Funding your studies
At present, the government's Student Loan Scheme is not available for post-graduate study but a number of other funding options are available, including the Professional Studies Loan and a range of scholarships and trust funds which may be able to assist you.
The Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) offers assistance with Legal Practice Course (LPC) fees to exceptional individuals who face or have overcome exceptional obstacles to qualify as a solicitor. Obstacles may be of a financial, social, educational or personal nature, or might relate to a disability or chronic health condition that makes the goal of qualifying as a solicitor a particularly challenging one.
The scheme also provides successful applicants with work experience and mentoring opportunities. Information about those previously helped by the scheme, including a short video, can be found on the Diversity Access Scheme page.
- The Diversity Access Scheme is the only source of financial assistance for legal education fees from the Law Society. Therefore no funding is available from the Law Society for the law degree, GDL, CPE, LLM or any other courses.
- The application process for 2013/14 academic year has now closed. We promoted the scheme as widely as possible and we are unable to consider any late applications or mitigating circumstances.
- Information about the availability of funding for the academic year 2014/15 will be confirmed by the end of 2013. Please watch this space.
Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) - postgraduate students with an impairment, health condition or learning difficulty may be able to get financial help from DSAs. You can apply for DSAs for both taught courses and research places.
Some of the high street banks and specialist banks offer loans for students on specific LPC courses. Contact your local bank branch or the LPC institutions direct for details of their student loan schemes.
Awards and scholarships
HRLA Bursary Award
The Human Rights Lawyers’ Association (HRLA) bursary scheme enables law students (either currently studying or recently graduated) to undertake work placements in the field of human rights. Successful applicants are funded to undertake work related to human rights law that they would otherwise be unable to afford to do.
Work can take place outside of the UK but must have direct relevance to developing human rights law, practice and procedure in the UK, and applicants must demonstrate that they are committed to finding employment, or practising as a lawyer, in the UK in the human rights field in the future.
For more information see the HRLA website.
Overseas students who are able to obtain work permits may apply for sponsorship with firms to support their studies for the Post Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
The British Council provides information and assistance to overseas students seeking to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales.
H M Hubbard Law Scholarship
This scholarship is for trainee solicitors and solicitors. You may apply for a scholarship if you plan to study the law and legal procedures in France, Spain or Canada.
Further information can be obtained from the scholarship administrator - see the H M Hubbard Law Scholarship website for details.
The Inderpal Rahal Memorial Trust
The Trust makes one, or occasionally two, grants per year towards legal training for women from an immigrant or refugee background who intend to practise or teach law in the UK. Candidates are required to complete an application form and, if shortlisted, attend an interview.
The closing date for applications for the 2013 Award is Friday 24 May 2013.
See the website for further details.
You may also contact the trust administrator, either by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to:
Inderpal Rahal Memorial Trust
Garden Court Chambers
57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London WC2A 3LJ
LPC providers - scholarships
Some of the LPC providers offer a number of scholarships. Details can be found on their websites.
The Alexander Maxwell Law Scholarship Trust
This trust exists to promote legal writing and legal research by awarding a series of grants. The Trust prides itself on offering practitioners - often young practitioners - a rare forum for 'practice-focused' legal writing.
The award is run annually, with proposal deadlines in Autumn. See the trust website for full details.
The Graham Rushton Award for visually impaired law students
Graham Rushton was a blind lawyer who left a considerable sum of money to the RNIB as a legacy to be spent on assisting blind and partially sighted law students studying English Law in the United Kingdom. The award is a grant of around £7,000 for which blind and partially-sighted people can apply.
Download the flyer (PDF 29kb)
The Jomati Foundation
The Jomati Foundation provides a limited number of bursaries to very able law students to enable them to complete their post-graduate legal education. As funds are limited, these are restricted to candidates with a strong academic record but limited financial resources. Further details are available on the Jomati website and applications in the first instance should be emailed to email@example.com.
Charities and grant-making trusts
Your local authority awards officer will have information about local charities and any grant-making trusts for which you may qualify. Details may also be available from your local reference library and an searchable database of benefits and grants is available online at www.turn2us.org.uk
Qualifications for these awards vary enormously. Usually, they provide only small amounts of money and should not be relied upon to provide full financial support for either tuition or maintenance.
College access funds
These funds are available to post-graduate students at universities and publicly funded colleges mainly to provide additional assistance to meet living costs. The funds are used at the discretion of your college. Students should contact the student support or student services officer of their institution for further details.
A number of firms will sponsor students, mainly those applying for LPC and those intending to take the GDL. In the circumstances, you would normally expect to serve your training contract with the firm. Occasionally, commitment to employment with the firm over a longer period is required. This will form the subject of a covenant in the training contract.
In most cases it will be necessary to contact firms and law organisations direct to find out if they offer sponsorship to students or you can speak with your university or careers service. You will also find further information at: