Law students should take merit stipulations into account when they decide whether to accept an offer of admission paired with a conditional grant of financial aid. By all accounts, they do not. Law schools should transparently disclose the likely effect of merit stipulations on their financial aid awards. By all accounts, law schools do no such thing.
(If you recall, Chen’s school recently over-promised financial aid to incoming students, which will result in a $2.4 million shortfall over three years.)