1. Use "free" money first
If you are thinking about using your savings to help pay for law school, there are a few things you should consider. You’ll want to make sure you can pay your monthly bills and still have some money set aside for any unplanned events. Create a budget to understand what your expenses are and how much savings you can use for your education. Talk to a financial aid advisor if you have any questions.
Law school scholarships and grants
Some law schools may have scholarships or grants their students can apply for. Grants are often need-based while scholarships can be need-based or merit-based. Look at the websites of the schools you’re applying to and talk to their financial aid offices to find out more.
Some legal professional associations, law firms, and for-profit companies have scholarships and grants for law students. Here are a few examples of the organizations that have scholarship programs or resources:
- American Bar Association: The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship awards $15,000 over three years to law students from diverse backgrounds.footnote 2
- Federal Circuit Bar Association: Scholarships range from $5,000 – $10,000. The association classifies their law scholarships into two types: judicial and association.footnote 3
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF): Each year, the LDF offers the Earl Warren Scholarship to first- and second-year law students. The scholarship provides $10,000 for up to three years as well as the chance for an internship, externship, or research project, along with an invitation to the Civil Rights Training Institute. Students must remain in good standing for all years they have the scholarship.footnote 4
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA): The Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship program awards scholarships worth $10,000 to incoming first-year law students.footnote 5
You can search thousands of scholarships for law students using our free Scholarship Search tool. You can also reach out directly to the organizations for more information. Ask school department heads for recommendations on which scholarships, awards, or grants may be best for you.
Loan forgiveness programs
Depending on what job you take after law school, you may be eligible for a loan forgiveness program. Although you don’t see the immediate benefits of the program while you’re in school, these programs can make repaying your loans more manageable. Here are a few of the most well-known loan forgiveness programs: