If you're thinking of becoming a paralegal or currently enrolled in a paralegal course program, you may be eligible for paralegal scholarships that can help fund your education.
Below you'll find 21 places to look for paralegal scholarships; you may notice quite a few local bar associations and paralegal associations on this list, which means you won't be eligible for all of them--you only live in one area, right? But if your local bar or paralegal association isn't listed here, do check out its website or contact someone in its offices to ask about possible scholarships for paralegals.
21 Places to Look for Paralegal Scholarships
- American Association for Paralegal Education Lex Scholarships: Annual awards of $500 for outstanding student-members.
- American Institute for Paralegal Studies: Four scholarships available: Merit Scholarship Program, Employer Tuition Credit, Alumni Competitive Scholarship Program, and Alumni Achievement Scholarship Program.
- Cal State-Los Angeles Paralegal Studies Program: The Offices of Manuel Hidalgo offers three partial tuition scholarships plus small stipends for books open to Latino students with preference given to Mexican American applicants.
- Cheryl Janke Memorial Endowment Scholarship: The Rotary Club of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin offers an annual scholarship of $500 to outstanding students attending Chippewa Valley Technical College.
- Chippewa Falls Rotary Club Scholarships: Aside from the Cheryl Janke Memorial Endowment Scholarship, the Rotary Club also offers scholarships of up to $300 each to students pursuing a career in a business field, including paralegal students at Chippewa Valley Technical College.
- Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Paralegal Section Scholarship: Scholarship for members of the DMBA and residents of Michigan who are enrolled in a legal assistant degree or certificate program at a post-secondary college or university located in the State of Michigan.
- Jamie Bowie Memorial Scholarship: Offered by the Oklahoma Paralegal Association in memory of OPA member Dianna Peters' daughter Jamie Bowie, this is a $250 award based on character, grades, and need.
- Joanne Dow Memorial Scholarship: Also through the Rotary Club of Chippewa Falls, this $100 scholarship is for a business, accounting, marketing, or paralegal student at Chippewa Valley Technical College.
- Joy King Memorial Scholarship: The Cleveland Association of Paralegals offers a $500 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 a full-time law student or paralegal carrying at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Maricopa County Bar Assocation Paralegal Division Student Scholarships: Given through the MCBA, you can find more information on this scholarship at its website (Arizona).
- National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.: Thomson-West Scholarship awards scholarships of up to $3,500 to eligible members who are currently paralegal students and who have completed essays on a topic related to the practice of paralegals.
- Nebraska Paralegal Association: For Nebraska residents enrolled in an accredited paralegal program.
- Orange County Paralegal Association: Offers two scholarships of $500 each to paralegals or paralegal students in Orange County, California for reimbursement of paralegal education, seminars, meetings, memberships or fees for certifications; essay required.
- Pemberton Paralegal Scholaship at Alexandria Technical College: One $200 scholarship for a current paralegal student with at least a 3.0 GPA (Minnesota).
- Roosevelt University Paralegal Studies Program Scholarships: This school in Chicago offers enrolled students the opportunity to win up to $3,000 through the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Awards based on essay responses.
- SW Florida Paralegal Association: Available scholarship awards include those for taking the CLA and CLAS exams and range between $100 and $250.
- State Bar of New Mexico Scholarships for Paralegals: More information to be announced in September 2009, so check back!
- Sullivan University Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies Scholarship: Annual $5000 scholarship for graduates of the Sullivan University (Kentucky) Paralegal A.S. Degree program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and taking a minimum of eight (8) credit hours per quarter based on continuous enrollment in the Paralegal Studies B. S. program.
- Tampa Legal Secretaries Association Scholarships: Hillsborough Community College offers full tuition scholarships for those who show academic talent and commitment to the field.
- Warner, Norcross and Judd LLP Scholarship for Minority Students: $2000 scholarship for a paralegal/legal assistant minority student in Michigan.
Michelle Fabio is an American writer and attorney who left the Anthracite Coal Region of Pennsylvania for her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy in 2003. She is the About.com Guide to Law School, a frequent contributor to LegalZoom.com, and also blogs about her life in the toe of the boot at Bleeding Espresso. You can follow her on Twitter: @michellefabio or @lawschoolguide.
See also Michelle's wonderful prior guest post for Practical Paralegalism, "10 Reasons to Become a Paralegal".