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Paralegal Student Resources, Scholarships, and Support Services

Succeed in your paralegal studies by taking advantage of helpful student resources and support services, from academic and career counseling to student organizations, legal communities, and more. Plus, lower your program costs with scholarships awarded specifically to paralegal students combined with advice to increase your chances of winning an award.

Author: Maggie Twaroski
Editor: STEPS Staff

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A man in a suit sits at a desk in an office, smiling and working on a laptop. On the desk are a miniature scale of justice, a gavel, books, and a notepad. Shelves filled with large, leather-bound books are visible in the background.

Earning your paralegal certification is a big step towards a rewarding legal career. Whether you’ve already chosen your program or still looking at options, you might be wondering how to afford your program and what financial support options you have. Paralegal certification programs cost as much as $13,000, making it difficult for many to afford them.

Fortunately, there are many financial aid, scholarship, and grant options available as well as support services to help you with personal, academic, financial, or career challenges. Keep reading this guide to discover important resources – including professional organizations, online communities, support services, and a detailed list of paralegal scholarships – for paralegal students.

Campus and Online Support Resources for Paralegal Students

The path to a paralegal career isn’t always straightforward since there are many different specialties, degrees, internship opportunities, and curriculum options to consider. As you face each decision, it helps to have a toolbelt of student support resources that include personal counseling to help with your life-study balance, career counseling and employment services to connect you with good employers, and academic counseling to help you choose the courses that are the best fit for you.

University Student Support Centers and Services

Paralegal studies can be rigorous and academically challenging, so it’s important to have ample student resources to help you succeed in your personal, professional, and academic journey. High-quality institutions offer student support services like counseling, employment assistance, tutoring, library access, and more. Some examples of these services are described below.

Paralegal students at Inver Hills can participate in an internship program to prepare for a future paralegal career. Students work with internship faculty to find an internship that aligns with their career goals and are guided through the application, interview, and internship process. With an emphasis on practicing classroom concepts in real-world applications, the internship program is a valuable step forward in your paralegal studies and career.

From academic advising to counseling and career connections, Community College of Philadelphia offers numerous support services to paralegal students. Take advantage of the school’s one-on-one career advice, professional development workshops, resume guidance, and more. You also get access to a robust on-campus and online library as well as peer tutoring services.

Students at the University of San Diego receive personalized support from trained faculty and staff in the paralegal program. Whether you’re seeking internship connections, academic guidance, employment assistance, or reading materials from the School of Law Library, the University of San Diego provides plenty of opportunities.

News, Articles, and Podcasts for Paralegal Students and Professionals

  • Let’s Talk Paralegal Hosted by Eda Rosa
    This podcast features candid discussions from distinguished law personnel about paralegal news, research, trends, and legal business practices. Hear from a wide range of professionals from lawyers and paralegals to professors and court reporters.
  • The Paralegal Voice
    A helpful tool for aspiring paralegals, The Paralegal Voice is an award-winning podcast that covers the latest news, trends, and issues in the paralegal field.
  • The Paralegal
    This monthly newsletter covers important updates in major areas of law to help readers improve their craft and pursue better career opportunities.
  • Above The Law
    This blog posts frequent updates on legal news, trends, and issues to keep paralegals informed in their studies and professions.
  • Lawyer 2 Lawyer
    This podcast looks at some of the most popular news stories and analyzes them from a legal perspective. Listeners hear from legal experts discussing current cases and recent rulings.

Paralegal Professional Associations and Student Organizations

Paralegal Social Media and Online Communities

  • Paralegal Network
    This LinkedIn group is for paralegal students and professionals looking to expand their connections in the paralegal community, discuss ideas, and share insights.
  • Perfectly Paralegal
    This private Facebook group is designed to connect legal professionals with mentorship opportunities, educational resources, event opportunities, and career advice.
  • ABA Journal
    Stay informed on current news updates in the legal field from the ABA Twitter (X) account. Paralegals benefit from reading the research and insights from the nation’s top legal voices.
  • Bloomberg Law
    A highly trusted news source for legal professionals, Bloomberg Law posts frequent updates on Twitter (X) regarding current events from a legal perspective.
  • The American Lawyer
    For paralegals looking to stay up to date on news stories and legal analysis, The American Lawyer keeps readers informed via Twitter (X) on top issues at the national and global level.

Support Resources for Students in Online Paralegal Programs

  • Scholarships
    Some universities offer scholarships, like those from Hamline University, and discounts specifically for paralegal students.
  • LexisNexis
    Paralegal students can use LexisNexis to conduct legal research and organize materials applicable to course projects.
  • Law School Writing Center
    Law students at the University of Texas can take advantage of the university’s free Law School Writing Center to improve their legal writing skills.
  • NCAPA Mentorship Program
    Paralegal students can be mentored by a legal professional through the National Capital Area Paralegal Association (NCAPA). Mentees are guided through their academic and career advancement while learning valuable legal insights from their mentors.
  • Career Services
    Paralegal students can visit their institution’s career services center to receive guidance on choosing a career path, planning for externships, and applying for post-graduate jobs.

College-Sponsored Scholarships for Paralegals

In addition to state and federal financial aid options, you may also be eligible for school-sponsored scholarships through your university. Some institutions offer scholarships for undergraduate or graduate students broadly, while others offer scholarships specifically for students enrolled in a law or paralegal program. Make sure to confirm all your financial aid and scholarship options with your university’s financial aid office.

  • The University of St. Thomas School of Law program extends a large tuition discount to students interested in practicing law in rural communities. In addition to these funds, students receive mentoring from one of the state’s legal experts in rural and small-town law.
  • Amount: 90% tuition discount
  • Deadline: Rolling
  • Students enrolled in the paralegal program at the University of Texas Austin can apply for this scholarship to help cover tuition. Eligible applicants must live in Texas, fall within household income limits, and demonstrate personal and academic achievements in their application.
  • Amount: Up to 80% of tuition
  • Deadline: April 8, 2024
  • This scholarship is open to students at San Francisco State University who have been or are currently enrolled in the Paralegal Studies Criminal Law program or who are currently involved in a paralegal internship. Eligible applicants must maintain GPA standards, be enrolled in the program for at least one semester, and submit a career-oriented essay in their application.
  • Amount: $3,000
  • Deadline: October 31, 2024

15 Scholarships and Grants for Paralegal Students

If you’ve found your ideal paralegal program but aren’t sure how you’ll afford it, this list is for you. These scholarships and grants are awarded specifically to law/paralegal students. Apply for as many as you can to increase your chances of earning more funds. In addition to those listed here, check local and state resources for scholarships in your area.

  • Awarded through the Richmond Paralegal Association, this scholarship assists paralegal students with their tuition and textbook costs. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in an approved paralegal program in the Richmond VA metro area and demonstrate strong academic ability through previous education accomplishments and grade point average.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: October 1
  • This scholarship is available to California law students enrolled in an approved paralegal or other law program either on-campus or online. There are two options available for this scholarship, one for college students and one for those re-entering the workforce after a prolonged absence or who need additional training in a specific area of law.
  • Amount: $2,000 and $1,000
  • Deadline: April 1
  • With an emphasis on reforming the U.S. criminal justice system, this scholarship aims to help U.S.-based university students fund their legal studies. Any undergraduate or graduate student may apply, though special attention is given to those studying law with a criminal justice focus.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • Students pursuing an undergraduate degree in paralegal studies and other legal fields or those working towards a Juris Doctor (JD) in law can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a legal program at an accredited institution.
  • Amount: $2,500
  • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • U.S. students can apply for this scholarship after completing a minimum of one semester in a paralegal program. Applicants must submit official transcripts, a completed application form, and an essay explaining their career and education goals.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: October 1, 2024
  • Awarded through the AAFPE, the Lex Scholarship is for paralegal students enrolled in a university with a LEX chapter. A writing competition determines the winner of this scholarship, and the winning essay is featured in The Legal Educator, a double-blind, peer-reviewed law journal.
  • Amount: $1,500 and $500
  • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • Paralegal students can apply for this scholarship to help cover the costs associated with tuition, seminars, meetings, and paralegal certification fees, including the Certified Paralegal (CP) or Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) exam. Eligible applicants must be members of the Orange County Paralegal Association.
  • Amount: $500
  • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) awards several scholarships to practicing paralegals, students, and professionals who have demonstrated exemplary academic and work achievements. In some cases, applicants may self-nominate for NFPA scholarships, although most scholarships require nomination by another practicing paralegal or student.
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • Members of the Capital Area Paralegal Association (CAPA) can apply for this scholarship to help cover the costs of their paralegal program at an approved Texas-based university. Funds may also go towards paralegal exam fees, the Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar, or CAPA membership dues.
  • Amount: $250
  • Deadline: June 2024
  • CAPA members can nominate themselves or another individual for this grant by submitting an essay highlighting the nominee’s dedication to community service. The winning essay is featured in the CAPA newsletter.
  • Amount: $250
  • Deadline: November 1 2024
  • Both part-time and full-time paralegal students can apply for this scholarship, provided their institution is a member of the AAFPE or approved by the ABA or U.S. Department of Education. Applicants must be enrolled in their paralegal program for at least one semester and maintain a B grade average.
  • Amount: $500
  • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • This scholarship is available to first-year law students who demonstrate a commitment to upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion in their legal field. In addition to tuition funding, winners have the opportunity to participate in a summer associate program.
  • Amount: $20,000
  • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • Students enrolled in a two-year or four-year paralegal program can apply for this scholarship by submitting a detailed essay about their commitment to improving accessibility to U.S. higher education. Eligible applicants must be the first in their family to attend a four-year university and must maintain solid academic standing.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: TBD 2024
  • The University of New Hampshire’s law school offers several scholarships for its law students, including those in paralegal programs. Depending on the scholarship, funds are granted based on a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of tuition cost, typically ranging from 5-20%.
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: Rolling
  • Offered through the University of Cincinnati College of Law, the Taft Scholars Program provides several financial, academic, and career-oriented benefits to paralegal students. Winners of this scholarship receive full tuition coverage, a community mentor, research assistant placement, and invitations to legal events.
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: Rolling

Increase your Chances of Winning a Paralegal Scholarship

Paralegal scholarships can be competitive, so it’s important that each of your applications is completed to the highest quality. There are a few ways to increase your chances of winning, starting with how you organize your time, how many scholarships you apply for, and how you complete your applications. Here are a few tips for applying for paralegal scholarships.

Start as soon as possible.

Most paralegal scholarships have strict deadlines and automatically reject any application that is submitted past that date. If you know you’re going to be attending a paralegal program, start compiling your list of scholarships right away, so you can take your time with each application.

Apply for as many scholarships as possible.

There’s no limit to how many scholarships you can apply for to fund your paralegal program, so take the time to submit as many applications as possible. The more scholarships you apply for, the greater likelihood you’ll win one of them.

Apply for the more challenging applications (fewer applicants).

Challenging or lengthy applications typically have fewer applicants, so there’s less competition. Taking the time to apply for these more challenging applications increases your chances of winning as long as you ensure your application is high quality and meets all requirements.

Highlight your achievements.

One way to make sure your application is memorable is by highlighting your achievements, whether in a personal, academic, or professional context. Scholarship reviewers want to know what makes you a unique applicant, and highlighting your achievements can help your application stand out in a positive way.

Make sure you follow instructions.

Scholarship applications have specific instructions that must be followed to be considered, and any deviation from these instructions results in automatic disqualification. Read through the application thoroughly before beginning and read through it again when you’ve completed it so make sure all requirements have been met.

Don’t be late!

Although some scholarships (particularly those offered through universities) have rolling deadlines, most scholarships offered through professional organizations have specific deadlines. To make sure you submit your application before the deadline, note the date in your calendar and set a reminder at least one week before the application is due.