Law Alumnae Scholarships
A collective fund-raising effort by women graduates of the Law School, the Law Alumnae Scholarships provide meaningful financial support to deserving students. The effort has received over $2.5 million in support since it was created in 2004. Once fully endowed, the Law Alumnae Scholarships will provide a full-tuition scholarship to a student in each class. A rotating committee of three or four donors help choose the Law Alumnae Scholars. The scholarships are awarded to candidates who increase diversity, broadly defined, at the Law School. The candidates have a history of leadership and the clear potential to participate in the life of the Law School at the highest level. The scholarships are awarded based on financial need, with academic merit considered when choosing between competing candidates.
Established in 1984, the Dillard Scholarships are the Law School's premier full scholarship awards. Each endowment gift of $750,000 carries the name of the donor, in association with that of Hardy Cross Dillard ’27, the fifth dean of the Law School. Dillard Scholarships enable Virginia to attract exceptional students who could attend any law school in the country. Dillard Scholarships are used to identify students whose remarkable abilities, demonstrated commitments, and varied backgrounds suggest the potential for extraordinary leadership, in the Law School community and beyond.
Dean's Scholarships, which carry the names of their donors, enable the Law School to attract exceptional applicants who have been offered major scholarship support elsewhere. Unusually accomplished applicants who wish to attend the Law School are sometimes lured away by generous offers of financial support from other institutions. Dean's Scholarships make it possible to recruit such students to Virginia. They are awarded to persons of particular merit, promise, or need, and are intended to provide substantial tuition assistance. An endowment gift of $500,000 covers more than half of tuition and substantially reduces a student's need for student loans. An endowment gift of $300,000 provides materially less support, but nonetheless significantly reduces dependence on student loans.
Virginia has an obligation to assure that all qualified applicants can attend the Law School regardless of financial circumstance. As tuition rises to the level of our major private competitors, the need for financial aid increases accordingly. Ordinarily, students with financial need depend heavily on loans. Often, however, they already have substantial indebtedness from their undergraduate education. The addition of more debt to finance law school can result in a crushing burden and limit career choices. Endowment gifts of $100,000 enable deserving students to attend the Law School without incurring excessive debt.