Legal Internship, Fellowship & Work Opportunities
Although a law-related work experience or internship is not a requirement for law school admission, such “field experience” offers students an opportunity to test their interest in law. This type of position may involve real responsibility in a legal environment: interviewing clients and gathering salient facts, legal research, writing memoranda, counseling, and negotiation.
Employment in a job not law related may play a role in an admissions committee’s decision if such work shows significant entrepreneurial ability or involves situations where employers have given the applicant real responsibility in a company’s operations. If a student has found it necessary to work in order to pay for college tuition or expenses, it is important to bring it to the attention of the admissions committee. Demonstrating maturity in accepting responsibility for college expenses and learning to balance employment and academic commitments can have a positive impact on an admissions officer.
As for extracurricular activities, law schools neither require nor are impressed by long lists of them. However, admissions committees are looking for significant leadership ability and activity, and a commitment to something other than a high undergraduate G.P.A. Whatever the activity, it needs to indicate meaningful community involvement, leadership, and responsibility in order to have a significant impact on the admissions process.
Note of caution: We wish to warn pre-law students not to make choices concerning courses or majors, work or internship experiences, and extracurricular activities simply to impress law school admissions committees and thereby improve one’s chance of admission. It is impossible to second-guess admissions committees. There is disparity among law schools about the comparative weight put on a candidate’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments. Remember: Do what you feel comfortable and happy about doing. If you are interested in what you are doing, you will be successful.
Some resources available to you are:
- Contacting lawyers directly, whether in your home town or Baltimore, to see if they have opportunities for internships or shadowing experiences
- Life Design Lab (formerly Career Center)
- Alumni Online Database