Gap Year Before Law School: Essential Activities Before Starting Law School
A gap year before law school is a tricky thing. After the structure of undergraduate semesters and classes, you now are left to your own devices. There is a LOT of advice on what to do during your year off. In this post, we detail what we consider to be some essential activities to engage in before starting law school!
Gap Year Goals: Essential Activities Before Starting Law School
1. Something related to your future law school studies.
If you are interested in a particular type of law, and know you want to focus on it moving forward, find some way to get involved with it! Whether you can track down a full-time job, or even an internship, this experience is valuable. First, it allows you to see how the legal profession works, and whether you want to spend your career in a particular part of it. Secondly, it won’t hurt your application to have legal work experience, even if it is unpaid.
Legal assistant and paralegal positions can also give you insight into the legal profession. If you really want to spend your gap year preparing for law school, look for experiences that will give you deeper insight into the legal profession.
2. Pursue a job in another field you like.
Admissions officers do not look down on any work experience. If you plan on taking a gap year, and are interested in a non-legal job, by all means take one! Schools know that students often have varying interests, and a year spent in a job outside the legal profession will not reflect badly on you. Many people deliberate delay law school by taking a gap year to save money for tuition, books, etc. Furthermore, it’s increasingly common that applicants often leave careers to pursue legal training. So, if you decide to work during your gap year, don’t worry that law schools won’t take you seriously! In fact, some admissions officials think a year of “real life” experience is a good thing!
3. Personal Goals/Travel
“Finding yourself” is a stereotypical, but completely acceptable, way to spend your gap year. Law schools know that you might not have a chance to focus solely on a hobby or travel until your legal career ends! During law school, it’s difficult to have much focus outside of your studies. So, if it is important to you to travel, or run a marathon, or pretty much anything else, schools are going to understand. Just make sure to talk about it in your personal statement, and explain why it helped grow you as a person.
4. Law School Prep Course
A law school prep course can help you prepare for day one of law school. Instead of waiting for your first day of class, use your gap year to learn valuable skills to make sure you hit the ground running. Know nothing about legal terms? Terrible at condensing your class notes into a succinct outline? No problem! A good law school prep course can help! Here is what we have to offer!
5. Personal Reflection
This might sound New Age-y, but regardless of what you do with your gap year, make sure reflection is part of it. Law school is expensive, and will dominate your life for three years. The legal profession is difficult, and there is no guarantee of wealth and success. So, make sure that law school is something you really want to pursue. You do not want to end up halfway through your first year before you realize it is not for you! If possible, shadow a current law student for a day. Many law schools also allow you to sit in on classes. This is a great way to see what law school is like without actively enrolling.
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