female law student to support and prepare them for the Bar exam. The value is $5,000 and to be eligible, you must be a US citizen, a graduating law student preparing to take the Bar exam, express financial need and commitment to public service, and be in good academic standing.
Other documents for application for the Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Scholarship are a copy of your FAFSA, resume, photograph, two recommendation letters, one essay, and an official transcript.
10. Center for Women in Law Scholarships & Internships
The University of Texas at Austin School of Law houses a Center for Women in Law that offers scholarships and internships annually to deserving female law students. One of the scholarships provides three $3,500 scholarships for three 2L, 3L, or LLM Texas Law students with a commitment to advance women’s issues and gender equity.
11. LMJ Scholarship
LMJ Scholarship was established by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) for outstanding women and diverse students enrolled in an ABA-accredited last school on a full-time basis. In addition to the criteria, applicants must be in good academic standing, and demonstrate an interest in corporate law, community service, and financial need.
The scholarship value is $10,000. It is offered every year.
In as much as there are not many law school scholarships for women there are still many scholarships out there for women, you should also apply for them and many others whose criteria you fit into. This way, you will graduate law school with little or no student debt.
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