Winter Break Pre-Law Appointments

Still working on your personal statement or law school applications? Pre-Law Advising Services will offer appointments over winter break. We’re booked for next week, but we still have appointments available starting January 5. To schedule, call 217-333-9669. (Note that the office will close Dec. 24-Jan. 1.)

Happy holidays, and have a wonderful winter break!

 

 

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The 2014 Internship Newsletter is live on Compass!

The long wait for the 2014 Internship Newsletter is finally over!  Please visit our Compass page to begin combing through the newsletter to find summer opportunities that interest you.  If you are a pre-law student, simply log in with your credentials to access the page.  If you are not pre-law but would like to access the newsletter, please follow the instructions here.  Positions are available throughout Illinois and across the country.  Many positions have due dates over break, so we encourage you to begin working on applications as soon as possible.

Remember that winter break is a wonderful time to rest and relax after finals, but it is also a time that you will have fewer obligations.  So, use your break to begin planning for summer.  By the time February rolls around, it may be too late to secure the summer position you want.  Graduating seniors should begin looking for post-graduation jobs, and juniors, sophomores and freshmen should decide how they will spend their summer months.

For those of you who plan on applying to law school in Fall 2015, winter break is a great time to begin preparing for the LSAT.  Take a practice LSAT to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.  We have uploaded a complete sample LSAT to Compass (source: LSAC.org) for your convenience, which can be found here.  You can never start studying too early!  Additionally, this will provide you with some perspective that will help you gauge which LSAT prep company is the best for you at the 2015 LSAT Prep Fair on Thursday, February 5, from 4:00-6:00 pm in Illini Union Room B.

For anyone who has not applied to their prospective schools yet and wishes to start in Fall 2015, FINISH YOUR APPLICATIONS! The time to submit is now!

Enjoy your break and Happy Holidays!

 

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Mark Your Calendars: Week of Dec. 8

We made it! It’s the last week of the semester before finals. Here’s a roundup of opportunities for this week.

Attention December LSAT Test Takers — Personal Statement Appointment Times

For those of you taking the December LSAT, we wanted to remind you that once the test is over, you should continue working on your personal statement(s).  If you want to discuss your personal statements or essays over Winter Break, we strongly recommend that you call the week of Dec. 8 to schedule your appointment. We will have appointments available until Dec. 23 before closing the office for the holidays. We will reopen on Monday, January 5, 2015, and will have limited appointments available until spring semester begins.

PLAS Annual Internship Newsletter — Coming FRIDAY, December 19!

Winter break is the perfect time for undergrads to look for internships.  And if you are graduating in May and are still figuring out what to do next year, this is the time to rev up your job search.  Our annual Internship Newsletter is a great resource to help you identify resources to find that coveted internship or job!  We will announce its posting via the PLAS Blog, Facebook and Twitter, but it will only be accessible through Compass.  Don’t forget to check it out!

Campus Events

Office of Undergraduate Research – Spring 2015 Conference Travel Grants

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) at the University of Illinois is pleased to announce its Spring 2015 competition for conference travel grants to subsidize the presentation of undergraduate research at professional conferences. (Please note, this is for conference travel only; applications for a grant for research travel is a separate application and process.)

Proposals should be submitted at https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/7484726The deadline for submission is December 11, 2014.  In order to apply, students will need to have information on the conference dates and location, evidence that conference participation has been confirmed, estimated expenses, and possible support from mentors and departments.

Please note that Spring 2015 conference travel grants are designed for students to present their research during the Spring 2015 semester.

In addition, these conference travel grants are not designed to cover the entire cost of student participation (some departmental or college contribution is encouraged) nor can the grant be used to cover post conference participation. Questions should be directed to ugresearch@illinois.edu.

Career Center

The Career Center is sponsoring the following workshops. Check their website at www.careercenter.illinois.edu for more details.

  • All week (check their online calendar)–Resume and Cover Letter Reviews
  • Career Center Paraprofessional Hiring Info Session–Tues, Dec. 9, 5-6 pm
    Career Services Paraprofessionals are charged with the following responsibilities:
    • Work a minimum of 8 hours per week
    • Attend required Thursday bi-weekly meetings @6pm
    • Participate in project work that supports TCC’s initiatives
    • Interact with The Career Center via social media sources such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
    • Attend two full-day mandatory training sessions upon hire on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 and August 22nd, 2015

Off Campus Scholarship Opportunity

Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative — Application DUE FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 2015!

A lack of resources to attend costly LSAT preparation classes and to fund expensive admissions applications is a significant factor in hindering the entry of diverse, high-performing college students into law school. The Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative is designed to help address this threshold issue by meeting the specific needs of diverse students seeking to attend law school. Sidley Prelaw Scholars, chosen from college juniors and seniors who demonstrate academic promise and financial need, will receive up to $2,500 to cover tuition in a commercial LSAT preparation course, as well as application fees for as many as seven accredited law schools.

Other critical components of the program include:
Coaching on how to create compelling law school application;
Seminar instruction on the structure of the American legal system, as well as an introduction to the substance of the required common law first-year courses; and
An additional $2,500 in scholarship assistance. Half of the scholarship will be paid after the Scholar has applied to at least five law schools. The other half will be paid after the Scholar attends the above mentioned seminar, commits to a specific law school and notifies Sidley of that law school’s name.

Requirements:
1. Complete and submit the entire application, including a personal statement.
2. Submit the following FOUR documents:

● Copy of most recent FAFSA Student Aid Report;
● Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended;
● Résumé (1 page maximum);
● Signed and completed recommendation form from ONE ACADEMIC reference in a sealed envelope.

***Applications that are not completed in their entirety will not be considered.***

All application materials are due by Friday, January 9, 2015!!

For more information about the Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative and TO APPLY, go here: http://www.sidley.com/Eligibility-and-Application-Information/.

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of December 1

Welcome Back!

We hope you all had a relaxing break and enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  With less than two weeks until finals (gasp!), we wanted to give you a head’s up about end of semester events, opportunities (LSAT Prep Resource Contest, Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative) and deadlines.

PLAS Events and Opportunities

2014 LSAT Prep Resource Contest — DEADLINE NOON TOMORROW!!

Are you taking the LSAT in 2015? Here’s your chance to WIN LSAT Prep Resources! Pre-Law Advising Services is pleased to announce our 2014 LSAT Prep Resource Contest. This contest is designed to provide LSAT preparation resources for students demonstrating financial need. Illinois students are eligible to enter by submitting a 500 word essay online here by TOMORROW, Tuesday, December 2 at 12:00 NOON.

Prizes are as follows:

1. Grand Prize – One of two (2) scholarships to a Kaplan LSAT Prep Course*
2. Second Prize – A copy of Tomorrow’s Lawyer, by Richard Susskind, a copy of The Official LSAT SuperPrep, a copy of a Powerscore LSAT Logic Games Bible*, and a copy of a Powerscore LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible*
3. Third Prize – A copy of Tomorrow’s Lawyer, by Richard Susskind, a copy of The Official LSAT SuperPrep, a copy of a Powerscore LSAT Logic Games Bible*, and a copy of NextStep Test Prep’s Recent LSATs Explained*
4. Fourth Prize – A copy of The Official LSAT SuperPrep and a copy of a Powerscore LSAT Logic Games Bible*

*Thank you to Kaplan, PowerScore, and NextStep Test Prep for generously donating these resources. Pre-Law Advising Services is not affiliated with any test prep company and does not endorse any particular LSAT preparation method. 

Attention December LSAT Test Takers — Personal Statement Appointment Times

For those of you taking the December LSAT, we wanted to remind you that once the test is over, you should continue working on your personal statement(s).  If you want to discuss your personal statements or essays over Winter Break, please schedule your appointment by December 23, as our office will be closed from December 24-January 2.  We will reopen on Monday, January 5, 2015, and will resume our regular schedule then.

PLAS Annual Internship Newsletter — Coming FRIDAY, December 19!

Winter break is the perfect time for undergrads to look for internships.  And if you are graduating in May and are still figuring out what to do next year, this is the time to rev up your job search.  Our annual Internship Newsletter is a great resource to help you identify resources to find that coveted internship or job!  We will announce its posting via the PLAS Blog, Facebook and Twitter, but it will only be accessible through Compass.  Don’t forget to check it out!

Campus Events

Office of Undergraduate Research – Spring 2015 Conference Travel Grants

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) at the University of Illinois is pleased to announce its Spring 2015 competition for conference travel grants to subsidize the presentation of undergraduate research at professional conferences. (Please note, this is for conference travel only; applications for a grant for research travel is a separate application and process.)

Proposals should be submitted at https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/7484726The deadline for submission is December 11, 2014.  In order to apply, students will need to have information on the conference dates and location, evidence that conference participation has been confirmed, estimated expenses, and possible support from mentors and departments.

Please note that Spring 2015 conference travel grants are designed for students to present their research during the Spring 2015 semester.

In addition, these conference travel grants are not designed to cover the entire cost of student participation (some departmental or college contribution is encouraged) nor can the grant be used to cover post conference participation. Questions should be directed to ugresearch@illinois.edu.

Career Center

The Career Center is sponsoring the following workshops. Check their website at www.careercenter.illinois.edu for more details.

  • Tues, Dec. 2 –Creating Powerful Resumes and Cover Letters, 5-6 pm
  • Tues, Dec. 9 — Peace Corps Information Session, 6-7 pm

Off Campus Scholarship Opportunity

Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative — Application DUE FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 2015!

A lack of resources to attend costly LSAT preparation classes and to fund expensive admissions applications is a significant factor in hindering the entry of diverse, high-performing college students into law school. The Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative is designed to help address this threshold issue by meeting the specific needs of diverse students seeking to attend law school. Sidley Prelaw Scholars, chosen from college juniors and seniors who demonstrate academic promise and financial need, will receive up to $2,500 to cover tuition in a commercial LSAT preparation course, as well as application fees for as many as seven accredited law schools.

Other critical components of the program include:
Coaching on how to create compelling law school application;
Seminar instruction on the structure of the American legal system, as well as an introduction to the substance of the required common law first-year courses; and
An additional $2,500 in scholarship assistance. Half of the scholarship will be paid after the Scholar has applied to at least five law schools. The other half will be paid after the Scholar attends the above mentioned seminar, commits to a specific law school and notifies Sidley of that law school’s name.

Requirements:
1. Complete and submit the entire application, including a personal statement.
2. Submit the following FOUR documents:

● Copy of most recent FAFSA Student Aid Report;
● Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended;
● Résumé (1 page maximum);
● Signed and completed recommendation form from ONE ACADEMIC reference in a sealed envelope.

***Applications that are not completed in their entirety will not be considered.***

All application materials are due by Friday, January 9, 2015!!

For more information about the Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative and TO APPLY, go here: http://www.sidley.com/Eligibility-and-Application-Information/.

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Reminders for Fall Break

  • Pre-Law Advising Services’ 2014 LSAT Prep Resource Contest is underway. This contest is designed to provide LSAT preparation resources for students demonstrating financial need. Illinois students are eligible to enter by submitting a 500 word essay online here by Tuesday, December 2 at 12:00 NOON. Check out the submission page for more information.  You’ll have plenty of time over Fall Break to submit it!
  • Check to see if your prospective schools are in session over Fall Break. Seeing a law school during normal operating days provides a great opportunity to see what it will be like when you begin as a 1L!
  • If you have not done so already, FINISH YOUR APPLICATIONS! The time to submit is now!
  • If you have decided to retake the LSAT, continue your preparations over Fall Break.
  • If you know that you will be taking the LSAT in the next year, Fall Break is a great time to take a timed practice LSAT.
  • Michigan State University College of Law has held multiple webinars for prospective law students that speak to the application process and beyond. Webinars can be viewed on their website here.
  • Study for FINALS!
  • Freshmen, sophomores and juniors: Update your résumés and begin thinking about possible internships for summer 2015.  It may seem early, but many internships have due dates in February and March.  Also, look out for our annual Internship Newsletter that will be posted to our Compass page in mid-December.
  • Have a wonderful Fall Break!
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Use Fall Break Wisely: Win an LSAT course, watch webinars!

Are you taking the LSAT in 2015? Here’s your chance to WIN LSAT Prep Resources! Pre-Law Advising Services is pleased to announce our 2014 LSAT Prep Resource Contest. This contest is designed to provide LSAT preparation resources for students demonstrating financial need. Illinois students are eligible to enter by submitting a 500 word essay online here by Tuesday, December 2 at 12:00 NOON. You’ll have plenty of time over Fall Break to submit it!

Prizes are as follows:

1. Grand Prize – One of two (2) scholarships to a Kaplan LSAT Prep Course*
2. Second Prize – A copy of Tomorrow’s Lawyer, by Richard Susskind, a copy of The Official LSAT SuperPrep, a copy of a Powerscore LSAT Logic Games Bible*, and a copy of a Powerscore LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible*
3. Third Prize – A copy of Tomorrow’s Lawyer, by Richard Susskind, a copy of The Official LSAT SuperPrep, a copy of a Powerscore LSAT Logic Games Bible*, and a copy of NextStep Test Prep’s Recent LSATs Explained*
4. Fourth Prize – A copy of The Official LSAT SuperPrep and a copy of a Powerscore LSAT Logic Games Bible*

*Thank you to Kaplan, PowerScore, and NextStep Test Prep for generously donating these resources. Pre-Law Advising Services is not affiliated with any test prep company and does not endorse any particular LSAT preparation method. 

Other events this week and next

Michigan State University College of Law hosts a series of free webinars available to all interested pre-law students. Click on the links below to register. Coming up:

 

Previously held webinars can also be viewed on their website here. MSU workshops cover a wide array of relevant topics, including Cracking the LSAT, Career Options for Attorneys, and Law School 101: Insights from Current Students. These are wonderful resources for pre-law students!

 

The Career Center is sponsoring the following workshops. Check their website at www.careercenter.illinois.edu for more details.

  • Mon, Nov. 17–Careers in the Federal Government, 4-5 pm
  • Tues, Nov. 18–Finding an Internship, 5-6 pm
  • Wed, Nov. 19–Coffee Chat at the Career Center, 4:30-5:30

Have a great week!

 

 

 

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Law School Application Week: Law School Resume Tips

Don’t forget our Virtual Advising for Application Questions TODAY from 1-3 over on our Compass page! Click here to join our page, and see you this afternoon!

It’s the final day of our Law School Application Week and today we have a few tips on law school resumes. In fact, I am sharing the best professional tip I ever received.

The best professional tip I ever received is to have one Mega Resume, where you include information about every job or internship you’ve had, along with contact info from each. You can then select relevant entries to create different versions of your resume for different applications. (Trust me: You think you will never forget each of those jobs/internships, but 4 or 5 years later, you will be hard pressed to remember who you reported to or what exactly you did.) The other reason this is super smart is because when you apply to sit for a bar exam, you will once again need to provide a list of every job you’ve had, along with contacts from each.

How do you craft a version of your resume for law school?

  • Use headers that law schools care about. Education & Honors, Professional Experience, Leadership & Service are all good. Think about what a law school wants to know.
  • What should NOT be included? An objective. An applicant’s objective is to get into law school. Also, anything from high school is out. Let it go because law schools do not care what clubs you joined when you were 15. Basic skills such as “Microsoft PowerPoint” are expected and don’t deserve room on this resume.
  • Be sure to include information that law schools will not be able to see from your personal statement or transcript. Example: No need to spend time on your resume listing your courses–law schools will see this on your transcript.
  • Make it relevant and recent. Although most law schools will accept a 2 page resume, most undergrads generally only have enough to fill 1 page. Ask yourself: Is every item on your resume either highly RELEVANT or very RECENT? It should be one or the other, or preferably both.
  • Provide specific detail. The word “oversaw” means nothing! Managed, supervised, led, directed, created, or a million other action verbs would be better. “Engaged in certain activities” and “planned events” don’t tell the reader anything either. What activities/events? For how many people? On what topics?
  • Consider adding a “Personal Interests” section IF you think some of your experiences aren’t represented. Life skills such as building web sites or learning another language in your free time might not be reflected elsewhere in your application, and law schools do want to get to know you. Keep it short and simple, with maybe 3 items. Don’t feel compelled to have this section. It is merely an option. Note: This is just for a law school resume and not necessarily for a job resume. Most employers frankly won’t care what you do with your free time, unless it’s highly relevant.

RESOURCES

A good starting point is our Law School Resume overview

For a guide on good resume form and action verbs, visit the Career Center’s resume page.

For an excellent look at Dos and Don’ts of law school resumes, check out this article.

When you are ready, make an appointment with Pre-Law Advising Services (by calling 333-9669) and we will give you individual and specific feedback on it.

For those of you who are applying next year or beyond, plan to attend one of our Personal Statement & Resume workshops. We offer them several times each Fall semester and at least once each Spring. We have concluded the workshops for this Fall but will continue to offer them in future semesters.

 

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Law School Application Week: Transcripts

By this point in the application process, you should have already requested your transcripts and had them sent to your prospective schools.  However, if you have let this important step slip through the cracks until now…get it done!

LSAC has provided an eight-step process for preparing to order your transcripts:

  1. Log in to your LSAC.org account.
  2. Click the Learn about Credential Service button at the bottom of your homepage to access the “Credentials” page of your account.
  3. Scroll down to “Your Credential Assembly Service Evaluation” and click Add Institutions.
  4. For any institutions that are already listed, click Edit to complete your information.
  5. Add any additional institutions that you have attended.
  6. Once you have entered all of your institution information, scroll down to the bottom of the Credentials page and click Continue.
  7. Review your information to ensure that it is accurate. Then hit Confirm.
  8. Visit the “Transcripts” page of your account. A Transcript Request Form link will be listed below each institution. Click these links to access your forms.*

Once you have accessed your forms, you may request an official copy of your transcript from the Registrar’s Office of any and all schools you have attended.  Many schools will charge a fee for forwarding your transcripts.  After the school has forwarded the transcripts to LSAC, they will be processed within two weeks.  Since processing your transcripts takes multiple weeks and law schools will not consider your application complete without them, request your transcripts as soon as possible!

Visit the UIUC Registrar’s Office online here.

We’ll be back tomorrow with the final edition of AppTips for Law School Application Week!

 

*Courtesy of http://www.lsac.org/jd/applying-to-law-school/cas/requesting-transcripts.

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Law School Application Week: Social Media

As Application Week continues, we would like to remind students of the importance of mindful social media interaction.  Please take a look at our post from September in order to brush up on the finer points of the “Grandma Test.”  In addition to what you should not post on social media, take this time to explore the positive uses of social media.

Social media exists in many forms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Each social media outlet offers an opportunity to show a positive side of yourself.  Post activities you have taken part in to Facebook, and use it to organize groups that mean something to you or to follow or join an organization that interests you.  Similarly with Twitter: tweet positively, follow prospective schools and use it to increase your reputation as an informed go-getter.

At this time in your budding professional career, you should also open a LinkedIn account if you have not already done so.  LinkedIn offers the chance to create an online profile specifically for professional networking.  Creating a profile will also allow you to insert more information than would be possible on a one page résumé.  In this way, interested schools and employers can learn even more about you.  Take advantage of the wonderful advancements in career development and employ social media to work for you!

We’ll be back tomorrow with more AppTips for Law School Application Week!

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Law School Application Week: Personal Statements

Today’s application topic is personal statements. Here are some quick AppTips and resources.

  • To get started, check out the suggestions on our Compass page and on our  website (If you are planning for future semesters, attend our Personal Statement Workshops. We have completed them for Fall 2014, but we will continue to offer them in future semesters.)
  • Check the prompts of the law schools to which you are applying. What kinds of things do they want to know? What do they ask about in any optional essays?
  • You should allot about 3-4 weeks for this process, including time to brainstorm, write, set it aside, edit, and have it reviewed by multiple people.
  • After you write a draft, first have it reviewed by someone who knows you. Ask: Does it sound like you? Is it personal and genuine? Does your reviewer have any ideas about experiences you’ve had that might be interesting or relevant to a law school?
  • Next, have it reviewed by a trusted writer/professor or the Writer’s Workshop for grammar/structure/flow issues.
  • Finally, make an appointment with us in Pre-Law Advising Services and we will give you some specific feedback about the content, tone, relevance to law school, and we can address any specific concerns that you have. To make an appointment, call 333-9669.

The most important advice about the personal statement: Give it the time and attention it deserves because it DOES MATTER.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more AppTips for Law School Application Week!

 

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