Scholarship Grants for pursuing a Graduate Degree in Law

Law programs are designed for students who have the background that will enable them to handle the rigorous and concentrated course of study. It allows students to gain expertise in both the law and general management practices. The program prepares students for careers in which an understanding of both legal and business principles is essential. Students in the joint degree program are enrolled in and take classes at both schools during each of their upper-level semesters of the third and fourth years (with the exception of the Law School Winter Term) of the joint degree program.

All admitted students will be considered for scholarships primarily based on each student’s academic merit compared with other admitted students in each particular class. Other factors may include leadership skills, community service, and other outstanding personal or professional accomplishments. The Law School notifies early decision admits of their scholarship status at the time of admission. And the scholarships offered by the Law School are automatically renewed for students who remain in good academic standing.

The Law School administers an extensive program of scholarships and grants, all of which are awarded on a combined basis of financial need and merit. These awards are made available by endowed funds, generous gifts from alumni, and general funds from the respected Universities. To receive full consideration for scholarship assistance of the selected colleges, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid must receive the students’ complete financial aid application by the program priority deadline. Admissions decisions will be generally made without regard to requests for financial assistance. Awards are generally made only after an applicant has responded with interest to an offer of admission.

Applicants requesting financial aid should provide detailed and accurate information regarding their finances and, where applicable, the finances of their spouses or parents. In calculating the amount of financial aid to be requested, it is important to distinguish “wants” from “needs” and to apply only for that amount of aid that is actually needed to attend the Law School. Requests for full or nearly full funding cannot be met and will disadvantage the applicant relative to others in determining the allocation of scholarship funds.

Any award of financial aid from the School of Law is conditional. If the students’ receive an outside award, they are required to notify the Graduate Program of any changes in their financial situation. Any award from the University of Virginia may be reduced or withdrawn completely due to a change in their financial situation.

The employment status of foreign students is closely regulated by U.S. immigration laws. Students with F-1 status may seek limited employment on campus under certain conditions and with the approval of the chair of the Graduate Program Committee. In any case, Law School policy prohibits employment of more than 20 hours per week. The Law School does not have teaching fellowships. Some students may be able to receive limited compensation as research assistants for individual faculty members or from working in the law library. These positions are not available through the Graduate Studies Office but must be individually arranged after the student has completed registration at the Law School.


Public Service Venture Fund (PSVF)

Securing an entry-level public interest job is challenging in the society, because many non-profit organizations, NGOs, and even government agencies tend to hire law school graduates with at least one year of post-graduate work experience after 3L year or after a clerkship. Fellowships help launch long-term public interest careers either at a Fellow’s host organization or a comparable organization in the same or similar issue area or geographic region. For this, first the student need to identify his/her host organization first and ensure that they agree to host the student. If they are deemed eligible to host a PSVF (Public Service Venture Fund)fellow, the organization will need to write a sponsorship letter on the student behalf and submit a signed copy of PSVF’s Memorandum of understanding as part of the student application. This process can begin as early as spring of 2L year, and certainly no later than January of your 3L or clerkship year.

PSVF Org-Based Fellowship support can only be used at the eligible organization for which you submitted a PSVF application, and the salary contribution from PSVF in combination with your other fellowship cannot exceed $45,000. For example, if you receive $40,000 from the Berkeley Foundation, your PSVF contribution would be $5,000 (and not an additional $45,000), and only if the host organization for the Berkeley Foundation Fellowship was the same as your PSVF host organization.

Organization-based fellowships have a limited number of slots (often just one per organization) and are highly competitive. PSVF Org-Based Fellowships cannot be used to fund a staff or project position at an organization that already has its own funding. The exception to this rule occurs if the organization does either of the following: Only offers its fellowship once every 2 years and the student is applying on an off cycle;. Turned the student down for its fellowship because it chose another Harvard Law School graduate to fill that position. The answer is a lawyerly it depends, and the student should consult the PSVF Org-Based Fellowship host organization guidelines. Generally speaking, if the organization is one entity, it will be disqualified even if it has multiple offices/projects. However, with nonprofits that share a name but offices have separate 501 c3 status with distinct budgets and boards, an office that does not have entry-level hiring may be eligible.


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