Early Bird Blog for Fall Applicants: Three Tasks to Do Now and This Summer

Fall Law School Applicants – Now is the time to get organized and start preparing your applications for the fall.

Here are three tasks for fall applicants to complete over the summer.

First, request your letters of recommendation NOW.

  1. Who should you ask to submit a LOR on your behalf?
    1. Your letters should be written by professors or supervisors who are both in a position to evaluate your work and capable of expressing enthusiasm about your relevant talents and abilities.
  2. What is the best way to approach a possible letter writer?
    1. Make an appointment with your recommender to discuss your request. Explain your interest in law school and provide helpful information to assist the writer.
    2. This might include a copy of your transcript, a personal résumé that lists academic distinctions and accomplishments, and a copy of your personal statement or an explanation of why you want to attend law school.
    3. You may also wish to provide your grade point average and your LSAT score. If you are unsure as to what the writer needs, ask him or her.
  3. What do I do if I am graduating and planning to apply to law school in a year or two?
    1. Stay in touch with people whom you think would be able to submit a strong LOR on your behalf.
    2. Several of the law schools that require applicants to submit LORs prefer to have at least one of those letters come from faculty, even if you are not coming straight from undergrad to law school.
  4. How does the recommender submit the LOR?
    1. The process is handled through the applicant’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) account which is set up via the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website.
    2. Every law school applicant is required to apply to law school through their CAS account. Click on this link to learn more the LOR process.
    3. You can also check out our Compass page for a very helpful handout on this topic.

Second, draft your personal statement.

  1. What is a personal statement?
    1. The personal statement is a 2- to 3-page essay that, when done well, introduces who you are and what unique qualities you bring to the institution while also highlighting your strengths and demonstrating strong writing skills.
  2. Check out Pre-Law Advising Service’s Personal Statement Do’s and Don’ts.
  3. Have someone else take a second look at your personal statement.
    1. Have someone else like a family member, professor, or friend review your personal statement or set up an appointment with one of the Pre-Law Advising Services advisors by calling the PLAS Office at 333-9669.

Third, update your resume.

  1. Pay attention to length.
    1. Some law schools have a strict 1-page limit, while others are flexible. Check the requirements indicated on the application or the school’s website to determine the appropriate length.
  2. Consider the two Rs: recent and relevant.
    1. Ideally, each item on your résumé should be both, but at minimum each item should be recent or highly relevant.
  3. Ask us to review your résumé.
    1. The same process for personal statement reviews applies; please make an appointment by calling 217-333-9669 and email us your résumé 2 business days prior to the appointment. We’ll review it and be prepared to discuss it with you at the appointment time.
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Mark Your Calendars – Week of April 24

PLAS Programs

Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume: A Workshop for Fall Applicants – THIS Tuesday, April 25, 4-5pm, Room 514 IUB

Planning to apply to law school this fall? This summer is a great time to focus on crafting the perfect personal statement and resume, which are very important elements of the application process. This workshop will provide an overview of the personal statement and resume required for law school applications, plus it will cover: Brainstorming topics, how to begin, creating a timeline, how to make the resume and personal statement complement each other, and we will provide a four step plan to approach crafting these critical documents. Please register so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

Campus Opportunities

The Office of Volunteer Programs is hiring PAID undergraduate office staff positions School year student employees work regular office hours as well as special events that occur in the mornings, evenings, and on weekends. Applicants must be enrolled in Fall 2017 classes at the start of employment. Starting pay rate is $8.25/hr. To apply: please complete an application at the Illini Union Employment website, and after you have filled out the form, send a cover letter that includes your interest in the position along how you will contribute to the success of the office; a resume; phone and email contact information for two references; and availability for a potential 30-minute phone/Skype/in-person interview during the next three weeks to John Race, Program Advisor, by email at jrrace@illinois.edu.

Apply to be a Women in Leadership Intern. The YWCA of the University of Illinois is seeking Women in Leadership interns for the 2017-18 school year. Women in Leadership is an intensive, two semester leadership and project management internship. Structured as a group consulting project, the program allows interns to work directly with local human services agencies to learn about the nonprofit sector; identify organizational challenges; and research, propose, and implement solutions. Throughout the year, interns receive training focusing on professional development, leadership skills, and building a working team, all of which are applied to their projects. Interns are guided through this process by mentors drawn from Urbana-Champaign’s excellent professional and graduate student pools. Open to all UIUC students. For more information, please contact Amarin Young at amarin@ywcauofi.org. To learn more and apply, visit: www.ywcauofi.org/womeninleadership. Applications are due April 30th.

The Writer’s Workshop is hosting the: “Writing In-Class Essay Exams” Workshop on Wednesday April 26, 2017   4:00 – 5:00 pm; 1057 Lincoln Hall

Are you worried about writing an effective essay under time constraints? This workshop will focus on how to study for exams, plan your answers, start your essays effectively, and manage your time during exams. This workshop will be most useful for undergraduate students who are preparing for upcoming exams. If you have more questions about the writer’s workshop, visit their website.

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

Fulbright Scholarship Information Sessions

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards approximately 2,000 full scholarships annually to students for studies, research, or English teaching in any of 140 countries worldwide. The National and International Scholarships Program will provide a comprehensive overview of the grant and include advice from recent Illinois Fulbright recipients. There will be lots of time to get your questions answered and enjoy free pizza. The session is targeted to juniors, seniors, and graduate students who wish to explore Fulbright opportunities and ready materials for the Fulbright Priority Deadline of June 29, 2017 for grants beginning in fall 2018. Interested in pursuing a Fulbright Scholarship?

Wednesday, April 26 Fulbright Informational Webinar for Illinois Alumni and Students Abroad8:30-9:30am CST

Sponsor: National and International Scholarships Program

If you are not currently on campus to take advantage of our Fulbright Information Session, join us remotely for this webinar!  The same detailed overview will be provided for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, including: eligibility, grant types, and application advice.  There will also be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Friday, April 28 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Application Workshop3:30-4:30pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

Sponsor: National and International Scholarships Program

Every year, Illinois students from multiple colleges receive Fulbright grants to serve as English Teaching Assistants (ETA) in many different countries. Join us for a workshop that looks in depth at some commonalities to putting together a winning ETA application to help you best portray the characteristics Fulbright is seeking. We also plan to have some recent Fulbright grantees on hand to share their application methods. Our goal is for you to leave the session with an outline and even a few sentences to start your statement of purpose essay for the Fulbright ETA application.

You need not know your desired destination to benefit from this workshop. The session is targeted to undergraduates, recent alumni, and beginning graduate students interested in pursuing a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in 2018-19.

Thursday, May 4 Workshop: Designing a Fulbright Research Proposal

Undergraduates and recent alumni – 3:00-4:30pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore; Graduate students – 3:00-4:30pm, 304/308 Coble Hall

Sponsors: National and International Scholarships Program and the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships

Are you planning to apply for a Fulbright grant to research but don’t know where to start? Do you have a cool question you’d like to explore in a foreign country, but need the tools to design a viable research project? Join us for a crash course in research design and methods especially for Fulbright applicants!  We will explain what a Fulbright selection committee will be looking for in your proposal, and then help you start laying the foundation of a solid research design.  Topics will include: Tackling a literature review; posing a research question that you can answer with international fieldwork, lab work, or archival work; determining the appropriate data and methods for your research question; obtaining Institutional Review Board Approval.

This workshop is intended to be a pressure-free, informal way to acquaint Fulbright applicants with the basics of formulating a strong research plan and laying it out clearly in a Fulbright Statement of Grant Purpose. One session is targeted to undergraduates and recent alumni, and the other for graduate students interested in pursuing research under a Fulbright grant in 2018-19.

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Reviews — April 24, 2-4pm, Career Center Resources Center; April 24, 7-9pm, Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner. This workshop is offered on several other dates. Click here for more info.
  • Starting a New Job: What to Expect the First Two Weeks — April 27, 5:30-6:30pm, The Career Center Interview Suite Suite 213. Click here for more info.
  • Peace Corps Drop Ins — May 1, 2017, 11:30-1:30pm; The Career Center, Resource Center. Click here for more info.

Scholarship Opportunities 

Please check out our recent blog post on scholarships.  You can also go directly to our Compass page for a list of over 200 scholarships for undergrads and incoming law students!

GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS STAYING IN ILLINOIS FOR LAW SCHOOL! The Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship is accepting applications until May 19. This scholarship awards $40,000 over 3 years to an incoming law student attending any Illinois law school who intends to pursue a career in public interest law. Click here for more details and to apply.

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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LSAT Preparation: Some Thoughts from a UIUC Alum

Today’s guest blogger is Cary Shepherd, a graduate of the UIUC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where he studied History.  Cary received a 171 on the LSAT, which is the 98th percentile (scores range from 120-180).  After taking the LSAT, Cary became an LSAT tutor, working with students at UIUC and in Chicago. Cary is currently in his second year at the University of Chicago Law School.

To read an extended version of this article, please visit the “LSAT Preparation” tab on the UIUC Prelaw Compass page. The Compass version contains important details about the preparation process, and links to LSAT studying materials.

______________________________________________________________________

If you choose to attend law school, taking the LSAT will likely be one of the most important events of your career. Much like marriage, this pivotal event is not guaranteed to change your life for the better. Roughly 50% of marriages nationwide end in divorce; roughly 40% of law school graduates fail to find long-term jobs as attorneys. But there is good news. If being an attorney is the job for you, it is possible to improve drastically on the LSAT, and a great LSAT score will help to get you into a great school, maybe with a great scholarship! That said, doing well on the LSAT is no easy task. This article will provide you with the basic steps to success on the test.

First things first – for the best results, you need to spend at least six months studying for this test. This next part is important: it is not possible to cram for the LSAT.  Even if you study 40 hours a week, it takes time to absorb what you are learning. Success requires that you study for two hours per day, six days per week, for at least six months. I’ve tutored numerous law school candidates, and the ones who work hard generally improve an average of 1.5-2 points per month.

During those two hours a day, your studying is going to be divided among an assortment of tasks at the beginning stages, and gradually narrow down to a more simplified set of responsibilities. Here’s a look at the fundamental steps:

  1. Purchase and take an LSAT preptest that is no older than 2012. You need to do this at the earliest possible stage so you know your base-level performance. This will help you to focus your study efforts, and it will allow you to gauge how long it will take for you to reach your target score. It also allows you to better understand the advice given in your preparation guides.
  2. Purchase and carefully read a high-quality LSAT preparation book. Then reread it. Now again. If you purchase books divided into the three section types, start with the logical reasoning, then read the logic games, and finally the reading comprehension guide. You can read them all simultaneously, but if you start reading them one at a time, do it in that order.
  3. After you have been reading your study guides for about two weeks, it is time for you to start taking an LSAT preptest on a weekly basis. Carve out a time of the week that you always have free and take a four-section preptest. Make sure to use a digital proctor, a wooden pencil, an analog watch, and never give yourself extra time or extra breaks. When you finish the test, take a break and then correct your exam.
  4. Record your performance. Create a spreadsheet and input the date you took the preptest, the preptest number, your score, and how you performed on each section. This will allow you to track your progress and focus your efforts on the areas that need improvement.
  5. Once you have grasped the fundamentals of the sections types, you should start taking individual sections under real test conditions daily (i.e. take one 35-minute section each day). After you have taken your section, score it and correct the questions you answered incorrectly. Make sure you understand why you were mistaken on your incorrect answers, as if you fail to do this, you will fail to improve.
  6. Once you have reread your LSAT books ad nauseam, you can put them on your shelf for a while. Use this extra time to increase your preptest schedule to twice a week, and spend more time taking individual 35-minute sections. The key to this phase is correcting both your answers as well as your habits. For example, if you find yourself becoming unfocused, note this, and labor to resolve that issue. If your records indicate you are regularly missing “parallel reasoning” questions, reread the chapter on these, and check out what other reputable LSAT guides say on the topic.

A lack of obvious improvement can be demoralizing. Mental health aside, this will make it hard to keep studying for dozens of hours every month if you haven’t seen your score increase in weeks. But if you are studying intently – even if your score doesn’t show it today – you will improve eventually. I’ve gone as long as six weeks without seeing any improvements. When I finally did make that next breakthrough though, it was well worth it and the results were apparent. Good luck, and try to enjoy yourself!

Author’s Note

Please note that there is more than one way to prepare for this test. I’ve had considerable personal success using this approach, and many of my tutoring students have benefited from these practices as well. Additionally, these points only scratch the surface of the best preparation methods. Many students benefit from additional practices ranging from meditation to reading National Geographic.

If you have any questions, or if you are interested in tutoring services, please feel free to email me at lsat.shepherd@gmail.com. I offer a free introductory tutoring session, and I am always happy to hear from UIUC students.

 

 

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of April 17

PLAS Programs

Applying to Law School: A Workshop for Fall Applicants – TODAY, April 17, 4-5pm, Room 514 IUB

This workshop is designed for students who plan to apply to law school this fall. We will provide an overview of the application process, including: Understanding the Credential Assembly Service, getting recommendations, creating an application strategy, researching law schools, budgeting for the application process, suggested resources to use, LSAT considerations, and more. Time for Q&A will be available. This workshop does not cover writing the personal statement, which is covered in the separate workshop on Perfecting the Personal Statement and Resume for Law School.  

Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume: A Workshop for Fall Applicants – NEXT Tuesday, April 25, 4-5pm, Room 514 IUB

Planning to apply to law school this fall? This summer is a great time to focus on crafting the perfect personal statement and resume, which are very important elements of the application process. This workshop will provide an overview of the personal statement and resume required for law school applications, plus it will cover: Brainstorming topics, how to begin, creating a timeline, how to make the resume and personal statement complement each other, and we will provide a four step plan to approach crafting these critical documents. Please register so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

Campus Opportunities

The Office of Volunteer Programs is hiring PAID undergraduate office staff positions School year student employees work regular office hours as well as special events that occur in the mornings, evenings, and on weekends. Applicants must be enrolled in Fall 2017 classes at the start of employment. Starting pay rate is $8.25/hr. To apply: please complete an application at the Illini Union Employment website, and after you have filled out the form, send a cover letter that includes your interest in the position along how you will contribute to the success of the office; a resume; phone and email contact information for two references; and availability for a potential 30-minute phone/Skype/in-person interview during the next three weeks to John Race, Program Advisor, by email at jrrace@illinois.edu.

Apply to be a Women in Leadership Intern. The YWCA of the University of Illinois is seeking Women in Leadership interns for the 2017-18 school year. Women in Leadership is an intensive, two semester leadership and project management internship. Structured as a group consulting project, the program allows interns to work directly with local human services agencies to learn about the nonprofit sector; identify organizational challenges; and research, propose, and implement solutions. Throughout the year, interns receive training focusing on professional development, leadership skills, and building a working team, all of which are applied to their projects. Interns are guided through this process by mentors drawn from Urbana-Champaign’s excellent professional and graduate student pools. Open to all UIUC students. For more information, please contact Amarin Young at amarin@ywcauofi.org. To learn more and apply, visit: www.ywcauofi.org/womeninleadership. Applications are due April 30th.

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

The Family Resiliency Center is currently accepting applications for the HDFS 494: STRONG Kids undergraduate research course.  The STRONG Kids Research Program provides a unique, team-based, hands-on research experience working with over 450 families with children aged 3 months-4 years. Applications are due THIS FRIDAY, April 21st!  Applications will be reviewed and interviews conducted the last week of April. The link to the application is below.

Students are eligible if they:

  • Will have sophomore, junior, or senior class standing by Fall 2017
  • Are available to work regular hours on an assigned research project for 6-9 hours per week
  • Have two, 3 hour blocks of time each week (including one evening)
  • Are able to attend class every other week on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00

The purpose of these two-semester year-long supervised research course is to provide students with a first-hand experience working as part of a research team as well as to help them develop a working knowledge of the theory and applications of transdisciplinary approaches to obesity research.

This course is divided into 3 components: Obesity prevention, professional development training, and applied research.

Additional information about this course, as well the application can be found on our website at: http://familyresiliency.illinois.edu/education/undergraduate-students.

Fulbright Scholarship Information Sessions

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards approximately 2,000 full scholarships annually to students for studies, research, or English teaching in any of 140 countries worldwide. The National and International Scholarships Program will provide a comprehensive overview of the grant and include advice from recent Illinois Fulbright recipients. There will be lots of time to get your questions answered and enjoy free pizza. The session is targeted to juniors, seniors, and graduate students who wish to explore Fulbright opportunities and ready materials for the Fulbright Priority Deadline of June 29, 2017 for grants beginning in fall 2018.Interested in pursuing a Fulbright Scholarship?  Here

Fulbright Information Session – Tuesday, April 18, 3:30-5:30 pm, 180 Bevier Hall Sponsor: National and International Scholarships Program, including speakers from the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships and recent Fulbright grantees

Fulbright Informational Webinar for Illinois Alumni and Students Abroad – Thursday, April 20, 12:00-1:00pm CST Sponsor: National and International Scholarships Program

If you are not currently on campus to take advantage of our Fulbright Information Session, join us remotely for this webinar!  The same detailed overview will be provided for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, including: eligibility, grant types, and application advice.  There will also be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Fulbright Personal Statement Workshop – Friday, April 21, 3:30-4:30pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore Sponsors: National and International Scholarships Program and the Writers Workshop

The two main sections of a Fulbright application consist of 1) an essay describing your Fulbright project and how you will spend your year—Statement of Grant Purpose, and 2) an essay describing why you should be the one to do this project—Personal Statement.

We will dissect the key components Fulbright reviewers are seeking to glean from the personal statement, review and discuss past winning Fulbright personal statements, and assist you in beginning to sketch and portray your own story.

You need not know your desired destination or specific Fulbright project to benefit from this workshop. The session is targeted to juniors, seniors, and beginning graduate students who wish to apply for any type of Fulbright grant and ready materials for the Fulbright Priority Deadline of June 29, 2017 for grants beginning in fall 2018.

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Reviews — April 17, 2-4pm, Career Center Resources Center; April 17,7-9pm, Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner. This workshop is offered on several other dates. Click here for more info.
  • Finding and Applying to Federal Government Jobs — April 17, 3-4pm
  • Acing Your Interview — April 17, 4-5pm
  • Peace Corps: General Information Meeting — April 18, 6-7pm

Scholarship Opportunities 

Please check out last Wednesday’s blog post on scholarships.  You can also go directly to our Compass page for a list of over 200 scholarships for undergrads and incoming law students!

NEW–The Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship is accepting applications until May 19. This scholarship awards $40,000 over 3 years to an incoming law student attending any Illinois law school who intends to pursue a career in public interest law. Click here for more details and to apply.

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Scholarships, scholarships! Over 200 scholarships for undergrads and incoming law students!

Whether you’re heading off to law school this fall or staying here to continue your pre-law education, you’ll want to see this: Scholarships! Could you use an additional $500, $1000, or even $40,000 towards your undergrad or legal education? Then take a look at this resource. We have compiled over 225 scholarships available for BOTH incoming law students and pre-law undergraduates.  Below are some examples. Head over to our Compass page to find the full listings–but hurry, because some have upcoming deadlines! The full spreadsheet with 200+ scholarships is the very first item posted on our Compass page.

All UIUC students can access our Compass page. Here’s how:

  • If you are an Illinois student who is designated pre-law: All students who are designated pre-law already have access to our Compass page. Log in to Compass and under “My Courses” look for OPEN LEARNING: Pre-Law Advising Services.
  • If you are an Illinois student who is not designated pre-law: Click here for instructions on how to add yourself to our Compass page.

Here are just a few examples of the scholarships available. Go to the Compass page for more details on how to apply.

The American Injury Attorney Group is sponsoring a $1250 scholarship for an undergrad or law student who submits a 500+ word essay on creative marketing strategies for personal injury lawyers. Deadline: April 30.

American Association for Justice’s Richard D. Hailey Scholarship provides $5,000 to an incoming or continuing minority law student. Applications due May 1.

The Baumgartner Law Firm Law Student Scholarship awards $3,000 to an incoming or continuing law student based on need and commitment to helping others. Due August 31.

Burke & Eisner offers two scholarships: One for single mothers who are pursuing undergraduate or graduate education, and a second scholarship for law students. Due July 30.

Coil Law, LLC offers a $500 scholarship for undergrads with a 3.0 GPA who plan to go on to law school. Applications due May 31.

Dwyer Williams Dretke is offering a $1,000 scholarship for an incoming law student. Deadline to apply is July 1.

McNeely Stephenson’s Legal Scholarship Award provides $1,000 to an incoming law student who has written an article that has been published in print or digital media. Deadline to apply is May 1.

Head over to our Compass page to explore over 200 more scholarship opportunities!

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Mark Your Calendars: Week of April 10

Pre-Law Advising Services (PLAS) events 

 

Are you headed to law school this fall? Join us for Transitioning to Law School TODAY at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building to learn what you need to know before heading off to law school! From finding living arrangements to what to buy/get or get rid of, hear from current law students what they wish they’d known before starting law school!

Applying to Law School: A Workshop for Fall Applicants–Monday, April 17, 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. This workshop is a great starting point if you are planning on applying this fall. We will provide an overview of the application process, including: Understanding the Credential Assembly Service, getting recommendations, creating an application strategy, researching law schools, budgeting for the application process, suggested resources to use, LSAT considerations, and more. Time for Q&A will be available. This workshop does not cover writing the personal statement, which is covered in the separate workshop on Perfecting the Personal Statement and Resume for Law School.  

Perfecting the Personal Statement & Resume for Law School: A Workshop for Fall Applicants–Tuesday, April 25, 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building.  This summer is a great time to focus on crafting the perfect personal statement and resume, which are very important elements of the application process. This workshop will provide an overview of the personal statement and resume required for law school applications, plus it will cover: Brainstorming topics, how to begin, creating a timeline, how to make the resume and personal statement complement each other, and we will provide a four step plan to approach crafting these critical documents. Click here to register so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

Summer & Fall Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases.  All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Interested in ideas for other Fall 2017 classes?  Check out this PLAS blog for suggestions.

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

The Career Center is hosting a Summer Break Job Shadow Program for a one-day job shadow opportunity. Visit their program handbook here for more information–applications to participate will be accepted April 17-21.

Apply to be a Women in Leadership Intern. The YWCA of the University of Illinois is seeking Women in Leadership interns for the 2017-18 school year. Women in Leadership is an intensive, two semester leadership and project management internship. Structured as a group consulting project, the program allows interns to work directly with local human services agencies to learn about the nonprofit sector; identify organizational challenges; and research, propose, and implement solutions. Throughout the year, interns receive training focusing on professional development, leadership skills, and building a working team, all of which are applied to their projects. Interns are guided through this process by mentors drawn from Urbana-Champaign’s excellent professional and graduate student pools. Open to all UIUC students. For more information, please contact Amarin Young at amarin@ywcauofi.org. To learn more and apply, visit: www.ywcauofi.org/womeninleadership. Applications are due April 30th.

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Hire Big 10 Plus Virtual Career Fair–April 12, 9-6 pm. Click here for more information. 
  • Global Career Opportunity: Job Search in Latin America–April 12, 4-6 pm in the Career Center Interview Suite, Room 213 
  • Finding & Applying to Federal Government Jobs, April 17, 3-4, Career Center Conference Room 143
  • Acing Your Interview–April 17, 5-6 pm, Career Center Conference Room 143

Scholarship Opportunities 

NEW–The Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship is accepting applications until May 19. This scholarship awards $40,000 over 3 years to an incoming law student attending any Illinois law school who intends to pursue a career in public interest law. Click here for more details and to apply.

The BARBRI & American Bar Association Scholarship will award $10,000 to an incoming law student and a $5,000 award to a runner up to help pay for the first year of law school. Applications due April 15. Click here to apply.

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Taking a Gap Year: Decisions, Timing, and General Advice

The decision to take a gap year is a personal one and the choice is up to you. There are many factors to consider when you are thinking about taking a gap year versus going straight through to law school. Here are some questions and answers commonly associated with taking a gap year.

First, what is a gap year?

A “gap year” is a year (or more) between finishing your undergraduate degree and beginning law school. Students take a gap year for many reasons, such as:

– financial considerations

– retaking the LSAT, and

– to determine whether law school is the correct choice.

Second, if you decide to take a gap year, where should you work?

University of Illinois students have chosen different jobs for their gap year(s). There is not a perfect job to take during your gap year, so do something you enjoy or a job that will provide you with transferable skills. These can include:

  • Project Assistant/Legal Assistant
  • Paralegal
  • Teach for America
  • Peace Corps
  • Accounting/Finance
  • Engineering
  • Campaign work/politics
  • Nonprofit work
  • Anything you want!

Third, if you decide to take a gap year, what should you do before your graduate?

– Find a professor that you are willing to keep in contact with for a letter of recommendation. Ideally, you want to have a recent letter, so keeping in contact with a professor during your time off is the best choice. When asking your professor for a letter of recommendation – provide information about how you did in their class, work from that class you completed, and give the recommender enough time to write a letter.

– Try to take the LSAT! It is much easier to take the LSAT while you are in school than when you are working. Your LSAT score is good for 5 years.

– Set up a CAS (Credential Assembly Service) account and make sure to submit your official transcripts from the University and have them on file with the LSAC.

– Start networking early! Don’t be afraid to reach out to lawyers/others in the legal sector early on, even as an undergrad. A diverse and broad network will help you later on in your legal career and can provide for opportunities for mentorship.

Fourth, what skills should you focus on during your time off that will be helpful in law school?

  • Attention to detail
    • proofreading, if possible
  • Setting professional and personal goals and deadlines
  • Maintaining a good work ethic
    • showing up on on time
    • being accountable for your work product
  • Working with different personalities and understanding your audience
  • Networking

Also, keep in contact with Pre-Law Advising Services. We happy to make appointments with alumni as well as current students. Call 217-333-9669 to schedule an appointment with us.

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Mark Your Calendars: Week of April 3

April has lots of great programs, workshops, and deadlines, so take a close look at this week’s Mark Your Calendars.

Pre-Law Advising Services (PLAS) events 

 

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB. Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

 

Are you headed to law school this fall? Join us for Transitioning to Law School on Monday, April 10 at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building to learn what you need to know before heading off to law school! From finding living arrangements to what to buy/get or get rid of, hear from current law students what they wish they’d known before starting law school!

Join the Pre-Law Honors Society TONIGHT at 6 pm in Lincoln Hall Room 1028 where Professor William Ford from John Marshall Law School will be talking about the application process and about The Use of Trademarks in Video Games. All are welcome!

Summer & Fall Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases.  All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Interested in ideas for other Fall 2017 classes?  Check out this PLAS blog for suggestions.

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive. The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences.

The Office of Volunteer Programs is hiring PAID undergraduate office staff positions School year student employees work regular office hours as well as special events that occur in the mornings, evenings, and on weekends. Applicants must be enrolled in Fall 2017 classes at the start of employment. Starting pay rate is $8.25/hr. To apply: please complete an application at the Illini Union Employment website, and after you have filled out the form, send a cover letter that includes your interest in the position along how you will contribute to the success of the office; a resume; phone and email contact information for two references; and availability for a potential 30-minute phone/Skype/in-person interview during the next three weeks to John Race, Program Advisor, by email at jrrace@illinois.edu.

Apply to be a Women in Leadership Intern. The YWCA of the University of Illinois is seeking Women in Leadership interns for the 2017-18 school year. Women in Leadership is an intensive, two semester leadership and project management internship. Structured as a group consulting project, the program allows interns to work directly with local human services agencies to learn about the nonprofit sector; identify organizational challenges; and research, propose, and implement solutions. Throughout the year, interns receive training focusing on professional development, leadership skills, and building a working team, all of which are applied to their projects. Interns are guided through this process by mentors drawn from Urbana-Champaign’s excellent professional and graduate student pools. Open to all UIUC students. For more information, please contact Amarin Young at amarin@ywcauofi.org. To learn more and apply, visit: www.ywcauofi.org/womeninleadership. Applications are due April 30th.

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — April 3, 4-5 pm, Lincoln Hall 1002
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — April 3, 5-6 pm, Career Center Room 143, April 4, 4-5 pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Making Your Major Decision– April 4, 4-5 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building
  • Employer Spotlight–April 4, 6-7 pm, Illini Union 104
  • Illini Career & Internship Fair–April 5, 12-5 pm, ARC
  • Pizza and Professional: Careers Working With Children — April 7, 12-1pm, Career Center Interview Suite Room 213

Scholarship Opportunities 

NEW–The Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship is accepting applications until May 19. This scholarship awards $40,000 over 3 years to an incoming law student attending any Illinois law school who intends to pursue a career in public interest law. Click here for more details and to apply.

The BARBRI & American Bar Association Scholarship will award $10,000 to an incoming law student and a $5,000 award to a runner up to help pay for the first year of law school. Applications due April 15. Click here to apply.

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Course Options for Fall 2017

Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in 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 fall 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.

AAS 370/LLS 372: Immigration, Law, and Rights

  • Exploration of the histories, cultures, and experiences of immigration to the United States by examining cultural production (literary and visual narratives and texts) alongside legal discourses (legislation, federal court cases).

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning

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

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)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

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

LAW 301: Introduction to Law

  • Serves as a general foundation course for those interested in applying to law school.

Philosophy options include: 

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning This course is particularly helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics This course includes some basic exploration of ethics, including looking at the relationship between social morality and the law.

Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:

  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II, are helpful primers for law school
  • PS 312: Politics and the Media
  • PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 323: Law & Representation

PSYC 368: Psych and Law

  • Examines relationship of the administrative, civil, and criminal justice systems to educational and mental health institutions; individual rights, social issues, and psychological well being.

Sociology is introducing its Criminology, Law and Society Minor this fall, and has some interesting classes listed, including:

  • SOC 275: Criminology
  • SOC 477: Sociology of Law

Other courses to explore different areas of law include:

  • JOUR 311: Media Law
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport
  • SE 400 (formerly GE 400): Engineering Law – note – only prerequisite is Rhet 105
  • TE 450: Startups: Incorporate, Fund, Contracts, Intellectual Property
  • UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law

Remember: these are only suggestions.  Further, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify other good options.

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of March 27

Welcome back!  We hope you had a restful break. 

Still not sure about whether to go straight to law school from UIUC or work for year or two first? PLAS resumes its programming this Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, 514 IUB, with the “Taking a Gap Year” Workshop! Scroll down for more info on this, other programs and UIUC summer class options!

PLAS Programs

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School — THIS Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, Room 514 IUB

Are you considering working or taking a gap year before law school? Do you want to know more about going straight through to law school after undergrad? Pre-Law Advising Services and the UIUC Pre-Law Honor Society are co-hosting an event for students to learn more about different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students at the UIUC College of Law–two with work experience and one who went directly from undergrad to law school–to answer your questions and discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working. We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — NEXT Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB

Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

UIUC Summer Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases.  All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Also — the Sociology Department Fall 2017 Course Fair is tomorrow, March 28, 5:30pm, Room 1092 Lincoln Hall.  Come and hear about Sociology courses for the Sociology Major, Minor and the Criminology, Law and Society Minor.  Pizza will be provided!

Interested in ideas for other Fall 2017 classes?  Check out our midweek PLAS blog this Wednesday, March 29!

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Scroll down for info on the Career Center’s “Illini Career & Internship Fair”, set for next Wednesday, April 5 at the ARC! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive

The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences. 

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — March 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — March 28, 6-7pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 28, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 5-6pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — March 30, 5-6pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1002
  • Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop — March 31, 2-3:30pm, Career Center Conference Room

Scholarship Opportunities 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. Our commitment to inclusion is the foundation for a vibrant work environment and unparalleled client service that comes from varied perspectives in developing strategies and solutions to serve our clients’ business goals.  In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due THIS THURSDAY, April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Casper

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards scholarships up to $10,000 for students working for social and economic justice. Applications–including recommendations–due April 1. Click here to apply.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications due March 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Iranian American Bar Association provides scholarships to law students of Iranian-American heritage. Applications due March 31. Click here to apply.

Jewish Vocational Service scholarships are available to Jewish students demonstrating financial need. Applications due March 31. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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