Law School Grants

Law school is usually quite an expensive proposition. The great majority of students applying to law school cannot afford it directly. They need financial assistance in the form of law school grants and loans. Everybody wants grants if they can get them because, of course, they need never be paid back. The question is where to find them and how to go about receiving them.

Apply for grants through a Law School

The first place to go looking for grants is through the law schools to which you are applying. Talk to a financial aid advisor at your school of choice. They will have a wealth of information about the grant (as well as loan) opportunities available.

These schools may offer their own grants or scholarships. These are monetary amounts to help pay for law school awarded to promising students. So the schools themselves are a first line of inquiry. Of course, in getting scholarships, it helps to be a good student. Many scholarships are based on academic merit.

Law school grants from the federal government:

Another type of grant you may be able to get for law school comes from the federal government. You school can tell you what grants are offered in this capacity. The main way you apply for these types of grants is by filling out the Federal Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This is the form the federal government uses to judge your eligibility for a grant. It includes information about your income and other specifics.

Law school grants from state governments:

State governments too may have grant money available for law school. Each state has differing programs, so talk to the school’s financial aid department or check with your state’s department of education. These grants just like the federal ones are usually based on your income status. They may also use other criteria such as ethnic status and academic performance.

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Law school grants from private foundations

Another source to consider is private foundations and organizations. One of the most important as far as law school grants are concerned is the American Bar Association (ABA). This is the most important professional organization in the industry and helps students from low income backgrounds with affording law school.

In addition to this there are all kinds of other grants and scholarships designed to help law school students. These grants may be based on financial need, grade point average, status as a woman or ethnic minority, the degree level in which you’re enrolled, or demonstrate an interest in a certain area of law such as workers’ rights.

In general, you should try to put together a long list of potential grant sources – be the government, law school, or private sources, and try to apply to all of them. It never hurts to apply and you will statistically increase your chances of getting an award if you apply to many rather than a few.

The principle involved in finding law school or any other grants is fairly straightforward. You need to simply find the organizations offering the grants, look for grants whole criteria you fit, and apply for them. Organizations both public and private make funds available to people so that they can better attain professional, academic, or commercial goals. Organizations facilitate these goals because they think they are worthy of being pursued. This applies to law school grants as well as any other. You need to find as many organizations as possible offering law school money and basically convince them that you’re in line with their goals or that you simply need the money.

The goals of these organizations may either be general, such as to encourage and help needy students to attend law school, or made more specific in some way, such as to help minorities attend school or to encourage people to go into labor law. But either way the principle is the same – you’re helping some larger organization to accomplish its social goals and thus you’re a candidate for their financial assistance.

The following are some law school grant sources you should look into:

The American Bar Association
http://www.abanet.org

Food and Drug Law Institute Scholarships
http://www.fdli.org

The Peggy Browning Fund
http://www.peggybrowningfund.org/

The NAPABA Law Foundation Scholarships
http://www.napaba.org/napaba/showpage.asp?code=lawstudents

Byron Hanke Fellowship
http://www.cairf.org/scholarships/hanke.aspx

So now you have a place to begin in searching for law school grants and you have the logic behind it. You don’t need to make such a big distinction between public and private grant sources because these are all organizations and work on the same principle of awarding grants based on their criteria and how well you meet it. And again since it usually costs you nothing to apply for grants, you might as well apply to as many as possible in an effort to secure the most funding.