LSAT Test Prep Scholarship Contest

Are you taking the June LSAT but not sure you can afford a commercial prep course? Pre-Law Advising Services is pleased to announce that 7Sage Test Prep has donated six LSAT prep course scholarships and Kaplan Test Prep has donated one full scholarship for one complete LSAT Prep Live Online, In Person or Self-Paced course.  Find out more about 7Sage here and Kaplan here.

These scholarships are intended to assist a University of Illinois student who is in financial need and who will be taking the LSAT within the next year. (Please note that the Kaplan scholarship expires on June 1, 2017, and you must be enrolled in a course by that time). If you are interested in applying for one of these scholarships, please submit the following:

1) Your resume, AND
2) A short essay (no more than 600 words) that addresses each of the following:

  • When do you plan to take the LSAT?
  • Have you taken an LSAT prep class before? If so, which one and when?
  • What is your financial need? (It is not necessary to provide exact numbers, just describe your financial situation and why a scholarship is necessary.)
  • How can this scholarship help you achieve your goals?

Submit your resume and essay to Judy Argentieri via email only at jargenti@illinois.edu by Monday, January 23 at NOON.

We are making this public now so applicants can work on their essays over Winter Break.  Winners will be announced quickly–by Wednesday, January 25–so that they can make necessary plans for spring LSAT courses. Good luck!

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of November 28, 2016

The semester is winding down and so is PLAS programming.  However, do not forget that the Annual PLAS Internship Newsletter will be posted the week of December 12 Keep a look out for it as Winter Break is a great time to look for summer internships.  Want a little preview? Last year’s Internship Newsletter is available on our Compass page.

Scroll down for information on campus events and opportunities, including the link to the application for students interested in serving as Orientation Leaders, which is due THIS WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30.

Scholarships

Goldwater Scholarship — Campus Deadline is THIS WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30

The Goldwater is for juniors or exceptional sophomores who are current U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or resident aliens. The Goldwater awards one- or two-year $7,500 awards to students who demonstrate strong evidence of contributing to the technological advances of the U.S. Applicants should be committed to pursuing a Ph.D in the research fields of mathematics, sciences, or engineering. For more information, go to the National & International Scholarships Program website. 

Great Opportunities This Week Across Campus

The Career Center fall workshop calendar is posted on their website at:  https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events. If you have not done so already, update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources. All sessions will be held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street, unless otherwise indicated. Upcoming workshops include:

  • Peace Corps Drop-Ins, Nov 29, 12-2 pm; Nov 30, 2-4pm
  • Resume, Cover Letter, & LinkedIn Reviews
    • Nov 28, 2-4:30pm at the Career Center
    • Nov 28, 7-9 pm, Undergraduate Library, Consultation Corner
    • Nov 29, 2-4:30pm at the Career Center
    • Nov 29, 5:30-7:30pm, the IKE, Room 1010A
    • Nov 30, 2-4:30 pm at the Career Center
    • Nov 30, 7-9pm, Undergrad Library,Consultation Corner
    • Dec 1, 2-4:30pm at the Career Center
    • Dec 2, 2-4:30pm at the Career Center
    • Dec 4, 4-9pm, Undergraduate Library, Consultation Corner

More Career Center events and times are listed on their website.  Click on this link to see what other programs are being offered!

Apply to be an Orientation Leader! Applications due THIS WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30!


What is an Orientation Leader (OL)?

An Orientation Leader (OL) is a University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana undergraduate student that implements orientation programming for new students, transfer students, and family members. OLs assist with various NSP events RISE, INBOUND, International Student Orientation, Fall Orientation/Welcome Days.  This is a PAID position.

What you need to be an Orientation Leader (OL)?

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing with the University
  • Hold Full time undergraduate student status (12 credit hours) for the academic year current Fall Semester to next Fall Semester
  • Knowledgeable about the University of Illinois
  • Have a desire to help new students have a successful transition

How to apply?

Learn more about the OL position by:

  • Attending an OL Information Session held during the Fall semester.

    OL 2017 Information Session:

    • TOMORROW, Tuesday, November 29 (6-7pm)
      La Casa Cultural Latina, Nevada Street
  • Complete online application and group interviews
    • OL 2017 Application due Wednesday, November 30 by 5pm » Apply Now
    • Upon completion of your application, you will receive a confirmation email to sign-up for your Group Interview session. Please complete this prior to Wednesday, November 30 by 5pm. You will be notified of your session and location by Friday, December 2.

If you are interested in being an OL and cannot attend an information session, please email New Student Programs at newstudent@illinois.edu.

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Tuesday Tips for Applications – Tip #4

Tip #4 in our series to help you meet the goal of completing law school applications by Thanksgiving!

  • Finish Addenda/Character and Fitness Statement Issues
    1. Addenda are a part of the application, too. An addendum is an optional essay/disclosure to explain weaknesses in your application.
    2. Go to the PLAS Compass page for more specific advice.  Both the “Perfecting Your Personal Statement” and “Character and Fitness” videos (found within the “Applying to Law School” section) provide information to help you decide how to craft this document.
    3. Once you have a working draft, feel free to make an appointment with a pre-law advisor to discuss it. Call 217-333-9669 to schedule an appointment with us. We have the same policy for a written addendum as we do for the personal statement: submit your draft 2 business days prior to your appointment.
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What To Do Over Fall Break

What to Do Over Fall Break

Seniors Applying to Law School for Next Year

  1. If you are done with the LSAT . . . finish your applications.
    1. Set a deadline for yourself and stick to it. This a rolling admissions process, no need to wait on submitting those applications any longer.
  2. If you do NOT have a valid LSAT score, especially if you are taking the December LSAT… keep studying!
    1. Set a schedule for yourself and goals for fall break. How many practice tests do you want to take? What section do you want to focus on the most? A strong LSAT score helps both with admissions and scholarships!
  3. If you are done with everything but your letters of recommendation . . . remind your recommenders that you want to submit your materials as soon as possible.
    1. The LSAC cannot fully submit your application until they receive your letters of recommendation, too.
  4. Attend an Open House or Plan a Law School Visit
    1. UChicago has an open house on November 21st.
    2. The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has an open house on November 19th.
    3. There are many other schools that offer open houses during this time of year. If applying out of state, an entire week off for fall break is a great time to take a short trip out of town to see your top law school choices.
  5. Check deadlines for Early Decision applications.
    1. While many schools list November 15 as their early decision deadline, several others allow early decision applications until December 1.

Seniors Taking a Gap Year or Two

  1. If you do not have a job lined up for next year, start researching options for what to do during your year(s) off.
    1. Where do you want to work? Consider options like a Project Assistant at a large law firm  or perhaps a paralegal certificate. These are great options if you want to take a year off and/or save money before law school.
      1. Jenner & Block has current openings for a Project Assistant in their Chicago office.
      2. Kirkland & Ellis has current openings for a Project Assistant, as well!
  2. Consider programs like Teach for America or the Peace Corps.
    1. Teach for America’s next deadline is December 9th.
    2. For more information on the Peace Corps, see their website.
  3. Make sure to have your academic letters of recommendation before you leave campus.
    1. It is much easier to go to the professors you would like to write your letter of recommendation while you are on campus!
  4. Take your finals seriously this last year. It is your last chance to boost your GPA before you leave undergrad. Now is a great time to end your undergraduate career on a high note!
  5. Keep in touch with Pre-Law Advising Services after you leave campus in December or May! Judy and Jamie will still meet with students once they are alumni.

Juniors Planning to Apply to Law School Next Year

  1. Study for finals and write those papers!
    1. Your GPA is a very important part of the law school admissions and scholarship process!
    2. Consider LSAT Prep and when you want to take the test.
    3. As a general matter, we advise juniors planning to apply to law school next fall to take the June LSAT.
    4. You should plan to spend approximately 4-6 months studying for the LSAT.  So now is the time to prepare for that process. As you plan your schedule for Spring 2016, consider not overloading on courses since the time necessary for effective preparation equates to the time invested in a rigorous 3 credit class.
    5. Remember: the LSAT is NOT like the ACT or the SAT.  It does not test you on what you know.  Rather, it tests you on how you think.  It is important to determine how you plan to study for the LSAT (on your own, through a commercial prep company, etc.), and decide where you want to take the LSAT. To begin your research, go to the LSAC’s website for info on the LSAT, how to register and select a test site, and how to be successful on the test.
    6. Our spring LSAT Prep Fair is February 1! Keep an eye out for more information in the coming months.
  2. Look into Internships for next summer.
    1. Have you thought about what you will be doing next summer?  Are you looking into internships? Internships can be a great way to learn more about the legal system and the practice of law.  Do you need some suggestions on how and where to find an internship?
    2. Go to the PLAS Compass page for information on internships.  And remember: the PLAS Annual Internship Newsletter will be out and published on Compass the week of December 12!
  3. Consider a Fulbright or other national scholarship. Typically, the deadlines for these types of programs is the summer before senior year of college. Now is a great time to start looking into a program like this, and they have more information and a timeline available online.
    1. Junior year is the most important time for scholarships like this. These opportunities are very prestigious and look great on any kind of resume.
  4. Consider doing a project for the Undergraduate Research Symposium!
    1. This is a great opportunity to do research you find interesting, work with faculty (keep in mind those letters of recommendation!), and be able to present your research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April.
    2. See what other U of I students presented for their research here.

Sophomores and Freshmen

  1. Just as we advised juniors — study for finals and write those papers!
    1. Your GPA is a very important part of the law school admissions and scholarship process!
  2. Explore a legal career and talk to legal professionals.  Use fall and winter break to talk to friends, family members, Illinois alumni, and anyone else that are lawyers.
  3. Look into Internships for next summer.
    1. Just as we advised juniors, now is a good time to consider what you want to do next summer.  Internships can be a great way to learn more about the legal system and the practice of law. Are you interested in finding an internship but don’t know where to start? Check out our Compass page now for information on internships and check back the week of December 12 for the 2015 edition of the PLAS Annual Internship Newsletter!
  4. Consider a semester in Washington D.C. or a study abroad program. It is good to think about this early to plan your classes accordingly. Decide when you may want to study abroad or have a semester away from UIUC. It is always good to plan early for these big decisions.
  5. Also consider doing a project for the Undergraduate Research Symposium!
    1. This is a great opportunity to do research you find interesting, work with faculty (keep in mind those letters of recommendation!), and be able to present your research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April.
    2. See what other U of I students presented for their research here.
  6. Consider taking a summer class or two to make your school year schedule more flexible or getting a difficult class out of the way early on. A few extra credit hours will help your schedule when you decide to take the LSAT and will be studying in addition to regular coursework.

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY!

Interested in a Spring 2017 internship? The Coalition for Human Rights and Development is looking for a Research and Advocacy Intern. The deadline to apply in November 30! Click here for more information. Keep an eye out for our Internship Newsletter that will be published the week of December 12!

Have a great break!

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Tuesday Tips for Applications – Tip #3

Tip #3: Know Your Deadlines!

  • Double Check School Deadlines and Set a Timeline for Yourself
    1. Set a deadline for yourself to have your applications completed.
    2. Not all schools have the same deadline for applications, so double check the deadlines for all of your schools! For example: Northwestern Law’s Deadline is February 15, but Chicago-Kent’s is March 15.
    3. If you are done with the LSAT, Thanksgiving Break is the best time to complete your applications and send them in. Before second semester starts/mid-January is a good deadline if you are taking the December LSAT. The sooner the better!
    4. Set mini-goals to stagger your applications. For example, set a goal to have your top 3 law school applications out by Monday of Fall Break, followed by your next 3 by Wednesday, and your last 3 by Friday.
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Mark Your Calendars – Week of November 14

Mark Your Calendars – Week of November 14

The Career Center’s 2016 Winter Break Job Shadow Program Information Sessions Are This Week!

The Career Center’s Winter Break Job Shadow Program will help you engage with alumni, professionals, or companies of interest to help you develop your professional network and explore various career opportunities. This program is ONE DAY commitment during Winter Break. In order to participate you MUST attend one of the information sessions:

Monday November 14 from 4- 5PM in Lincoln Hall Room 1027, Tuesday November 15 from 6- 7PM in the Career Center Interview Suite, Room 213 (616 E. Green St.), and Wednesday November 16 from 5- 6PM in Lincoln Hall Room 1027.

Scholarship Opportunity! Goldwater Scholarship — Campus Deadline is WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30

The Goldwater is for juniors or exceptional sophomores who are current U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or resident aliens. The Goldwater awards one- or two-year $7,500 awards to students who demonstrate strong evidence of contributing to the technological advances of the U.S. Applicants should be committed to pursuing a Ph.D in the research fields of mathematics, sciences, or engineering. For more information, go to the National & International Scholarships Program website. 

 

Illinois in Washington Program: Information Session this Tuesday! Great opportunity for Pre-Law Students!

November 15, 2016, 4:00-5:00 PM (refreshments will be served), 1062 Lincoln Hall

Illinois in Washington (IIW) is an academic internship program open to all U of I undergraduates. Participants live and intern in Washington, DC, while taking U of I classes.  IIW offers an exceptional opportunity to gain rewarding work experience while enjoying the political, intellectual, and cultural experiences than only the nation’s capital can offer.  Student internships have included positions with members of Congress, political parties, think tanks, consulting groups, social justice organizations, and government agencies.  Come and join us for an unforgettable semester in one of the most exciting cities in the world.  Our Nov. 15th information session will provide a brief overview of the program.  The application deadline for the summer 2017 term is February 1st.  Application instructions are available at http://www.washington.illinois.edu/apply/information/

Tuesday November 15 – The Career Center: Understanding Cultural Differences in the Job Search

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, The Career Center Interview Suite Room 213

What American employers value in candidates has much to do with attitudes and character traits valued in American culture. This can be difficult for international students to understand and demonstrate. In this workshop, we’ll discuss key cultural differences and ways to show employers you have the traits they are looking for.

Tuesday November 15 – The Career Center: Finding and Applying to Government Jobs

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, The Career Center Conference Room 143

This workshop will give you tips on how to make yourself competitive for federal government opportunities as well as discuss the benefits of working for the government, how to find the right agency fit, and how to best navigate USAJOBS.gov and other government resources.

Wednesday November 16 – Study Abroad Regional Information Session: Spain & Latin America

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, 1060 Lincoln Hall

Learn more about opportunities to study abroad in Spain & Latin America. At the regional information session, you’ll learn about the programs available, the application process, and hear from past participants about their experiences abroad.

Wednesday November 16 – The Writer’s Workshop Presents: Preparing Class Presentations

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, 1024 Lincoln Hall

Are you getting ready for an individual or group presentation and don’t know where to start? Suffering from speaking apprehension? We will review some of the basic strategies for effective speaking and presentation prep, including technology considerations. This workshop will be most useful to undergraduates who are currently writing final papers and/or preparing class presentations

ESL Grammar Workshops – “Prepositions & Phrasal Verbs” Workshop offered twice this week!

Monday November 14 – 6:00-7:50 PM in FLB G8A

Tuesday November 15 – 5:00-6:50 PM in FLB G27

Seats are limited for these events – sign up soon!

Need Help Finishing and Editing a Final Paper This Semester? The Writer’s Workshop can help!

Schedule an appointment online at https://illinois.mywconline.com, call (217) 333-8796, or drop by their Undergraduate Library location!

Here is their Fall 2016 Schedule:

Undergraduate Library Location (UGL Room 251):

Monday-Thursday: 9am – 8pm

Friday: 9am – 4pm

Sunday: 1pm – 5pm

Ikenberry Dining Hall Satellite (SDRP Rooms 1010D & 1010E, Ikenberry Commons):

Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Engineering Satellite (Grainger Library, Room 402):

Tuesday: 12pm – 4pm

Wednesday: 9am- 3pm

Thursday: 9am – 4pm

Friday: 1pm – 4pm

Biosciences Satellite (Burrill Hall, Room 101):

Tuesday: 3pm – 2 – 5pm

Wednesday: 3pm – 4pm

Thursday: 2pm – 5pm

Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls Satellite (PAR, Room 106):

Sunday: 1pm – 5pm

 

Have a great week!

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Course options for spring

Still looking for some spring courses? As you know, students of ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, here are some spring courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. Check out Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning. Professor McCarthy typically uses LSAT examples of causal reasoning, analogical reasoning, elementary statistical inference (including arguments based on samples), and truth-functional inference.

  • This course is particularly helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as one part of the LSAT is based on Logical Reasoning.

Law 199: Poverty & Law, or Law 199: Exploring the Judicial System

  • These electives will allow you to explore the study of law and the practice of law.

Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:

  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II, are helpful primers for law school
  • 322: Public Policy and Law
  • 323: Law & Representation
  • 386: International Law

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills.

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • 211: Business Communication
  • 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
  • 321 & 323: Strategies of Persuason & Argumentation

ACE 240: Personal Finance Planning

  • Understanding financial instruments and tax implications is critical for many lawyers

JOUR 311: Media Law to explore a specific field of law

INFO 303: Writing Across Media, a skill that all careers integrate

 

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Tuesday Tips for Applications – Tip #2

Tip #2 in our series to help you meet the goal of completing law school applications by Thanksgiving!

Submit your transcripts now!

  1. Make sure your transcripts are submitted to the LSAC. This includes transcripts from community colleges and study abroad.
  2. Don’t wait to submit your transcripts; they often take a while to process through the LSAC.
    1. What the LSAC says about Transcripts:
      • Law schools require transcripts from the following institutions you have attended: community colleges, undergraduate and graduate institutions, law, medical, or professional institutions, institutions attended for summer or evening courses, institutions attended even though a degree was never received, institutions from which you took college-level courses while in high school even though they were for high school credit, institutions that clearly sponsored your overseas study, international transcripts, if applicable.
      • Transcripts must be sent from institutions even if: credit was transferred from an institution and it appears on another institution’s transcript, the institution is closed (These transcripts are usually maintained by the department of higher education or by another school in the state in which the school was located, so you will need to contact the state’s department of higher education.
      • For international transcripts, contact the Ministry of Education in the country where the school was located, “withdraw,” “incomplete,” etc., are the only grades listed, you have just enrolled. (Request that the registrar’s office send a transcript of courses “in progress” or a statement of current enrollment. The document must bear the official registrar’s seal.)
  3. If you have questions, contact the LSAC at 215-968-1001.
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Mark Your Calendars–Week of November 7

Pre-Law Events

November is Law School Application Month! We will be posting Tip Tuesday every Tuesday in November to keep applicants on track to submit by the end of the month. Click here for this week’s tip. And schedule some time in your planner to work on your applications!

 

Personal Statement and Resume Workshop – NEXT Tuesday, November 8, 4-5pm, Room 503, Illini Union Bookstore Building

The personal statement is one of the most difficult yet powerful elements of the law school application. Join us for this workshop, which will cover: What the personal statement is, how to prepare for writing it, and some tips and suggestions for making it reflect an applicant’s strengths. We will also discuss how the personal statement and resume can complement each other to create a stronger law school application. Please click on this link to register so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

Pre-Law Club and Pre-Law Honors Society Present – Wake Forest University School of Law, Monday, November 7, 6pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1060

Want to meet law school admissions people and learn more about the stress-inducing personal statement? Wake Forest University School of Law will be coming to deliver a presentation on how to craft a strong personal statement as well as provide tips on how to approach the law school application process.  All pre-law students are welcome so mark your calendars and take advantage of this great opportunity!

 

Law School Admissions Events

Save the Date – Midwest Law School Virtual Fair is Wednesday November 9th

Planning to apply to law school in the Midwest?  The Virtual Fair will allow you to have your admissions questions answered by representatives from law schools across the Midwest in this FREE live online event.  Get immediate answers to your pressing questions without the cost of travel.  Only a one-time registration is required to explore and interact with multiple schools. For more information, call 770-980-0088 or to register: https://www.careereco.com/Fair/EventDetails?fairId=9efa1e96-3688-44b4-b606-a65200d69a89

New York University Law School — Online Admissions Event — Wednesday, November 9, 2;30 pm CST

To chat live with an admissions officer, plan ahead to join our online information sessions this fall. We strive to offer all applicants at least one opportunity to join these online sessions with an admissions officer in order to ask questions about our programs, the admissions process, or application procedures in a public forum. Click here to register and to participate in this event.

Upcoming Law School Open Houses and Admissions Events

As we explained in an earlier blog post, most law schools will offer tours or open houses for prospective applicants.  Upcoming events include the following Open Houses:

  • DePaul University College of Law – Saturday, November 12
  • Chicago-Kent Law School – Saturday, November 12
  • John Marshall Law School – Saturday, November 19
  • University of Chicago Law School – Monday, November 21
  • For more information check out the blog post or go to our Compass page for a list of such events at several Illinois law schools.  You can find it by going to Compass and clicking on the “Applying to Law School” tab.  It is the first item in that section. Fall break is usually a good time to attend one of these events or to contact the schools to arrange a visit so make your plans now!

Great Opportunities This Week Across Campus

The Career Center fall workshop calendar is posted on their website at:  https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events. If you have not done so already, update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources. All sessions will be held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street, unless otherwise indicated. Upcoming workshops include:

  • Peace Corps Drop-Ins, Nov 8, 12-2 pm
  • Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop, Nov 9, 12-1, Women’s Resource Center
  • Making Your Major Decision (virtual workshop), Nov 9, 3-4pm
  • Illini Student Etiquette Dinner, Nov 9, 5:30-8pm, SDRP Ballroom
  • Global Career Opportunity: Job Search in Taiwan, Nov 10, 4-6pm
  • Resume, Cover Letter, & LinkedIn Reviews
    • Nov 7, 2-4:30pm at the Career Center
    • Nov 7, 7-9 pm, Undergraduate Library, Consultation Corner
    • Nov 8, 5:30-7:30, the IKE, Room 1010A
    • Nov 9, 2-4:30 pm at the Career Center
    • Nov 9, 7-9pm, Undergrad Library,Consultation Corner

More Career Center events and times are listed on their website.  Click on this link to see what other programs are being offered!

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It’s Peak Time for PLAS Appointments – What does that mean for you?

Making PLAS Appointments — A Quick Review

It’s crunch time for many of you as the semester winds down.  And for those of you in the thick of the application process, it is extremely stressful.  At PLAS, our schedules are chock full of personal statement, essay and resume reviews.  Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your meetings with us.

  1. Email us your documents 2 business days in advance! By doing this, you insure that we have time to thoroughly review your personal statement, essay, or resume BEFORE you arrive for your appointment.  This guarantees a much more productive meeting than if you hand us documents as you walk in the door.
  2. Do not send us more than 3 documents for a meeting!  It is virtually impossible to review more than 3 documents in a 30 minute appointment.  Therefore, if you send us more than 3 items, we will only review 3 so don’t do it.  If you have more than 3 documents, set up another appointment to review those documents.
  3. If you cannot make your scheduled appointment time, PLEASE CALL our office to cancel or reschedule!  Because this is our PEAK TIME, when you do not show up for an appointment, you have taken away opportunities for your classmates.  Please be considerate and call the PLAS office if you cannot make your appointment.
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