For our college-age readers, the school year is drawing to a close, which means you’re probably starting to think about what you’re going to do all summer. And if your sights are set on law school, you may be wondering how your summer activities can boost your law school applications.
The good news is that there’s no right or wrong summer job in the eyes of law school admissions officers. As long as you do something productive with your time – and no, sadly, 8 weeks of marathoning shows on Netflix does not count as productive – you really can’t go wrong.
Many pre-law students, not surprisingly, focus on the legal field for summer jobs and internships. It’s important to note that doing so is far from required for law school applications. It can help demonstrate a sustained interest in the law, but beyond that, it probably won’t affect how your application is perceived.
The real benefit of these types of summer jobs is that you get a firsthand look into the legal field. Interning at a law firm or your friendly neighborhood judge’s office gives you a window into what practicing the law is actually like, and that’s valuable information for anyone who is thinking about expending a lot of time and effort (not to mention money) by going to law school.
If you’d rather not go the legal route for summer employment, the world is your oyster. Pick something that sounds interesting to you. If your top choice helps sharpen skills like reading, researching, or writing, that’s great (since those are all skills you’ll need in abundance in law school) – but if it doesn’t, that’s OK, too.
Law schools want to admit students who will do well, but they also want to admit a diverse group of students with varied backgrounds, which is why it doesn’t matter as much as you might think that your summer employment is related to the law. Ideally, your summer employment should be something that you can learn from and maybe even something that garners you a letter of recommendation or topic for your personal statement. But beyond that, there aren’t too many requirements.
And if you don’t have the luxury of taking whatever internship sounds interesting or fun for the summer – because you need to earn money over the summer, for instance – don’t sweat that, either. Even the less glamorous jobs on your résumé can show that you are hard-working and responsible. As long as your summer plans involve more than becoming one with your couch, you’re good to go.