Law School Admissions


Robin Hood, In Reverse: How Law School Scholarships Compound Inequality

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date



merit, financial aid, LSAT, admissions, low income, inequality, socioeconomic status


This article explains how law school merit scholarship policies, driven in large part by Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores, ensure that law school scholarships flow most lucratively to students who tend to come from privileged backgrounds, contributing, most notably, to increased student loan debt among students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The result is a cascade of negative outcomes, including a "reverse Robin Hood" cost-shifting strategy through which disadvantaged students subsidize the tuition of their peers from privileged backgrounds. These trends are illustrated using data from more than 16,000 law students who responded to the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) in 2016.