In order to put your best foot forward during the college admissions process, you’ll want to prove yourself with meaningful extracurricular activities. Curious about the courtroom? Want to make the world a better place? Let’s get involved with both law and public policy! There are ways to participate in law and policy-related extracurriculars even as a high school student; it’s all about knowing where to look. Here, we’ve rounded up some top suggestions for how to add standout law and public policy extracurriculars to your resume.
About Law and Public Policy
This area of study includes plenty of reading, writing, and logical reasoning skills. Top students from around the world choose legal professions due to their potential impact and even prestige. If you’re drawn to the challenge and choose to pursue this track, just know you’ll be competing with very impressive peers. Being well-prepared will go a long way. That’s why we’re here to help you!
Keep in mind that Pre-Law or Legal Studies might not be the best choice for you in college, even if you want to go to law school eventually. Firstly, not all schools offer the same legal curriculum for undergraduate students. And secondly, you’ll want to find the appropriate major that you can engage in, gain useful analytical skills, and demonstrate your ability to achieve. In the end, that major will be the one that “looks best” on your college application.
In the Classroom
As a high school student, there might not be abundant opportunities for you to study law and public policy in the classroom. If you have the chance to do so—that’s great!
We also advise students to be on the lookout for critical courses like:
- English language and literature
- Social studies
- Language studies
Some more niche class titles might include:
- Creative writing
- Global issues
- And plenty more!
Study On Your Own
If you’re on track to take all of the available courses you can, great—but that doesn’t mean your scope is limited. There are resources for students to self-study and engage in online courses to continue to expand their knowledge! For instance, the American Bar Association—the ones in charge of the bar examinations for lawyers—has a section of their website dedicated to curricula for high school students.
Other potential independent course offerings (note, not all are free):
- An Introduction to American Law
- A Law Student’s Toolkit
- Political Science 101: Intro to Political Science
- Intellectual Property Law
- Privacy and Standardization
Law and Public Policy Activities
When weighing how to dedicate your free time, consider clubs that help train you to think and speak professionally. Model United Nations, Speech and Debate, or Journalism are examples of activities that can highlight your strengths on the law and public policy pathway.
Make the most of your summer breaks, too. Whether you decide to pursue an internship, program, or camp, longer breaks from school provide a much-needed opportunity to focus on one thing at a time.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started…
- DOI Pathways Internship Program: The U.S. Department of the Interior offers a paid internship for students from the high school to graduate level. Different hiring agencies within the DOI offer either part-time or full-time internships which are related to the intern’s academic field of study or desired career. This program will grant interns an inside look into public and environmental policy. It even offers the chance to eventually convert interns (if certain criteria fit) to a permanent or temporary job position, for one to four years.
- Pasquines Internship: The non-profit news organization Paquines is dedicated to bringing U.S. territories—and the impact that federal issues such as those involving politics, policy, design, and innovation have on them—into the national conversation. The organization is always searching for unpaid, virtual interns who are passionate about politics, public affairs, writing, and reporting to assist in a variety of positions. Applications are open on a rolling basis.
- Model United Nations Summer Camps: In Model United Nations, students learn about the world around them, all while honing important skills like public speaking, debate, negotiation, research, teamwork, and leadership — abilities that set kids up for success in college, career, and beyond.
If you have unresolved questions about the college application process, reach out to Empowerly. Our counselor community knows what it’s like to be in your shoes, and they have the expertise to navigate it smoothly. Trust them to take the stress out of the process. Book a complimentary consultation session with an enrollment specialist to learn more about how Empowerly can help you achieve your dreams.