I haven't visited this thread in a while so thought I'd pop in and root for us oldsters (the fact that some of the posters here are younger than me makes me sad). So excited to see the fellow PhDs!
re: scholarships -- I wish I'd known about negotiation before applying, since there are definitely law schools I didn't bother sending out apps to that would have been useful even if I had no intention of going. That said, even a few schools can give some leverage if you're lucky, so it's worth a shot.
re: why law v. academia? I did get the "why law" question a lot. To be honest, I didn't get anyone explicitly thinking of me as a flight risk (is that because I'm not on law review? or maybe I got some rejections for that reason without them saying so? probably the latter). That said, everyone asks "why law," so you may as well get used to answering it.
My advice for academics is that we're trained to have a neat little explanation for why we do things that we learn when we're doing our thesis in which we contextualize our actions in this neat little package that relates to our field and society in general, etc. You don't need to do that in answering "why law." Unless you do
want to go into academia, no one expects you to have an academic reason for going to law school.
Honestly, all I say is that I thought it would be a lot of fun and something I'd be good at, and I always sort of wanted to try it and figured I'd take the opportunity to go for it. Nothing negative about what I was doing -- which I did love, just not as much as I thought I'd love law, and not as much as I do love law now as a student. Also, I wanted the flexibility to try different kinds of professional life (work for a large organization, in a small org, start something on my own) in a way that I couldn't do in academia, and mobility was huge -- it's very hard to live where you want to live as an academic, but it's really easy if you graduate from a highly-ranked law school. This seems to work in every interview.
re: law review... You'll figure this out once you get in and start to figure out where you see yourself as a law student and what you want to do when you graduate. It'll be an easier decision after 1L. Also, do get involved in student orgs, since it's a great way to get to know other students especially if you'd rather be with your family than at bar review. Don't get too caught up in grade-stress -- those are the times when I make a point to tell myself that I'm older and wiser.