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.  In addition to our list, AccessLex, a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to legal education, has launched their Law School Scholarship Databank to help law students find the right scholarship for them. This interactive page allows you to filter through nearly 800 incoming and returning student scholarships and writing competitions totaling almost $300 million in aid.

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
AAPJ (American Assoc. of Patent Judges) Hon. Frederick E. McKelvey Memorial Scholarship
  • Writing
  • Practice Area
$5002022-05-31
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Aaron Wersing Employment Discrimination Scholarship Contest
  • Firms
  • Practice Area
$10002021-12-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
AAUW (American Association of University Women) Selected Professions Felloweships
  • Diversity
Varies2021-12-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
$5,000 - $18,000 Fellowships, Awarded to women in one of the designated degree programs where women’s participation traditionally has been low.
ABA Aviation and Space Law Committee Annual Law Student Writing Competition
  • Writing
$20002021-09-09
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Email mcary@smu.edu for application materials; also posted on bulletin board in Storey Hall
ABA LGBT Public Interest Scholarship Program
  • Diversity
  • Practice Area
$50002To be determined.
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Eligibility specifics: the applicant must (i) be either a first, second or third year law student in good standing in an ABA accredited law school, or a recent law graduate from an ABA accredited law school still studying for the Bar Exam. (ii) have secured an internship or job for Summer 2021 (which can extend beyond the Summer) and/or the Fall of 2021 with a public interest organization engaged in legal or policy work with a direct impact on LGBTQ individuals.
ACCSFL (American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers) Writing Competition
  • Writing
  • Practice Area
$50002021-12-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
See also posting on Storey Hall bulletin board
Alaska Bar Association Law School Scholarships
  • Regional
Varies2022-03-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
Eligibility specfics: 1st or 2nd year law students who demonstrate ties to Alaska, and an intent to return to Alaska within two years of graduation.
Alexander Bolton Law Student Scholarship - Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL)
  • General
$250012021-09-30
  • 2L
  • 3L
Eligibility specifics: rising 2L or 3L who has completed at least 20 hours of SMU Dedman School of Law’s required public service hours. See 9/13/21 email from Laura Burstein for application documents and full description
American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers (ACCFSL) Writing Competition
  • Writing
  • Practice Area
$100002021-12-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM) Writing Competition
  • Writing
Varies2021-01-15
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Writing Competition
  • Writing
  • Practice Area
$180022022-06-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
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
Arnold & Porter Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship
  • Diversity
$1000062021-03-15
  • 1L
Blanch Law Firm Writing Scholarship
  • Writing
  • Firms
$5000rolling
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Blackford & Flohr Annual Scholarship
  • General
  • Writing
$5002022-02-28
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
bold.org "Be Bold" No-Essay scholarship
  • General
$10000rolling
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Brown Trial Firm Scholarship Essay Contest - Cerebral Palsy
  • General
  • Firms
$10002021-06-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Essay question about innovative therapies and activities for cerebral palsy
Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Diversity Scholarship
  • Firms
  • Diversity
$20002021-10-01
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Burress Injury Law Underdog Scholarship
  • Firms
$1000032022-06-15
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Chapman Albin Scholarship
  • General
  • Firms
$10002021-06-15
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Cole Schotz Diversity Scholarship
  • Firms
  • Diversity
$50002021-07-01
  • 2L
Eligibility specifics: full-time second-year law students attending a law school in a state in which Cole Schotz maintains an office.
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Spouses Education Scholarship (Collin Allred Congressional District)
  • General
  • Diversity
$200002021-04-30
  • 1L
  • 2L
  • 3L
Eligibility Specifics: African American and Black graduating high school seniors; scholars pursuing undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degrees in a variety of fields.
Dallas Bar Association Energy Law Section
  • Practice Area
$250per semester
    Students studying Energy Law; information emailed out from SMU Law
    Dallas Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section Scholarship
    • Practice Area
    Varies2022-03-11
    • 1L
    • 2L
    • 3L
    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 Jewish Community Foundation
    • General
    Varies642022-02-10
    • 1L
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys 2021 Scholarship
    • General
    $10002021-07-01
    • 1L
    • 2L
    • 3L
    The Edwards Law Firm Community First Scholarship
    • Firms
    • Practice Area
    $10002022-01-15
    • 1L
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Elite Lawyer Scholarship
    • Firms
    $10002022-07-07
    • 1L
    • 2L
    Findmylawtutor.com Scholarship
    • General
    $500every 6 months
    • 1L
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Frost Brown Todd Diversity Scholarship
    • Firms
    • Diversity
    $200052021-07-02
    • 1L
    • 2L
    • 3L
    Email mcary@smu.edu for application materials; also posted on bulletin board in Storey Hall
    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
      Grossman Law Offices Diversity at the Bar Scholarship
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $15002021-12-31
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Harriet E. Miers Writing Competition Award (State Bar of Texas Women and the Law Section)
      • Writing
      $10002022-02-25
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      See also posting on Storey Hall bulletin board
      Harris Lowry Manton LLP Civil Justice Scholarship
      • General
      • Firms
      $50002021-06-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Open to any incoming or current law student
      HNBA (Hispanic National Bar Association) VIA Fund 2021 General Law School Scholarships
      • Diversity
      $2500102021-09-03
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Eligibility specifics: A current 1L, 2L or 3L law student in good standing of Hispanic or Latinx origin
      Hofstra Law and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Family Law Writing Competition
      • Writing
      • Practice Area
      Varies2021-02-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas
      • Regional
      • Practice Area
      $500022021-05-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Email mcary@smu.edu for application materials; also posted on bulletin board in Storey Hall
      Insurance Law Section State of the State Bar of Texas Writing Competition
      • Writing
      • Practice Area
      $400032022-05-02
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      James Kennedy Law "One Tough Student" Scholarship
      • Firms
      $100022022-07-08
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Eligibility specics: You or a family member was injured by a drunk driver; You have a need for financial assistance, with an annual family income of less than $75,000
      Joel Stern Scholarship Fund
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $50002022-02-11
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas Joel White Scholarship
      • Practice Area
      $10002022-02-04
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      The Jordan Law Firm Diversity Scholarship
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $100012021-12-31
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Eligibility specifics: Must have at least one birth parent who is a member of one of the following minority groups: Black/African American, Hispanic, Native North American, Pacific Islander
      Kanoski Bresney Stand Up To Distracted Driving scholarship
      • Firms
      $100052022-06-15
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Lazzari Memorial Prize: Texas Entertainment and Sports Law Writing Competition
      • Writing
      • Practice Area
      $10002022-05-02
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Lemon Law Experts' Scholarships
      • General
      • Firms
      $100022021-08-31
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Lighthouse Recovery Academic Scholarship
      • General
      $20002021-12-04
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Eligibility specifics: maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Preference will be given to those with a field of study in Addiction or Mental Health.
      Louis Jackson Memorial National Student Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law
      • Writing
      • Practice Area
      Varies2021-06-15
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Eligibility specifics: Authors must have completed or be currently taking coursework in employment or labor law. Only the first two submissions per law school will be accepted as entries for consideration.
      Mann Law Firm Legal Scholarship
      • Writing
      • Firms
      $10002021-05-01
      • 1L
      Eligibility specifics: Commencing law school (1L) in August 2021; Written an article which has been published (in print or digital media).
      Mark Zboch Academic Scholarship
      • General
      $100012022-02-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Marshall M. Schulman Annual Competition for Student Papers in Criminal Law and/or Criminal Procedure
      • Writing
      • Practice Area
      $15002022-04-15
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Michigan Auto Law Diversity Scholarship
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $20002022-06-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      Milestone Trial LawHER Scholarship
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $100002021-08-01
      • 3L
      Eligibility: awarded to a rising 3L
      Nancy Etz Scholarship
      • General
      $10002021-02-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      National LGBT Bar Association and Foundation Scholarship for LGBTQ+ and Ally Law Students
      • Diversity
      $2500032021-04-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Animals and the Law’s 2021 Student Writing Competition
      • Writing
      Varies2021-07-09
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Any topic on Animal Law. Email mcary@smu.edu for application materials; also posted on Storey Hall bulletin board
      Notre Dame Law School Smith-Doheny Legal Ethics Writing Competition
      • Writing
      • Practice Area
      $25002022-06-01
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      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
      Paul D. White Scholarship Program - BakerHostetler
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $7500rolling
      • 1L
      • 2L
      Perkins Coie 2L Diversity Fellowship
      • Firms
      • Diversity
      $250002021-07-24
      • 2L
      Flyer also posted on Storey Hall bulletin board
      PIABA James E. Beckley Student Writing Competition
      • Writing
      $10002022-09-16
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Robert Masur Fellowship in Civil Liberties 2021
      • Practice Area
      $20002021-04-16
      • 1L
      Roy Snell Health Care Regulatory and Compliance Writing Competition
      • Writing
      • Practice Area
      $50002022-02-01
      • 2L
      • 3L
      Registration Deadline: February 1st, 2022; Competition problem emailed out: February 2nd, 2022; Submission Deadline: Friday, March 18th, 2022
      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
      The Stoddard Firm
      • Writing
      • Firms
      $20002021-05-03
      • 1L
      Texas Aggie Bar Association
      • General
      Varies2022-02-26
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      EMAIL mcary@smu.edu for PDF of application. 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 2022
      The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual Law Student Writing Competition
      • Writing
      $300032021-06-15
      • 1L
      • 2L
      • 3L
      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 Plaxen and Adler Scholarship
      • Practice Area
      $2500rolling
        Eligibility specifics: interest in civil trial advocacy and a career as a civil trial lawyer
        The Richard Linn American Inn of Court – Mark T. Banner Scholarship
        • Practice Area
        $100002021-12-03
        • 1L
        • 2L
        • 3L
        Eligibility specifics: Commitment to the pursuit of a career in IP law. 
        The Sovereignty Symposium XXXIIII Writing Competition
        • Writing
        Varies2021-09-01
        • 1L
        • 2L
        • 3L
        Papers on any issue concerning Native American law. Email mcary@smu.edu for application; also posted on Storey Hall bulletin board.
        Trandafir International Business Writing Competition
        • Writing
        $20002021-02-20
        • 1L
        • 2L
        • 3L
        TYLA (Texas Young Lawyers Association) Diversity Scholarship
        • Regional
        • Diversity
        $50002021-10-15
        • 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.
        USMBA Phil Robbins Writing Competition "Legal Framework for the Fuel Market of North America"
        • Writing
        Varies2021-09-12
        • 1L
        • 2L
        • 3L
        Vinson &Elkins 1L Diversity Fellowships
        • Firms
        • Diversity
        Variesrolling
        • 1L
        Warren E Burger Prize Writing Competition
        • Writing
        $50002022-07-01
        • 1L
        • 2L
        • 3L
        Wilson W. Herndon Memorial Fund - Antitrust
        • Practice Area
        $500rolling
        • 2L
        • 3L
        Awarded to Law student that ranks highest in Antitrust Law
        Zelle LLP Diversity In Law Scholarship 
        • Firms
        • Diversity
        $150002021-03-29
        • 1L
        Email Moira Cary (mcary@smu.edu) for full application materials