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Great law and justice scholarships for postgrads

James Davis

Careers Commentator
The maintenance of law and order keeps society in check, but it won’t necessarily keep your wallet in check. Read on to learn how you can get funded.

To help offset some of the postgraduate study costs, we’ve come up with a list of excellent scholarships you can apply for in law and justice, including but not limited to:

  • Commercial law
  • Constitutional law
  • Family law
  • Justice & law enforcement
  • Law
  • Legal studies

This makes them quite flexible.

If you’re intimidated by the prospect of scholarship applications, fear not! We’ve written a free, comprehensive guide to postgraduate scholarships and getting selected that you can reference throughout this article. If you’d rather not go elsewhere for now, here are just a couple tidbits from it that’ll help you understand some of the common terminology in relation to scholarship applications:

  • There are three main types of scholarships.
    • Merit-based scholarships rely on some combination of grades, professional or extra-curricular achievements to succeed.
    • Need-based scholarships adopt their namesake in only being given to those of greatest need. This is commonly in the form of financial hardship, but can be in reference to coming from a disadvantaged background or having a disability.
    • Research-based scholarships are often discipline-specific endeavours that requires applicants to undergo research in a very particular area. For instance, it may require a student of commercial law to inspect obscure precedents and their application to modern commercial law.
  • Written statements require a short blurb about yourself, with your achievements as supporting evidence rather than being centre stage.
  • CVs or resumes put your achievements first in fairly terse language.
  • Professional references are former bosses or professors.
  • Personal references are family members, friends or community leaders, the latter being preferable.
  • Academic transcripts are official or unofficial documents provided by your university. When an application asks for these if you haven’t yet finished undergrad, an unofficial transcript will normally do just fine.

Without further adieu, here are some great funding opportunities in law and justice.

Sir Ninian Stephen/ RG Menzies Scholarship in International Law - $75,000 pa

These are two merit-based scholarships, one for a student of laws and the other for international law. They cover just about all costs of studying, including course fees, accomodation and living expenses. Another important feature is it covers airfare to the UK, where you’ll be studying should you be granted this award.

To be eligible, you have to either be an Australian citizen or have been a permanent resident for at least five years out of the last ten. Applicants must also hold a prior law degree with first-class honours.

The John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship -  $5,500

Students of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent entering a Juris Doctor are eligible for this merit-based scholarship. It’s sufficient to identify as either of these, provided you can get a letter of approval and support from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation or community and recognition from the community in which you live.

To apply, applicants must submit a written statement regarding how they hope to apply their legal education. Two referees of any kind are required. We recommend you pick references that directly support items on your CV. For example, if you choose a personal reference, make it to do with any volunteering work you’ve done or help you’ve provided in your community.

John O’Brien Memorial Coursework Scholarships in Criminal Law and Criminology - $6,000 pa

Students at the University of Sydney law school can gain access to this funding by applying for the Master of Criminology. This is a merit-based scholarship with all the usual adornments like a solid GPA from prior study (75%, or 6/7), with a few oddities:

  • Applicants must provide a letter from their current employer that they have time to undergo postgraduate study
  • Applicants must provide evidence of dedication to the criminal justice system. It’s not specified what this entails, so it’s up to you. We’d recommend a reference from someone in the industry if you can get it, or from volunteer work you’ve done.
  • If your academic transcript from undergraduate study wasn’t in English, you must get it translated at an official translator. You can use NAATI for this.

The Faculty of Law Juris Doctor Equity Scholarship - $10,000

This is a need-based scholarship available for Australian citizens or permanent residents who wish to study a Juris Doctor at the University of New South Wales. Eligibility is contingent upon being able to prove socio-economic disadvantage in someway, be it Centrelink cheques or otherwise. There are also a variety of qualities that will improve your chances of success, including:

  • Being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student
  • Having a long term medical condition/disability or ongoing effects of abuse
  • Career responsibilities
  • Being from regional or remote Australia
  • Sole parent responsibilities
  • Financial need

Ross Waite Parsons Postgraduate Coursework Law Scholarship - $10,000 pa

This is a merit-based scholarship available to those who’ve already received an unconditional letter of acceptance from the University of Sydney to study a master level law course. A distinction level GPA is the minimum required for eligibility. If you’re already enrolled in a postgraduate course however, you won’t be eligible for this one.

The PostgradAustralia Scholarship - $2,750

Our scholarship is one of the most inclusive on the market. It doesn’t matter how good your GPA is, where you’re from or what you’re studying. All we want to see is some creativity in two things.

  • A short statement explaining why you’re passionate about your field
  • A creative social media post that expresses your passion

That’s pretty much all there is to it. This makes it well-worth applying for as a way to top-up an existing scholarship or act as a first.

Master of Laws (LLM) Domestic Scholarship - $6,000

This is a merit-based scholarship from Deakin University with very reasonable requirements. If you’ve completed a Bachelor of Laws with a credit GPA, in addition to two or more years of work experience in a law-related field, you’re eligible. Ten of these are available.

Just enrolling in a relevant Deakin course is all you need to do. No further application is necessary, making it incredibly convenient if you plan to study at Deakin anyway.

Hopefully this has given you a better idea of what law and justice scholarships are available for postgraduates, but there are plenty more available. To see the full list of general scholarships, click here. We’d also recommend having our guide to postgraduate scholarships open to assist throughout the application process so you’ve got the best chance at success. Good luck!