Most students who apply to law school are driven by some combination of the desire to build a career where they can do meaningful work in the world, and the hope of being paid well in the process. However, as law schools become increasingly expensive, simply attending law school represents a major financial hurdle. Many law students leave law school with over $100,000 in debt, all to attain the degree that will allow them to start earning money as lawyers.
If, like most of us, you’re not in a position to pay the full cost of a law school tuition, then you’ll want to prioritize getting a law school scholarship. There are many law schools out there, including some of the best law schools in the country, that offer large or even full-ride scholarships for law school students. But these full-ride law school scholarships are highly competitive.
That’s why we’ve written this article, where you’ll find everything you need to know about how to increase your chances of getting a full scholarship to law school.
Find Ways to to Improve Your LSAT Score
The first thing you’ll want to do in order to maximize your chances of getting a full-ride law school scholarship is to focus on your LSAT score. Just about every law school considers an applicant’s LSAT score as one of the most important criteria in admissions and scholarship decisions. Many scholarship offers are decided based exclusively on LSAT scores.
If you’re applying to a top-ranked law school and you want to land a merit scholarship, you’ll be competing against some of the best and brightest applicants. Therefore you’ll want to do everything possible to get the best possible result on the LSAT.
The best thing you can do to boost your LSAT score is one-on-one tutoring. You should be doing your own test prep, of course, but one-on-one tutoring is the gold standard for getting the most out of your LSAT prep. An expert tutor will help you enhance your strengths, address your weaknesses, and tailor your test prep regimen to make sure you get the highest score you’re capable of.
MyGuru can help you do just that. Our industry-leading tutors all have years of experience in helping aspiring law students earn outstanding LSAT scores and gain admission to the law schools of their dreams. Plus, we offer online LSAT tutoring, meaning no matter where you are in the world, you can access top-quality LSAT tutoring at a rate you can afford.
Boost Your Resume
Beyond LSAT tutoring, there’s a lot you can do to make yourself a more compelling scholarship candidate. Law schools award merit scholarships to applicants who promise to do impactful work in the world, thus contributing to the school’s reputation. This means that they look for students not only with high LSAT scores and GPAs, but also work and leadership experience. Can you get more involved with a particular cause you’re passionate about? Is there an internship available where you can gain experience in the field of law practice you hope to enter after law school? These are the kinds of things that make your resume stand out to scholarship committees.
Target the Right Law Schools
Another key element to landing a law school scholarship is targeting the right law schools. Every school is different in terms of the financial aid and scholarships they offer. Some top-ranked schools—like UChicago, UPenn, and Duke—offer full-ride scholarships, but not all of them do. Further, some smaller schools without such high profiles also offer full-ride scholarships, and these can be less competitive than top-ranked law schools. If getting the most financial aid possible is a priority for you, be sure to research the scholarship opportunities available at different law schools before you decide where to apply
Seek Outside Law School Scholarships
You should also be aware that law schools aren’t the only sources of scholarships available. There are many organizations that offer third-party law school scholarships, including law firms, philanthropic organizations, and more. Many outside scholarships are available specifically for students from certain backgrounds or geographic locations. For example, the American Bar Association offers funding to students from diverse backgrounds through the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund. Be sure to investigate what other scholarships are available to help you pay for your law school education, beyond what your schools of choice offer.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate About Law School Scholarships
Scholarships aren’t just offered for the sake of charity. Law schools use them to attract top applicants. This means that there is some room to negotiate, as with job offers. If your school of choice isn’t offering you as big a scholarship as another school, you can always use your other scholarship offers to try to negotiate a better package from your dream school.
Get Started ASAP
If you need help paying for law school, you definitely don’t want to procrastinate. Merit scholarships for law school are typically offered on a first-come, first-served basis. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your applications are in by Thanksgiving.
Further, scholarship opportunities don’t just fall in your lap—many of them require work, including extensive application materials, like essays. If you’re applying to law schools and scholarships last-minute, you’re going to be too busy and burned out to seek every opportunity available.
Law school can lead to a lucrative career in the long-term, but in the near-term, the cost of attendance can be overwhelming. We recommend doing everything you possibly can to reduce that cost through seeking scholarship opportunities, so you don’t start your career with a financial weight around your ankles.
If you want to maximize your chance of landing a full-ride scholarship to law school, you should think about LSAT tutoring with MyGuru. Our world-class LSAT tutors will help you unlock your top score, which will unlock even more scholarship opportunities.