Delivering legal knowledge – with independence, quality and enduring impact – through legal research grants and scholarships.

From 1992 to 2020 the New Zealand Law Foundation – Te Manatū a Ture o Aotearoa – provided grants for legal research, public education on legal matters and legal training. The Foundation supported research in the law and developed legal expertise on major and emerging public policy issues through its legal research grants programme, and a variety of Law Scholarships.

The Foundation is now in recess to allow its funding base to rebuild so that, in time, it can support a new generation of legal research. The Foundation’s last funding round was in July 2020, and we no longer accept new grant applications. However, during its recess period the Foundation will continue to maintain some of its longstanding awards and scholarships and will provide small amounts of funding for projects that will be determined by the board from time to time. 

Since 1992 the Foundation has fulfilled a unique and important role in New Zealand’s political and social development through funding quality legal research in New Zealand. Many of our funded projects have delivered ground-breaking legal research and stimulated new thinking and debate around law and policy in New Zealand. We are proud of the success of the legal research projects we have funded through our grants.

Our law grants, scholarships, fellowships and prizes are awarded for legal research, outstanding legal scholarship and service to the legal profession. The most prestigious of our awards was our International Research Fellowship, New Zealand’s premier legal research award, but this has been discontinued. Throughout its recess, the Foundation will continue to support the Cleary Memorial Prize and the Ethel Benjamin Scholarship. From 2023 a new socio-legal research award will be launched.

Interviews with some of our researchers and fellowship winners can be viewed on our NZLF SNAPSHOT series on YouTube. Further examples of how our funded work has had an impact can be found in our Success Stories page.

Our online library contains many of our funded legal research publications, reports and addresses. These are available for download or review on our Publications Page.


Scholarships are offered each year to outstanding legal scholars who show potential to improve the New Zealand legal system through their work.

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Since 1992 we have supported research in law and public education on legal issues by providing over $32m in funding.

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Our online library provides access to recent research we have funded and addresses given by renowned legal professionals and academics. Copies of our research can also be accessed through the NZLII website.

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