Students are admitted to the law school without regard to their financial need (need-blind). Every attempt is made to provide full financial assistance in the form of federal and private educational loans to eligible students. Total loans, grants, and scholarships cannot exceed CU-Boulder's educational budget guidelines.

A number of scholarships, fellowships, and awards are awarded annually on a competitive basis including both academic and financial considerations. A list of all scholarships funded by our generous community of alumni and friends is available here

Outside Scholarships

We have a list of several local and interest-specific scholarship opportunities below, and encourage students to explore outside scholarships at the AccessLex Law School Scholarship Databank. This database makes it easier for students to find money that’s already available to help pay for law school and lower student loan burdens. Students can search nearly 800 carefully curated and vetted scholarship opportunities and writing competitions, with filters to find options that apply specifically to each student.

Scholarship Requirements Deadline
Scholarships Available to American Indian Law Students Criteria vary - please see full list Criteria vary - please see full list
The Wyss Scholars Program in U.S. Lands Conservation

The Wyss Foundation is a private, charitable foundation dedicated to land conservation. The Wyss Scholars Program supports the graduate-level education of a new generation of leaders in U.S. land conservation. Wyss Scholars learn the latest in conservation law and policy and apply that knowledge in careers at land management agencies and nonprofit conservation groups.

One Wyss Scholar will be selected each year on the basis of leadership potential, commitment to furthering U.S. land conservation, commitment to pursuing a career in nonprofit or public sector conservation, financial need, and academic strength.  All students interested in land conservation and sustainability issues are encouraged to apply.

Learn more about the scholarship and application process.
Positive Futures Scholarship

$1,500 academic year scholarship for undergraduate or graduate students whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS or who are involved in public health advocacy. Additionally, students must be enrolled full-time, must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Complete the university’s general scholarship application in Buff Portal (See instructions here)
Sam Cary Scholarship

The Sam Cary Scholarship Endowment Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization created in 1986 after the Sam Cary Bar Association hosted the National Bar Association’s national convention in Denver. The primary purpose of the Endowment Fund is to award scholarships on an annual basis to African American students at the University of Colorado and University of Denver Schools of Law. 

For more information and to apply, please click here.

Application deadline is Friday, September 8

IMLA Charles W. Thompson, Jr. Local Government Law Scholarships

The IMLA Scholarships consist of a single $5,000 award and two $2,500 awards which will be conferred annually on applicants selected by IMLA, to be applied as tuition at an accredited law school in the United States or Canada. IMLA Scholarship recipients will also be recognized in IMLA’s flagship publication Municipal Lawyer and will be granted admission to IMLA’s virtual Annual Mid-Year Seminar during the Spring following the award (so long as the IMLA Mid-Year Seminar is offered virtually), allowing access to leading-edge curricula and domain experts across a wide span of local government law subjects.

For more information and to apply, please click here.

Application deadline is Sunday, December 31

Admitted (First-year/1L) Students

Admitted first-year students do not need to apply for specific scholarships. Scholarship recipients will be selected by the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee after an offer of admission has been made. Merit awards are based predominately on admission credentials for first-year students.

We are committed to supporting our students throughout their time here, but some of our 1L scholarship awards are for the first year only. You can then apply for the 2L/3L Scholarships for your 2L and 3L year funding (see below). If you receive a multi-year award, as in indicated in your scholarship award letter, we allow you to retain your scholarships for six semesters in accordance with your original offers, so long as you are eligible to continue in law school (our rules do impose a satisfactory progress standard of at least a 1.7 GPA for first semester and a 2.0 cumulative GPA after first semester; for more on this requirement, see the Law School Rules).

Leaders in Law and Community (LILAC) Fellowship Program offers a very limited number of three-year, full-ride scholarships to incoming students who will contribute to the diversity of the legal profession and the Colorado Law community. The admissions committee makes all offers of this scholarship based on the contents of the application package. Details on this program can be found here:

Timing: Selection of scholarship recipients may begin as early as mid-October to mid-January, and in most circumstances, recipients will be notified before their enrollment deposit is due. If a recipient declines a scholarship, then a new recipient is chosen. It is possible for scholarships to be awarded through the middle of August.

Continuing (2L/3L) Students 

Continuing students may apply for any of the 100+ scholarships Colorado Law offers to students who have completed their first year of law school. These scholarships range from $500 to two awards for full tuition, but the average is $2,000.

Scholarship award decisions are based on a variety of criteria, most often established by the donors of the scholarship funds. Awards based solely or partially on financial need will take into consideration information obtained from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); students must submit a FAFSA during the spring semester in order to be considered for need-based scholarships for the following year. Merit scholarships are based on academic performance in law school and other factors. Many scholarships give special consideration to unique factors, such as interest in a particular area of law, attending law school as a parent, or serving the law school community.

For 2L/3L Students Applying for the Bryan Shaha Scholarship (as part of the 2L/3L application):

Please read both Mr. Shaha's obituary and the biography below.

Mr. Shaha's Obituary

Biography of Mr. Shaha

Bryan Shaha was born in 1941 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  His father worked for Wilson Meat as a factory worker.  His mother worked in clerical or secretarial positions.  When Bryan was two years old, his dad was drafted into World War II and served in the infantry as an enlisted man, although he was older than most of the other men he served with.  Bryan graduated from US Grant High School and went to Central State University.  He excelled at sports and was a gym rat his entire life.

Bryan says he joined the Marine Corps to get out of Oklahoma.  He enlisted in 1965 and served in Viet Nam, flying A-6 jets for the Marine Corps.  He was a Captain at the time of his termination of service.  After his active military service, he enrolled in law school at the University of Colorado, graduating in 2 and ½ years.  At the time of his graduation, he was married and had son Colin.  He worked in law school as a waiter and his wife taught school.  In law school, Bryan was classmates with people who protested the war.  It was a strange time, but Bryan was friends with everyone.  In fact, Bryan had a nick name for just about everyone he met.  In law school, he participated in the clinical program and found the work for poor and minority clients to be his calling.  He graduated in December, 1971, but was considered a member of the class of ’72.

After law school, Bryan worked for Colorado Rural Legal Services in Greeley and Fort Collins, then for the Office of the Public Defender.  Bryan devoted his energy to representing poor and disadvantaged people.  He was in private practice for a few years and even then, managed to be appointed to defend a death penalty case.  At one time, Bryan had tried more death penalty cases than any other lawyer in Colorado.  None of his clients were ever executed.  He fought tirelessly to train other lawyers to defend death cases, especially in using the jury selection method he developed with David Wymore. 

In 1996, Bryan was appointed the first director of the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel, an assigned counsel program created by the State of Colorado.  He developed the program and recruited lawyers to take cases where the public defender had a conflict of interest.  He retired in 2006.  He died of colon cancer in 2007.  At the time of his death, Bryan was married to Carol Haller (Law, 1985), had two children, Colin and Meaghan, and one grandson, Beck.

Bryan came from modest circumstances.  He served his country and used the GI bill to pay for law school.  He used his talent, education and passion to help poor and disadvantaged people.  Bryan believed in the right of the accused to the best attorney in the courtroom, not just a lawyer.  He strove to be the best lawyer he could be.