Scholarships, Writing Competitions, and Awards

There are a number of private law scholarships, writing competitions, and awards for which law students may apply. Private scholarships can be an excellent way to help pay for your legal education. Take the time to carefully review scholarship and writing opportunities and APPLY for ones for which you are eligible or match your specific practice area or career interests. The odds are in your favor!

Below is a list of scholarships administered and awarded by outside organizations. Please note that deadlines and/or requirements may change, so you should consult the organization's website for the most up-to-date information. These resources represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scholarship and writing opportunities for law students, so be sure to conduct your own searches based on your specific interests and background.

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TitleTypeAmount#Application DeadlineEligibilityNotes
ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
  • Diversity
$15000202020-05-01
  • 1L
Abels & Annes Scholarship - Essay Contest
  • General
  • Writing
$100012020-01-15
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Achievements and Ability Scholarship - Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys
  • General
$15002020-07-31
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Eligibility specifics: current graduate student who has cerebral palsy or who has an immediate family member with cerebral palsy. 
Akin Gump / Robert Strauss Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Program
  • Firms
  • Diversity
$250001closed for 2020; check back in 2021
  • 1L
Alexander Bolton Law Student Scholarship - Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL)
  • General
$250012020-09-30
  • 2L
  • 3L
Eligibility specifics: rising 2L, 3L or 4E who has completed at least 20 hours of SMU Dedman School of Law’s required public service hours. See 9/16/20 email from Laura Burstein for application documents and full description
Ambrosio E. Rodriguez Scholarship 
  • General
$350012020-09-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers (ACCFSL) Writing Competition
  • Writing
  • Practice Area
Varies2020-12-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
see posting on Storey Hall bulletin board
American Kennel Club Companion Animal Law Writing Contest
  • Writing
$250022021-03-21
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
American Indian Law Review National Writing Competition
  • Writing
Varies2021-02-26
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Asian Heritage Law School Scholarship - Infinity Law Group
  • Firms
  • Diversity
$10002020-08-01
  • 1L
Eligibility specifics: must be a current high school senior in Boston that will be attending their first year of college in the fall of the application year; must have at least one parent of Asian ancestry
Attorney Ken Nugent Legal Scholarship
  • General
$50002020-08-15
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Austin Bar Foundation and LGBT Bar Association Scholarship
  • Regional
  • Diversity
$300022020-07-11
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Eligibility specifics: Texas law students
Aviation Law Section of State Bar of Texas Scholarship
  • Writing
  • Practice Area
$10002020-06-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Eligibility specifics: interest in aviation law
Bajaj Law Scholarship
  • General
$25002020-09-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Baker Botts 1L Diversity Fellowship
  • Firms
  • Diversity
$12500closed for 2020; check back in 2021
  • 1L
Baker Donelson Diversity Scholarship
  • Firms
  • Diversity
$1000012020-08-16
  • 2L
Banner Witcoff Donald W. Banner Diversity Fellowship
  • Firms
  • Diversity
$50002020-01-06
  • 1L
  • 2L
BarBri Law Preview Course Scholarship 
  • General
Varies2020-05-15
  • 1L
Eligibility specifics: incoming 1Ls. Award amount is for cost of attending incoming students' day.
Barnett Howard & Williams Military Veteran Scholarship
  • General
  • Firms
$5002020-08-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Eligibility specifics: Military veteran law student attending law school in the United States.
Baumgartner Law Firm Law Student Scholarship Application
  • General
  • Firms
$30002020-08-31
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Blanch Law Firm Writing Scholarship
  • Writing
  • Firms
$5000rolling
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Blank Rome Diversity Scholars Program
  • Firms
  • Diversity
$15000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
  • 1L
bold.org "Be Bold" No-Essay scholarship
  • General
$10000rolling
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Bracewell 1L Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship Summer Program
  • Firms
  • Diversity
Variesclosed for 2020; check back in 2021
    Bradley Diversity Scholarship Program
    • Firms
    • Diversity
    See notes.2020-09-15
    • 1L
    • 2L
    The deadline for second-year scholarship applicants is September 15, 2020. We will accept first-year scholarship applications from December 1 – March 15, 2021.
    Brown PC National Business Law Scholarship
    • Practice Area
    $5002020-08-10
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Eligbility specifics: demonstrated interest in Business Las
    Brown PC National Tax Law Scholarship
    • Practice Area
    $5002020-08-10
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Eligibility specifics: demonstrated interest in Tax Law
    Buckfire & Buckfire Law School Diversity Scholarship
    • Firms
    • Diversity
    $2000rolling
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Cairncross & Hempelmann Diversity Fellowship Program
    • Firms
    • Diversity
    $10000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
    • 1L
    Citywide Law Scholarship
    • General
    • Firms
    $15002020-03-01
    • 1L
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Cole Schotz Diversity Scholarship
    • Firms
    • Diversity
    $50002020-07-01
    • 2L
    Eligibility specifics: full-time second-year law students attending a law school in a state in which Cole Schotz maintains an office.
    Cooley Diversity Fellowship
    • Firms
    • Diversity
    $300002020-01-10
    • 1L
    Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation (DAYL)
    • General
    $25002020-09-30
    • 1L
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Dallas Bar Association Health Law Section Student Scholarship
    • Practice Area
    $10002020-10-31
    • 3L
    Application information is emailed out from SMU Law on 10/13
    Dallas Bar Association Energy Law Section
    • Practice Area
    $250per semester
      Students studying Energy Law; information emailed out from SMU Law
      Dallas Hispanic Bar Association
      • Diversity
      $5000spring
      • 1L
      • 3L
      Awarded to one 1L & one 3L - $5,000 each in Spring semester. Information emailed out from SMU Law.
      Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation Scholarship - The Dallas Foundation
      • Diversity
      Varies2020-03-13
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Dallas Jewish Community Foundation
      • General
      Varies2020-02-10
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      DAR American Indian Scholarship
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $40002020-11-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      Davis Wright Tremaine 1L Diversity Scholarship
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $150002020-01-05
      • 1L
      Deborah J. Broyles Diverse Scholars Program - Reed Smith
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $200002020-12-11
      • 3L
      Dinsmore and Procter & Gamble Diversity Scholarship Program
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $10000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
      • 1L
      Don’t Text & Drive Scholarship
      • General
      $20002020-09-15
         (2 per year): September 15th, March 15th. Any student, 24 years old or younger
        Donald C. McCleary-Gardere Leadership Scholarship
        • Regional
        $50002020-03-09
        • 2L
        Nominated to apply; application information emailed out from SMU Law.
        Dorsey & Whitney Diversity Fellowship
        • Firms
        • Diversity
        $100002020-01-20
        • 1L
        DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship
        • Diversity
        $1000022020-09-15
        • 2L
        • 3L
        Eligibility specifics: diverse or female students.
        Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys 2021 Scholarship
        • General
        $10002021-07-01
        • 1L
        • 2L
        • 3L
        Findmylawtutor.com Scholarship
        • General
        $500every 6 months
        • 1L
        • 2L
        • 3L
        Finnegan Diversity Scholarship
        • Firms
        • Diversity
        $15000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
        • 1L
        Fish and Richardson 1L Diversity Fellowship Program
        • Firms
        • Diversity
        Varies2020-01-03
        • 1L
        Fleming Law Scholarship
        • General
        $10002020-07-01
        • 1L
        Foley Hoag 1L Diversity Fellowship
        • Firms
        • Diversity
        Varies2020-02-01
        • 1L
        Forrest Smith Texas General Counsel Scholarship
        • Regional
        Varies22020-01-17
        • 2L
        $20,000 between two students; application information emailed out from SMU Law.
        Foster Garvey - The Kenneth L. Schubert Jr. 1L Diversity Fellowship
        • Firms
        • Diversity
        $150002020-01-05
        • 1L
        Frank and Debbie Branson Trial Scholars
        • General
        $500rolling
          Awarded to the student with the highest Trial Advocacy Grade
          George A. Strait Minority Scholarship
          • Firms
          • Diversity
          $50002021-04-01
          • 1L
          • 2L
          Goodwin Law 1L Diversity Fellowship
          • Firms
          • Diversity
          $10000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
          • 1L
          Harris Lowry Manton LLP Civil Justice Scholarship
          • General
          • Firms
          $50002021-06-01
          • 1L
          • 2L
          • 3L
          Open to any incoming or current law student
          Harter Secrest & Emery Diversity Scholarship
          • Firms
          • Diversity
          $75002020-01-13
            Haynes and Boone 1L Diversity Scholars Program
            • Firms
            • Diversity
            $75002020-01-03
            • 1L
            Helsell Fetterman 2021 Summer Associate / Richard S. White Fellowship
            • Firms
            • Diversity
            $75002020-07-16
            • 2L
            HNBA (Hispanic National Bar Association) Legal Education Fund
            • Diversity
            Variesrolling
              Hofstra Law and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Family Law Writing Competition
              • Writing
              • Practice Area
              Varies2021-02-01
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              Insurance Law Section State of the State Bar of Texas Writing Competition
              • Writing
              See notes.2020-12-10
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas
              • Regional
              • Practice Area
              $500022019-05-01
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              J. L. Turner Legal Association Foundation Diversity Scholarships
              • Diversity
              Varies2020-10-09
              • 2L
              • 3L
              Email Moira Cary (mcary@smu.edu) for 2020 application documents
              Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center Scholarship
              • Regional
              • Practice Area
              Varies2019-11-11
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              info emailed out from SMU Law
              Knobbe Martens 1L Diversity Scholarship Program
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              Varies2020-01-31
              • 1L
              Latham & Watkins 1L Fellowship Program
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              $25000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
              • 1L
              Law Enforcement Family Member Scholarship
              • General
              $10002020-08-31
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              The student must have a family member (such as a parent, spouse or sibling) who is or was an active duty member of law enforcement, including reserve officers and retired, deceased or disabled officers
              Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Scholarship 
              • General
              $10002020-07-31
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              Eligibility specifics: you or someone you love affected by Leukemia
              Lloyd M. Johnson Jr. Scholarship Program 
              • Diversity
              $100002020-07-02
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              LMJ Scholarships - MCCA
              • Diversity
              $1000062020-06-17
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              LSAC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Writing Competition
              • Writing
              • Diversity
              $500032020-03-31
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              MAX by AccessLex
              • General
              Varies2020-05-01
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              info emailed out from SMU Law
              McAndrews Diversity in Patent Law Fellowship
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              • Practice Area
              $50002020-01-15
              • 1L
              McGlinchey Stafford 1L Diversity Fellowship
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              $5000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
              • 1L
              Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) 
              • Diversity
              $50002019-12-31
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP (MNGD) Diversity Fellowship 1L Summer Associate
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              $100002020-01-08
              • 1L
              Moore & Van Allen's Diversity Scholars Program
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              Varies2020-01-21
              • 1L
              Moses & Rooth Law Offices Scholarship
              • General
              $10002020-05-31
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Earl Warren Scholarship
              • Diversity
              $300002020-05-01
              • 1L
              Nancy Etz Scholarship
              • General
              $10002021-02-01
              • 1L
              • 2L
              • 3L
              Norton Rose Fulbright 1L Diversity Fellowship Program
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              $100002020-01-31
              • 1L
              Norton Rose Fulbright 2L Diversity Fellowship Program
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              $100002020-01-31
              • 2L
              O'Melveny 1L Diversity Fellowship
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              $100002020-01-31
              • 1L
              Oil and Gas Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas
              • Practice Area
              Variesrolling
              • 2L
              • 3L
              Awarded to two highest grades in Oil and Gas per semester
              One Lawyer Can Change the World Scholarship (BarBri)
              • Firms
              • Diversity
              Varies22020-06-01
                You must be an incoming 1L student starting in the Fall to apply
                Patrick Malone & Associates Offers Scholarship to Law Students for Representing Real People
                • General
                • Practice Area
                $500022020-07-01
                • 1L
                • 2L
                • 3L
                Paul D. White Scholarship Program - BakerHostetler
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $7500rolling
                • 1L
                • 2L
                Paul Hastings Diversity Scholarship Award
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $10000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                • 2L
                Perkins Coie 1L Diversity Fellowship
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $15000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                Perkins Coie 1LTechnology Transactions and Privact Fellowship
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $15000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                Perkins Coie 1L Patent & Patent Litigation Fellowships
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $15000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                Perkins Coie 1L Political Law Diversity Fellowship
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $15000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                Perkins Coie 1L Two Steps Ahead Scholars Program
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $15000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                Perkins Coie 1LPrivacy & Data Security Fellowships
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $15000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                Pond Lehocky Annual Scholarship
                • General
                $5000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                • 2L
                • 3L
                Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC’ Annual Single Mother Scholarship
                • General
                $10002019-12-05
                • 1L
                • 2L
                • 3L
                Eligibility specifics: single mother
                Sally & Fitch, LLP Law Scholarship
                • General
                Varies2020-04-01
                • 1L
                • 2L
                • 3L
                SCBA Richard R. Garland Diversity Scholarship
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                Varies2020-01-31
                • 1L
                • 2L
                Schwabe, Williamson, & Wyatt 1L Summer Associate Diversity Fellowship Program
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $10000 winter 2020-21
                • 1L
                Sidley Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship for Summer 2021
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $25000rolling
                • 2L
                St. Paul Scholarship Foundation
                • Diversity
                $15002020-07-31
                • 1L
                • 2L
                • 3L
                need based
                Steinger, Greene & Feiner Law Scholarship for Child Advocates
                • General
                • Practice Area
                $10002020-07-31
                • 1L
                • 2L
                • 3L
                Eligibility specifics: You have personally worked to protect children’s rights or stop abuse either as a volunteer, as a counselor, in your professional work or by legal means; You are an abuse survivor who wishes to use your own experiences to help others.
                Stinson 1L Minority Fellowship - Minnpls, KCMO, St. Louis
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $150002020-01-15
                • 1L
                Stoel Rives 1L Diversity Fellowship
                • Firms
                • Diversity
                $10000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                • 1L
                Tax Section State Bar of Texas Scholarship
                • Regional
                • Practice Area
                $200032020-04-04
                • 1L
                • 2L
                • 3L
                Eligibility specifics: you intend to practice tax law in Texas
                Texas Aggie Bar Association
                • General
                Varies2020-01-17
                  Eligibility specifics: Former Aggie Student that has completed at least 40 undergraduate hours at Texas A&M University and will be beginning or currently in law school in the Fall of 2020
                  The Barone Defense Firm Win Back Your Life Scholarship
                  • General
                  $10002020-09-30
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  • 3L
                  The Briskman Briskman & Greenberg Accident Survivor Scholarship
                  • General
                  $10002019-09-30
                  • 1L
                  Eligibility specifics: 1L student who has overcome serious injuries suffered as a result of a car accident, medical error, or other incident caused by someone’s carelessness.
                  The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Law Student Writing Competition for 2021
                  • Writing
                  Varies2020-06-15
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  • 3L
                  Eligibility specifics: Authors may not have graduated from law school prior to December 1, 2020. Graduate students in law school (LLM candidates) are not eligible. Email mcary@smu.edu if link does not work.
                  The John Foy & Associates Strong Arm Leukemia Scholarship
                  • General
                  $10002021-12-15
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  • 3L
                  Eligibility specifics: You or a loved one have been affected by leukemia.
                  The Krist Law Firm, P.C. National Scholarship 
                  • General
                  $100002020-06-30
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  • 3L
                  The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky Scholarship 
                  • General
                  • Firms
                  $15002020-12-15
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  • 3L
                  Create a short two to three minute video outlining potential danger slip and fall hazards and how they can be avoided within schools or colleges.
                  The Law Offices of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos
                  • General
                  $10002020-06-01
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  • 3L
                  The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship
                  • General
                  $40002020-03-31
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  • 3L
                  The Michigan Auto Law Scholarship Program
                  • Firms
                  • Diversity
                  $20002020-06-01
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Scholarships Han C. Choi Scholarship
                  • Diversity
                  $50002020-03-02
                  • 1L
                  • 2L
                  Special consideration will also be given to applicants who have been adversely affected by cancer (as a survivor, or family member of a victim or survivor). 
                  The Plaxen and Adler Scholarship
                  • Practice Area
                  $2500rolling
                    Eligibility specifics: interest in civil trial advocacy and a career as a civil trial lawyer
                    The Reed Smith / McKesson 1L Diversity Fellowship Program
                    • Firms
                    • Diversity
                    $50002020-01-27
                    • 1L
                    The Richard Linn American Inn of Court – Mark T. Banner Scholarship
                    • Practice Area
                    $100002020-12-04
                    • 1L
                    • 2L
                    • 3L
                    Eligibility specifics: Commitment to the pursuit of a career in IP law. 
                    The Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholar Program
                    • Diversity
                    $300002020-12-31
                    • 1L
                    Applicants must be members of a racial or ethnic group currently underrepresented in the patent law profession and be seeking admission to an ABA-accredited law school for the Fall 2021 semester.
                    The Snell & Wilmer Fellowship for Advancement and Resources (FAR) 
                    • Firms
                    • Diversity
                    See notes.2020-06-01
                    • 1L
                    Award is for the amount of an LSAT preparation course of the Fellow’s choosing, a stipend equal to the most current cost to both sit for the LSAT and register for the Credential Assembly Service, a 1L law school prep course, money for books for all three years of law school, a technology stipend (if needed), and mentorship from an assigned Snell & Wilmer attorney over the course of the fellowship.
                    Thompson & Knight 1L Diversity Fellowship Program
                    • Firms
                    • Diversity
                    $200002020-01-06
                    • 1L
                    Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. Juvenile Justice Law School Scholarship
                    • General
                    $1000closed for 2020; check back in 2021
                    • 1L
                    • 2L
                    • 3L
                    Tonkon Torp 1L Diversity Fellowship Program
                    • Firms
                    • Diversity
                    $100002020-01-08
                    • 1L
                    TYLA (Texas Young Lawyers Association) Diversity Scholarship
                    • Regional
                    • Diversity
                    Varies2020-10-16
                    • 1L
                    • 2L
                    • 3L
                    United States-Mexico Bar Association (USMBA) Writing Competition - "Legal Framework for the Fuel of North America"
                    • Writing
                    • Practice Area
                    Varies2021-01-11
                    • 1L
                    • 2L
                    • 3L
                    Email Moira Cary (mcary@smu.edu) for application documents and prompt. See also: posting on billboard in Storey Hall.
                    Vinson &Elkins 1L Diversity Fellowships
                    • Firms
                    • Diversity
                    Variesrolling
                    • 1L
                    Warren E Burger Prize Writing Competition
                    • Writing
                    $50002020-07-01
                    • 1L
                    • 2L
                    • 3L
                    Weil 1L Diversity Fellowship
                    • Firms
                    • Diversity
                    $100002020-01-17
                    • 1L
                    Weisblatt Law Firm Scholarship
                    • General
                    • Firms
                    See notes.2020-05-01
                    • 1L
                    • 2L
                    • 3L
                    Wilson W. Herndon Memorial Fund - Antitrust
                    • Practice Area
                    $500rolling
                    • 2L
                    • 3L
                    Awarded to Law student that ranks highest in Antitrust Law
                    Workers Comp Law Scholarship
                    • Practice Area
                    $5002020-06-01
                    • 1L
                    • 2L
                    • 3L
                    Zelle LLP Diversity In Law Scholarship 
                    • Firms
                    • Diversity
                    Varies2020-06-01
                    • 1L