Taking Time Prior to Law School – Fall 2023 Gap Year(s) Panel

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!

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 before law school. The Gap Year Perspectives Panel was hosted in November 2023. Learn more about our accomplished groups of panelists below!

Meet the Panelists

Tyeese Braslavsky ’22

“My gap year affirmed that my career aspirations and my decision to go to law school were the right ones for me. I was able to experience the policy space first-hand, create a tangible impact on my community, and begin law school confident in why I was going and what my end goals were.”

Rachel Finegold ’20

“Taking time in between college and law school allowed for professional and personal growth from a different perspective as well as the opportunity to discover which aspects of my career I find most rewarding.”

Jack McNabb ’23

“I chose to take a gap year because I felt that I was not ready to commit to another three years of school. I wanted to take a gap year to gain perspective that I thought could assist me in the classroom and in my legal career, and I would advise others considering a gap year to do the same.”

Alexandra Nevarez ’23

“I wanted to put myself in the best position possible not only for my law school applications but also my career in the long run. Through gap years I was able to gain real hands-on experience in law alongside building my professional network.”

Kimberly Wilson ’21

“I wanted to explore other academic and professional interests and get a better sense of whether law school and ultimately becoming an attorney was the right path for me. Additionally, I didn’t want to rush into the application process, which is a daunting and intimidating one, especially for first-generation students like myself. I wanted to take the time I needed to ensure I was well prepared for a successful admissions cycle.”

Links referenced in the video:

James H. Dunn Memorial Fellowship | Office of the Governor
Internships & Fellowships | Office of the Governor
Illinois JusticeCorps

Interested in hearing additional perspectives? Check out the Fall 2022 Panel to hear from additional alumni about their diverse experiences!