High Schooler interested in being a lawyer

I am a high school student interested in law. My dream job is being a corporate lawyer.

I’ve read other threads, and I know that I should be focusing on my undergraduate years and not law school. I’m aware of this. But I had some questions that I hope can be answered;

  • I know for Ivy Leagues, you should have a “spike” developed in high school for your desired major. Should my “spike” be extracurriculars related to my major (Econ/Politics) or should they be related to my interest in Law? Which would be more effective in the application process?

  • What are some extra curricular ideas I can do as a student interested in law? I know legal internships are next to impossible for undergrad students, let alone high schoolers, but I know I’d be able to secure one through one of my connections. Would this suffice as an impressive extra curricular?

  • What are the best majors for corporate lawyers? I’ve read through these before and I know there’s no “perfect” major, but are there some that benefit me more than others? Again, I know law school is pretty flexible

I guess my biggest dilemma is deciding on my spike. Should a spike be related to my interest (law) or my desired undergrad major (econ/politics)?


Just follow whatever you are naturally interested in. You don’t necessarily need a “spike.” You don’t need to start preparing for law school admissions while still in high school. I would avoid the unnecessary pressure you are putting on yourself for a relatively faraway goal. Enjoy high school and try to find opportunities to grow as a person, and to develop any interests that evolve during high school years.

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Also, lawyer hiring is most concerned about the ranking / prestige of your law school (either top 14 overall or highly ranked in the state you will practice law in). Such law school ranking / prestige is mainly based on its admission selectivity, which is mainly based on LSAT score and college GPA, rather than the ranking / prestige of your undergraduate college.

Application Preparation | Law School Numbers may have some tips on undergraduate preparation for law school, but it is not like there is much that you need to do about it now. The main thing for high school students to be aware of is that if you take college courses while in high school, those courses and grades will be included in your law school application.

Law School Reports | LST Reports has information about how successful each law school’s graduates are at getting lawyer jobs. But that is more of something to be concerned with when considering applying to law schools.

Just to clarify- I’m not exactly doing law ECs for the sake of law school, but rather for the interest of the actual subject/field. I was just wondering (in regards to undergraduate admissions to Ivies) whether it would look bad to have my spike be law even if I plan to do a different undergrad, or if it would look good to do so because it shows that I’m thinking long term, have a clear idea of my interests, and actually am doing things related to my passion.

I do not understand your fixation on the concept of a “spike”.

Best that you can do at this stage is to be an excellent student & to do what you enjoy.

It might be enjoyable for you to read a book related to law school such as “One L”.

Also, there are several books which discuss law school admissions. One written by Anna Ivey is well written & easy to read.

You are overthinking everything: spike, what “looks good,” and long term goals. Just enjoy high school and pursue your interests and don’t think about getting in so much. Ironically authenticity is highly valued by admissions anyway.

Many high school students have ECs that MIGHT relate to law school, like debate, Model UN, student government. Many other future law students do other activities like football, drama, or art.

Do what you like, do what you want to learn about. Read, read, and read more, because that’s what you’ll do as a law student.

A law firm I worked at participated in a program where they paid the tuition for hs students in exchange for the students working at the firm. What did these students do? Sort and deliver mail, stock supplies, clean up after meetings. They weren’t doing anything to do with law. I’ve never seen a high school intern in any law school do anything law related except maybe deliver papers to a court clerk’s office. Even college interns working in law firms are more likely to be sorting papers than to be writing them.

I am a bit hesitant to recommend to a future law school applicant to: “Read, read, and read more because that’s what you’ll do as a law student” because it is thinking & analyzing that is important–and not necessarily the reading.

I also am hesitant to recommend activities which focus on the acts of advocacy because, again, it is thinking & analyzing that is more important.

I do recommend that one learn to listen. It is important to learn to respect varying viewpoints & to develop different perspectives on issues.

Law school & the practice of law is primarily about using one’s brain power in a field which rarely offers clear-cut facts and solutions.

Agree with all of the prior posters. You seems super motivated and focused, but the things that you are concerned about - what might look good to an ivy league school, how to develop a spike, choosing high school extracurriculars based on a goal that’s at least ten years down the road - really, truly won’t have any impact on your admission to college or law school. Put aside any calculus of what might look marginally better, and choose activities that you love and will invest yourself in in high school. PP’s are are also quite right that law school admissions is based on your undergrad grades and LSAT scores -not the prestige of your undergraduate institution. And, also that ultimately, if you do go to law school, your job prospects are going to be most affected by what law school you attend. If you attend a T14 school, or a regional school that is highly respected in the state you intend to practice, you will likely have a lot of options. Your undergraduate school will have almost zero impact. My one, huge piece of advice would be to take 1-2 years off between college and law school and get some work experience. Any type of work experience is very helpful (in fact, I’d recommend that you do something non-law related), and you will be at a pretty big advantage going into law school having already worked for a year or two.