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Merit Scholarships for Entering J.D. Students

Dean’s Scholarships are offered to highly qualified students in each entering first-year class.  These scholarships vary in number and amount each year, and are renewable under the terms outlined below.  As part of the Dean’s Scholarship program, we also offer at least two Dean’s Teach for America Scholarships. The terms and criteria for the Teach for America scholarships are the same as those for the Dean’s Scholarship program, except that only current or former Teach for America corps members will be considered. Every applicant accepted for admission to the J.D. program is automatically considered for available merit scholarships, and no additional application is required.

Criteria for Entering Student Scholarships:

Every J.D. applicant accepted for admission is automatically considered for available merit scholarships, and no additional application is required. The following factors are considered when awarding merit scholarships:

  • Applicant's academic record, including previous undergraduate and/or graduate institutions and test scores
  • Applicant's letters of recommendation
  • Applicant's demonstrated interest in obtaining an advanced degree as evidenced by the personal statement and other application materials
  • Other relevant qualifications

Merit scholarships awarded to entering full-time J.D. students, including Dean’s Scholarships and Dean’s Teach for America Scholarships, are renewable for all three years of the J.D. program, provided the student maintains continuous full-time enrollment and is in good academic standing. For part-time students, scholarships are for all four years of the J.D. program, provided the student maintains a continuous part-time course load and is in good academic standing.  If the student transfers from the part-time program to the full-time program, the scholarship will expire upon graduation from the JD program or at the conclusion of the fourth year, whichever comes first.

Scholarships are paid in two equal installments each year, one each for the fall and spring semester. No payment is made for summer enrollment.  The scholarship will be applied to the student’s university financial account.

Dean's Award Ceremony

Each year, the UHLC offers several scholarships to currently enrolled students.  During this ceremony, the Law Center recognizes student achievements in a number of areas. Please pay particular attention to the criteria/description stated in each scholarship on this application. Deadline: TBA for spring 2020.

The 2019 Dean’s Awards Ceremony was held Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

Outside Scholarship Sources (JD & LLM)-All scholarship criteria and selection determinations are set by each individual donor (not the Law Center).

Applicants are encouraged to search for outside scholarships with individual organizations, sororities or fraternities, social clubs, religious or business organizations, employers of a parent, spouse or friend, foundations, town or city clubs, community organizations and civic groups such as the American Legion, YMCA, 4H Club, Elks, Kiwanis, Jaycees or girl & boy scouts. Any organization connected with your field of interest. Other options:


Fellowships/Internships - All scholarship criteria and selection determinations are set by each individual donor (not the Law Center).

Law Center Scholarships

Outside Scholarships (JD & LLM) - All scholarship criteria and selection determinations are set by each individual donor (not the Law Center).

  • Texas Young Lawyers Association Diversity Scholarship (TYLA) $5000 - Recipient must attend a Texas ABA approved law school. TYLA recognizes diversity based upon gender, national origin, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, socioeconomic status and geography. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
  • Diversity Initiative Scholarship  $1000 - Open to any woman or member of a recognized minority group, including but not limited to African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans, who are interested in a career in IP law. Deadline: October 31, 2019.
  • Pusch & Nguyen Scholarship $1250 - Essay topic: Reasons why people continue to drink and drive, despite the widely used ride-share applications available today. What initiatives could be executed to address those reasons. Deadline: November 1, 2019.
  • Nancy F Atlas IP Inn of Court and HIPLA Scholarship $3000 -Awarded to a UHLC 2L and/or 3L student that demonstrates an interest in intellectual property law. Deadline: November 12, 2019.
  • Legal Studies Scholarship $2500 - Essay topic: Why are you interested in the study of law? Deadline: November 30, 2019.
  • Workers’ Rights Advocacy Scholarship $ varies - Essay topic: Describe your interest in advocating on behalf of workers or discuss a unique experience with workers’ rights issues. Deadline: November 30, 2019.
  • Diversity Study Abroad Scholarship for Underrepresented Students $2000 - Applicant must be from an underrepresented group based on race, ethnicity, LGBTQ or Veteran status, or have a physical disability; be a current full-time student in good standing; be in the process of applying to, or accepted into, a study abroad program of at least four weeks in a single country (U.S. State Department Level 1 or 2 location) outside of the United States for summer 2020 or fall 2020. Deadline : November 30, 2019.
  • Pace Law Firm Scholarship $1000 - Essay topic: Relating to legal developments, jurisprudence or other practical considerations for lawyers within the bounds of the topic provided. Ideas must be substantiated with relevant decisions and statutory provisions. Submissions will be evaluated by practicing personal injury lawyers. Deadline: November 30, 2019.
  • North America Immigration Law Group ( $2000 - Essay topic: 1) What are your views on the changes made in immigration laws? Do you think immigrants create or take away jobs in
    our country? 2) Are you interested in studying immigration law? Why/Why not? 3) Do you agree with the idea of revoking the Green Card Lottery program or limiting the quota for family-based
    immigration in order to increase the number of visas given for employment-based immigration? Please specify your reasons. Deadline: November 30, 2019.
  • Ashoori Law Good Deeds Scholarship $1000 - Essay topic: Introduce yourself, explain your act of kindness, the impact it has had, and how it has shaped you. Deadline: December 1, 2019.
  • Keith Williams Law Group Annual Scholarship $1500 - Essay topic: Explain the adversity in your life and difficulty in school that you have overcome and fought through to get where you are today. Deadline: December 1, 2019.
  • Toscano Law Firm Scholarship $1000 - Essay topic: Explain a personal hardship or catastrophic event that you have experienced. Did you manage to overcome the obstacle? How did you grow from the experience? Deadline: December 1, 2019.
  • For the People Scholarship $5000 - Essay topic: What does “For The People” mean to you and how would you apply that in your legal career? Deadline: December 1, 2019.
  • Shook & Stone Scholarship $2500 - Essay topic: Personal/individual injury. Deadline: December 1, 2019.
  • Mark T. Banner Scholarship $10,000 - Criteria: Commitment to the pursuit of a career in intellectual property law; Commitment, qualities and actions toward ethics, civility and professionalism; Academic merit; Written and oral communication skills; Leadership qualities and community involvement; Member of a historically underrepresented group in IP law. Deadline: December 6, 2019.
  • Altman & Altman Law School Scholarship $1500 - Essay topic: The need and affordability of legal services and propose ideas to help meet the demand of these services. Deadline: Between 11.1.19 and 12.1.19.
  • National Business Law Scholarship $500 - Summarize your interest in business law. Deadline: December 9, 2019.
  • National Tax Law Scholarship $500 - Summarize your interest in tax law. Deadline: December 9, 2019.
  • Lemerg Law Scholarship $1250 - Awarded to a law student who fosters an understanding of consumer law. Deadline: December 10, 2019.
  • The Reeves Law Group Scholarship $5000 - Awarded to the applicant who best demonstrates a genuine desire and goal of using the legal system to fix problems or improve conditions in our society. Deadline: December 15, 2019.
  • Diversity Scholarship $2000 - Recipient (1L or 2L) is a member of an ethnic or racial minority or demonstrates a defined commitment to issues of diversity within their academic career. Deadline: June 1, 2020.
  • Elder Abuse and Neglect Scholarship $700 - Submit an original elder abuse and neglect article. Deadline: December 29, 2019.
  • Mesriani Law Group Scholarship $500 - Exceptional leadership skills; Outstanding work ethic; Commitment to serve less fortunate litigants; Unquestionable integrity and moral character; Resilience in the face of adversity. Deadline: December 31, 2019. 
  • Renee Torgenson Memorial Scholarship $1000 - The notion of equality in justice is a crucial aspect of law; candidates must demonstrate their passion to use justice to improve their community and help real people. Ideal candidates must exhibit related values within their research, volunteer work, prior job experience, or extra curricular activities. Deadline: December 31, 2019.
  • Constantine Cannon Law School Scholarship $2500 - Essay topics: 1) What does it mean to be a whistle-blower? 2) Tell us about a personal whistle-blower experience. 3) Tell us about a whistle-blower who has inspired you. 4) How important are whistle-blowers to promoting transparency in government and protecting the health and safety of the public? 5) What is the best way to encourage whistle-blowers to say something when they see something? Deadline: January 10, 2020.
  • Senior Caregiver Scholarship $2000 -Awarded to a student who has been a caregiver for a senior friend or relative. Deadline: January 15, 2020.
  • Bar Exam Preparation Scholarship - This scholarship facilitates the transition into the legal profession for law students from backgrounds traditionally under-represented in the profession. Third-year law school students who attend an ABA-accredited Texas law school and who are preparing for the 2020 Texas Bar Exam are eligible for this scholarship. Deadline: January 15, 2020.
  • DDR Lawyers Legal Scholarship $1500 - Essay topic: What you hope to achieve in your legal career if awarded this scholarship. Deadline: January 31, 2020.
  • DC Law Scholarship $2000 - Essay topic: How could we improve our rules of procedure and/or rules of evidence to provide for a more fair and just civil jury trial? You can respond in the context of the Federal Rules, or any state that you prefer. Deadline: January 31, 2020.
  • Morgan Law Group Scholarship $1000 - Essay topic: Describe the area of law you intend to pursue. Deadline: January 31, 2020.
  • The Advocates Scholarship $1000 - Essay topic: What are some of the daily problems bicyclists face on the roads? How aware are we of bicyclists and the laws associated with them? How can you contribute to improving awareness and road safety for bicyclists? Deadline: January 31, 2020.
  • Devereaux, Stokes, Fernandez, and Leonard (DSFL) Scholarship $1000 - Awarded to Immigrant or first-generation Hispanic student who is currently enrolled as an undergraduate on a per-law track or law student at an accredited university. submit a 2-minute video answering the following question: What are the greatest barriers in our legal system to justice for all? How can you work to change this? Deadline: January 31, 2020.
  • Krist Law Firm Scholarship $5000 - Essay Topic: A time when you faced a significant ethical dilemma. What was the situation and what did you do? Deadline: March 31, 2020.
    KNR’s Stop Distracted Driving Scholarship $5000 - Applicants will be required to develop a plan that will persuade young adults to avoid distracted driving. Deadline: March 31, 2020.
  • Plaxen and Adler Scholarship $2500 -  Applicant must show to be an outstanding and promising scholar, have an interest in civil trial advocacy and possess a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Deadline: June 1, 2020.
  • Civil Justice Scholarship Award $2500 - Topic: The injured plaintiff’s right to be compensated through litigation or mediation. Deadline: June 1, 2020.
  • Law Student Diversity Scholarship  $2500 - Topic: Describe your efforts to encourage greater racial or ethnic diversity within the student body of your school. Deadline: June 1, 2020.
  • Harris Lowry Manton LLP Civil Justice Scholarship $5000 - Essay topic: The importance of the right to a trial by jury. Deadline: June 1, 2020.
  • Cunningham & Mears Academic Scholarship $2500 - Essay topic: Why you chose to study Law. Deadline: June 1, 2020.
  • Heart Disease Scholarship $? - You have been diagnosed with heart disease or a congenital heart defect. Essay topic: How has heart disease affected or changed your plans in life? Deadline: June 15, 2020.
  • Levinson Law Group Law School Scholarship $2000 - Essay topic:  Illustrate how you hope to help victims of personal injury and why you chose this area of law. Deadline August 1, 2020.


Writing Competitions-All award criteria and selection determinations are set by each individual donor (not the Law Center).

  • AALA Law Student Writing Contest $? - Topic: Discuss any modern and relevant topic related to agricultural law. Deadline: October 15, 2019.
  • American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers Writing Competition $5000 - Topic: Aspect of U.S. consumer financial services law with topics that relate principally to securities regulation, bankruptcy, insurance, or the safety and soundness aspects of banking regulation are not eligible. Deadline: December 1, 2019.
  • International Refugee Law Student Writing Competition $100 + travel expenses to annual meeting in Geneva - Topic: Any topic related to international law and refugees, stateless persons, internally-displaced persons (IDPs), and forced migrants. Deadline: January 15, 2020.
  • Center for Alcohol Policy Writing Competition $5000 - Topic: During the United States Supreme Court 2019 term, the Court announced in June its decision in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas. Based on the Court’s decision, what do you believe will be the next steps for alcohol policy in the United States? Deadline: January 17, 2020.
  • Rene Cassin Thesis Prize publishing rights- Thesis/Seminar Topic: International Human Rights Law; Regional Human Rights Law; Comparative Human Rights Law; Legal Theory of Human Rights. Deadline: January 30, 2020.
  • Richard D. Cudahy National Writing Competition On Regulatory and Administrative Law $1500 - Topic: Submissions should be focused on American regulatory or administrative law, broadly construed. Appropriate subjects include empirical or comparative analyses of the effectiveness of specific regulatory regimes or deregulation; doctrinal investigations of the development of administrative law rules or principles by courts and administrative agencies and the effects of that development; and normative analyses of how particular regulatory or administrative regimes or deregulation advance or fail to advance values of fairness, participation, and transparency. Deadline: February 2, 2020.
  • Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition On a Progressive Vision of the Constitution $3000 - Topic: Papers furthering and promoting a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy. Student must be a dues-paying member of the American Constitution Society (ACS). Deadline: February 9, 2020.




University of Houston Law Center
Financial Aid & Scholarship Office
4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, Texas 77204-6060
(713) 743-2269
School code 003652