Extracurricular activities and work

Work and extracurricular activities -- the so-called "soft" factors -- will not make up for a poor academic record. Law schools are looking for students who have learned to successfully balance the competing demands on their time.

Law schools are also interested in your extracurricular activities, work history, internships, and community service. Your experience outside the classroom demonstrates the skills you have acquired and what you have learned about yourself that makes you a stronger and more interesting candidate.

These activities also indicate that you are a well-rounded person who has the social maturity to be part of a demanding law school community, and to then take on the unique responsibilities of practicing law. A strong work history, combined with an impressive academic record, shows your commitment to hard work and perseverance.

However, over-involvement in non-academic activities, no matter how meaningful, will not excuse or compensate for a poor academic record. Law schools are looking for students who can successfully balance competing demands on their time.

Law school applicants who have taken time off since graduating from college will want to highlight their work experience and volunteer activities since graduation. The weight given to your work experience versus your education will depend in large part on how many years you have been out of school.