2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Can extracurriculars in college help me get into law school?

( This is also posted in the Juniors Feed) I'm a junior about to be a senior and I have no extracurriculars. I plan on getting into things in college, but I don't know if that's good enough. I'm asking because I've seen so many people talk about their extracurriculars, and I realized that I haven't done anything and probably will not until I'm in college bc of covid and other reasons. I'm not worried about getting into college, it's law school I'm concerned about. I want to be a civil rights lawyer and I plan on joining clubs and groups in college that could help me in that field. I don't plan on going to a prestigious school or anything and I have good grades, but will my lack of extracurriculars in high school hurt me when I apply for law school? (right now I have a 3.8 GPA if that matters at all)


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi @nesta,

As a general rule, your resume in high school will only affect college admissions, and your resume in college will affect grad school applications (as well as some jobs). A law school will look to see that you've graduated high school; they won't care about much else from that time.

Keep in mind that college is a very different, and much more rigorous environment than high school, which is why grad schools place all their focus on it. Getting a 4.0 GPA while balancing extracurriculars will be far more challenging than doing so in high school.

I'd recommend doing what you can now so you'll be more prepared for when you attend college. If you apply to something like Mock Trial or Debate Club in college, you'll have a better shot if you had related experience in high school.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any further questions.

2 years ago[edited]

If you aim to be a civil right attorney, you have to have excellent oratory skills and be able to debate or make your case.

In high school I would highly recommend that you pursue some of these available clubs , activities and competitions:

-https://www.civiced.org/we-the-people WE THE PEOPLE is a high school constitutional law competition that has various competition rounds from district, state to national. I did that and it's excellent because like moot courts, it is judged by current or formally sitting judges and practicing attorneys.

-Debate Team - This will prepare you for thinking on your feet and speaking with conviction. All future attorneys should be master debate skills.

-Your school district or your city's DEIA committee - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access are paramount issues to civil rights. You should be sitting on a board for either your schools DEIA committee or your town's DEIA board as a student representative. I did both these things and they are very important.

-Writing ECs. Being able to use your voice to communicate your ideas and bring to light problems in your school, district, community, state, country or global affairs is a key factor in being able to be an effective public servant. Therefore, you should be practicing using your voice as a journalist or staff writer at your School newspaper, as a part-time writer for your town newspaper or other writing opportunities whether it's your own BLOG, ZINES or other publications.

-Non writing ECs. There are many ways to express your opinions and intellectual curiosity and vitality that are non-written. For instance, you can use social media as a tool to bring out to light certain civil rights issues that are germane to your interests. You can do this on tiktok, youtube, twitter and other platforms.

If you are not planning on attending a prestigious college as an undergrad, keep in mind that if you apply to the T14 or top 14 law schools, there will be immense competition from applicants who have done a lot of impressive ECs from being the editor of the undergraduate law review, to interning with various legal practices that do pro-bono community based work, to being a vocal activist. In addition, most successful law school applicants have on average taken a 1 year, sometimes 2 or more years off, in private practice to beef up their application. That is certainly the case at Harvard law. Therefore, it's imperative that you start doing thing in your free time that align with your ultimate goals. School's going to be out in a month so I highly suggest that you line up whatever activity you can sign up for this fall before school is out so you have a place to start in the fall.

Good luck.

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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