Law School - Out of Classroom Experiences
How important are out of classroom activities?
Do I have to work in a law firm to get into law school?
Where can I get information about volunteering or interning with a law firm or agency?
If I take a year off after graduation, what should I do?
Even though GPA and LSAT scores are almost always given the most consideration in admissions decisions, out of classroom experiences can help you develop skills that will help you succeed in law school. They can also help differentiate you from other applicants, providing fodder for your personal statement. If your grades are strong and you have time to take part in clubs or pursue personal interests (anything from abstract painting to zoology research), select ones that engage you rather than ones you think will impress law school admissions committees.
Demonstrating your knowledge of the legal profession or accumulating law-related experiences will not significantly increase your chances of gaining admission to law school. However, acquiring some law-related experience, be it in a law firm or law related nonprofit organization, is a good idea because it will help you confirm and validate your decision to attend law school. Talking to lawyers and gaining law-related experience through internships, volunteering, or jobs can assist you in solidifying your decision to attend law school.
- Check the Career Center's online Calendar for workshops on finding established internships or starting your own.
- Use Handshake to view internship and job listings (you can search for your interests by keyword).
- Use external law related job listing sites reviewed by Career Center counselors.
- Check out the Career Center's fact sheet on Internships in Law & Public Policy.
- Contact the UC Berkeley Public Service Center for community service options.
- Contact Campus Life and Leadership for a list of student groups you might want to join.
Do something constructive like professional work, community volunteering, legal or academic research, teaching, or take some classes (upper-division courses or graduate level). The latter may require you to submit an additional transcript to CAS, but could also allow you to get a more recent letter of recommendation.