Involvement is a broad term that includes activities that allow you to engage with the UW-Madison and local communities. Examples include:

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How can extracurriculars help me with law school?

Many of the skills that you develop through getting involved – such as organization, time management, leading others, and communication – can better prepare you to succeed in law school and beyond. Law schools recognize the value of involvement and consider how you chose to get involved during college as part of your application.

It’s important to note that law schools prefer that you show a depth of involvement, not necessarily a breadth of involvement. So choose activities that you enjoy, want to devote significant time to, and that might offer opportunities for you to develop skills in communication, leadership, organization, problem-solving, or other skills relevant to law school.

Do law schools prefer one type of involvement more than others?

No. Law schools want to admit applicants with a diversity of backgrounds, rather than a class full of law students with similar experiences. They prefer that you seek out the types of involvement that most interest you and that you make the most of those experiences. Regardless of the type of involvement you choose, you should reflect on which skills you’re developing and how those skill will benefit you in law school.

What kind of volunteering should I do?

There is no one particular kind of volunteering that law schools expect. Many applicants’ law school applications have a theme. For example, if the theme of your personal statement is that you really like helping people, and you want to work as a public interest lawyer, seeing some volunteering (any kind) on your resume helps support your theme. If your theme is environmental protection and wanting to be an environmental lawyer, then volunteering in that context makes a lot of sense.

Some applicants don’t immediately see a theme for themselves and that’s okay! The key here is to follow your own interests and passions. If a volunteer opportunity appeals to you, it’s for a reason, and you should pursue what you like. Law schools want to see motivated, involved individuals, in whatever context that may be. You can always craft a theme for your application based on what you were drawn to do. If you’re looking for ideas for law-related non-profits and other entities that you might be able to volunteer with, check out this list of sample volunteer opportunities. (This list is not updated regularly so it may not be up to date, and is intended to give you ideas.)

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Explore Volunteering Opportunities

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Note: Always check with the Study Abroad Office before signing up for any study abroad programs to find out if this is a University approved program and if not, what you should know about outside study abroad programs.