Stanford Law School Opportunity Fund

Opportunity Fund Guidelines


The Stanford Law School Opportunity Fund is designed to assist law students with financial need who are experiencing a temporary or short-term financial challenge or who are seeking funds for an opportunity related to their academic and/or professional development. In addition to the SLS Opportunity Fund, Stanford University provides other sources of financial support for graduate students. Please review this application carefully and submit any supporting documentation related to your request. The committee completes a holistic review of each application.

Eligible Expenses:

Stanford Law School recognizes that a range of circumstances may result in financial hardships that impede academic progress. Various expenses can emerge that cannot be resolved through fellowships, loans, or personal resources. It is our goal to use this fund to help as many students as possible, so students may receive up to $1000 during an academic school year. However, should a student have extenuating circumstances, they can contact the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to explore additional support.

Examples of eligible expenses covered by these funds include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Travel related to death or illness
  • Essential household expenses due to an emergency situation
  • Medical emergencies
  • Professional development opportunities such as travel to a clerkship interview or purchasing professional attire
  • Parent, guardian, family attendance at major campus events
  • Participation in the life and community of the law school
  • Other sudden, unexpected financial needs

Money awarded from this opportunity fund must be used directly and explicitly on student-related needs that support academic progress. We regret that we cannot offer funds for other purposes such as sending money to family members to cover housing, food, or medical expenses that extend beyond a student’s personal use.

Student Eligibility

Anyone receiving financial aid and/or experiencing unexpected financial hardship is eligible to submit an application for consideration. If your financial status has recently changed, due to layoffs or other unforeseen circumstances, such that you may now qualify for financial aid, please contact Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, Faye Deal.

In addition to receiving financial aid, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled at SLS and registered for the quarter in which they apply
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Complete and submit an online application
  • Provide documentation of expenses, such as copies of billing statements, receipts, invoices or treatment plans, and any other supporting documents

Supporting student wellness and success are our primary concerns. Do not hesitate to ask for help, but please note that missing or incomplete application documents or information will delay review of your submission. Applications will be reviewed within ten business days upon receipt. However, staff from the Office of Student Affairs or Admissions may reach out in the interim to see if there are additional, non-financial resources that Stanford Law can provide in support of applicants’ needs.

Our goal is to support as many students as possible, but we may not be able to grant every request or, in some cases, offer the full amount requested. Should you have any questions regarding your eligibility or need assistance accessing other resources, please contact Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, Faye Deal at, or Associate Dean of Student Affairs, John Dalton


Disbursement of Funds

Funds are limited and applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Each application will be considered on its own merit and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Funds will be disbursed primarily through financial stipends after the expense has been incurred. However, should this method of support prove a deterrent to getting the help you need, please reach out to the Office of Student Affairs in a timely manner. Opportunity Fund awards are taxable income.

Other Sources of Funding

The university provides other sources of financial support for graduate students.

Emergency Grant-In-Aid

  • Provides up to $5000
  • Taxable, reimbursement for expenses incurred
  • Covers unanticipated or unusual expenses (most commonly medical, dental, or legal, but other expenses can be considered)
  • Up to $1,000 for computer-related expenses

Graduate Family Grant Program

  • Provides up to $20k for students with families
  • Covers childcare, healthcare, insurance, and rent

Graduate Student Aid Fund

  • Covers specific university health fees (up to $2500) for students who aren’t eligible for the Graduate Family Grant

Graduate Cash Advance Program

  • Up to $3k, repaid when financial support comes in

Graduate Housing Loan

  • Covers move in costs (first, last) for students living off campus
  • Must be repaid


  • Provides up to $234/month for food support

Stanford Food Pantry

Additional Questions

The Office of Student Affairs is here to support you during your time of need. Please reach out to any of our team members with additional questions or concerns.

John Dalton
Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Holly Parrish
Director of Student Affairs

Megan Brown
Student Affairs Program Coordinator