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Things to do over the summer before you apply to law school

Published May 7, 2018

Sand and sun and staying on track for your law school goals. Here are some things you can do over the summer to prepare for the law school and the application process.

Summer between freshman and sophomore year:

At this point in time, you should be focusing on your GPA and formulating good relationships with your professors. Don't stress yourself out over the summer, but the suggestions below are helpful to determine if law school is the right choice for you.

  • Visit court to watch a trial or arraignments.
  • Start asking questions about how the law impacts daily life for family and friends (ex. Taxes, buying a house, owning a business, child custody, etc.).
  • General legal fiction or biographies of famous lawyers/jurists (do not read any books about 1L or suggested readings for incoming 1Ls – you’re not there yet so enjoy your time!).

Summer between sophomore and junior year:

With two years of school under your belt, you should have a better feel for the direction you want to go after graduating. If law school is on your radar, these few things will help you to picture yourself as a law student and get you the first-hand information you will need to move forward.

  • Seek out law school summer pipeline programs or law school related events that you can attend to get a more realistic picture of what life in law school will be like and what it takes to get there.
  • Secure an internship or volunteer experience in a law firm or court. This will help you see the practice of law up close and give you the information you need to determine if it is the right path for you.
  • Schedule informational coffee or meetings with current lawyers and ask them about their path to law school and the type of law they practice.

Summer between junior and senior year: This is crunch time!

The summer before your senior year is crucial when you are preparing for law school. Now is the time to plan and prepare for the application process. 

  • Begin visiting law schools you are considering applying to.
  • Study for the LSAT.
  • Create an application timeline for the school year. This will allow you to manage your time during the summer and throughout your senior year. It is hard to balance classes and preparing a law school application, so planning ahead is a must.
  • Schedule coffee or meetings with professors that are writing your letters of recommendation. Having a face to face conversation about your goals will allow your recommender to write a more personalized and genuine letter.

Summer between Senior year and 1L: Relax

You've put in the work, and at this point you should be accepted and committed to what law school you will attend. Take this time to enjoy graduation and all of your accomplishments over the last four years. This summer should be relaxing, fun, and possibly a time to save up money from a summer job. Law school will typically begin in the fall, and you will have plenty of time to work hard and be stressed about classes. The summer should be reserved for doing things that you enjoy and that bring you peace. Your mental health matters!

For tips on what to read, check out our summer reading list!

Photo of Amber.

Amber Melvin, Esq.'13 is the Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator for the Office of Admissions.


Office of Admissions
University at Buffalo School of Law
309 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260