Retirement accounts are generally not considered assets for financial aid purposes.Contribution limits for Roth IRA's are $5000 this year, and contributions (not earnings) can be withdrawn at any time, for any reason. I may be mistaken, but I believe the contribution deadline is the same as your tax filing deadline, meaning you could make a prior year contribution in the amount of $4000 (lower limit in 2007) and a contribution this year in the amount of $5000, removing $9000 from consideration as assets eligible for your law school expenses. Your primary residence is also exempt in most cases - if you own your home, you could easily reduce your current assets as considered on the FAFSA to $0.
$40,000 of savings will most likely make you ineligible for Subsidized Stafford Loans as well as Perkins Loans. Several EFC calculators can be found on the web, should you wish to see the effect these proposed changes may have on your eligibility.
edit: I've not yet looked over the NeedAccesss forms in any detail; my post refers mainly to the FAFSA.