Why you don’t need to do Law-Related Extra-Curricular Activities
We've all been told that mooting, witness examination competitions and peer mentoring look good on resumes. But what if you can't think of anything worse than volunteering to spend your precious summer break trapped in the law library? What if your extra-curricular activities include children's face painting, Brazilian martial arts or street poetry?
Don't stress about law career implications; this can actually work in your favour. The real reason why extra-curricular activities are important on your resume is that they demonstrate good time management, an understanding of work-life balance and a broader life experience than you would otherwise get by just attending uni.
You study at university to learn the law and legal skills, and although you may learn something by doing law-based activities, employers don't put such a high value on this as you might think. The focus of most law firms when recruiting today is on hiring people with interests and hobbies outside of the law. Experience has shown that lawyers with extra-curricular interests are more likely to last in what is a very stressful and demanding profession if they have a non-legal way to relax.
If you can show that through your slightly obscure extra-curricular activities that you have learned skills which you can apply to your legal work, you're already ahead. For example, making a corset for a friend requires a lot of skill; you need attention to detail, good time management and good interpersonal skills. Also, if the person reading applications has already seen 40 CVs that list participation in law-school competitions, and then finds yours with “breeding pythons” listed as a hobby, you’ll instantly seem more interesting to them and it certainly makes for a more memorable application!
There’s often a lot of pressure to supplement your law degree with law-related extra-curricular activities, but just do what makes you happy. Law school can be stressful enough without worrying about what looks good on your resume!
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