When applying to UCAS, it is important to build your profile to fit your intended program. What do you do when your program isn’t something you’ve studied in school then? For law, this issue is particularly pertinent. While you cannot practice or study law in junior college, you can obtain many of the relevant skills- interest in justice, ability to form an argument, public speaking fluency, and exposure to the legal system.
At the core of all laws is justice. Find your cause- Are you passionate about the treatment of animals? Prisoners? Refugees? Once you have a cause, find a way that you can become involved. Is there a NGO you can volunteer for? A phone bank you can run? Can you start a club or fundraiser at your school? Show the admissions office that you are passionate about justice.
The ability to form arguments is essential to the law profession. Luckily, there are a few ways you can build on this skill by participating in your school’s CCAs. If your school prints a newspaper, consider writing an Op-Ed column. If your school offers MUN, consider taking up a delegate role. Finally, if your school offers Debate Club, it is highly advisable to take an active role including elected leadership positions. If you are not yet confident in your abilities, consider taking a class online. There are many relevant MOOCs for this express purpose. Some possibilities include UC Berkeley’s Journalism for Social Change class offered at edX and the University of Melbourne’s Journalism for Engaged Citizens on Coursera.
Many students struggle with the public speaking aspect of law. Fortunately, there are tangible steps you can take to improve this skill. The LAMDA exams are a great way to build your confidence and fluency for public speaking engagements. If you are looking for a similar opportunity, but prefer a focus on community, consider joining the Toastmasters’ Club. Toastmasters’ Club offers support and training in terms of leadership, listening, and communication skills.
In order to prove that you would be a good fit for the legal profession, you must prove that you have an understanding of what the job entails. There are three main avenues you can take to acquire this experience. First, you can attend public trials in the local courts to get an authentic introduction. Second, you can attend a pre-college law summer program to gain a more structured exposure. Finally, you can intern with an actual law firm to see through the daily operations of a firm.
Law school is increasingly competitive for international students with the introduction of LNAT and interviews at some schools to differentiate between top candidates. If you are serious about studying law in university, take advantage of every opportunity you have in and out of school.