Scholarships Awarded in the Admission Process

During the J.D. 1L admission process, all admitted applicants are automatically considered for Law School merit scholarships that are awarded in varying amounts based on an individuals' full application for admission in the context of the admitted pool.

In a separate, subsequent process, admitted students may request consideration for Access2VLS need-based grants, which are allocated to those with demonstrated need for funds to pay tuition costs not covered by their Vanderbilt Law School merit scholarships.

While we provide Law School scholarship decisions as soon as possible following an offer of admission, timing will vary in individual cases.

  • Access2VLS Need-Based Grants

    These grants are allocated to admitted students with demonstrated need for funds to pay tuition costs not covered by their Vanderbilt Law School merit scholarships. To be considered, admitted applicants must request consideration through the Vanderbilt Law School Application Status Portal and by submitting a CSS PROFILE listing Vanderbilt Law School’s code 5130.

    Visit Access2VLS for more information.

  • Raymonde I. Paul Scholarship

    The Law School awards a scholarship in memory of the late Raymonde I. Paul, who developed a diverse practice in international law and participated extensively in the International Federation of Women Lawyers.

    To be considered for the Raymonde Paul Scholarship applicants must complete the form in the Vanderbilt Law School Application Status Portal by January 10th.

    Current Scholars

    • Stacy Jo, '25 Raymonde Paul Scholar
    • Anna Coplon, '24 Raymonde Paul Scholar
    • Melissa Gerdts, '23 Raymonde Paul Scholar

    Previously Awarded Scholars

  • Yellow Ribbon Program – U.S. Military Veterans

    Vanderbilt Law School is committed to helping veterans transition to law school and to funding the maximum allowed under the Yellow Ribbon Program to all eligible students. We recommend that students who are eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill® Benefits review the criteria for the Yellow Ribbon Program to determine whether or not they are eligible for this benefit. 

    Once your eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon Program has been confirmed, if your tuition charges exceed the amount of the national cap, the Yellow Ribbon Program provides additional funding up to the maximum approved by the VA based on unmet need. At the present time, Vanderbilt Law School will award up to 50% of the unmet need in Yellow Ribbon funds, to be matched by the Veterans Administration.  For additional information regarding veterans’ educational benefits at Vanderbilt University, please contact Vanderbilt’s VA school certifying officials at

    Details on Vanderbilt University's Yellow Ribbon Program benefits and military benefits are available through the Office of the University Registrar. A full description of the Yellow Ribbon program can be found on the Veterans Benefits Administration website.

Merit Awards

Each year, Vanderbilt provides several merit awards valued at full tuition to admitted applicants through a competitive selection process. To be considered, admitted applicants must complete the Application for Law Scholars Merit Awards contained in the Vanderbilt Law Application Status Portal. The deadline for submitting Law Scholars applications is January 10.

The selection committee reviews candidates' Law Scholar applications along with their applications for admission. All admitted applicants who have submitted timely Law Scholar applications will be considered for all available Law Scholar Awards. Recipients are normally notified in February. The following Law Scholar Merit Awards provide full-tuition scholarships making each currently valued at more than $200,000 over three years of law studies.

  • John W. Wade Scholarship

    The John W. Wade Scholarship, considered the highest honor provided to incoming students, is awarded to selected candidates who possess superior academic records and personal qualities that reflect potential for outstanding contributions to the legal profession. The selection committee seeks well-balanced individuals whose intellectual capacity, relationships with others and endeavors reflect former Dean John Wade's commitment to scholarship, service and the legal profession. The scholarship includes full tuition for each of the three years of law studies.

  • Patrick Wilson Scholars Scholarship

    This full-tuition scholarship, sponsored by the law school's Patrick Wilson Scholars, is awarded to selected incoming law students who demonstrate superior academic performance and strong potential for professional and personal leadership. The scholarship includes full tuition for each of the three years of law studies.

  • John S. Beasley II Honor Scholarship

    The John S. Beasley II Honor Scholarship is awarded to selected incoming law students with the personal qualities, promise and potential to be a leader at the law school and in the legal profession. The scholarship includes full tuition for each of the three years of law studies.

  • Elliott Cheatham Scholarship

    The Elliott Cheatham Scholarship is awarded each year to a member of the incoming law class who demonstrates the combined qualities of scholarship and leadership that Professor Cheatham possessed. The Cheatham stipend of $5,000 is added to all amounts of merit- or need-based scholarship assistance awarded by the law school. Cheatham scholars are selected by the law school's selection committee and the Cheatham Scholarship Trustees.

Scholarships Awarded to Rising 2Ls

Vanderbilt's George Barrett Social Justice Program offers comprehensive, hands-on training, and mentoring specifically designed to prepare graduates for work in the public interest, and our Assistant Dean for Public Interest coordinates public interest law opportunities and facilitates public interest law careers for students and recent graduates. 

Each year, the Law School selects at least one Garrison Social Justice Scholar from among current first-year J.D. students who apply. This award includes a supplemental scholarship for the second and third years and summer stipend support for the two summers prior to graduation. 

External Scholarships

We maintain a listing of external scholarship opportunities that come to our attention. In addition, school counselors, civic associations, local bar associations, and other organizations may be helpful to identifying scholarship funds for law school.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Admissions Office at 615-322-6452 or