Entering Student Scholarships

 

 

We realize that financing a legal education is of great concern to many prospective and admitted students. As an applicant to Berkeley Law, the best thing you can do to make yourself competitive in the scholarship review process is simply to prepare and submit the strongest overall application possible. As an admitted student we invite you to tell us more about yourself and "opt-in" for further scholarship consideration.

NEW! Law Preview Scholarships Sponsored By Morrison & Foerster and WilmerHale

Top law firms understand that their lawyers must be diverse in order to best serve their clients. That is why many top 100 law firms have invested heavily to improve diversity among practicing attorneys and the legal community in general. These law firms understand that improving diversity in the legal profession requires more than just hiring and promoting diverse attorneys within their firms.  It also requires a sustained commitment to increase the pipeline of diverse students who earn strong grades in law school and are, therefore, positioned to compete for the most sought-after jobs and become the profession’s next generation of leaders and decision-makers.

 

Law Preview (the nation’s largest law school prep course) has teamed up with Morrison & Foerster LLP  and WilmerHale LLP (two of the world’s most prominent law firms) to provide Law Preview Scholarships  to select members of our entering class.  These firms have generously agreed to help entering students prepare for the unique challenges they will face during their 1L year at Berkeley Law by paying the cost of tuition for a law school prep course. Visit the following url to find out more and see if you meet the scholarship criteria: www.lawpreview.com/scholarships.

 

Berkeley Law  Entering Student Scholarships - WHO IS CONSIDERED

There are three ways to be identified as a potential scholarship candidate:

Every applicant is considered for scholarships based on the materials they submit as part of their law school application. Reviewers can indicate that they believe an applicant would be a strong candidate for a scholarship. These recommendations are subsequently reviewed by the Scholarship Committee.

Every admitted student has the option of submitting a Scholarship Interest Form. The content of the form may vary from year to year, but essentially it provides the opportunity for an admitted student to indicate interest in particular scholarships and to provide additional written statements to supplement their original application materials. Examples of scholarships offered through this and the reader-nomination process can be found below. Scholarship Interest Forms are reviewed by the Scholarship Committee.

Additionally, every admitted student that meets the program's criteria may apply for Matching Scholarship consideration by completing the Matching Scholarship Application Form. The Matching Scholarship program is a highly competitive, merit-based scholarship program.  Not all applicants who submit their materials will be offered a Matching Scholarship, and not all offers will be a "full match". Successful applicants will show potential for outstanding and unique contributions to the Berkeley Law community, both in and out of the classroom. We seek to enroll students from a wide variety of backgrounds and priority for Matching Scholarships will be given to individuals who have demonstrated in their law school application that they can make significant contributions to the intellectual diversity of our entering class and have great potential for leadership.  The program will give special consideration to applicants who have significant academic achievements and have overcome barriers such as economic, social, or educational disadvantage. The number of awards granted each year is limited by the total funds available. Matching Scholarship applicants are reviewed by the Scholarship Committee.

 

TYPES OF SCHOLARSHIPS

The scholarships offered, and the specific terms of those awards, vary from year to year. Most - but not all - of the scholarships we offer are renewable for all three years of your legal studies. Many are based on a combination of financial need and merit, but others are need-blind. In general, the awards range from $15,000 - $75,000 ($5,000 - $25,000 per year). Full tuition scholarships are exceedingly rare, but higher levels of assistance may be offered through a combination of smaller awards and need-based grants.
The specific details of any award will be outlined in a student’s scholarship offer letter.

Below are some examples of scholarships offered in the past:

Berkeley Law Dean's Fellowship
Typically $30,000-$75,000 (awarded as $10,000-$25,000 per year)
Awarded to entering students based on a strong record of achievement and professional promise.

Philip S. Ehrlich Public Service Loan-Grant
Typically $60,000 (awarded as $20,000 per year)
Forgivable loan awarded to entering student with demonstrated commitment to public service law and prior history of community work.  Preference given to students with demonstrated financial need and ability to overcome socioeconomic disadvantages to attend law school.

S.K. Yee Fellowship
Typically $15,000 (awarded as $5,000 per year)
Recipients will demonstrate financial need and merit.

Larry L. Hillblom Fellowship
Typically $30,000 (awarded as $10,000 per year)
Fellowship will be awarded to law students who demonstrate financial need.

Billie & Adrian Kragen Scholarship
Typically $15,000 (awarded as $5,000 per year)
Award based on merit and need and made to an individual who earned a "Big C" in intercollegiate athletics as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley.

Ralph Eltse Memorial Scholarship
Typically $30,000 (awarded as $10,000 per year)
Merit-based award provided to entering students deemed "deserving, worthy, and meritorious."

Graduate Opportunity Program Scholarship
Award typically provides full fees plus a $10,000 living expense stipend for the first year only.
This award is given to outstanding entering J.D. students who contribute to the level of diversity within their discipline or the graduate community at large. Recipients may have shown academic achievement despite challenges such as social, economic or educational obstacles.

Sho & Masako F. Sato Fellowship
Typically $12,000 (awarded as $4,000 per year)
Award is made each year to a deserving entering student with a strong experience in and demonstrated commitment to environmental law.

 

REVIEW PROCESS & TIMELINE

The three ways that an applicant/admitted student can be identified as a scholarship candidate are outlined above. The Scholarship Committee meets regularly between January and June to make decisions. Offers are typically extended beginning in early March and until the final response deadline in June or until the available funds are exhausted. Award recipients will first be notified by email, and later will be sent an electronic copy of their offer letter and/or a paper copy via U.S. mail.

If applying for a Matching Scholarship, please note that applications are "triaged" – meaning that they are reviewed in order of the deadline that the individual must respond to the other law school, not in the order the applications are received. Questions regarding the Matching Scholarship can be directed to Kristin Theis-Alvarez at ktalvarez@law.berkeley.edu or matching@law.berkeley.edu

As candidates are reviewed and it is determined that we will NOT be able to offer you a scholarship, we will do our best to notify you promptly via email. However, we cannot guarantee a specific decision date, nor can we adapt our process to fit within the response deadlines of other law schools. If you have a pending offer at another law school that will not allow you to learn about offers from other schools, our best advice is to contact the other school directly and request an extension.

 

RESPONDING TO A SCHOLARSHIP OFFER

Berkeley Law frowns upon the practice of making "exploding" scholarship offers. We will typically provide two weeks for you to consider a scholarship offer, and will never require a response before April 1st. 

Acceptance of a scholarship offer requires simultaneous acceptance of our offer of admission and withdraw from all schools where you've been admitted. You need not withdraw from schools where you have not yet received a final decision (i.e., you remain on a wait or "hold" list). In practice, we find it the process works best if you simply communicate with us what your situation is and request (upfront) a deadline extension should you feel you need one. Extensions are not guaranteed, but we do want you to make as fully informed a decision about where to attend law school as possible. In the interest of fairness to all other scholarship candidates who may still be waiting for a decision or for more funds to become available, we ask that you respect this requirement.

Questions about responding to a scholarship offer should be directed via email to Kristin Theis-Alvarez, Associate Director of Admissions, ktalvarez@law.berkeley.edu

 

YOUR FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE

Any scholarships that you have been awarded will be added to your financial aid package and will appear on your MyFinAid offer. Scholarships are considered a financial aid resource and may reduce your need to borrow loans. If you have any questions about your overall aid package you should contact the financial aid office at financial-aid@law.berkeley.edu

 

INTERACTION WITH ALUMNI AND DONORS

We will ask for a "Thank You" letter if the donor for your scholarship is interested in hearing about you and your accomplishments. Most recipients are invited to the Alumni Office's Scholarship Luncheon so that they can meet the donor who made their scholarship possible. Occasionally we reach out to scholarship recipients to connect them with writers for our Alumni Magazine, Transcript, wishing to profile outstanding students. Participation in such activities is entirely voluntary.

 

DEFERRING SCHOLARSHIPS

Requests for deferral of admission must be directed to the Admissions Office and are entirely separate from requests for deferral of a scholarship. In general, deferral of scholarship offers is extremely rare and depends greatly on the nature of the request and the circumstances that require it. If you have been offered a scholarship and are requesting deferment from the Admissions Office, you must also make a separate request to the Scholarship Committee before the response deadline of your scholarship. An approved deferral from one side does not guarantee the same from the other. Questions about deferring scholarships can be directed via email to Kristin Theis-Alvarez, ktalvarez@law.berkeley.edu