[Marketing Idea] Law Firm Sponsored Scholarship Contest – A Win-Win!


Spring flowers in mountain valley.
Spring flowers in mountain valley.

It is still early in the year and many of you are still dealing with ice and snow, but now is the time to think about spring! In the spring, you’ll see a flurry of activity around high school graduations. Families are focusing on their young adults’ impending graduation and it is the time when the “rubber hits the road” for parents regarding paying for college. That would be a great time to jump in and offer some help to parents in the form of a scholarship. Scholarship winners will benefit by the added boost of funds and you’ll benefit by the positive exposure you’ll receive in your community.

Creating your scholarship opportunity doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming, but you should get started now. (Before your competition beats you to it!) Here is what you need to do:

Develop the guidelines

You’ll need to decide what criteria you’ll use to select the winning students. We’ve done this with our clients and we find that asking each applicant to write an essay is ideal. You should pick a topic that is something people care about and is relevant to your practice. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer you could ask students to write about how losing a young person to drunk driving impacts the community. (Sadly, almost every community has at least one of these stories.) If you are a business attorney, you could gear your scholarship towards business students asking them to explain how their knowledge of business has helped them overcome a personal challenge. The sky is the limit when it comes to the topic of the essay.

Contact the schools

Once you have the criteria set, you need to reach out to your local high schools to let them know about the scholarship. We’ve had great luck with sending a letter to high school principals and counselors. Be sure to include the criteria and let them know that you would be happy to attend their senior awards ceremony to announce the winner personally. (Extra exposure!) Once you have sent the letter, be sure to plan a follow-up series of phone calls. In many cases it won’t be necessary to call them because they’ll call you back immediately. Most schools look for as many scholarship opportunities as possible! But, high school principals and counselors are very busy people so you may need to follow up by phone. You could do this personally or you could delegate that to someone in your office. Just be sure that you do follow up. This will increase your chances tremendously!

Promote the opportunity

You’ll find that scholarship opportunities spread quickly among the high school senior community. You can extend this even further by offering to pay for an ad in their high school paper (generally, very inexpensive!) and you can publish the scholarship opportunity on your website and social media channels.

And the winner is…

One of the benefits of your scholarship is that it is open to everyone. The student doesn’t have to be the best athlete or musician or even the best student. This opens the door for students who might not otherwise be eligible for other scholarships. And, even though you may offer scholarships as low as $500, this could make a tremendous difference to them. You can rest assured that you are making a positive impact while you are increasing your presence in your community. It’s really a win-win.

This is just one of the law firm marketing methods we brainstorm with the attorneys in our Law Firm Marketing Inner Circle and Accountability group. If you’d like to join this group and get more easy-to-implement marketing ideas directly from people who already had success with them – join us today.


Would you like to talk about how we can help you save time on your marketing and help you turn ideas into action? Simply schedule a time on my calendar for a no-strings virtual cup of coffee.