Extracurricular activities are an important part of our student life and colleges love seeing applicants who are interested in different things and that have an active extracurricular life.
You've probably heard how the kids who were class president, captain of the football team, or built houses somewhere in Central America, are the ones who got accepted and even got scholarships from top schools.
Although extracurriculars don't have to be as overwhelming, they indeed play an important role during your college or university application and in your skill development.
As a young student, you get to experiment with new things, discover your passions and talents, and start working towards your professional goals. And you can do all of that through extracurriculars!
Extracurriculars aren't only about sports or clubs. You can also volunteer for different organizations or a local association, get mentorship from faculty members, plan social events, learn a language and join an international community, and much more.
It's about trying different things and sticking to something that you like. For example, not everyone can participate in student government, but you can get involved with student committees, planning events, or providing other services for students.
There can be clubs for every subject, like science club, sports club, international students club, health club, debate team, sports, and much more.
Many students dream of going to Law school but very few prepare for it accordingly. If you are one of these many students you should know that there are plenty of extracurricular activities that can prepare you for the demands you'll face during Law school.
Continue reading to learn about the activities you can get involved with —if they're of your interest— during high school and college to prepare for Law school, the activities you could do outside of school, the skills you'll need to excel at Law school, and more.
Continue learning about the subject of choosing Law as a career after high school.
Activities in high school and college/ university
As we already mentioned, extracurriculars are an essential part of our education because it shows us the things and subjects we have an interest in and are passionate about.
However, if you already know that your passion is the law then you should plan your extracurriculars around the skills you will need as a law student. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities available for you.
For example, three major activities can be extremely helpful and those are getting involved with student government, participating in a United Nations Model, or starting a debate team or group. If you feel like there could be more you should be in contact with a university counselor and see what they have to say.
Being part of the student government will help you develop your leadership skills, something highly required for law students. Ask yourself, how can you help your school? Do you have any projects in mind for the good of the student body?
If you do, then you should start a campaign and run for the president, vice-president, treasurer, or secretary position. Being one of the members and participating in student government will show every admissions committee that you can take charge and that you are respected by your peers.
Keep in mind that being elected is only one of the things that matter. The other one is being able to prove that you kept your promises and did an outstanding job.
Serving is not enough! You should accomplish the goals that you set out to achieve and contribute positively to your school community.
Model of United Nations
The model of the United Nations is a very popular program both in American schools and universities. And it is a perfect extracurricular activity for future law students because you'll develop skills in diplomacy, negotiation, and mediation.
Learning about the international community is of great value for future lawyers and any admissions committee will appreciate your United Nations background.
Students prepare with months of anticipation for these sorts of competitions, aside from keeping track of their academic calendar and education.
Learning to debate can be an excellent opportunity for future lawyers because it will help them develop communication skills, as well as teach them how to form and defend a powerful argument.
Most of the common work that comes with getting a law degree has to do with argument building. As a law student, you must learn to interpret and analyze legal documents and as a debater, you will also have to interpret and analyze different texts.
Law schools will also notice a debater's skill to take complex facts, turn them into understandable arguments, and present them in front of an audience.
Activities outside of school
If the academic life or being stuck in school events is not something you enjoy then there are plenty of options outside an institution's campus.
For instance, young students usually search for internships or job opportunities in local or family businesses, as well as big corporations. It can be useful to work as a lawyer's assistant and get to know the job from within or work for a firm that would require your services.
Getting an internship as a high school or university student is very important and showing that you are work-driven can get you a long way.
You can also look for a law students community, society, or association close to where you live. These types of societies are a little rare but they do exist and they offer activities such as moot courts, mock trials, negotiation workshops, and cross-examination exercises.
These activities will not only prepare you for your degree but also will prepare you for court (if that's a field of the law you're interested in).
You can also work for legal publications, a law journal, or any journal for the law section, and do some research, write some articles, and gain some knowledge about justice and the law.
Finally, you should try to attend your college's alumni cocktails or alumni events and try to find a lawyer or someone that went to law school and see if they would like to mentor you. Mentorships are great ways of advancing one's education and all you have to do is make space on your calendar and go to social events to network.
Start your club
If you feel uncomfortable or unsatisfied with the clubs in your school or college, you are always allowed to start something of your own.
For example, you can start a pre-law society (like the one you mentioned above), a debate club, a student's law organization or association, a Bar Exam or LSAT preparation group, and more.
Keep in mind that the organization of a club takes a lot of hard work. You would need to find staff, members, ask for resources and support from your student government or institute, find an office or a place on campus to gather, create a policy document or bylaws, and so on.
If you don't know how to get started you can always ask a faculty member to support you in your project.
It doesn't matter what you do but that you show in your Law school application that you are passionate and dedicated to the field.
Remember that the activity doesn't necessarily have to be directly related to the law. You can show your leadership skills as a women's rights activist, an active member of your community, a volunteer at any organization, or join many other programs at a national and international level.
Skills you'll need for Law school
Society will tell you that you have to go into whichever field you have a talent for. However, talent isn't the only thing you need, and many times hard work trumps talent.
So, if you don't feel like you have "the talent" to become a lawyer but justice is something you are passionate about, then forget society and work hard to develop your legal skills.
Becoming a lawyer means working for people and using the law as one of your most important resources to reinforce what is legal in America. If you are passionate about people's rights or fighting for justice and it doesn't matter if you're at a legal association, different organizations, working for the state, or freelancing, then you should become a lawyer.
Here is a list of some of the skills you'll need to develop to graduate from law school:
- Critical reading
- Good writing
- Public speaking and communication
- Research and investigation
- Organization and time management
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