Financing Law School
Law school is an important investment in your future. Spend some time researching options and reviewing resources.
Think about your post-law school goals. Salaries for lawyers vary widely, depending on the type of practice and region. To keep debt to a minimum, consider state-supported law schools or schools that offer merit-based aid. If you are considering a career in government or public interest law, investigate loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) that help law school graduates repay education debt.
Federal Financial Aid
Many students rely primarily on federal student aid programs to finance law school.
Total federal aid is available to cover (but not exceed) the law school’s student expense budget, which includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and other expenses. The following federal financial aid programs are available to law students.
- Stafford Loans
- Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans
- Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students
- Perkins Loan
- Federal Work Study
Credit is an important factor in securing private loans. Before you apply to law school, pay your bills on time to ensure a good credit record. Bad credit will affect your ability to borrow money. Beware of direct marketing from private lenders. It is possible to finance your legal education entirely through federal financial aid programs described above, which are regulated by the federal government and typically have lower interest rates.
Grants and Scholarships
Grants and scholarships are offered based upon criteria set by the law school. These can include academic merit, financial need, ethnicity, specific talents, residency or other qualifications. Check with each law school early in the application process for more information.
Some states provide limited grants for law school; there are no federal grants for law students. Certain national foundations and organizations offer grants and scholarships for law school through a competitive application process.
Financial Aid Resources
- Access Group
- Equal Justice Works Guide to Law Schools
- FAFSA on the Web
- LSAC.org Financing Law School
- National Council of Higher Education Resources
- US Department of Education: Financial Aid
General Scholarship Resources
Target Population Scholarship Resources
- ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
- A Guide to The Law School Application Process For People of Color
- American Association of University Women (AAUW)
- EduPass – The Smart Student Guide to Studying in the USA
- FinAid! Financial Aid for LGBT Students
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- International Student Loans
- International Education Financial Aid (IEFA)
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) Law Scholarship Program
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association / Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- The Point Foundation
- Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program (PALS)
- South Asian Bar Association of North America