Internships & Job Shadowing
In addition to an emphasis on academics, we strongly recommend that Pre-Law students consider interning or volunteering in a lawyer’s office, at a court, or other legal environment to help you decide if a law career is right for you. We hope that you walk away from these experiences with further insight into the legal profession and a realistic understanding to what it means to work in law, in various settings.
Internships for pre-law students are often available throughout the year. Many of these are overseen by the Political Science department although you do not have to be a Political Science major or minor to participate in them. These internships offer opportunities in a variety of areas such as government (particularly the courts), the Arizona governor’s office, congressional offices both in Tucson and Washington, D.C., and local law firms. Information is sent out over the Pre-Law listserv as it becomes available.
Law schools do not require internships, however, as with any “hands-on” experience, they give you the opportunity to confirm your interest in the legal field. Internships are also a way to begin networking with people who are working in areas of law in which you may be interested. With The A Center, you can earn academic credit for internships, learn more about internship credits here.
As an undergraduate at The University of Arizona, you will find ample opportunity to learn more about the legal profession and test your commitment to a career in law. Pre-law students may visit classes at the James E. Rogers College of Law with prior arrangements through their Office of Admissions.
Law schools look for a “well-rounded” student who has participated in activities outside of academics. You are encouraged to do volunteer work, community service, philanthropy, and/or an internship during your undergraduate education. These experiences enable you to test your interest in the practice of law before applying to law school. In order to have a significant impact on the law school, the chosen activity needs to indicate meaningful involvement and not serve as a resume filler. Do not do extra-curricular activities if they are detrimental to your academics; outside activities never replace a high GPA.
Your experiences do not need to be limited to legal ones, either. As with majors, law schools encourage students to have a diverse and well-rounded experience outside of the classroom. Whether through volunteer work, part-time job employment, or participation in a student club, you should choose activities that will help you develop your leadership, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. Check out the pre-law organizations listed here.
Law-related work experience is not a requirement for law school admission. It may, however, serve to confirm your interest in the legal field. It is important for admissions committees to know if you worked in order to pay for your tuition or college expenses. Demonstration of this level of responsibility can have a positive impact on your admissions application.