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Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund

About the Legal Opportunity Scholarship

The American Bar Association (ABA) awards an annual Legal Opportunity Scholarship to first-year law students. The mission of the program is to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply to law school and to provide financial assistance to attend and complete law school. The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship grants 10 - 20 incoming diverse law students with $15,000 of financial aid over their three years in law school. Since its inception, more than 400 students from across the country have received the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship.

Share the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship

How to Apply

The 2023 ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund application for students entering law school in the Fall 2023 session is currently closed.  Please return in early February 2024 to access the 2024 LOSF application portal  to submit your application at:

LOSF Material Requirements

Please read the application instructions carefully. 

FAQs regarding LOSF

Questions can be sent to [email protected] or [email protected].

Requirements for Eligibility 

To be eligible to receive an ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship, an applicant must meet all of the following requirements: 

  1. The applicant must be an entering, first-year law student in academic year 2023.
  2. The applicant must be a member of an underrepresented racial and/or ethnic minority (e.g. Black/African-American, Native American, Hispanic American, Asian/Pacific Islander). Please note: International students are not eligible.
  3. Only students beginning law school in this academic year will be eligible for a scholarship.  Law students who have completed one or more semesters or years of law school are not eligible.
  4. Applicants who are part-time law students also must be starting law school in this academic year to be eligible.
  5. At the time of submission of the application, the applicant must have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 grading scale) at their undergraduate institution.  If the applicant has not completed their undergraduate degree at the time the application is submitted, the applicant must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 grading scale) as of the most recent completed semester.
  6. Before receiving scholarship funds, recipients will be required to demonstrate admission to and plans to enroll at an ABA-accredited law school.  Because of the deadline for submitting applications the applicant will have applied to law schools, but may not yet have been admitted to law school.  If the applicant is selected to receive an ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship, the applicant will be required to demonstrate admission to and plans to enroll at an ABA-accredited law school before receiving scholarship funds.  Students who do not enroll or who leave law school after being admitted will be required to return all or a proportional amount of scholarship funds.

Support Our Scholars

Make a Charitable Gift to the Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund

Costs associated with law school may derail accomplished and highly motivated students from completing their Juris Doctor.  For the class of 2016, one out of ten minority law students had to abandon a lifetime dream of becoming a lawyer and the legal field lost 10% of its potential diverse talent pool.

Most of these exceptional graduates are now giving back to the profession through the ABA’s public service and educational programs by providing pro bono assistance to the underserved and promoting diversity at their law firm, corporation, government agency or legal aid organization.

DONATE TODAY to break down financial barriers to law school and open the legal profession’s doors to passionate young people of color.

Your gift to support the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund will bring about a more diverse and inclusive legal profession and positive changes in our communities.  

Hear from Past LOSF Recipients

Hear from Past ABA President William Paul

How a diverse legal profession upholds the Rule of Law: 

LOSF Newsletters

Spring 2023 - Honoring Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage

Winter 2023 - See How Your Section/Division/Forum Can Win the SOC Diversity Contest

Fall 2022 - Get Acquainted With Incoming ABA Legal Opportunity Scholars

Summer 2022 - ABA House of Delegates Rallies to Support Legal Opportunity Scholarships

Spring 2022 - Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage

Winter 2022 - Honoring Black History

Fall 2021 - Number of Scholarship Awards Increase

"I spent years searching my neighborhood for someone to look up to, but eventually I stopped looking for that person and decided to become that person."

Marlena ConnellyRoger Williams University School of Law

"Chaldeans desperately need someone who truly understands their needs and communicates in a language they understand… When I become a lawyer, I aim to do just that. I want to be that voice not just for my people, but for all Middle Easterners who share the same struggles."

Matthew HannaU.C. Davis School of Law

"My diversity is an asset, and I use the identities that I carry - Black, low-income, Southern, ideologically progressive – to constantly forge spaces more inclusive of marginalized individuals."

Armani MadisonHarvard Law School