How to Score a Full-Ride Law School Scholarship

How to Score a Full-Ride Law School Scholarship - image by magoosh

While the ethics of merit-based scholarships are debatable, at many schools now, you get the opportunity to affordably get a law degree. Scholarships are crucial beause law school debt can reach over $100,000 from tuition alone. Students also have to consider income they miss out on, and the living expenses they’ll incur while actually going to school. With all this in mind, it’s not only reasonable to think about 100% scholarships; it’s the smart thing to do! So if you’re ready–read more about how to score a full-ride law school scholarship!

Top 10 Law Schools That Offer Full-Ride Scholarships

One of the first steps to take as you decide where to apply is to ask your prospective law school about full-ride scholarship opportunities. You’ll definitely want to be sure that these opportunities exist before you submit your application! Try not to assume that all schools offer full-rides based on merit. For example, the University of Florida doesn’t, although they have various smaller merit-based scholarships available. It definitely helps to go straight to the source and confirm whether or not a full-ride is even possible at your preferred schools.

To make your search a bit easier, here are the top ten law schools that definitely do offer full-ride scholarships.

1. University of Chicago Law School

The University of Chicago automatically considers all for scholarships. Most importantly, that includes the full-ride scholarships. And thankfully, there are several to go around. You can check out the full list of scholarship opportunities here.

2. New York University Law School

Next, NYU Law offers several full scholarships. For one, there’s the Latinx Rights Scholarship. It awards full-ride scholarships to two incoming first-year students. Those awardees should be committed to social justice. In addition, NYU offers several other scholarships you can explore.

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3. University of Pennsylvania Law School

Next up, UPenn offers several merit scholarships to incoming first-years. There’s the Levy Scholars Program that generously covers full tuition and fees for all three years.

4. University of Virginia Law School

The University of Virginia Law School is the next of our law schools that offer full-ride scholarships. UVA automatically considers all admitted students for its merit-based scholarships. The amounts range from $5,000 to full tuition.

5. Duke Law School

Each year, Duke Law School selects 4-8 students as Mordecai Scholars. Duke considers all admitted students, and will invite some for interviews. The program seems pretty competitive, but it’s good to know about!

6. The University of Texas Law School

Texas Law also considers all admitted students for scholarships, which can be very generous.

7. Boston University Law School

BU Law provides many generous scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in public-interest law, there’s a number of full-ride scholarships available. They also include stipends for 1L and 2L summer internships.

8. Arizona State University Law School

Merit-based awards are there for you at ASU Law. Just remember,some might be conditional. This means you must maintain good grades. You can read the interesting story of a woman’s choice between ASU Law and UT Law.

9. UCLA School of Law

Next, if you’re willing to apply early, UCLA Law has the new UCLA Law Distinguished Scholars Program. Full-ride scholarships are available for students who participate in their binding early-decision program.

10. Washington University Law

Washington University is the last school on our list of law schools that offer full-ride scholarships. In fact, there was controversy over their 24-hour “exploding” scholarship offers. Whether or not you’ll have much time to consider, you should definitely take advantage by applying!

How to Score a Full-Ride Law School Scholarship

Focus on Your LSAT Score

If you’ve already graduated from college or you’re about to, then your GPA is likely already determined. Hopefully, it’s as high as possible. So at that point, it’s best to focus on what you can control in the present, like your LSAT score. The higher your score, the better your chance at a full-ride scholarship.

Enhance Your Resume

Many special full-ride scholarships or fellowships reward students with outstanding qualities and leadership records. By making an effort to continuously do good work, you’ll up your chances of being recognized through one of these programs. For example, the Mordecai Scholars Program at Duke University Law School offers a full scholarship to great leaders. THe university invites students with impressive records to come to the campus and be interviewed.

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Keep Your Mind Open About Law Schools

A significant debate is whether students should sacrifice generous scholarships for lower-ranked schools for a place in a higher-ranked school (but with less of a discount). Some argue that the prestige of a higher-ranked school is worth the extra debt. Why? Because you’ll supposedly have a better chance of landing a higher-paying job. Many testify that graduating from a lower-ranked school isn’t as beneficial.

But, is that so? Consider this: If your goal is to practice in South Florida, for example, it can help your career to go to a local law school, make great connections, and earn relevant experience while you’re there. You can take advantage of an affordable law school in the place you want to build your career. Then, you can end up coming out way ahead. For more on this topic, check out /”When Do Law School Rankings Matter?”

Good Luck Scoring a Scholarship!

All in all, the key to scoring a full-ride law school scholarship is researching opportunities, maintaining a great record, and being flexible. Have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

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17 Responses to How to Score a Full-Ride Law School Scholarship

  1. deborah j chitester January 1, 2019 at 4:51 PM #

    I am interested in law school now as a second career for deeply personal reasons. I wish to contribute to child welfare which is in big need of a boost.
    I would need a scholarship for sure.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 8, 2019 at 12:08 PM #

      Very noble, Deborah! Hopefully the tips here can help you to become a lawyer and help children!

  2. Chandhini Chenthil Kannan March 21, 2019 at 4:50 PM #

    I wish to study environmental law to prevent deforestation and mining. I am a psychology major and an international student. How do i go about becoming a lawyer who can practice in multiple countries? And I would need a scholarship too. Is it available for international students as well?

    • David Recine
      David Recine April 9, 2019 at 7:37 AM #

      Wow, you’ve got a lot of ambition! For a scholarship question that specific, you’ll want to do your own research. Check with the schools you’re applying to, and see what kinds of scholarships are available for international students. Researching other scholarship foundations outside of the school itself could help too.

      As for becoming a lawyer in multiple countries, that also depends on your own research findings You’ll want to look into the legal requirements of the countries where you’d like to practice law. And here again, checking directly with your target school can help you get some of the information you need. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Joshua April 17, 2019 at 2:24 AM #

    After finishing my family law fiasco, I’ve decided that I would like to pursue a career in family law. My GPA is a little lower than I would like, so I am going to spend my efforts to score high on the LSAT. Thanks for the read!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 17, 2019 at 9:52 AM #

      You’re welcome, Joshua!

      Best of luck! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Pooja khadka July 6, 2019 at 8:10 AM #

        I’m intersted on law and I’m international student and my major was law and I want to know and improve more about law and I wish there’s I as well as I get a sholarship.

        • David Recine
          David Recine July 8, 2019 at 6:39 AM #

          Well, hopefully this article can help you get started, Pooja! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Zach December 17, 2019 at 6:02 PM #

          I scored 170 on my lsat, but I graduated 20 years ago with a below 3 GPA, and I’m broke in New York. I just want to do corporate law and make lots of money for now. I’ll do my own research, but does anyone have experience in getting a full ride scholarship?

  4. Stepheni September 7, 2019 at 9:37 PM #

    Hey Deborah,
    How is your weekend?
    This is a very insightful blogpost.
    I am commenting because one of my colleagues just got into NYU Law School and it is very difficult for him to enrol because of the high tuition. I was wondering if you had any advice on how he can secure full tuition scholarship given that we are based in Canada.

    Thank you,

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 1, 2019 at 2:17 PM #

      Hi Stepheni,

      Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid I’m not the best person to answer this question. I would recommend that your friend reach out to the NYU office of student affairs–they may be able to help him find scholarships or other financial aid!

  5. Cate October 14, 2019 at 7:00 AM #

    I am a physician in residency thinking about a career change/adjunct once Iโ€™m done training. I have significant debt from medical school so Iโ€™d need a scholarship for law school. How do you think Iโ€™d be looked at as an applicant?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 1, 2019 at 1:55 PM #

      Hi Cate,

      Our expertise is in test prep, not in admissions or scholarship advice, so I’m afraid we aren’t the best people to answer this question. I’d recommend reaching out to some admissions advisors at your target schools to see how they would view your experience ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lisa September 13, 2020 at 7:37 PM #

      Any advice to a 50 something going to law school?

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 28, 2020 at 11:19 AM #

        Hi Lisa,
        Our expertise is mostly in LSAT Prep, but this blog post might help you think through how to let your personal strengths shine in your application: 5 Tips for a Nontraditional Student

  6. Kim November 21, 2019 at 10:53 AM #

    Deborah, I too am wanting to become a lawyer in this area especially for middle and lower class facilities dealing with child welfare. MS is in need of representation of parents involved with Child Protective Services

  7. Gregora Salazar December 4, 2020 at 8:11 PM #

    I have a MPH and I am interested in law school for many reasons in favor to our diverse communities, etc. I have a GPA = 4.0 I would like to apply for a full scholarship in law or JD. If any body in the academic area could contact me, I would appreciate very much. G.S., MPH, Healthcare Administrator .I have a GPA =4.0. @ Thanks.

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