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First Year Scholarships

California Western is committed to providing a robust scholarship program to help students offset the cost of attendance. All admitted first-year students are considered for eligible scholarships. The following is a list of scholarships first-year students are eligible for.

Scholarships

Most scholarships do not require an additional application. There are a handful of scholarships where a separate application is required, so we encourage all admitted first-year students to thoroughly read the details of each scholarship. Scholarships are awarded based on a number of criteria including, but not limited to, academic merit, cultural background, life experience and skill level.

Justice Anthony Kennedy Scholarship Program

This is the most selective of the first-year scholarships. Only applicants with an exceptional academic record are asked to become Kennedy Scholarship recipients. 

  • Includes full current tuition, a bar exam stipend, and clerkship and mentoring opportunities.
  • The scholarship is renewable, subject to the terms in the scholarship letter.
  • No application required.

The Trustee’s Scholarship

The Trustee’s Scholarship is awarded to entering first-year applicants with an excellent academic record and strong potential for success in the law program.

  • Full tuition scholarship for the first year.
  • Renewable for an additional two years, contingent on maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of each spring term.
  • No application required.

Dean’s Honor Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to entering students. Past academic achievement and academic potential are factors in the selection criteria.

  • 75% tuition scholarship for the first year.
  • Renewable for an additional two years, contingent on maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of each spring term.
  • No application required.

California Western Admissions Scholarship

Each year, California Western Admissions Scholarships are awarded to new students with outstanding academic records.

  • Awards range from partial to full current tuition.
  • No application required.

Career Transition Scholarship (Application Required)


A Career Transition Scholarship is awarded to one applicant in each entering class. The scholarship is given to an admitted student looking to transition from another career. Previous scholarships have been given to applicants with demonstrated financial need and at least 10 years of working experience in another industry.

  • Award is 50% of current tuition.
  • Application required.
  • Deadlines:
    April 1 for the fall entering class. 
    November 15 for the spring entering class.

Inocente Scholarship (Application Required)

The Inocente Scholarship is given to one high achieving entering student who’s shown a commitment to promoting social justice in Latin America. 

  • Awards range from partial to full current tuition.
  • Application required.
  • Deadlines:
    April 1 for the fall entering class. 
    November 15 for the spring entering class.

Steven R. Smith Scholarship (Application Required)

The Steven R. Smith Scholarship is awarded to one student in the entering fall class every year. The scholarship is traditionally awarded to an applicant who shows a commitment to serving their community along with past and future academic and professional potential. This award is given in honor of former President and Dean of California Western Steven R. Smith for his service to the law school and legal community. 

  • Partial scholarship award.
  • Application required.
  • Deadline: April 1.

Elaine Galinson and Herbert J. Solomon Scholarships to Advance Racial Justice and Equality

Factors included in the selection of recipients include academic record, financial need, actual or potential leadership skills, and commitment to increasing diversity and advancing racial justice and social equity.  

  • Several awards are made annually.
  • Awards range from $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Preference is given to candidates who apply by the priority deadline.

James Nystrom Foundation Scholarship

Factors in selecting recipients include academic record, financial need, actual or potential leadership skill, and commitment to increasing diversity and advancing racial justice and social equity.  

  • Several awards are made annually.
  • Awards range from $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Preference is given to candidates who apply by the priority deadline.

Kenneth H. and Dorcas Ann Lounsbery Scholarship

This scholarship provides merit scholarships to academically outstanding students who enroll full time at the law school.

  • Several awards are made annually.
  • Awards range from $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Preference is given to candidates who apply by the priority deadline.

Scholarship Fund for First-Generation Students

This scholarship is to support students who are first in their immediate family to have graduated from college and are pursuing a legal education at California Western School of Law.

  • Several awards are made annually.
  • Awards range from $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Preference given to candidates who apply by the priority deadline.

Han P. and Meredith J. Ching Endowed Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is awarded to entering students who were born in the state of Hawaii and have resided there for a minimum of 10 years. Preference is given to students who have overcome difficult challenges or circumstances in their quest to attain a law degree.

  • Partial award scholarship.
  • Additional preference given to candidates who apply by the priority deadline.

Military

California Western School of Law is approved for the training of veterans and eligible persons under the provisions of Title 38, United States Code. 

California Western School of Law proudly participates in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.

For more detailed information, please visit the more information section on the financial aid pages.