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What to Do the Summer Before Law School

January 9, 2024
7 min read


Reviewed by:

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

Reviewed: 03/03/23

After working hard throughout your undergrad, you may wonder what to do the summer before law school. Read on to learn the top 11 things students do before starting their legal journey!

Congratulations! By the summer before law school, you’ve likely already completed your difficult four-year bachelors, spent all your free time pursuing useful extracurriculars to boost your resume, written and scored high on the dreaded LSAT, and got into some of your dream law schools.

Now that you’ve finished the arduous application process, what’s next? This guide will give you some ideas on what to do the summer before law school!

11 Things to Do the Summer Before Law School

Considering you’ll be spending the next three years completing a rigorous legal education, your summer before law school should first and foremost, be enjoyable! You should use it to reset and refresh to be prepared for the challenges you’ll face during your first year.

With that being said, here are some ways to spend your summer: 


map travelling

One popular way students spend their summer before law school is traveling! Whether it be spending months backpacking across Europe, sitting at the beach for a week in Mexico, or road-tripping across the States, now is the best time  to check off any bucket-list destinations you want! 

Since you’ll want to spend the summers of your JD pursuing clerkships or internships, you’ll have little time to travel for the next three years! 



Reading great books before entering law school can help you develop your vocabulary, increase reading comprehension, and improve your critical thinking. We don’t mean reading legal textbooks or trying to memorize legal definitions from a dictionary.

Read books that interest you, whether science-fiction tales of aliens taking over Earth, historical non-fiction about America's past, or autobiographies of your favorite celebrities. Reading books can stimulate your cognitive abilities and enhance your communication skills to prepare you for law school better!

Get a Summer Job

hand shake

It’s well-established that law school comes with a hefty price tag. To help offset some of these costs and enter your first year feeling more financially prepared, you might want to pick up a summer job. 

This job can be related to law if you’d like to begin building your professional resume, but it doesn’t have to be! You’ll have plenty of time and opportunity to join a legal job during the summers between your law degree, so feel free to pick up any job that interests you!

Of course, over one summer, you won’t make enough to cover a significant amount of your tuition, but you can use this money to cover your textbooks, food, or personal expenses!

Join a Legal Internship 

legal internship

If you feel nervous about joining law school and want to gain experience in the field beforehand, you can spend your summer pursuing a legal internship. You can search for these opportunities at local law firms, organizations, or universities.

Many universities offer summer internships that help students build skills that will aid them in law school. 

Spend Time With Your Friends and Family

friends summer

Law students tend to have very inactive social lives because of their limited free time. . During the summer before law school, you should spend time with your friends and family. Make up for the lost time you’ll have and establish a strong support system because you’ll need it throughout law school!

Challenge Yourself

public speaking

If you have any weaknesses that could affect your performance in law school, spend your summer working on them. For instance, if you’re a nervous public speaker, find opportunities that will force you to speak publicly. Perhaps you can volunteer as a tutor or join public speaking workshops or local debate clubs.

Establish Healthy Habits


Before entering law school, you must develop healthy habits that you can rely on. This means it may be time to retire your typical college weekend habits and adopt more healthy, proactive ones. 

Once you have a better understanding of what your schedule will look like, establish a routine that fits it. Wake up and sleep at an appropriate time, consider implementing physical activity in your routine, and have a roster of stress-relief methods to fall back on when you’re overwhelmed. 

Create a Budget


To ensure you make it through your legal education with as little financial stress and burden as possible,  you must make a budget for your first year before officially entering it. 

Research to determine the estimated costs of attending your law school. Consider housing costs, food, transportation, textbooks and supplies, and other personal costs if you're moving away from home. Always budget more towards the higher estimate to prepare for emergencies or unexpected expenses.

Gain a Realistic Understanding of What Law School Is Like


It's difficult to know what to expect on your first day or first year of law school, but by using reliable sources, you can better understand what law school is like. This doesn’t mean rewatching Legally Blonde to learn how Elle Woods navigated Harvard and successfully (and unrealistically) won a legal case as a 1L student. 

Instead, reach out to peers that have already completed their first year, read online forum posts of law students, and consider reading guides written by law professors or students. 

Prepare a Law School List and Move In Early

packing for moving

You don’t want to go into law school unprepared. Create a list of essentials you’ll need to pack and ensure you have them well before your move-in date. Understand your schedule well and move in as early as possible to become familiar with the campus and know where your lectures are.

You want to make a good impression on your professors, so you won’t want to be late for any of your lectures!

Have Fun

friends at beach

Consider what’s on your bucket list and spend your summer before law school checking some of these items off! Have fun doing whatever it is that makes you happy! Spend time with the people you love, doing what you love so you can focus on your studies for the next three years without any regrets!

FAQs: How to Prepare for Law School During the Summer

Below, you’ll find the answers to the frequently asked questions about what to do the summer before law school.

1. How Do I Prepare for Law School in the Summer?

You shouldn’t spend your summer memorizing legal textbooks and trying to get ahead of all your readings. Spend your summer having fun, developing your reading skills, working on weaknesses, developing healthy habits, and gaining a realistic understanding of law school.

Figure out stress-relief techniques that you can use in law school, establish a healthy routine for yourself, create a budget to limit your financial stress, and spend time with your friends and family, as they will be your rock when you’re met with challenges in law school. 

2. Should I Do an Internship the Summer Before Law School?

You do not have to do an internship the summer before law school. While it can help you feel more comfortable in the legal setting, you’ll be expected to join internships and other opportunities during the summers of your JD anyway!

3. Are There Any Recommended Books to Read Before Law School?

While you should expand your knowledge and skills by reading interesting books, some books can help you prepare for law school. These books are written by legal professors and students that can help you navigate the rigors of law school! 

There are dozens to choose from, but our top picks are IL Of A Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor's Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School by Andrew J. McClurg and Law School Done Right: Proven Tips for Success from Recent Grads Who Killed It by Brian Savage And Michael Seringhaus.

Final Thoughts

Your summer before law school should offer some reprieve between your undergrad and JD. Use this precious free time to pursue your interests and aspirations and prepare for law school. Have fun, and get ready to commit all of your time and energy to your legal education for the next three years!

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