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Tips For Choosing a Law School

Think Twice Before Accepting a Law School Scholarship

You might want to view law school scholarships with a grain of salt. In a New York Times expose, it was revealed that many students lose their law school merit scholarships because of a system that is designed for them to do so.

Law schools offer more scholarships because they want to lure highly qualified students in order up their U.S. News rankings. However, the students quickly find out that it's extremely hard to keep up high GPAs because of the grade curve that law schools instill. This ensures that only a small and a set number of people will only be able to achieve the GPA to sustain their scholarship, says The Times. One student faced disappointment when she lost the scholarship after failing to attain a 3.0 GPA:

"A friend and classmate, Rachael Welden-Smith, wound up with a 2.9 in the first year, and, with that number, a deep sense of regret. The previous year, she’d been accepted and sent a deposit to a higher-ranked law school, but she chose Golden Gate when it offered to cover half her tuition with a merit grant."

The solution? The National Law Journal reports that the The American Bar Association is currently looking into requiring law schools into revealing how many students have lost their merit scholarships. I'm guessing if students knew what they were getting into, they wouldn't feel as gypped. Another thing to consider before you take the leap and enroll in law school is David Lat's advice from AboveTheLaw.com when people ask him if they should consider getting their J.D.: "Sure — if you get into Harvard or Yale or Stanford, and someone else will pay for it.”

Seems like law school might not be as prestigious as it was a decade ago.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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calemonlaw calemonlaw 5 years
This all maybe true, however this hasn’t discouraged me from wanting to start law school. I’m in my mid fifties and have put it off for thiry years. I have found many loans, grants and schlorships for someone of my age. Let’s face it, at my age the big firms might grant an interview to be PC, but absent special circumstances they wouldn’t seriously consider me. http://www.ca-lemon-law.com/
GummiBears GummiBears 6 years
I think the title of the article is bit misleading but not entirely. Since said school is only a fourth tier law school, I can't say that I am shocked that they will set up the scholarship in that manner. Now if it was a top ten law school, then I would be horrified.
reynolda reynolda 6 years
Not all law schools do this - many of the top schools will give you a scholarship offer that is "guaranteed for 3 years," and warn you about the lack of guarantee that might come with other offers. Whether or not it's a decent gamble to take out tons of loans for law school right now is another question.
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