Skip to main content
LSU Law Logo

Chris and Nancy Rials Endowed Scholarship

“Helping Law Students Complete the First Year”

Chris and Nancy Rials worked hard to provide their only child, Megan, with unwavering support to pursue her academic dreams. When Megan expressed from a young age that she wanted to learn more outside the classroom, they found supplemental resources to create new and challenging lessons for her studious and insatiable mind. Nancy even homeschooled her after the third grade. As Megan pursued higher education, they noticed the financial struggles of some of her classmates, especially first year law students. So, they decided to honor Megan’s accomplishments and support future students with the Chris and Nancy Rials Endowed Superior Graduate Scholarship.

Chris and Nancy both grew up in the Lake Charles, Louisiana area and attended McNeese State University, being some of the first in their families to attend college. Although he ultimately studied chemical engineering, Chris considered going to law school himself. He did not allow his unrequited pursuit of the law to influence Megan’s career choice, but she felt destined to study the law of her own accord.

“I always wanted to go to law school,” said Megan, a graduate of the Class of 2017. “LSU was my dream, both for undergrad and for law school.”

Shortly after enrolling at LSU and being admitted to LSU’s Ogden Honors College, she was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, an incurable disorder of the inner ear that causes vertigo and migraines and can result in hearing loss. Despite the debilitating prognosis, Megan balked at her doctor’s suggestion to leave her dream school and is proud to say that she never missed a class because of Meniere’s.

“My undergraduate work prepared me to state my position clearly – to tell the story that supports my point of view. Law school made me even better at it,” said Megan, who graduated from LSU with her bachelor’s degree in political science with full honors and a 4.0 GPA. “It was stimulating, and it absolutely solidified my desire to go to law school.”

As a student at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, she had a full plate between being editor of Louisiana Law Review and president of the Christian Legal Society and serving as a witness in the Flory Trials. Plus, her Law Review article was selected for publication. She was able to carve out some time for fun, writing prose and poetry for the LSU Law student newspaper The Civilian and cheerleading at the Barristers’ Bowl, an annual tackle football game staged by the Student Bar Association for the benefit of a student-selected charity.

“While you don’t have time to create an extensive social life, you make friends by working together and you are bonded with them,” she said, “I am confident that the friends I made will be friends for life.”

Megan graduated magna cum laude and as a member of the Order of the Coif in 2017 and became a clerk at the First Circuit Court of Appeal.

Watching Megan complete both her bachelor’s degree and JD/DCL, Chris and Nancy recognized how important Louisiana’s TOPS program and scholarships and financial aid proved to be for undergraduate students. However, an equivalent program for graduate and professional students was not currently available. They also noticed many private scholarships at LSU Law were limited by their donors to upperclassmen. In an effort to relieve that hardship to some extent for one student, Chris and Nancy created their scholarship to award a first-year student who has a political science background with a preference for political theory.

They hope that the few extra dollars their scholarship provides will help ease the strain on a student and their family.  Megan adds, “everyone’s story connects to someone else.  With this gift, we want to affect

The Board of Regents matched this scholarship in June 2022. Each year, the Law Center submits eligible scholarships for match consideration under the Board of Regents Superior Graduate Scholarship program. Applications are reviewed by out-of-state consultants for potential to contribute to Louisiana’s economic development and workforce. The process is highly competitive and Law Center applications consistently score well.


About the Scholarship:

Student recipients must be enrolled as full-time, first-year law students at the Law Center with an undergraduate degree in Political Science. Preference shall be given to students who have
demonstrated academic interest in Political Theory and/or Political Philosophy. If multiple candidates apply, preference shall be given to students who received their undergraduate degree
from LSU. If no student meets the preferred criteria, the Scholarship Committee shall have the discretion to award the scholarship to a deserving student.