How To Highlight Volunteering Experience In Your Application
Volunteering is one aspect of the law school application that admissions officers are seeking.
Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and a contributor at US News, recently discusses what kinds of volunteer activities tend to impress law schools and how applicants can highlight strengths that are highly sought out by admissions officers.
LEADERSHIP IS KEY
Admissions officers are looking for leaders who can be self-starters when they come to campus.
Experts recommends that applicants highlight examples of leadership and initiative when discussing their volunteer work.
“Not only do such efforts look good on a law school resume, they make great grist for a personal statement,” Kuris writes. “Leadership that involves helping others, whether serving the public or supporting colleagues or teammates, tends to interest readers more than self-interested pursuits – and makes for a classic ‘humble brag.’”
However, experts also caution against highlighting too many volunteer experiences. Choosing the impactful ones is key.
“If you served dinner to the homeless three years ago at Thanksgiving, this one-time event doesn’t belong on the list,” according to Accepted. “However, if you spent your summer canvassing low-income neighborhoods and encouraging people to register to vote, you should mention it. Pick the significant commitments, and talk about them.”
DEMONSTRATE LEGAL INTEREST
While there are no official rules on what kinds of volunteer work you should have, experts say having legal-related volunteer work is always a plus.
“Volunteering with a law firm, legal nonprofit, government office or political organization is a strong way to show interest in a legal path,” Kuris writes. “Such offices are often looking for help with everything from answering phones to collecting and organizing information.”
If you don’t have time for volunteering, Kuris says, don’t stress.
“Regardless, what law schools care about most is that you use your time well in ways that prepare you for the rigors of legal work,” she writes.