The following piece was written by Linda Abraham. Linda has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is the President and Founder of Accepted.com.
Why do law school admissions committees want to know what you do in your free time? Aren’t impressive test scores and a straight-A (well, maybe not straight-A) transcript enough to show that you’re top law school material?
Here’s why law schools care about what you do when you’re not at work or at school:
1. What you do with your spare time says a lot about who you are. Grades and test scores will easily help the adcom measure you up against other applicants. But will they tell the adcom anything special about you? No. Will they address your passions and interests? Not really. Will they set you apart from other highly competitive candidates? Not so much.
What you need to do to demonstrate to the adcom readers that you’re a unique and talented individual that they’d be lucky to have in their next law school class is to show them how you spend your free time.
2. Extracurriculars can show that you care. Law, in its purest, most idealistic, form, is about helping people. Highlighting your most substantial extracurricular activities, community service, and volunteer experiences will demonstrate that you don’t just have a good head on your shoulders, but that you’ve got a big heart a well.
3. They show that you know how to commit. Law school’s not easy, and neither is your future law career. The fact that you’ve done Teach for America or Habitat for Humanity (on the service-end of things), or that you’ve been horseback riding competitively since you were six-years-old, or that you opened an Etsy store and have been selling your homemade cufflinks for two years (on the hobby end of things) shows that you know how to commit. (And yes, not all extracurricular activities need to revolve around helping the poor to be impressive.)
Conclusion: Once you can present the competitive LSAT and GPA, your extracurricular activities give you a chance to provide concrete examples of your commitment, passion, leadership skills, and unique talents – all aspects of YOU that law school admissions committees really want to see!
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.