Why Law School Extra-Curriculars Are Worth It
Alright you little 1L-to-be, it’s time to perk up those ears (or eyes in this case) and pay attention. I know you’re already cowering in fear at the thought of all the studying everyone has told you that you’ll have to do during your first year at law school. Too bad. I’m going to tell you precisely what you don’t want to hear: you should do extra-curricular activities too. Moot court, law review, other journals, mock trial, etc, etc. All worthwhile. Allow me to tell you why.
Firstly, they’re not class. You’re not forced to choke down abridged versions of old cases that may or may not currently be relevant. Rather, should you be selected for law review, or join a journal, you’ll get to sit on the cutting edge of law. You’ll review and analyze the latest cases. You’ll get to write an article (or articles) about what’s going on now, rather than merely reading about what happened 70-some years ago. Granted, it’s more work, but query which type of work is preferable. Easy choice, IMHO (“In My Humble Opinion” for the interwebz-impaired).
Let’s talk about Moot Court now. Moot Court was easily one of the most pleasurable experiences of my law school career. Yes, it’s a lot of work. You pore over a lot of case law in a short period of time in order to construct something resembling a cogent argument for a brief. Then you argue your case based on what you wrote and on what the “justices” ask you. Honestly, it’s a helluvalot of fun. It’s also at least vaguely in the realm of approximating what you might possibly experience as a lawyer. You have to write a humongous brief, the bulk of which has been extracted directly from your posterior and trust that people reading it won’t realize just how big a jackass you are. It’s thrilling in an “is my parachute going to open” kind of way.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, these activities look good on your resume. I know it sounds trite, and it definitely is, but these activities are a good way to show potential employers that you give at least two shits (maybe even three) about a career in law. That is why you’re going to law school isn’t it?*
*That last sentence is a refrain I often repeated to myself during law school to little or no effect. I’ll let you know when my brewpub is opening.