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Best Extracurriculars for Law School

August 22, 2023


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 01/17/23

Extracurriculars are one of the many factors law school admission committees consider when accepting students into their programs. Read on to find out the best extracurriculars for law school.

As you begin preparing for law school, it’s important you consider joining extracurriculars while you’re still in your undergrad. Law schools tend to care a great deal about what you do in your free time and whether or not you spend this time productively.

This guide will go over the types of extracurriculars you should pursue as an aspiring law student and how extracurriculars can affect your acceptance chances!

Best Extracurriculars for Law School

All extracurriculars are important because they show you have the ability to effectively dedicate your time to multiple obligations. That being said, there are certain extracurriculars that stand out more on your application.

Law-Related Extracurriculars

The majority of entering law students don’t have law-related extracurriculars. However, if you’re able to join mock trials, public speaking events, political activist groups, or even assist a professor in legal research, it’ll be easier to convince admission committees of your genuine interest in law.

Joining the debate team is an alternative option that also develops your legal skills. While the debate team isn’t necessarily related to law, you’ll be using skills lawyers use daily: forming and articulating persuasive arguments and quickly crafting rebuttals.

Service Activities

As one of the most common extracurriculars for law school, service activities are essential to have on your application. Lawyers work in the service sector and are expected to advocate for and support people in need.

Luckily, there are various volunteer options you can choose from that count as service activities. Whether it be volunteering at a hospital, animal shelter, or with underprivileged students, showing you willingly dedicate your time to helping others is the primary goal.

A popular option for many students is to volunteer abroad in developing countries that require the most support. These types of commitments show true dedication as you willingly leave your own comforts to help make other people’s lives more comfortable.

Activities with Substantial Time Commitments

When picking the right extracurricular activities for law school, you’ll want to pursue those that require a substantial amount of time.

Sports teams are excellent extracurriculars to join since they often require multiple weekly practice sessions. Another option would be to join your school’s orchestra or band since this would require you to attend frequent group rehearsals and practice on your own time.

You may also seek extracurriculars outside of school, such as joining marathons that you have to train for.

Internships and jobs are also huge time commitments that can boost your law school resume. These internships and jobs don’t have to be law-related, but they do have to demonstrate you were able to effectively manage both work and school. Gaining some sort of promotion or award at this job will boost your resume even more.

Activities That Show Leadership

Lawyers must be able to work independently and be self-directed. So, you’ll want to join extracurriculars where you can take on leadership roles. A good way to show leadership is to show you progressed from being a general club member to becoming an executive member in an organization.  

Another option many students choose is creating their own club or volunteer organization. While this is an admirable way to show both initiative and leadership, there are certain factors to consider in order to prevent this type of extracurricular from harming your application.

Creating your own organization in and of itself won’t impress the admissions committee. While it’s easy to start your own organization, it’s not easy to maintain it and get enough participants for it to be successful. Unless you’re willing to put in the extra work to make your organization thrive, it won’t help your application.

You also don’t want to fill up your resume with organizations you created by yourself, especially if the majority of these organizations are still in the start-up phase and have made little impact in your targeted community.

The admissions committee will see right through this and assume you’re insincere and only creating organizations to make your resume look better.  

If you feel you have an organization worth starting, you should definitely do so! Just ensure you stick with it for a long time, develop it, and work hard so it achieves its purpose.

Do Law Schools Care About Extracurriculars?

While your GPA and LSAT score are two of the most important deciding factors for law school, your extracurriculars can also impact your application. Every law student is required to complete their undergraduate degree as the bare minimum to be considered for admission. 

If you only complete the minimum, you’re less likely to impress the admissions committee. Extracurriculars are the extra step students can take to go above and beyond. Extracurriculars can also humanize you, as they can give insight into your character, your passions, and your skills.

Aside from giving the admissions committee more information on who you are, extracurriculars show you can juggle and excel at multiple commitments. Your extracurricular history can demonstrate that you are disciplined and have already begun developing the necessary skills to help you thrive in law school.

FAQs: Law School Extracurriculars

Still have questions about the best extracurriculars for law school? Read on to find your answers!

1. Do Extracurriculars Matter for Law School?

Yes! While they don’t matter as much as other components of the law school application, they still tell the admissions committee more about your character and interests. Extracurriculars can also substantiate any claims you make about your skills and accomplishments!

2. Can You Get Into Law School With No Extracurriculars?

It’s possible to get into law school without extracurriculars if you have a high GPA, LSAT score and ace the other parts of your application.

3. What Activities Look Good on Your Application?

Activities that are related to law, involve you giving back to the world, require great time commitments, and/or demonstrate leadership skills look best on your application.

4. How Do I Pick the Right Extracurricular?

The most important factor to consider when picking extracurriculars is your level of interest. You must have a genuine passion for the extracurriculars you pursue so you can put in enough effort to make a real impact, which is what law schools want to see.

5. How Many Extracurriculars Should I Pursue?

Prioritize quality over quantity. Joining one or two extracurriculars that you are heavily involved in is much better than joining several that you make little contribution to.

6. Do I Need to Join Law-Related Extracurriculars?

No! Most students don’t have any legal experience when entering law school. You can still develop useful law skills like time management, leadership, and perseverance through other extracurriculars.

Final Thoughts

Overall, extracurricular activities are excellent additions to any law school application. They can make you stand out and may even have a major influence on your acceptance chances to your dream law school!

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