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External Scholarships

A number of external organizations offer unique opportunities for incoming Columbia Law School students to supplement their financial aid packages with additional scholarships.

We will be including some of the prominent scholarships here, so please check back periodically. Should you have specific questions, please contact the respective sponsoring organization. 

Students receiving awards from external sources must notify the Financial Aid Office of the source and amount of the award. The external award, plus any financial aid (loans and/or grant/scholarships), cannot exceed a student’s cost of attendance, and may affect eligibility for federal and private
educational loans.

The Tony Patiño Fellowship is a merit award created to support law students who have demonstrated leadership ability and whose outstanding academic and personal histories show good moral character, ethical conduct, good citizenship, motivation and initiative. One of the factors in evaluating character is past participation in public service activities. For this purpose, public service is broadly construed to include any activity the primary object of which is to
benefit others or the community as a whole.

The online application provides a secure form to submit all required information and additional documents (essay, resume and three letters of recommendation) to the Fellowship Selection Committee. The Selection Committee looks forward to reading your application.

Students who are successful in the competitive application and interview process win a Tony Patiño merit award and earn the distinction of being named a Tony Patiño Fellow-Elect. The Fellowship may renew the annual scholarship for two additional consecutive years of law school for Fellows-Elect who uphold Fellowship standards and practices. Upon graduation from law school, Fellows-Elect become Tony Patiño Fellows and join a worldwide community of 250 lawyer leaders of character and distinction.    

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office at [email protected] or (212) 854-6522.

BARBRI Law Preview’s “One Lawyer Can Change the World” Scholarship

Given the current political and social climate, BARBRI Law Preview feels it is crucial to support entering 1Ls who plan to use their law degree to become change agents.  The “One Lawyer Can Change the World” Scholarship supports ten entering law students with the following financial awards that help pay for the first year of law school:

  • First prize = $10k scholarship
  • Second prize = $5k scholarship
  • Eight Runners-Up = $1k scholarship

To be eligible, you must be an incoming 1L student starting in the Fall of 2023. You must submit an essay of 500 words or fewer by June 1, 2023.

To fill out a request form for more information—including how to apply, official rules, and more—visit BARBRI Law Preview's website.

The "When There are Nine" (WTAN) Scholarship, inspired by a commitment to honor the legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg seeks to advance equity and diversity within the legal profession by expanding career opportunities for women, and supporting those attorneys in their legal educations and careers.

The Project will provide financial support to deserving women law students who embody the spirit reflected by Justice Ginsburg’s achievements in the face of adversity.  Each WTAN Scholarship Recipient  will be granted $10,000 per academic year.  The number of scholarships awarded will be based on fundraising.  Recipients of the WTAN scholarship will also be provided mentors who will provide support and guidance throughout the recipient’s law school and early professional career. 

Eligibility: The 2022-23 WTA9 Scholarship is open to all women, including students who consistently and self-identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth. Additionally, applicants must:

  • Intend to enroll or currently be enrolled in an ABA-accredited J.D. program with a graduation date in the range listed on the website;
  • Have financial need;
  • Have a strong record of academic achievement; and
  • Demonstrate some ties to New York City, such as family ties, law school, or an intent to practice in or around New York City after graduation.

Award Amount: Each WTA9 Scholarship Recipient (“Recipient”) will be granted $10,000 per academic year. Recipients are required to use financial awards to pay for tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at law school, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at law school.

Please check back for the 2023 application. You may access the scholarship application online through the WTA9 application portal

For more information, including Eligibility Details, Scholarship Recipient Requirements, and How to Apply, you may visit https://wta9.federalbarcouncil.com/ If you have any additional questions, please contact the When There Are Nine Scholarship Project at [email protected]

The Weil Legal Innovators Program (WLI) engages incoming law school students in addressing some of the most pressing social and legal challenges in our communities today. Each WLI class is comprised of incoming law school students who plan to attend a J.D. program at one of our law school partners. Innovators defer their first year of law school to work at a partner nonprofit organization for a paid public service fellowship, executing a strategic initiative designed to leverage their passion for justice and commitment to public service, while amplifying the impact of the nonprofits and their important missions.

To learn more about WLI, click here to view the 2023-2024 WLI Informational Webinar. If you have specific inquiry not covered in the presentation or want to hear more about WLI, attend WLI Office Hours to speak with a member of the WLI team. Click here to register for a session.

The 2023 online application can be found here.

Goodwin is proud to partner with Meta on our HBCU IP/Tech Scholarship Program. Goodwin will provide $20,000 scholarships to graduating seniors from historically underrepresented backgrounds who are currently attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and will be starting law school in the fall.

Awardees will have the option of spending one week this summer at a Goodwin office, shadowing firm lawyers to learn more about the firm and our practice areas. Each awardee will be paired with a Goodwin lawyer who will serve as a mentor for the scholar while in law school. Awardees will also have the opportunity to spend two virtual weeks this summer working with one of the Meta IP teams. Upon completion of their 1L year at law school, the scholarship recipients will be considered for positions in Goodwin’s 1L Diversity Fellowship program.

To qualify for a scholarship, the candidate must be admitted to, and planning to attend, an accredited law school and express a genuine interest in pursuing a legal career in either IP or Tech.

To remain eligible, a candidate may not participate in a similar program or be an award recipient of another law firm. A candidate must not be an immediate family member of a Goodwin lawyer or employee, and may not be a Goodwin client or an employee of a Goodwin client.

Please check back in the Spring for the online application found on the HBCU IP/Tech Scholarship Program website.

Calling all incoming law students interested in becoming a part of the next generation’s legal leaders:

The LMJ Scholarship is a diversity pipeline program that seeks to nurture the academic and professional careers of outstanding diverse law students. The LMJ Scholarship program grants scholarships of $10,000 to students for their first year of law school. In addition to financial support, scholars gain access to MCCA’s extensive community of legal law firms and in house peers, alumni, and mentors, who are available to provide professional support and guidance.  

Since its inception, the LMJ Scholarship has awarded over $3.7 million in scholarships to 222 students, of which 40% identify as men and 60% identify as women.

Learn more about MCCA and the LMJ Scholarship here.