Six students score sweet scholarships from MAX, a personal finance program

Annual tuition at The University of Michigan Law School is $59,344.

Now remember: Law school is three years ...  

But Brianna Potter can put a big dent into that — a $40,000 dent, to be precise. That's the amount of money she won in the recently held MAX by AccessLex Grand Prize Scholarship Drawing.

She was on one of two $40,000 winners. The other, Naomie Pierre-Touissant , goes to the University of Idaho College of Law. She'll do even better, when it comes to denting her debt. Tuition for Idaho residents is $22,260. 

Four other students won $25,000 scholarships from the scholarship drawing which highlights the benefits of MAX, a personal finance program designed exclusively for law students and offered free of charge to ABA-approved nonprofit and state-affiliated law schools. More than 10,000 1L and 2L students at more than 140 law schools across the country participate in the program.

It's a big deal, given how big law school debt can be. MAX is a comprehensive personal finance curriculum that combines in-person workshops, online programming and one-on-one counseling with fully accredited financial counselors to drive the knowledge gain and behavior change that is essential for students to make sound financial decisions. 

To help incentivize workshop participation and lesson completion, students who participate in MAX are entered into drawings by completing online lessons and attending the program’s webinars and workshops. “The critical financial education that MAX provides is the program’s most valuable prize and subsequently makes winners of each and every user,” said Cynthia Cassity, senior vice president for Education and Strategic Engagement at AccessLex.

AccessLex Institute has awarded over $300,000 in MAX scholarships since the program launched in fall 2017.

Lindsay Stetson, assistant dean for financial aid at Michigan, said, “We are delighted to be able to offer the MAX program to our students. Financial literacy is a vital life skill, and it is rarely taught as part of a formal educational setting. We so appreciate having this wonderful tool to share with our students as they prepare for their professional and financial lives.”

Melia Hawley, a $25,000 scholarship winner, praised the program for helping her understand finances better. (Remember, these are law students, not accounting students.) “The MAX program opens doors for law students, not only with their scholarships, but with the empowerment of financial knowledge," said the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law student.

"The lessons provided by the MAX program gave me a sense of security in knowing that I can create a financial plan to pay off my debt and achieve my dreams. Not only has this scholarship impacted my next year, MAX has impacted my overall financial future!”

Stephanie Luhrig, another $25,000 winner who goes to the University of St. Thomas School of Law - Minneapolis, said: “I really like that MAX starts the conversation with law students before we take on three more years of student debt, and that the workshops and online activities are accepting of our personal approaches to finances.”

Lisa Brabbit, senior assistant dean for External Relations and Programs at St. Thomas, added, “AccessLex is committed to empowering the next generation of lawyers with professional tools, knowledge and competencies that center on financial responsibility. We are thrilled that Stephanie is the beneficiary of their commitment and vision.”

MAX in growing, too, like a solid annuity, so to speak. Beginning  in the fall 2019, the program – and additional scholarship opportunities – will expand to third-year law students.

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