Paying for Your Paralegal Studies: Scholarships
Paralegal scholarships aren't available on every corner, but there are some available for those inclined to look and to jump through the necessary hoops to apply for one. This listing is continued in Scholarships for Paralegal Studies, part 2 – but it's by no means complete. You'll be getting your share of assignments once you start your paralegal education; regard your hunt for scholarship money as your first assignment. Consider the following sampling of scholarships as a start for your research:
American Association for Paralegal Education Lex Scholarships: AAfPE sponsors an annual research and writing competition for students of Institutional Members. Students research and write on a legal issue formulated by AAfPE members. Three to five LEX scholarships have been awarded to the winners and their essays are published in the Educator, the official publication of AAfPE.
American Institute for Paralegal Studies: Four scholarships available: Merit Scholarship Program, Employer Tuition Credit, Alumni Competitive Scholarship Program, and Alumni Achievement Scholarship Program. Over 54% of program candidates are eligible for a merit based or employer sponsored scholarship. Please speak with your admissions representative regarding your qualifications.
Cal State-Los Angeles Paralegal Studies Program: Three Manuel Hidalgo paralegal scholarships are awarded twice a year with preference to Latino students. Tuition Assistance is available through the Educational Resources Institute. Students who are members of the Los Angeles Paralegal Association are eligible for a 10 percent discount on tuition fees.
Chippewa Falls Rotary Club Scholarships: The Bye, Goff, Rohde & Skow, Ltd. Paralegal Scholarship is awarded to a River Falls High School Senior, or a River Falls High School graduate enrolled in the Paralegal Program. This scholarship is awarded on grounds of merit and promise anticipated in pursuing a career within the legal profession.
Joanne Dow Memorial Scholarship: Also through the Rotary Club of Chippewa Falls, this $100 scholarship is awarded annually to an average, hard-working business education or paralegal student.
Jamie Bowie Memorial Scholarship: The Jamie Bowie Memorial Scholarship is an annual $250 scholarship which is awarded to a student enrolled in an ABA-approved paralegal program.
Joy King Memorial Scholarship: The Cleveland Association of Paralegals offers a scholarship to a student in a paralegal program at a local school in honor of the memory of a colleague.
Judge Ernest W. Akemann Scholarship: The Elgin Community College in Illinois sponsors this scholarship, awarded to students who have declared an area of concentration, are working toward a two year degree, transfer, or certificate, and are inrolled in career focused course work. Check under “Career/Education Focused Scholarships”. Note that this more general form of scholarship is available at a large number of institutions – check around.
The following paragraph is also included at the end of part 2 because it bears repeating. Words to live by!
Many other scholarships are available; check with your local bar association for postings (and available internships); suggest to them that their scholarship fund may satisfy local pro-bono requirements. At the very least, you'll be able to initiate some contact in the law community to further your networking efforts for a future job. Also consider local unions (labor, teaching, healthcare, etc.), local paralegal associations, and so on. There are a wide variety of paralegal specialties such as immigration, government, nurse, military – you get the idea. Leave no stone unturned.