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 achievement in a number of areas. Please pay particular attention to the criteria stated in each of the 16 scholarships on this application. 2016 Deadline: TBA.
The 2015 Dean’s Awards Ceremony was held Wednesday, April 22, 2015.


Outside Scholarship Sources

Applicants are encouraged to search for outside scholarships. Some suggestions are, 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:



  • American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship or Grants $$ varies - Fellowship and grant recipients perform research in a wide range of disciplines and work to improve their schools and communities. Their intellect, dedication, imagination, and effort promise to forge new paths in scholarship, improve the quality of life for all, and tackle the educational and social barriers facing women worldwide. Deadlines: Vary; November 15, 2015 through January 15, 2016.
      • 2016-2017 Law & Biosciences Post-doctoral Fellowship Program - The Law & Biosciences Fellowship is a residential fellowship that provides an opportunity to become involved in the activities of Science & Society and Duke University, while pursuing independent scholarship at the intersection of science and society. Candidates are offered a one-year position, with a possibility for renewal for a second year in limited circumstances. Deadline: December 5, 2015.
      • Fellowship in Climate Change Law $60,000 per year - Applicants must have received a J.D. or LL.M. degree within three years prior to the beginning of the Fellowship. Strong academic qualifications and a background in environmental or energy law and policy will be expected. Deadline: February 16, 2016.


  • Mark T. Banner Scholarship $5000 - Scholarship recipients are selected by the Mark T. Banner Scholarship review board based on the following criteria:

    • Commitment to the pursuit of a career in intellectual property law.

    • Commitment, qualities and actions toward ethics, civility and professionalism.

    • Academic merit (undergraduate, graduate and law school).

    • Written and oral communication skills.

    • Leadership qualities and community involvement.

    • Member of a historically under represented group in IP law (including race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability). Deadline: November 23, 2015.

  • The McKenzie Law Firm Legacy Planning Scholarship $1000 - Essay topic: Write a letter from your ideal future self to your current self, explaining what you will accomplish over the next 10 years, how you will accomplish it, and what the continuing impact of those accomplishments will be after you are gone. Deadline: November 29, 2015.
  • Sutliff & Stout Scholarship Contest $1000 - Awarded to the student who makes the funniest fake lawyer commercial. Deadline: November 30, 2015.
  • Texas Scholarship of Academic Excellence $1500 - A 500 to 1,500 word essay on the topic 'What influenced your decision to select the major you are pursuing?' must be included. Deadline: November 30, 2015.
  • Tucker IP Law Personal Injury and Patent Scholarship $500 - Essay Topic: 1) How has a personal injury inspired you to pursue a career in personal injury law? 2) How has a patent inspired you to pursue a career in patent law? Deadline: November 30, 2015.
  • Law School Scholarship $1000 - Tell us what drives you and why you want to pursue a law degree or why you want to go to law school. Explain what motivates you. Deadline: December 1, 2015.
  • Rogers Law Firm Scholarship Essay $1000 - The essay will be on one of three topics relating to personal injury law.  Deadline: December 1, 2015.
  • Goodman Acker Law School Scholarship $1000 - Essay Topic: 1) As a victim, what are the top 10 things you should ask your personal injury lawyer? 2) How would the world be different if there were no personal injury lawyers? Deadline: December 1, 2015.
  • Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers' Single Mothers' Scholarship $1000 - Awarded to a single mother to assist with financial burdens. Submit an essay describing the difficulties they have encountered and how they have risen above to achieve academic success. Deadline: December 5, 2015.
  • Donald Memorial Legal Scholarship $2,000 - Available to those studying criminal justice. Deadline: December 10, 2015.
  • Law Offices of Randy Collins Scholarship $1000- Write a complete essay answering 3 questions provided on website. Deadline: December 10, 2015.
  • National Tax Law Scholarship $500 - Awarded to a second or third year U.S. law student with a demonstrated interest in tax law. Deadline: December 11, 2015.
  • National Business Law Scholarship $500 - Awarded to a second or third year U.S. law student with a demonstrated interest in business law. Deadline: December 11, 2015.
  • Farzad Family Law Scholarship $3500 - Submit a 2,500 to 4,500 word essay that presents a challenging four part question:

    1. Should a female victim of rape whose child was conceived through rape have the right to forever terminate the perpetrator’s parental rights in every respect? Assume for this question the perpetrator was criminally convicted of the rape.

    2. Should a condition precedent of such a termination of parental rights be the criminal conviction of the alleged perpetrator for rape?

    3. Should a condition precedent of such a termination of parental rights be that a non-biological parent (male or female) will also adopt the child (resulting in the child having two parents)?

    4. Should the perpetrator of rape still be obligated to pay the victim child support throughout the child’s minority (which you can assume means under the age of 18) even if his parental rights are terminated? Deadline: December 15, 2015.

  • The Reeves Law Group Scholarship $2500 - Tell your story in a brief narrative, starting with an introduction about who you are, your interests, and anything else you feel we should know about you. Then in a 750-1000 words essay (or PowerPoint or Prezi presentation), give us your submission on the following topic: “My dream contribution to society as a lawyer”. Deadline: December 15, 2015.
  • Strong Arm Leukemia Scholarship $1000 - You or a loved one must have been affected by leukemia. A 500 -1000 word essay on one of 3 topics listed on this link. Deadline: December 15, 2015.
  • Law Offices of Billy Skinner Student Scholarship $1000 - Essay topic: Why law is important to you and why it is your chosen major. Deadline: December 15, 3015.
  • The Gilmer Law Firm Scholarship $2000 - Essay Topic: Discuss the process and procedure involved with child protective investigations from beginning to end in New York State. The essay should focus on the administrative process, not the family court process. Deadline: December 15, 2015.
  • Empowering Women in Law $2000 - The scholarship is intended to encourage & support a female student in outstanding achievement & leadership by example from women in the field of law. To be awarded fall 2016. Deadline: December 31, 2015.
  • Wattel & York Scholarship $1000 - Applicants must be single mothers who need financial assistance as they meet the demands imposed by single motherhood and academia. Deadline: December 31, 2015.
  • Annual Disability Scholarship $1000 - Available to students with a medically documented disability, which can be either a physical disability or a learning disability. Applicant must write an essay on the following topics: 1) What are the greatest challenges you have had to overcome as a result of your disability? 2) What area of law do you intend to practice and why? Deadline: December 31, 2015.
  • Photo Essay Contest $1000 - Winner will be chosen based on Creativity, Originality, and Vision. Submit a creatively made “photo essay” consisting of either a single photo, a collage, or short series of photos (1 to 5) that tells a story about: One of the most heartbreaking aspects of a family law attorney’s job is witnessing firsthand the damage that can be caused to children when parents engage in needless legal battles and/or attempt to use the children as tools to either punish the other parent or by influencing children to not want to spend time with the other parent. The long term effects can be devastating to children when they are not given the opportunity to have a relationship with both parents. What do these effects on families look like? Use photos to tell your story. Deadline: December 31, 2015.
  • Aspiring Attorney Aid Scholarship $500 - This scholarship is judged primarily on need basis, but does not exclude achievement standards. Deadline: December 31, 2015.
  • Find My Law Tutor Scholarship $500 - Applicant must be taking the LSAT, enrolled/attending law school, or taking the bar examination. Deadline: January 3, 2016.
  • Heintz & Becker Scholarship $1000 - Essay Topics: 1. Explain the importance of (your major) in today's society. 2. If you had the authority to change your school in a positive way, what specific changes would you make? 3. Describe your most meaningful achievements and how they relate to your field of study and your future goals. Deadline: January 15, 2016.
  • Diversity in the Profession Committee Bar Exam Prep Scholarship $ - Awarded to diverse third year law school students, for assistance in preparing for the Texas Bar Exam, based on their academic achievement, leadership abilities, involvement in the community, and participation in diversity-related student organizations. The scholarship recognizes diversity based upon gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or disability. The recipients of the scholarships must be attending an ABA-accredited Texas law school. Selection criteria will include merit-based and scholastic performance; extracurricular activities, both inside and outside of law school; and financial need. Deadline: January 18, 2016.
  • Discountrue Scholarship $3000 - Essay Topic: "How can you personally help make the world a better place?". Deadline: January 31, 2016.
  • EnergyRates.CA Scholarship - $500 - Essay topic:You can talk about anything you want—green energy, oil politics, the continued use of nuclear power, your personal ideas and innovations—so long as it’s about energy in the world of tomorrow. What do you think people will be reading about in the news in a few years? Deadline: January 31, 2016.
  • The Leonard B. Gabbay, P.C. Scholarship $1500 - Essay Topic: Juries, the ultimate engine of social justice or not. Deadline: January 31, 2016.
  • National Council of Jewish Women Greater Houston Branch Scholarship $1500 - Awarded to a students that is preparing for a career in a health profession, education, community or social services, or Jewish Studies. Deadline: March 9, 2016.
  • King Ice Scholarship $500 - Essay Topic: "What you think the eCommerce industry will be like in the next 10 years". Deadline: March 31, 2016.
  • Law School Diversity Scholarship $2000 - Applicants must be a member of an ethnic, racial or other minority or demonstrates commitment to issues of diversity within their community. Deadline: April 1, 2016.
  • Scholarship for Students with an Autistic Sibling $2500 - Write a 500+ word essay sharing your family's story. Deadline: April 30, 2016.
  • Scholarship $1000 - Essay Topic: What is the most interesting item you have ever received in the mail. This can be a letter or postcard, a package or gift, an advertisement, or any other parcel delivered by mail. Explain why this article of mail was so fascinating to you and how it has impacted your life. Deadline: April 30, 2016.
  • RobbyStrong Cancer Survivor Scholarship $500 - This scholarship is judged & awarded primarily on merit & need. Deadline: May 31, 2016.
  • Buford & Gonzalez Scholarship $2000 - Applicants must be attending college by the Fall 2016 semester. The Scholarship will be judged on merit and need. Academic achievements as well as any leadership experiences will be taken in to account. Deadline: May 31, 2016.
  • Car Accident Scholarship $2000 - Scholarship will be judged and awarded on merit and need. Applicants will be required to demonstrate: 1. How a car accident injury you or someone close to you experienced has impacted your life. 2. How your experience with an injury or a car accident has contributed to your desire & motivation to become an attorney. 3. Personal commitment to working with, helping or caring for those affected by injuries sustained in car accidents. Deadline: May 31, 2016.
  • Blue Fire Broadband Rural Scholarship $500 - Essay topic: Has the internet made where your community become more connected to the rest of the world? Deadline: June 1, 2016.
  • 2016 Legal Scholarship $1000 - Essay topic: Do you think the criminal justice system adequately deals with America’s War on Drugs? Deadline: June 1, 2016.
  • Martin Law Office Scholarship $500 - Essay topic: Describe something you have done in the past year that has made a difference in your community. Deadline: June 30, 2016.
  • Dyslexia Scholarship $2000 - Essay topic: What obstacles have you faced with dyslexia? Share your story and how you would benefit from this scholarship. Also include your academic goals including: the college you will be going to/are currently enrolled in as well as the career path you plan to pursue. Deadline: June 30, 2016.
  • Pickard Parry Pfau Southpaw Scholarship $1500 - Open to left-handed  students who live in the United States. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
  • The Leonard B. Gabbay, P.C. Scholarship $1500 - Essay Topic: Juries, the ultimate engine of social justice or not. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
  • Baumgartner Law Firm Car Accident Scholarship $1000 - Awarded based on need and commitment to helping others. Deadline: August 31, 2016.
  • Karman Healthcare Scholarship $500 - the theme is to create a presentation of how disability laws can be improved or changed. The entries can include essays, and poems. Deadline: September 1, 2016.
  • Scholarship $1000 - Essay Topic: What is the most interesting item you have ever received in the mail. This can be a letter or postcard, a package or gift, an advertisement, or any other parcel delivered by mail. Explain why this article of mail was so fascinating to you and how it has impacted your life. Deadline: September 30, 2016.


Writing Competition

  • American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers $2500 - Eligible entries must discuss some aspect of consumer financial services law. Topics that relate principally to securities regulation, insurance, or the safety and soundness aspects of banking regulation are not eligible, but works on subjects within these (or other) areas will be considered if they bear directly on consumer financial services. Deadline: December 1, 2015.
  • REPTL Student Writing Contest $5000 - Topic: General or current topic dealing with real property, probate, or trust law. Deadline: December 28, 2015.
  • Pacific Legal Foundation $3000 - Topics:

    1. In Parents Involved in Cmty. Sch. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, 551 U.S. 701, 748 (2007), Chief Justice Roberts wrote that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Others believe that past racial discrimination has created drastic inequalities that require positive efforts to equalize society. How can the government best remedy the effects of past discrimination in education, housing, and hiring, without discriminating anew?

    2. Recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency finalized a new rule to define the scope of the Clean Water Act. Supporters argue that the new rule provides needed clarity about what properties are subject to the Act’s restrictions. Opponents argue that the new rule radically expands the scope of the federal government’s authority in violation of the statute and the Constitution and threatens to subject every pond, ditch, and puddle to federal control. Analyze (at least) one of the arguments for or against the rule.

    3. In recent years, the “sharing economy”—businesses like Uber and Airbnb that allow people to share rides or rent out spare rooms in their homes—has given rise to a new style of entrepreneurship. Along with that opportunity has come challenges, as government regulators seek to limit or shut down these enterprises. What are some of the major problems that law poses to sharing economy entrepreneurs and how should legislatures and courts deal with them? Deadline: January 15, 2015.

  • Jameson Crane III Disability and the Law Writing Competition $ 1500 - Topic: Relating to disability law, including legal issues arising with respect to employment, government services and programs, public accommodations, education, higher education, housing, and health care. Deadline: January 15, 2015.
  • Beveridge & Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition $2000 - Topic: Any topic addressing developments or trends in U.S. environmental law with a significant
    constitutional, “federalism,” or other cross-cutting component. Deadline: April 4, 2016.
  • International Law Section of the State Bar of Texas Writing Contest $1000 - Topic: Entries should address any area of international law, including international antitrust, arbitration, business transactions, conflicts of law, criminal law, immigration, intellectual property, litigation, multinational
    enterprises, public law and trade law. Deadline: May 31,2016.






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