Scholarships

Every student admitted to the University of Chicago Law School is automatically considered for scholarships. 

Admitted students who would like their financial need to be considered must complete the FAFSA and a UChicago Need Application (candidate and parent sections). The FAFSA and need application are due February 15 (or, for applicants admitted after February 1, two weeks after the date of your admission).

Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered unless approval from the Admissions & Financial Aid Office has been received.

Please note: students who are age 28 or younger must provide parental financial information on both the FAFSA and the UChicago Need Application even if parents will not be contributing financially to their law school education.

 

David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program

David M. Rubenstein, ’73, has renewed his commitment to the University of Chicago Law School’s Rubenstein Scholars Program with an additional $13 million gift that will provide nearly 60 full-tuition scholarships for outstanding students in the Classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025. The new gift brings Rubenstein’s support for the program to a total of $46 million since its inception.

The David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program was established in 2010 with an initial gift from David Rubenstein, '73, a University Trustee and the co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group. Rubenstein made his generous gifts to the Law School for two reasons: to help the Law School compete for the very best students and to provide worthy law students the kind of financial head start he also was given. Rubenstein attended the Law School on a full-tuition scholarship, which lifted the burden of paying for law school from his parents and enabled him to follow a nontraditional career path after graduation. As a result, he built a career that led to him becoming one of the most successful businessmen in the United States. He is the founder of The Carlyle Group, a leading private equity firm, and is an influential philanthropist, spreading his wealth in ways that have tremendous and immediate impact. Rubenstein's gift will continue to change the lives of many Law School students and will benefit to the entire Law School community.

Debra A. Cafaro Scholarship Program

The University of Chicago Law School announced that Debra A. Cafaro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ventas, Inc., has made a $4 million gift to provide full-tuition, three-year scholarships to 22 students over the course of nine years.  The Cafaro Scholarships will enable at least three students with financial need each year to obtain a legal education. These scholarships are need-based.  As with all of our scholarships, prospective students do not need to submit any additional materials during the application process. All admitted students who complete the UChicago Need Application are automatically considered for the Cafaro Scholarship Program. 

Debra A. Cafaro, a 1982 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, is the first member of her family to attend college, and she credits the opportunity to obtain a Chicago Law degree as a critical foundation in building a stellar business career. After practicing law for 13 years and moving into the business world as President of Ambassador Apartments, Cafaro was named CEO to turn around a deeply troubled healthcare real estate investment trust in 1999. Under her leadership, the performance of that REIT, Ventas, Inc., has been spectacular. Now the largest seniors housing and healthcare REIT in the country, Chicago-based Ventas, a S&P 500 company, has produced compound annual total shareholder return of 25.1% from 2002-2012, far outpacing the S&P 500, while its market capitalization increased from $200 million to over $20 billion. Cafaro was named Chairman of Ventas in 2003.

James C. Hormel Public Interest Scholarship

A substantial gift from James C. Hormel, ’58, will provide a three­-year high award scholarships each year to an entering student who has demonstrated a commitment to public service.

Mr. Hormel’s commitment to supporting Law School students and graduates working for the public interest began with a 1986 gift that he has generously supplemented in subsequent years to create the foundation for many of the substantial forms of financial support that the Law School offers today.

“Even back in 1986,” Hormel says, “it was clear that debt burdens were deterring some graduates from pursuing public service jobs and careers. Today the financial challenge is considerably more severe, even as our country needs more of its brightest lawyers to apply their talents for the public good.”

Hormel’s own record of service is exemplary. He was US ambassador to Luxembourg, and he served on two United Nations delegations. He is a founding board member of Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and he financed the Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library, which includes the world’s largest collection of LGBT materials. He has established a faculty chair in social justice at his college alma mater, Swarthmore, and has been a member of Swarthmore’s board of managers almost continuously since 1988. He also serves on five other nonprofit boards and is one of only four people to have received a lifetime appointment to the Law School’s Visiting Committee.

His 1999 appointment as ambassador to Luxembourg capped Hormel’s five­ year quest, against fierce opposition, to become the first openly gay US ambassador. He says that he realized when he was sworn in to his position that he was the highest­ranking openly gay official in the US government. “That was a big moment,” he has said, “not just for me but for a whole constituency that had been held back for all of our history.”  His 2011 memoir, Fit to Serve, describes both the political struggle to attain that ambassadorship and his personal struggles to acknowledge, come to terms with, and eventually declare his sexual orientation.

From 1961 to 1967, he served as the Law School’s first full­-time dean of students and director of admissions. He recalls his experiences at the Law School fondly: “As a student, I received a rigorous, challenging, and inspiring education from a magnificent faculty. That education has served me well in all that I have done. I loved my time at the Law School, and when Dean Levi invited me to return as dean of students, it was like being readmitted to paradise.”

As admissions director, he worked to increase the representation of women and people of color at the Law School. Regarding LGBT issues, he says, “It might have benefited more students if I had been openly gay then, but I had spent my life trying not to be gay, and I still had not really recognized sexual orientation as a legitimate equality issue. Maybe it’s worth remembering that I was living in a world in which it was difficult for anyone who was gay to imagine there wasn’t something wrong with them.”

By the end of his tenure as dean, he says, “I had gone from being a model husband and father to a divorcé; from a Republican to a very left­wing Democrat; and from a timid person to someone on the verge of taking charge of his life.” He moved to New York, then to Hawai’i, increasing his self-­assurance and deepening his political convictions as the years passed.

In 1977, he settled in San Francisco, where he founded his investment and philanthropy company, Equidex, and where he lives today with his life partner Michael Nguyen. He enjoys warm relationships with his former wife and their five children, fourteen grandchildren, and seven great­grandchildren.

“I wrote my book primarily to help all people, not just those who are gay, recognize that they have the power within them to make a difference in this world,” he says. “I hope that these new Hormel Scholarships, along with the other aid the Law School offers, will help more people to make a positive difference through public service.”

JD/PhD Fellowships

The University of Chicago Law School has established a special and generous fellowship program to support students pursuing a joint JD/PhD at the University of Chicago. Through this program, the Law School will reserve a number of special financial aid packages for top JD/PhD candidates. Students may qualify for either partial or full tuition scholarships as well as a stipend for living expenses.

Students admitted to the University of Chicago Law School and to a PhD program at the University of Chicago may qualify for one of these financial aid packages. Funding is not contingent upon obtaining a particular form of employment after graduation. Decisions regarding funding will be made by the JD/PhD Committee after admission. For inquiries, please contact the Assistant Director of Admissions, Meg Bingle, at mbingle@uchicago.edu  

Patiño Fellowship

The Tony Patiño Fellowship is a prestigious merit award created to support law students whose personal, educational and professional experiences exemplify leadership, character, academic success, good citizenship and initiative.

The Tony Patiño Fellowship was established by Francesca Turner in memory of her son Antenor Patiño, Jr., a law student who passed away on December 26, 1973. Tony believed deeply in helping his fellow students. The Tony Patiño Fellowship operates collaboratively at the University of Chicago Law School, Columbia Law School, and U.C. Hastings Law School in California.

Each year, one or two Fellows are selected from the incoming class of students. Financial need is not a consideration. Candidates are selected from a diverse array of personal and professional backgrounds. Recipients receive a financial award of at least $10,000 per year for their law school education, and are invited to participate in Fellowship events, including quarterly dinners with faculty members.

Read how to apply and frequently asked questions.