what irks me is requiring a seat deposit prior to giving scholarship/financial aid information.
You should put down a seat deposit at your first choice of what you have been accepted to unless you want to leave it to chance. It seems like most people are in the same situation having an outstanding application or two that they would take over something they are already into so schools are not likely to be sympathetic. It would be like saying "Can you give me an extension because I'd like to go here if I don't get in anywhere else?" At least it could come off that way. No offense but seat deposits are about the cheapest thing about law school so if you really can't afford one I'd take a hard look at the financial situation. Good luck with the rest of the schools on your list.
It's not wasted. It's insurance.
Sorry about your financial situation but check out the schools' policy for refunding seat deposits. I think some schools offer a full refund of your deposit when you rescind by a certain date (like June 1st). I'm in the same situation -- I'm still waiting for decisions and on a couple waiting lists, but I applied in late October! So just put down a couple hundred dollars and you might get a refund anyways. You can't blame the schools for wanting to know an estimate of how many students are intending to enroll.