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Scholarship Makes Law Education Inclusive

The scholarships ensure students with the greatest need from financial worry during law school and open a world of possibilities so that they can be a powerful force for change in society

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“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself,” – John Dewey. Law as a career is becoming more popular and lucrative but the cost of education is getting higher and higher. The increasing cost of legal education has created barriers between the haves and have not.

If you search for scholarships in law schools, you will find answers in terms of scholarships for female law students, law school scholarships for minorities, law school scholarships for international students & undergraduate law scholarships for African students. Having such results online takes us to the primary question – where did we go wrong, what is really missing in Higher Education, what course correction do we require to enable talent and is the world just for people who have not?

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A welcome step was 103rd constitutional amendment bringing forth a 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). Other schemes such as Central Sector Schemes of Scholarship, Aditya Birla Group Scholarship Program, Scholarship by Quill Foundation, IDIA, etc.

In 2022, LSAC Global has increased the number of scholarships manyfold to further break down the barriers to access to quality legal education, NLSIU has a financial aid policy and a list of external scholarships on its website and IFIM Law School offers merit-based & merit cum means basis (EWS) scholarships. The CLAT/ LSAT India/other law entrance exams application fee be reduced to zero for law school aspirants with financial constraints. This will create real inclusivity and diversity.

“We are committed to opening our doors to the students who have the most to gain from this School and the most to give to the world, regardless of their means,” – Dean Heather K Gerken, Yale Law School.

There are plenty of scholarships that are offered by top law schools around the world and applied by law students to fulfill their higher education goals but when it comes down to India, their opportunities are limited. The scholarships ensure students with the greatest need from financial worry during law school and open a world of possibilities so that they can be a powerful force for change in society.

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Education is the most powerful weapon to tackle most of the world’s problems (Anand Kumar, Super 30). If you have watched the movie Super 30, you will recall that – the opportunity that poverty snatched from Anand was his desire to study at Cambridge due to lack of funds. This is only one of the cases we know and have seen. There are lakhs of Anand Kumar destined to do big but lack the funds to get into higher education institutions.

The acres of campus, big cafeteria, world-class infrastructure too need meritorious kids, if these kids come from families with financial constraints, it’s time- we set up a scholarship for young legal minds under the aegis of the Bar Council of India. An online portal should be launched with the provision to donate money and apply for scholarships. The CSR by top law firms should be promoted towards this scholarship. Top Lawyers of the country and senior academicians should come up and establish grants/funds/scholarships at Law Schools. This will ensure greater diversity of students in Law Schools. The country would have not got an Ambedkar if not for the Maharaja of Baroda Sayajirao Gaekwad. Philanthropy from Industry, Bar & Bench and from academicians like Vice-Chancellors, Deans & Chancellors should be instituted without fail to make sure the legal talent of this country gets the best legal education.

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“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family,” – Kofi Annan

The time is now.

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