Recently I was asked how much an internship experience with a not-for-profit would benefit a law school candidate in the application process. In particular, I was asked whether the candidate would be better served by choosing to work at a prestigious international organization for the summer rather than tutoring and mentoring students at his place of worship.
While an internship with an international organization can help strengthen your law school application, working as a tutor or mentor in your own community, along with other service at the local level, demonstrates a genuinely deep commitment to community service. As you consider your options for community involvement, be sure to focus on organizations about which you are passionate and to which you can commit yourself entirely. By dedicating your time and energy to an organization about which you are genuinely enthusiastic, you will naturally find yourself in situations that will make excellent fodder for quality application essays and powerful recommendations. A detailed resume that showcases your community involvement (and that ideally highlights not just your actions but also your impact) can demonstrate to the admissions committee that you would add diversity to an entering class that would not be the same without someone like you. Though you cannot fully predict the value of your community service experience now, you can set yourself up to reap the most benefit by choosing one in which you will most likely excel.
This blog post is authored by jdMission co-founder, Sunitha Ramaiah. After graduating Princeton University, Sunitha attended Columbia University Law School. She practiced corporate law for eight years, before she met Jeremy Shinewald, the Founder of mbaMission, the world leader in MBA admissions consulting. Together they started jdMission to provide the same stellar service to JD candidates.
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