4 Things You Can Do Over Winter Break That Might Help Your Law School Admissions Chances and Legal Career

It’s been a very long year. And it might be a long winter. But, many college students now have longer than usual winter breaks. Some have two months, or more. 


Here are some ideas, so that you can make progress towards your admissions goals during this time:


-Study for the LSAT Early: Although this might not be the most fun way to spend your extended winter break, you might thank me later. Usually students are studying for the LSAT at the same time as going to class, to internships, and every other busy part of their lives. Now might be the time to get a jumpstart on the LSAT. Check out the free online Khan Academy LSAT prep, as well as practice tests available on LSAC(www.lsac.org). You could also start to work on your law school personal statement, or requesting recommendations for law school.


-Look for a Micro-Internship: Even if you have a few weeks free, there might be someone in your community or online that you could intern for during winter break. This puts less pressure on employers to provide a long-term job, and gives you a chance to explore an area that interests you. Who knows? It could even lead to a summer job. Check out the listings on your school’s online job database, as well as sites like LinkedIn.


-Research Emerging Trends: If you are worried about finding a legally related summer job, now is a great time to analyze the news and business and legal publications. See where there are multiple job listings. See what are the projected growth areas. For example, health care and compliance are in demand now. In our quickly changing world, you have the opportunity to take advantage of growth areas as they emerge. Check out the National Association for Law Placement(www.nalp.org) for more information.


-Take Time To Reflect On Your Goals: Not sure if you want to go straight to law school or take a gap year to work first? Not sure if you want to go to law school at all? Or what type of lawyer you want to be? Now is a great time to slow down, take advantage of time off and think about what you really want for your future. It’s also a good time to network and get advice over Zoom, where you can network with someone even if they are not located near you.


Although you may have been feeling stuck in a holding pattern, now is the time to do some active planning for next year. Think about what you want to accomplish next semester and next year—is there a pre-law club you want to join? A professor you want to worth with? Volunteer work that you are interested in? While everyone is home for break, there are many opportunities to plan for the not so distant future, when hopefully things will be looking up.


Hillary Mantis works with pre-law students, law students and lawyers. She is Assistant Dean for the Pre-law Advising Program at Fordham University. She is the author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers. You can reach her at altcareer@aol.com.