Funding and support during your studies: internships, scholarships and sponsors
Many people cannot cover the full cost of legal studies by self-funding. If you're looking for other ways to fund your studies, the following could help:
Scholarships, access initiatives and work experience
The Diversity Access Scheme
The Diversity Access Scheme is a scholarship with a difference. Each year, we give ten awards to aspiring solicitors from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each award includes a Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) scholarship, a professional mentor and a work experience placement. The Diversity Access Scheme is open for applications until 25 April for students who are able to start their LPC or SQE preparation for the academic year 2021/22. For more information, visit our Diversity Access Scheme webpage or email us.
The Law Society social mobility ambassadors
Our social mobility ambassadors form a network of solicitors who are committed to sharing their stories and raising the aspirations of students and graduates interested in joining the profession.
Each ambassador gives practical tips and advice on pursuing a career in law, providing inspiration and valuable insight for students considering a legal career. Our ambassadors visit schools, take part in webinars and podcasts and offer light touch mentoring through our email@example.com inbox.
Many universities and some Legal Practice Course (LPC) providers offer scholarships. Visit their websites or contact them directly for details.
To find out about local charities and any grant-making trusts for which you may qualify, contact your local authority.
Checking your eligibility
The criteria for these awards vary. Often they can only provide small amounts of money and you should not rely on them for full financial support for either tuition or living costs.
The following websites can also help you check if you're eligible for funding assistance:
- Turn2Us – national charity with a searchable database of benefits and grants
- Postgraduate search – scholarships and student bursaries
- The Scholarship Hub – database of funding available for UK/EU students to help reduce student debts
Below are some grants and awards for candidates from certain backgrounds or circumstances.
If you know of other sources of funding and assistance not mentioned below, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human Rights Lawyers’ Association bursary
The Human Rights Lawyers’ Association (HRLA) bursary scheme helps law students (either currently studying or recently graduated) to fund human rights work that they could not afford to do otherwise.
Work can take place outside of the UK but must be relevant to human rights law in the UK.
The Inderpal Rahal Memorial Trust
Each year, this trust makes one or two grants towards legal training for women from an immigrant or refugee background who plan to practise or teach law in the UK.
Applications are usually open from March to late April.
H M Hubbard Law Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded annually to postgraduate law students, trainee solicitors or qualified solicitors in England or Wales, who wish to study law in France, Canada or Spain.
University and college hardship funds
You may be able to claim extra funds to help to meet living costs at:
- publicly funded colleges
Your university or college decides the amount and how these funds are used.
Contact the student services department at your institution for details.
PRIME is an alliance of law firms across the UK and Republic of Ireland, determined to improve access to the legal profession through work experience, and to increase socio-economic diversity throughout the sector.
For information on eligibility criteria and how to apply for work experience through PRIME, or if you are law firm or inhouse legal team that wants to find out how to be involved, visit PRIME's website.
Pathways to Law
Pathways to Law is a two-year programme, starting in year 12, that offers the opportunity to explore what entering the legal profession might look like.
Pathways to law students will:
- gain access to Sutton Trust support online
- have the opportunity to apply for work experience placements
- attend university events
- get an undergraduate mentor
- attend a summer school
- have access to the Pathways alumni network
The Brokerage supports disadvantaged young people in learning about professional careers in the city, including law.
It aims to help students develop their soft skills and learn about the recruitment methods companies use. Students are able to register with the Brokerage for work experience and internship opportunities.
Many Legal Practice Course (LPC) providers provide scholarships and bursaries – check your provider of choice to see what they offer. We have highlighted the largest providers across England and Wales.
BPP University Law School has a £1 million scholarship fund. It offers a number of awards including full fee scholarships.
The University of Law
The University of Law offers significant scholarship support for a variety of courses with its £2 million fund. Criteria focuses on merit and widening participation and a combination of both.
The Aspiring Solicitors Foundation
The Aspiring Solicitors Foundation:
- part-funds scholarships
- provides grants for study resources such as laptops, stationery and books
- offers business clothing for interviews
- pays for transport to events and legal work experience
Aspiring Solicitors works with law firms and legal teams to provide events, mentoring, competitions, employability assistance and access to the legal profession to students from underrepresented groups.
The British Inter University Commercial Awareness Competition
The British Inter University Commercial Awareness Competition (BIUCAC) is a national competition seeking to highlight legal commercial awareness. BIUCAC is now open for applications from law undergraduates at non-Russell Group universities.
For details on how to join, how to prepare and information about how the competition is structured, visit the website.
The 93% Club
The 93% Club provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds with the opportunity to take part in workshops, seminars, social events and activities that are geared towards equipping them with the necessary skills to become serious competitors in the job market.
City Solicitors Horizons – SEO London
Each year, City Solicitors Horizons selects 50 first-year university students either studying law or committed to pursuing a career in law, to take part in a three-year support programme alongside their undergraduate degrees.
This includes classroom and one-to-one training sessions focussed on:
- legal career paths
- mentoring from solicitors at leading sponsor firms
- work experience placements
Sponsorship and student finance
Some law firms will sponsor students who secure training contracts with them, to cover the cost of the:
- Legal Practice Course (LPC), and/or
- Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
You'll need to apply for training early if you're seeking this sponsorship, usually in the second year of your law degree or the final year of your non-law degree. You may be asked to commit to working for your sponsor over a longer period. These terms will usually form an agreement in your training contract.
To find out if a firm or organisation sponsors students, you’ll usually need to contact it directly. You can also ask your university or careers service for advice.
LawCareers.Net training contract search has a 'sponsorship' filter to help find firms that offer sponsorship.
If you’re applying from outside the UK and are eligible for a work visa, you can apply for sponsorship to support your studies for the LPC or GDL.
If you’re a postgraduate student with an impairment, health condition or learning difficulty, you may also be able to get financial help from Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). You can apply for DSAs for both taught courses and research places.
In 2020, the Social Mobility Commission, together with key stakeholders in the profession, developed and published a social mobility toolkit for the professional services sector.
Whether you are a firm or in-house organisation that is starting to develop a social mobility strategy, or you're looking to develop what you already have, the toolkit provides guidance and case studies for each area of focus, including: