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J.D. Students may apply for additional funding to cover the cost of purchasing professional attire, as well as expenses related to clerkship applications, and/or public interest interview travel.

This page will inform you about the various types of funding available, eligibility requirements, and how to submit the appropriate form and documents.

Funding availability, eligible expenses, and submission guidelines

  • Professional Attire

    A budget increase of up to $500 for professional attire purchases is available to J.D. students once over the course of the three-year J.D. program. Expenditures for professional attire suitable for the workplace or courtroom (such as clothing and shoes) are eligible for submission. Approved budget increases, are awarded a 5%  subsidized HLS loan.  This loan is eligible for LIPP assistance.

    To ensure efficient processing of your appeal, it is strongly recommended that you submit one budget increase request for your professional attire expenses, rather than submitting separate budget increase requests for each individual expenditure.

    To submit a request, use the following instructions:

    • Log into the SFS Self-Service Portal
    • Under the Financial Aid navigation menu select Adjustment Form
    • Start a New Adjustment
    • For Adjustment Category select “Standard Budget Adjustments
    • For Adjustment Reason select “Professional Attire Expenses
    • Complete the remainder of the form and then hit “Submit”

    An upload link for receipts will be available once the form is submitted. Documentation in the form of receipts must be submitted at the time a request is made. All receipts must include your name and payment information. Order confirmations are not valid receipts and will not be processed.

  • Clerkship Related Expenses

    2L and 3L students who are applying to judicial clerkships, and need help financing their related expenses, are eligible to for a budget increase of up to $1,200 in an academic year, with a total limit of $2,400 over the course of the three-year J.D. program. Approved budget increases, are awarded a 5%  subsidized HLS loan.  This loan is eligible for LIPP assistance.

    The following expenses are eligible to be considered in a budget increase request:

    • Travel to interviews (3Ls may be eligible for a travel grant – see 3L Public Interest Interview Travel Grant in next section)
    • Lodging during interview visits
    • Printing paper clerkship applications (resumes, cover letters, etc)
    • Mailing hard copy applications
    • Local transportation at interview site (cab, bus, etc)
    • Food during interview travel

    It is strongly recommended that you submit one budget increase request for any clerkship related expenses. However, it is possible that the length of time between interviews may require two or more individual submissions.

    To submit a request, use the following instructions:

    • Log into the SFS Self-Service Portal
    • Under the Financial Aid navigation menu select Adjustment Form
    • Start a New Adjustment
    • For Adjustment Category select “Standard Budget Adjustments
    • For Adjustment Reason select “Clerkship Interview Expenses
    • Complete the remainder of the form and then hit “Submit”

    An upload link for receipts will be available once the form is submitted. Documentation in the form of receipts must be submitted at the time a request is made. All receipts must include your name and payment information. Order confirmations are not valid receipts and will not be processed.

  • 3L Public Interest Interview Travel

    HLS grants of up to $600 are available and may be awarded to qualifying 3L students traveling for postgraduate fellowship, judicial clerkship, and job interviews with public interest employers. This includes the registration fee of $25 to the 2022 Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair in October 2022. Students are encouraged to first ask whether the employer would consider a remote interview (if the employer asked to interview in person). It is possible for a 3L to apply and qualify for these funds multiple times throughout the academic year. Priority will be considered based upon the applicant’s need and submissions received after April 29, 2023 will not be eligible for reimbursement.

    To submit a request, use the following instructions:

    • Log into the SFS Self-Service Portal
    • Under the Financial Aid navigation menu select Adjustment Form
    • Start a New Adjustment
    • For Adjustment Category select “Other
    • In the Request Details section, students should specify the date of their interview, the perspective employer’s company name, list their travel dates, and certify the amount spent.

    An upload link for receipts will be available once the form is submitted. Submissions without receipts will not be reviewed.  All receipts must include your name and payment information.

    Travel made during a leave of absence will not be eligible for reimbursement.

During the academic year Student Financial Services will review your request and notify you of any approved budget increase within 10 business days. However, purchases made during the summer (generally defined as the time period between the last day of Spring Term classes of one HLS academic year and the first day of Fall Term classes for the following HLS or approved joint degree Harvard program’s academic year) will be added to the student’s upcoming period of enrollment. Since federal regulations prevent us from releasing financial aid fund to students before the semester begins, you must pay for any summer expenditures out-of-pocket for reimbursement, upon appeal, in the fall. Purchases made during a leave of absence will not be eligible for reimbursement; in these cases, we advise waiting to make your purchases until you are a registered HLS student again.

Please note: If you have any outstanding charges on your student account at the time of your application, these charges will be subtracted from your refund. If your charges exceed the amount of your approved request, you will not be eligible to receive a refund.