The top five foundation funders for law school education provide over $20 million a year through the grants they issue through different programs. These grants include scholarships and fellowships and offer assistance to law schools and student law associations. Here we have provided information on what they fund and how to contact each foundation.
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association is one of the largest professional organizations in the world. It has almost 400,000 members including attorneys, law students and other professionals affiliated with the legal profession. It was founded in 1878 and maintains its headquarters in Chicago, IL. Annually, it distributes over $8 million dollars in grant funding through two major programs. To reach the ABA, call 1-800-285-2221 or contact the ABA through the foundation website.
ABA Fund for Justice and Education – The FJE was created in 1963 and currently supports the work of the ABA and over 200 public service and educational programs. The five main areas of focus for the foundation deal with access to justice, children and family rights, public education, professionalism in the legal profession and international justice.
ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund – This scholastic fund offers $5,000 yearly scholarships to minority students to attend law schools accredited by the ABA. Students can receive a total of $15,000 over all three years of school by maintaining program requirements. The fund strives to encourage ethnically diverse students to join the legal profession where minorities are underrepresented. It awards scholarships to 20 students a year. Applicants should have a minimum 2.5 GPA through undergraduate school, show financial need and participate in community service.
Equal Justice Works
EJW was founded by a group of law students in 1986. It works to support law students and graduates that wish to work with underserved communities and causes. It also advocates and lobbies for loan repayment assistance for those in the legal profession that become public interest attorneys. The number to reach the Washington, DC office is 1-202-466-3686.
AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships – AmeriCorps Legal Fellows work with veterans and victims of disasters. Fellowships last two years and start at $36,200 per year plus an education award of $5,550.
Equal Justice Works Fellowships – Between 45-55 lawyers are selected annually for these two-year fellowships. Recipients earn a competitive salary and receive loan repayment assistance.
Public Service Award for a Student – Awards $2,500 to a student from a member law school.
Public Service Award for a Student Group or Project – Awards $2,500 to a student group or project from a member law school.
Loan Repayment Assistance Program – This program matches other loan repayment programs dollar for dollar to pay down student loan debt for lawyers serving in public interest. It covers both undergraduate and graduate debt through federally funded and private education loans.
Skadden Foundation Fellowships
This foundation supports law school graduates who want to pursue a career working with disadvantaged clients through grants that place them with legal and advocacy organizations. Its fellowships award grants to lawyers that serve the poor, homeless, elderly and disabled and who work with critical human rights issues. In some cases, Skadden will apply funding to pay down student loan debt. New law graduates that want to work in the public interest should consider applying for this Peace Corps type legal program. For additional information, contact Director Susan Butler Plum by calling 212-735-2956 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flom Incubator Grants – Incubator Grants pay $10,000 toward projects created by former Skadden Fellows. Funding can be used to expand services or to improve communication with clients. Applications are handled twice yearly with deadlines of January 15 and July 15.
Skadden Fellowships – Fellowships last two years, paying salary and benefits to the fellowship recipient to work with a sponsoring organization. As of 2013, 677 fellowships have been awarded. Visit the foundation website to download an application.
Belgian American Educational Foundation
This is an exchange program between university communities in Belgium and the United States. It offers two fellowships, each sending students, scientists and scholars from each country to the other to attend school or conduct research. Grants are offered to individuals and range from $16,000 up to $50,000 and can be used to pursue law and other graduate level degrees. To contact the BAEF: in Belgium call +32-2-513.59.55 or email email@example.com, in the United States dial 1-203-777-5765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fellowships for Belgian Citizens – The larger of the two programs, last year it sent 88 Belgian Fellows to the United States. Fellowships last 9 – 12 months and offer funding to earn advanced degrees and to pay for research projects. The program also offers conditional grants which are no interest loans for MBA and other management programs.
Fellowships for U.S. Citizens – This program only offers 8 grants a year to study or research abroad, but it awards each $25,000 to be used over one year. It also provides health insurance. Knowledge of Dutch is not required. You must either be enrolled in or have graduated from a graduate level program to apply.
Law School Admissions Council
LSAC is the non-profit that administers LSAT standardized testing. It also provides technology to simplify the admission process to over 200 law schools. It offers a number of initiatives and grant programs. For contact, visit the website contact page or call 215-968-1001.
DiscoverLaw.org Months Program – Available to member schools, this program provides $2,750 grants to fund outreach and awareness to racially and ethnically diverse undergraduate students.
Diversity Initiatives Grant Program – Funds projects that focus on awareness and enrollment in underrepresented minority student groups.
Outreach Grant Program – $10,000 grants are offered to host events that promote legal education. Guidelines require that at least three member schools work together on each event. Applications should be received no later than two months before the planned event.
Research Grant Program – Funds research projects up to $200,000 that deal with topics related to the work of the LSAC. Funds are made to institutions and organizations only.
Students Seeking Support to Attend Law School
Attending law school can be rather expensive, with the average cost of a 3 year program running $130,00 or more. If you are a student looking to attend law school, you should start your search for funding at the school you plan to attend’s financial aid office. The Pell Grant offers up to $5,645 per year to low-income students that can be used to attend law school. Currently the program provides around $23 billion each year in grants. Almost all funding available from the U.S. Department of Education’s federal student grants and loan programs can be used to attend law school. Also, look into what scholarships are offered through your school. Many of the private foundations that offer funding for students to attend law school work with the schools directly and your school is always the best resource for locating a scholarship or other local aid that support students at your college.
Category: Education Grants