Law School Scholarships Now Negotiable as Schools Court 1Ls

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on July 31, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Law school scholarship packages are more attractive for 1Ls as schools compete for the best students.

After nonstop bad press, the number of applicants for law school is down which means schools have to work harder to make similarly competitive classes. To meet high quality standards some schools are offering perks to entice top ranking prospective students.

For many law school applicants the decision of whether and where to attend hangs on price. Schools have responded to that by increasing the scholarship dollars available.

Not only is there more scholarship money out there, accepted students are encouraged to take more of it.

Students negotiating for better scholarship packages is on the rise, reports The Wall Street Journal. Schools respect students' efforts to bargain for more money and some even encourage them to make the first move to negotiate better scholarships.

Law schools gave out more than $1 billion in scholarships during the 2011-2012 year. That allows schools to keep tuition up while still attracting students who want to minimize graduate debt.

The push for more money is unsurprising given the steep increase in law school tuition over the years.

Tuition costs have increased 1000% since 1985 when the average price of in-state tuition was $2000, according to the ABA Journal.

If money is an option as a law school applicant, keep in mind that the more you can offer the school, the better your chances of an improved scholarship package.

When asking for more money it's ok to make reference to other packages you've been offered but it may not sway the school if the better package comes from a lower ranked school.

Avoid being pushy. If you ask for more money and the answer is 'no' then asking again probably won't get you anywhere.

Negotiating scholarships allows law schools to react to the changing needs of applicants and keep their high caliber of students. When those acceptances start rolling in, take advantage of the opportunity. You may not get more money, but at least you'll work on your negotiation skills.

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