When I was a Director of Admissions at a law school in California twelve years ago, one of my peers from another school told me he hated when students tried to negotiate scholarships. Let me tell you, times have changed. In the last few years, I’ve seen a change – applicants are asking and law schools are responding, some even with official policies that let you send them a copy of one scholarship offer from a competing school for their review. And now, the Wall Street Journal (notoriously anti-law school and anti-lawyers, but at least they make sure people are seriously considering their decision to attend law school) has published an article all about how law schools are negotiating with admitted students. The University of Illinois offered EVERY member of their entering class a scholarship (that’s certainly a smart way to make sure they get good people after the bad press their admission office has been getting in the last year or two).
For those of you starting law school this fall, you can expect that every one of your peers is calling the school they hope to attend and asking for more $$$$. Phones at admission offices are going to be ringing off the hook today. Those poor, poor unsuspecting souls. Especially since they like to pretend so much of the admission process is a secret. There will be some Advil popping today.
If you want to share your story of how you negotiated a scholarship (and I know my clients have been very successful at this in the last couple of months) I’m sure my readers would be very interested!