“There is no single path that will prepare you for a legal education. However, there are core skills and values that will provide you with a solid foundation; these have been summarized in the American Bar Association’s Statement on Pre-Law Preparation. No particular undergraduate education is recommended; students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. If you are an undergraduate, a Pre-Law advisor at your school can help you plan a course of study that will help you achieve your goal.”
– from LSAC’s Preparing for Law School webpage
It can be helpful, but not necessary, to obtain law-related experiences in preparation for law school. Most importantly, obtaining law-related experiences prior to law school will help you get a more realistic sense for the field of law and/or what lawyers do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis . Before applying to and attending law school, you want to be very sure that law school is the right path for you to reach your career goals.
Law-related experiences mainly consist of a job, internship, or volunteer in a law setting or law environment. Here are some options for obtaining these types of experiences:
- Internships through the UCF Legal Studies Department
- Internships through the UCF Political Science Department
- Contact Political Science Internship Coordinator, Dr. Peter Jacques, for internship questions and possibilities
- Intake Volunteer – Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc.
- Most intake volunteers come one day a week for approximately three hours. Volunteers assist in interviewing, phone screening, clerical duties and/or community outreach events. However, volunteers primarily assist in interviewing.
- Volunteer Advocates for Children – Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc.
- Volunteer Advocates for Children (VACs) are trained volunteers who work with the attorney Guardian ad Litems (GALs) in gathering records, interviewing witnesses, meeting the child and monitoring that child’s progress as well as the Court’s orders.
- FSU College of Law Donald J. Weidner Summer for Undergraduates
- This program brings to campus undergraduate students from throughout the country for a month-long immersion into legal study. The primary goal of the program is to acquaint students with the study of law and to assist them in acquiring skills that will benefit their undergraduate and future law school studies.
- There is NO tuition or room and board charge for this program. FSU Law provides all meals, residence-hall accommodations, course materials, and a stipend to all participants. Students are responsible only for their travel expenses to and from Tallahassee.
- Justice & Legal section – VolunteerMatch.org – Orlando area
- Use VolunteerMatch.org and select the “Justice & Legal” section to search for a variety of legal volunteer opportunities in the Orlando area
- UCF & Surrounding Area Resource Guide – look under “agencies” for the county legal aid organization.
Showing evidence of non-law-related experiences, such as jobs, internships, and volunteerism in ANY areas, can have multiple benefits for your law school application. For example, non-law-related experiences can provide the law schools insight in to your:
1) areas of interest or passion (ex. volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or Feed the Homeless),
2) “skill sets” as referenced on our Pre-Law Student Academic Preparation webpage (ex. listening and counseling skills by working or volunteering for a crisis call center), and
3) work ethic and/or multi-tasking (ex. holding a job part-time or full-time while also taking classes in college).
Here are a few options for obtaining these types of experiences:
- Volunteerism/Community Service
- Internships, Externships, Co-ops, and/or Service Learning
Pre-Law Student Organizations at UCF
Joining a Pre-Law student organization gets you connected to other students who also have the goal to go to law school, can help you build activities for your resume, and can expose you to a variety of law-related information, topics, and organizations.
- PAD (Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity) – Website / Knight Connect page / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
- NBLSA (National Black Law Student Association – UCF Chapter) – Website (national) / Knight Connect page / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
- PDP (Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society) – Website (national) / Knight Connect page / Facebook / Instagram
- Mock Trail Team – Website / Knight Connect page / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram