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by Brian Zhang | October 20, 2020

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Conducting classes virtually is relatively straightforward even if it doesn’t completely replicate the in-person experience, but what about extracurricular activities? When you can’t meet in person, it is easy to overlook extracurriculars and clubs, but they should still play an important role in enriching your law school experience. After all, participating in activities outside of class is beneficial for your social life, your mental health, and your resume. Not to mention, your law school network will serve as valuable connections throughout your legal career—developing and nurturing this network now is more important than ever. Read on for some pointers on how to stay engaged with law school extracurriculars despite the circumstances.

Keep an eye out.

You might not realize it, but extracurriculars and student organizations are still active despite classes being remote or partially remote. Clubs are still holding meeting and events, albeit virtually. Lunchtime events are still happening, even though they sadly can’t serve free lunch for the time being. From social mixers to career panels and even formal symposia, all sorts of virtual events are in the works courtesy of your fellow students and school administration.

These exciting happenings may be less visible to you now, however. If school was in person, you may have stumbled upon them unintentionally when you heard about them from classmates in passing or saw people lining up in the hallways. With school being remote, representatives of various groups—whether school related, career related, or totally for fun—are trying more diligently than ever to reach you with news of their events. Meet them halfway by paying attention to your emails, your class Facebook group if you have one, and your school’s social media channels. Proactively look out for announcements that may interest you. It’ll be worth your while.

Research and reach out.

If your school has a list or directory of student organizations and their points of contact, peruse the descriptions and reach out to the representatives of whatever interests you. Start with an email and perhaps set up a virtual meeting. Remember that these representatives are your fellow students, and they volunteer their contact information for a reason—so that you can find them and others with a common interest. Most clubs always welcome new members and many are looking for help running or improving the club, so you’ll very likely gain something from reaching out. Additionally, as an alternative to in-person activity fairs, your school may have held (and recorded) a virtual fair or compiled a video introducing all of the student organizations. Use these resources to find the right extracurricular for you.

Think long term.

It’s understandable if extracurriculars don’t seem as appealing to you in virtual format and you feel that you’d rather wait until they can be conducted in person for the full experience. But keep in mind that you often need to demonstrate interest in a student organization in order to obtain a leadership position later, so don’t let those opportunities slip by now. If you know you want a board position on your resume, plan ahead and start getting involved in that organization now even though it’s virtual. Most student organization involvement is a reasonably low time commitment and is genuinely enjoyable as long as it aligns with your interests. Even if you’re not yet sure whether you’ll seek a leadership position, you’ll eventually be glad you opened up that possibility for yourself. Plus, you’ll meet new people and expand your law school network.

Find the time.

Of course, remote school has not changed the reality is that law students are very busy people. But it has probably reduced the amount of time you spend getting ready for and getting to school. Your trip to your home desk probably takes far less time than a drive or bus ride to campus. These time savings may not seem like much, but they’re one possible way to find the spare time you need to invest into extracurriculars.

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