Taking Your Time – Gap Years

Unfortunately, the time between graduation and law school is often referred to as “gap years”. This term often invites an impression that this time lacks substance, is unintentional or is void of value. Perhaps, as a result, many students have an inaccurate impression that taking time prior to law school is inherently negative or a disadvantage to their ultimate goal of attending law school. The reality is that taking time to pursue opportunities prior to law school can contribute significantly to an applicant’s success, and can ultimately offer an individual tremendous benefits personally, academically, and professionally.

Whether you ultimately decide to pursue an opportunity prior to law or go “straight through”, every future applicant should consider how a timeline that includes a “gap year(s)” might enhance their application and contribute to their ultimate success as a law student!

Below is a collection of resources to assist in your decision-making!

View this brief virtual workshop discussing Gap Years!

Learn more about the many benefits of taking a gap year and possible opportunities to pursue!

Watch! Gap Year Perspectives Panel

PLAS welcomed a panel of UIUC pre-law alumni to share perspectives and insights about their experiences taking time to pursue opportunities prior to law school. The Gap Year Perspectives Panel was hosted on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 5:30 pm via Zoom. To register for this event, please click here. Learn more about our accomplished groups of panelists below!

Meet the Panelists

Chandler Cathey ’16

“By taking these gap years and finding what makes me happy in life, I was able to figure out how to intertwine that with my passion for the law, (hopefully) setting me up to have a career after law school that I can be proud and happy with.”

Haydn Lambert ’19

“I wanted to get a better sense of what the world was like outside of school so that my time in law school would be more informed by experience.”

Skylar Rolle ’20

“I wanted to make sure that law school was the right choice for me. In addition, I wanted to take the chance to work in politics so that I could go into law school with some real-world experiences.”

Matthew Krauter ’22

“I wanted to have the opportunity to make a real impact with my undergraduate education and be able to navigate law school admissions better and position myself for success.”