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 either the FAFSA (domestic only) or the UChicago Need Application (international only, link to be shared upon admission). The FAFSA or the UChicago Need Application is due either by March 1st or two weeks after the date of your admission, whichever is later.
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 either the FAFSA or the UChicago Need Application, even if parents will not be contributing financially to their law school education.
Our scholarships are extended as three-year awards, with the total amount extended being split over the three years you will be at the Law School. These individual, annual amounts are guaranteed for each year as long as you remain a full-time student eligible to continue your studies at the Law School. This means that your scholarship will not be impacted by any 2L or 3L summer earnings or other changes that may occur to your and/or your family's financial circumstances while you are enrolled at the Law School. We believe that this offers a degree of financial certainty for our students as they journey through their Law School career.
Full-Tuition and High Award Scholarships
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 $15 million gift that will provide nearly 60 full-tuition scholarships for outstanding students in the Classes of 2026, 2027, and 2028. The new gift brings Rubenstein’s support for the program to a total of $61 million since its inception.
The David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program was established in 2010 with an initial gift from David Rubenstein, '73, chair of the University's Board of Trustees and the co-founder and co-chairman 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.
James C. Hormel Public Interest Scholarship
A substantial gift from James C. Hormel, ’58, provides a three-year high award scholarship 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 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 said, “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 was 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 established a faculty chair in social justice at his college alma mater, Swarthmore, and was a member of Swarthmore’s board of managers almost continuously since 1988. He also served on five other nonprofit boards and was 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 said that he realized when he was sworn in to his position that he was the highest-ranking openly gay official in the US government. “That was a big moment,” he 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 recalled 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 said, “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 said, “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 with his life partner Michael Nguyen, where he founded his investment and philanthropy company, Equidex, and where he passed on August 13, 2021. He enjoyed warm relationships with his former wife and their five children, fourteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
“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 said. “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.”
Other Law School Scholarship Opportunities
Rachel Nussbaum Animal Law Scholarship
The Rachel Nussbaum Animal Law Scholarship was established in 2022 by Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and Philosophy Department. The scholarship provides support for deserving students at the Law School who intend to pursue a career in animal law or policy, or those with a demonstrated history of interest in or advocacy on behalf of animals.
The University of Chicago Law School has established a scholarship program to support students pursuing a dual JD/PhD at the University of Chicago. Through this program, the Law School will reserve a number of financial aid packages for top JD/PhD candidates. Law scholarships range from a few thousand dollars per year to full-ride scholarships with stipends. JD/PhD scholarships are competitive and the scholarship pool is limited. JD/PhD scholarships are not guaranteed. 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 and communicated in the financial aid award notification from the Financial Aid Office.
For additional information about the structure of a JD/PhD, please visit the Dean of Student’s JD/PhD Class Planning and Advising page.
For information on JD/PhD admissions, please contact Meg Bingle Krishnan, Senior Associate Director of Admissions (email@example.com). Please note the admissions process for the JD degree and the PhD degree are entirely separate. We also encourage you to reach out directly to the Admissions Department of the PhD program you are interested in to discuss their requirements, deadlines, and applications.
For information regarding scholarships and financial aid, please contact our Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are applying for a JD/PhD, we encourage you to apply as early in the admissions cycle as possible to optimize the admissions process.
Other Outside Scholarship Opportunities
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. College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly U.C. Hastings).
Each year, one or two Fellows-Elect 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 and are invited to participate in Fellowship events, including quarterly dinners with faculty members. The Fellowship may renew the annual award for two additional consecutive years of law school for Fellows-Elect who uphold Fellowship standards and practices. Upon graduation from law school, Fellows-Elect become Tony Patiño Fellows and join a worldwide community of 250 lawyer leaders of character and distinction.
You can find more information about the Tony Patiño Fellowship on the Fellowship's website. Information regarding the application process is shared with admitted students in spring each year.