The Impact of Scholarship Programs on the Culture of Law School

23 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2009 Last revised: 14 Dec 2012

See all articles by Jerome M. Organ

Jerome M. Organ

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: December 31, 2009


Law schools use scholarship programs to attract a variety of students, but many times such programs are driven by a desire to generate the “best” possible class profile based on LSAT and GPA, given that these factors play a significant role in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. This article documents the two types of scholarship programs widely in use among law schools in the United States – competitive renewal programs (in use at over 75% of law schools for which information was available) and non-competitive renewal programs (in use at fewer than 25% of the law schools for which information was available). It demonstrates why a competitive renewal program may be attractive (in terms of generating an entering class with a better LSAT and GPA profile), but also discusses some of the ways in which this type of program may have pernicious impacts on the learning community within the law school – the culture of the law school. It also makes recommendations for greater transparency and clarity when law schools make scholarship offers so that potential students can make better informed judgments regarding the investment they will be making when they choose a law school.

Keywords: Legal Education, Law Schools, Law School Admissions, Law School Admissions Test, Law School Rankings

Suggested Citation

Organ, Jerome M., The Impact of Scholarship Programs on the Culture of Law School (December 31, 2009). Journal of Legal Education, November 2011; University of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-31 . Available at SSRN:

Jerome M. Organ (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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