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.
Applications for the Diversity Access Scheme for the 2014/15 academic year have closed. If you would like to see a copy of the 2014/15 application form and guidance, they may be downloaded below.
However, please note that the format of the scheme may change for 2015/16 and there is no guarantee it will run in the same way with the same criteria next year.
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.
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
Vernon Cade Fund
This modest fund was established by Mrs Grace Cade, the widow of Cambridge solicitor Vernon Cade, to provide financial assistance to persons training to become solicitors and having a connection with the county of Cambridgeshire.
The Trustees invite applications from trainees who:
- Have been normally resident in or are working or intending to work in the county of Cambridgeshire, AND
- Have obtained or commenced a training contract.
The strength of the connection with Cambridgeshire will be material. The typical size of a grant made by the Trustees is in the region of £500 - £2,000.
Application forms can be obtained from:
Thomson Webb & Corfield
16 Union Road, Cambridge CB2 1HE
Tel: 01223 578073.
Applications have closed for this year. You can soon apply for next year's intake - watch this space.
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.
Deadline for applications is Friday 23 May.
If you feel that you might be eligible for consideration for an award, please email email@example.com to obtain an application form.
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.
Deadline for completed applications was 31 March 2014. The grant will be allocated by 31 July 2014.
Download the flyer (PDF 40kb)
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:
Scholarship search and Student cash point
Visit the following websites to see if you are eligible for funding assistance:
The Scholarship Hub
The website provides a comprehensive database of funding available for UK/EU students to help reduce student debts.
International awards and scholarship: the USA
Please email the Junior Lawyers Division at email@example.com if you are aware of any other sources of funding and assistance not already mentioned above.