Law school is expensive, and it’s the only way to turn your dream of becoming a lawyer a reality. So, what do you do? Rack up thousands upon thousands of dollars in loans, or take the initiative in finding money you don’t have to pay back? The answer seems quite clear – find money you don’t have to pay back – also known as grants.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, graduates of ABA-accredited law schools leave with on average $100,433 in student loans. This doesn’t reflect all of the education a lawyer needs though. In a comprehensive study by Law School Transparency, they found that students graduating in 2015 and 2016 will owe as much as $195,265 and $200,595.
You’re right – these numbers are outrageous. It’s not going to be fun to graduate only to see a bill come in the mail a month later with six digits that you are responsible for paying back. To help you relieve some of the shock and stress of the debt, here are some law student grants you can apply for.
All students know of this grant, but in case you don’t, check into it now. You can receive up to $5500 in grant money depending on your financial need. Besides that, you just need to be a full or part time student enrolled in an accredited college or university.
This program provides funding to universities to provide part time jobs to students to help them pay their tuition. Some jobs could even be in the legal field, such as being a legal assistant, which helps pay for tuition and build a resume.
The Legal Intern Program has paid internships for law students. The internships are law related, so not only do students receive funding for school, but they also receive valuable experience.
The American Bar Association has many grants, scholarships, and student competition award programs available to law students. While the funding goes to many different individuals needing financial assistance, they mostly focus on the diverse population of students such as minorities, women, and LGBTs.
Law students showing dedication to the Asian-Pacific community’s legal needs may be eligible for this grant.
Public service attorneys are eligible to receive financial assistance for their loans through grants provides by this association. The catch is that the community service lawyers must be willing to complete a term of service as a legal aid attorney.
Check with Your School
Many schools such as Columbia Law School, Santa Clara Law School, and the University Of Southern California School Of Law offer grants, fellowships, or loan repayment assistance programs to their law students. For some programs, there are some stipulations attached, so it’s good to ask what is expected along with the funding provided.
Don’t let the fear of having large amounts of debt stand in your way of making your dream a reality when it comes to working in the legal world. The more grants and funding programs you apply to, the more of a chance you have in getting the funding you need for school. So, start applying, keep applying, and find success in your quest in financial assistance for law school.