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Effects of COVID-19 on Your Law School Competitiveness
Reading time: 5 minutes Undertaking a series of extracurricular activities and even work experience contributes positively to a law school applicant’s likelihood of admittance. Yet, in light of the COVID-19 quarantine, the list of viable in-person extracurriculars seems to have dwindled. However, there are still a number of activities law school hopefuls can partake in to bolster up their application and set themselves apart from the competition.  
  • First and foremost, Law School officiates are looking to their law students to take advantage of their extra time. Their recommendation? Make up for the lost opportunities and instead focus more intensely on coursework. Dedicating some of your downtime to really getting a handle on the material can work to your advantage, since the topics may also correspond to your extracurricular pursuits that have been put on hold. If you can demonstrate academic proficiency in these classroom topics, it will spur you forward when the time comes to pursue it outside of your in-home classroom.
  • Thinking outside of the box is your biggest asset in this situation. Participating in online forms of mock trial, debate systems, or pre-law societies are definitely a plus. Check out UCLA’s Transfer Pre-Law Society who is super active during this time, inviting speakers remotely and staying connected to their community. However, do not discredit options that are off the beaten path. Thinking about how you can demonstrate your leadership experience, application of critical thinking, and overall depth (not breadth) of community contribution can also bolster your law school application. Such examples include volunteering to help the elderly during the crisis through phone banking and organizing or creating an online support community for your peers.    
  • Another starting point for activities that can help with bolstering your application would be remote campaign work during this downtime. Getting involved in a political organization (especially with the run-up to the November general elections) remotely is a great step to take, as it will show law schools that you are socially conscientious and in touch with your beliefs. However, when it comes time to discuss your role, the focus should be on the experience you’ve gained, and not drift to a manifesto of your political affiliations. You never know who is going to come across your application or your political history, and when applying to law school it is imperative that you successfully toe the line of polite discussion of your political affiliation. 
  A quick note for those readers who are already in law school:  Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School, the University of Michigan Law School, the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and Cornell Law School amongst others have adopted a pass/fail system as a response to the COVID crisis. This is leaving students to question the implications of this change on future employment opportunities, which are privy to a student’s grades and class rank. It is likely that hiring decisions will be made off of whatever grades law students had pre-pandemic as well as their other extracurricular activities, i.e. clinics, journals, student organizations etc. So it is critical to always be mindful of how to bolster your profile in addition to academic record in the coming months ahead.    If you are still feeling unsure of how to utilize your time during quarantine to bolster your law school application, or are worried about your law employment opportunities, contact Write Track Admissions for help! Also check out our latest YouTube Video on COVID and Law School Admissions.   Aly Hartman,  Communications DirectorWrite Track Admissions