Whether you want to work in a law firm or go into politics, a law degree is a challenging yet impressive academic achievement. Because justice and law are essential in order to have a fair society, it is important that law students are able to follow their dreams and practice law.
For the average law student in an ABA-accredited law school, the total enrollment in 2020 was 114,520, which was an increase of 1.5% from 2019. Although there has been a slight increase in enrollment, the number of ABA-accredited law schools has dropped from 204 to 197 because of closures and other reasons, which means there are fewer schools that law students can apply to.
Because of the shifts in enrollment and numbers of accredited schools, many law schools have become even more competitive. Nearly 71,000 people applied to law school in 2021, roughly a 13% increase from the prior year. More people are also taking the LSAT's, which is the test that almost every school requires in order to get into law school. Between July 2020 and June 2021, the number of those who took the LSAT rose by about 36% from the year before.
With so many applicants, getting into law school is a huge accomplishment. For those students interested who do apply and get in, it can often be difficult to devote large amounts of time and money to school. A traditional, full-time J.D. program lasts three years. If you cannot devote your time to a full-time, three-year program, there are also accelerated programs that can be completed in only two years and part-time J.D. programs that take at least four years to finish.
In terms of cost, those who are already in debt because of their undergraduate education can find it difficult to continue their education. During the 2020-2021 school year, the average tuition and fees for out-of-state students were around $47,300. While some schools offer financial assistance, many students turn to federal and private loans. While federal student aid can be helpful, it can be difficult to pay it back once students get out of school. By the time the average law student graduates, they have around $160,000 in student loan debt.
To help pay off their educational expenses, 57% of students work while attending law school. There are also plenty of scholarships for law school students, including those on Bold.org.
Diversity in the legal profession is essential in order to increase legal support for people from diverse populations. In terms of gender diversity, law school has a significantly larger female student population. 18,273 men and 24,625 women
The racial and ethnic makeup of law students in ABA-accredited law schools comes close to reflecting the makeup of the United States population, but there is still a long way to go in order to provide equal access for everyone.
In 2018, Black students made up 7.91% of total incoming law school students, but in 2019, they accounted for 7.57% of incoming law students. Nationally, the Black population is 13.4%, but only 5% of practicing lawyers are Black or African American. Part of the reason why Black law students struggle is because of student debt. Black or African American law school graduates' loan debts are 97% higher on average than white law school graduates.
Although there is a deficit in the number of diverse lawyers in the United States, representation is getting better. In 1987, the total percentage of law students of color was 11.23%. In 2019, the percentage was 31.01%.
Yes, there are plenty of scholarships for graduate students and law students alike. On Bold.org, you can find scholarships for graduate students more generally by searching by education level. You can also find scholarships for law school students by filtering by category. Law school scholarships can be found by clicking the "law" category on the scholarship search page. Whether you're a first-year law student, a second-year law student, or anyone else pursuing a law degree, Bold.org can help. If you attend law school, be sure to create an account and start applying for scholarships today!
There are plenty of law scholarships that you can explore. The Wisegeek Law No-Essay Scholarship is a fast and easy scholarship that helps students interested in law. For diverse law students, scholarships like the WiseGeek Diversity in Law No-Essay Scholarship help current and aspiring law school students of a racial minority pay their tuition or student loans.
For Black students more specifically, the Derrick Richardson Law Student Scholarship offers an exclusive opportunity for Black second or third-year law students to win scholarship money. The NY Law Scholarship also caters to Black law students who are from New York specifically.
More generally, the William M. DeSantis Sr. Scholarship aims to help any undergraduate or graduate student fund their education. Whatever scholarships you are looking for, you can find them on Bold.org!
To start applying for scholarships for law students, create your free Bold.org profile. Then, click on any of the scholarships above and apply. Some scholarships may require you to write an essay before you apply, in which case you may need to spend more time on your application.
By applying for scholarships earlier, you can guarantee that you are able to apply for a wide range of scholarships. If you are in high school, there may be specific scholarships that are only available for high school students, so start searching and applying as soon as possible.
Additionally, applying for more than one scholarship often helps your chances of winning. Apply to any scholarships you are eligible for to give yourself the greatest chances of winning financial aid. No-essay scholarships are a great option due to the quick application process.
When applying for law scholarships, make sure that you check the eligibility requirements. Some scholarships may require students to live in a certain location in order to apply. Additionally, some scholarships may be for specific demographics and identities while other scholarships seek out applicants who display academic merit or financial need.
You should also consider whether the scholarship you're applying to has an essay or not. If you are a strong writer or have a unique story, the essay can be a great way to make your application stand out.
Yes, most law schools do give scholarships directly to students in addition to providing financial aid. Some universities offer need-based scholarships based on demonstrated financial need and some offer merit-based scholarships.
Unfortunately, there is often less aid available for graduate programs, such as law school, than there is for undergraduate degrees, making scholarships even more essential for current law students.
Incoming first-year law students can check their financial aid package to see the scholarships and grants that they have received. If you do not have a substantial financial aid package, do not worry! There are plenty of private scholarships for law students that can help, including many on Bold.org!
To negotiate a law scholarship that you have received from your school, you can talk to your financial aid office. For example, if one law school offered you a full ride or a significant scholarship, you can leverage that information to try to get more aid from your first-choice school.
Scholarships provided by your law school should automatically be applied to your bill. Using private law school scholarships is also easy, as Bold.org will send your award money directly to your law school to be applied to your education expenses.
Your school's scholarship page and private scholarship programs like Bold.org are great places to start your search. However, you can find scholarships in many other places if you know where to look.
For a law student who works or interns at a law firm, for example, it's possible that financial assistance will be offered with tuition (or they may even pay back some of the student's loans). Additionally, when you graduate and officially enter the legal profession, you can ask the law firms you interview for if they offer any loan assistance.
You can also check with businesses or organizations in your city or state to see if there are any scholarships you can apply for.
Public interest lawyers may also be eligible for student loan forgiveness programs after a few years of work. Public defense lawyers, for example, are often eligible for thousands of dollars in tuition assistance. You can find more information on student loan forgiveness for your area of law here.