It’s January — Submit Your Applications ASAP!

If you are applying to law school this cycle and do not have your applications in, get them in ASAP!  Remember: this is a rolling admissions process! What is your hold up?

Personal Statement: If you are struggling with drafting your personal statement, get cracking!  Not sure how to get started?  Check out our “Perfecting Your Personal Statement” video on the PLAS Compass page You can also look at our tips both on Compass and the PLAS website.  Once you have a draft, you are welcome to contact the PLAS office at (217) 333-9669 to set up an appointment with an advisor to go over your personal statement.  REMEMBER: you need to submit your draft personal statement 2 business days prior to your appointment!

Addendum:  If you have to submit an addendum to explain something related to a character and fitness disclosure or to explain something else in your application, just sit down and write it!  No amount of hand wringing is going to change a law school’s requirement that you submit this.  Not sure how to begin? First —  Check out the PLAS website to help you get started. Next — Go to the PLAS Compass page for more specific advice.  Both the “Perfecting Your Personal Statement” and “Character and Fitness” videos (found within the “Application Pointers” section) provide information to help you decide how to craft this document.  Once you have a good draft, feel free to make an appointment with a pre-law advisor to discuss it.  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.

Letters of Recommendation: Have your letter writers turned in your letters?  If not, you should gently remind them that you need letters submitted to LSAC before the law schools that require LORs will review your applications.  If you haven’t yet asked for letters of recommendation ASK TODAY!

Transcripts:  You need to submit your request for your most recent UIUC transcript to be submitted to your LSAC-CAS account.  Here is a link to the UIUC Registrar’s Office and to LSAC’s explanation of transcripts.  Note: if you have already submitted your applications, you still are obligated to submit an updated transcript to LSAC as part of your continuing obligation to disclose new information and supply updates to your file.  Go here for information on this requirement.

Good Luck!

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Welcome Back Edition – Week of January 16, 2017

Welcome back to spring semester! LOTS of excellent opportunities are coming up, including the Illini Union Winter Week of Welcome, campus events honoring MLK Day, paid internships, scholarships and the PLAS LSAT Test Prep Essay Contest application deadline NEXT MONDAY, January 23 so be sure to give this week’s blog a read.

Pre-Law Advising Services Workshops and Programs

We have updated our Spring Semester calendar of events! Check them out on our website here.

Pre-Law 101 — Tuesday, January 31, 4:00pm, 514 IUB

Are you new to pre-law at Illinois? Then this event is a great opportunity for you! This workshop will cover: What it means to be pre-law at Illinois; what law schools are really looking for; what pre-law students can do to maximize their undergraduate years; how to build a strong pre-law resume; what resources are available to assist pre-law students at Illinois. For more details and to register, click here.

2 Ways to Win an LSAT Test Prep Scholarship

(1) The PLAS-sponsored LSAT Test Prep Company Fair is set for Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 2:00-:004pm, Illini Union Rooms B&C! This event is a chance to learn more about several commercial LSAT test prep companies, participate in informative mini-workshops conducted by the companies and win discounts on test prep materials and scholarships for courses! To find out who is coming and see the workshop schedule, keep checking the PLAS website for updates on the fair.

(2) LSAT Test Prep Essay Scholarship Contest – Entries DUE NEXT Monday, January 23 at NOON!

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 NEXT MONDAY, January 23, at NOON.

Note: Pre-Law Advising Services does not endorse any commercial LSAT test prep company.

Upcoming Campus Events

UIUC is hosting many events to celebrate the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Click on the following link to find out more. http://www.diversity.illinois.edu/mlk/calendar.html.

The Illini Union is hosting the Winter Week of Welcome featuring all kinds of fun events this week.  Check out the listing here, and mark your calendars for the RSO Involvement Fair on Wednesday, January 25!

Illinois in Washington summer semester applications are due Feb. 1. For more information check out the Illinois in Washington website.

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. Upcoming workshops include:

  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews, Tues, Jan. 17, 2-4:30pm Career Center; 5:30-7:30pm at the IKE, Room 1010; 7:30-9:30pm at the Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner
  • Career Certificate – International Students (CCI) Info Session – Tuesday, Jan.17, 4:00pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews, Wed, Jan. 18, 2-4:30pm Career Center;  7:00-9:00pm at the Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews, Thurs, Jan. 19, 2-4:30pm Career Center
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews, Fri, Jan. 20, 2-4:30pm Career Center

Interested in working on campus? You won’t want to miss the Career Center’s Opportunities Fair, on Tuesday, January 24, 5:00-6:30pm, at the Career Center. Visit with campus units that are hiring students for part-time jobs and internships. This is your chance to build your resume, enhance your Illinois experience, and learn more about The Career Center and various campus departments! 

Ilinois Leadership Center will host several upcoming I-Programs. For more information and to register, visit their website here.

  • Petullo Insight: Saturday, January 21
  • Inclusion: Saturday, January 28

Study Abroad Summer 2017 Faculty Led Programs–Applications due Feb. 1. These are 2-5 week study abroad programs over summer break with automatic Illinois credit. This could be a great way to manage both study abroad and taking the LSAT. For a list of available courses and application materials, visit the study abroad website here.

UIUC College of Law needs students to evaluate their new website!

The UIUC College of Law (COL) is about to launch a new website. They are looking for student volunteer to conduct user testing. The purpose of user testing will be to determine the effectiveness of the new site for our key audiences.  The COL would also like to gather candid feedback and first impressions and of course identify any development bugs that need to be addressed. 

Interested students do not need to have any familiarity with the current COL site, and they do not need to be committed to applying to or attending the law school here. A small token gift of appreciation will be provided to anyone who elects to participate.

The test will take place at the COL building this week, on either 1/19 or 1/20, and will take no more than fifteen minutes. If you are interested in helping out, contact Krista Gaedtke, Director of Communications, UIUC College of Law, kgaedtke@illinois.edu.

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS), set for Thursday, April 27.

Deadline for submitting an application to the URS is Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at 11:59 pm. The application can be found at: http://go.illinois.edu/urs2017

The URS is the signature event of Undergraduate Research Week (April 23-29), and brings together students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, as well as corporate partners and sponsors, to learn more about undergraduate research and its potential to change the world. Students are encouraged to apply even if titles or abstracts have not yet been finalized – they can be edited.  Just make sure the application is successfully submitted by February 1!

For more information on Undergraduate Research Week, the URS, and OUR programs, please visit our website at: http://undergradresearch.illinois.edu/

Questions may be addressed to ugresearch@illinois.edu; please put “URS Application” in the subject line.

The Office of Undergraduate Research announces its Spring 2017 calendar for the Getting Started in Research Workshop!

PLEASE NOTE – These workshops fill up quickly, so if you are interested, sign up now!

During the workshop, we will discuss the various forms of undergraduate research that take place on campus, guide students to develop a plan of action to locate research opportunities on campus, and discuss ways to contact faculty research mentors. Students will leave the workshop with (1) a better understanding of undergraduate research and how it takes place on our campus, (2) increased confidence to contact faculty research mentors, and (3) a list of faculty mentors to contact.

The first two workshops will be held this week:

Getting Started in Research Workshop, January 18, 2017
Date/Time: Wednesday January 18, 2017 from 3:00 – 4:30pm
Location:
Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 335

Registration is available at: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/5532747

Getting Started in Research Workshop, January 19, 2017
Date/Time: Thursday January 19, 2017 from 3:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 243
Registration is available at: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/4063454

For additional workshop dates, registration, and more details please visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website.

Internship and Scholarship Opportunities

We hope you have been utilizing 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.) It’s got 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

Undergrad PAID Internship at UIUC in Bio-Humanities for 2017-2018        Applications due March 1, 2017!

Are you a bio-engineering or life science major interested in philosophy, politics, history, and literature? Are you a humanities major who also dabbles in biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroscience or endocrinology? Are you interested in how the sciences and the humanities are generating new areas of research together?  The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) is looking for undergraduate interns to work with its Bio-humanities research group for the academic year 2017-2018.

The research group seeks three undergraduate interns who will work with the group on their seminars, workshops and programs.  Interns will also work with the research group director to develop their own research projects as well as a research symposium for undergraduates at the end of the spring semester.

Interns will work approximately 10-11 hours per week, paid at the rate of $15.75 per hours, and will have $600 to support their research. Applicants must be juniors or seniors the year of the internship. For more information, go here.  Please address questions to: Dr. Nancy Castro, at ncastro@illinois.edu.

Paid Summer Internship at the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, D.C. Application Deadline is January 31!

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) in Washington, D.C., has a number of openings for paid interns beginning in the summer of 2017. The Nuclear Energy Institute (www.nei.org) is the policy organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industry and participates in both the national and global policy-making process. NEIs mission is to ensure the implementation of policies that promote the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies in the United States and around the world. To that end, NEI works to establish unified industry positions on the regulatory aspects of generic operational and technical issues. NEI’s members include all entities licensed to operate commercial nuclear power plants in the United States, nuclear plant designers, architect/engineering firms, fuel fabrication facilities, nuclear materials licensees, and other organizations and entities involved in the nuclear energy industry.

Interns at NEI will work with seasoned nuclear professionals in one of the following areas: technical, communications, policy development, government relations, legal, and member relations and corporate services on issues critical to the industry. Descriptions on each area are below. Internships are 10 weeks and take place during the summer. Interns will be paid $15.00 an hour.

All applicants must submit an application that includes the NEI Internship Application, a resume, and a copy of their transcript to resumes@nei.org. If requested, applicants must also participate in an interview either by phone or in person.

Applications are being accepted for review between December 15, 2016 and January 31, 2017. Applications submitted beyond January 31, 2017 may be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis thereafter. Click on this link for more information. https://www.nei.org/About-NEI/Employment-at-NEI/InternshipsIf you have additional questions about NEI’s Internship Program, please contact the NEI Human Resources Department at resumes@nei.org.

Scholarship opportunity for those entering law school this fall

The ABA Diversity Scholarship is designed for underrepresented students who demonstrate financial need and community involvement. Awards will be $15,000 for entering law students, which is renewable for years 2 and 3 of law school.  Applicants must be entering law school in 2017 and submit an application, personal statement, and statement of financial need by March 2. Find the application and more details here. 

Upcoming Law School Events–OPEN TO ALL PRE-LAW STUDENTS

The Wisconsin Statewide Pre-Law Diversity Day is set for Friday, February 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. This event is open to all students. For more information and to register, visit their website here. Cosponsored by the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School, this FREE event includes lunch and:

  • an update on law school admissions in Wisconsin featuring the University of Wisconsin and Marquette Law Schools;
  • an overview of the Law School Admission Test with practice questions;
  • breakout workshops featuring a mock class for students ; and
  • law school fair featuring admissions representatives from law schools around the country.  Click here for a list of law schools that participated in last year’s event.

Law School Open Houses and Admitted Students Days

As we first mentioned in several of our fall blog posts, many law schools host open houses for prospective applicants and all law schools strongly encourage students to visit their campuses.  Note: spring semester is a time when many law schools will host events specifically for admitted students. Make sure you check the law school websites to see what types of events the schools in which you have an interest are offering.   Listed below are upcoming events for three Illinois law schools.

DePaul University College of Law Open House, Saturday, January 21, 10:00am. For more information and to register, go here.

Chicago Kent Law School Open House, Saturday, January 28, 9:00am-2:00pm.  For more information or to register, go here. 

John Marshall Law School Open House, Saturday, January 28, 9:00am-Noon. For more information or to register, go here.



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Important info for December 2016 LSAT takers; Deciding whether to retake

The December LSAT scores will not be out until January 4, 2017.  If you took the December LSAT, please take a moment to review this very important information on February 2017 LSAT registration. Then, this blog entry will go on to discuss how to decide whether to retake.

February LSAT registration.  As you know, the LSAC indicated that scores would be released on January 4, but the regular registration deadline for the February LSAT is TOMORROW, DECEMBER 21! If you took the December LSAT and you have decided you want to retake in February, and then decide NOT to retake after you see your score, the LSAC will refund your regular or late registration fee. BUT you must register by December 28 (late registration deadline) and request the refund by January 10, 2017. Mark your calendars! Here are instructions about the process, straight from the LSAC website:

December 2016 LSAT scores will not be available until after February 2017 LSAT registration deadlines have passed. Therefore, if you think you may want to take the February 2017 test, you must register for it before you know your December 2016 score. December 2016 test takers with a reportable score who no longer wish to test in February can request a refund for both regular and late registration fees after receiving their December score. Eligible candidates must submit a request for a refund by January 10, 2017. Your email request should include your name and LSAC account number and be sent to LSACrefunds@LSAC.org. Please indicate “February 2017 Full Refund” in the subject line to ensure accurate processing.

Whether to retake the LSAT. The bigger question for many of you will be: Should I retake the LSAT? This consideration is even more important due to the timing of the next LSAT (in February).  Note: February is the one nondisclosed LSAT administration.  What does this mean?  If you take a nondisclosed test, you will have online access only to your LSAT score, score band, percentile rank, and writing sample. You will not be given a copy of your answers and the answer key.  As such, you will know how you did but not what you missed.

How do Illini perform on an LSAT retake? As a general guideline, most retakers score within 2.5 points of where they scored on the last LSAT. We did a study of University of Illinois LSAT takers from 2012-2015 and found these results:

  • 44% of Illini took the LSAT more than once
  • The average Illini LSAT retaker scored 2.45 points higher on the second exam
  • Of all Illini LSAT retakers:
  • 51% of Illini retakers scored better on a subsequent LSAT
  • 15% of Illini retakers scored worse on a subsequent LSAT
  • 6% of Illini retakers scored the same on a subsequent LSAT
  • 33% of Illini register to retake and then are absent for the subsequent exam

Some questions to ask yourself about whether to retake:

  • Was your actual score consistent with your practice exams?
  • Do you have the time and willingness to continue your LSAT preparation consistently until February?
  • How will you continue LSAT prep without your academics suffering? (Consider final papers and exams.)
  • What can you do differently so that this exam performance is better?
  • How close is your score to the medians of your top choice law schools? Is it likely that you could achieve the medians by retaking?

If you decide to retake in February, here are some suggested next steps:

  • Register ASAP; you may not get your preferred test site and that will mean making other arrangements such as a hotel
  • It is VERY important that you return to studying for the LSAT now! Don’t wait.
  • Clear your upcoming schedule as much as possible to allow you to balance prepping for the LSAT and prepping for final exams/papers/projects.
  • Consider doing something different in your LSAT prep–exploring a different book, class, website, using a different study plan, etc. (For some suggested resources visit our Compass page and click on the LSAT folder.)
  • Revamp your application timeline. Your goal should be to apply by early March, when the February LSAT scores will be released.
    • Applying in March is quite LATE in a rolling application cycle.  You might want to consider waiting to apply until next fall, which would put you in the pool of applicants looking to begin law school Fall 2018.

You may find it helpful to speak with a Pre-Law Advisor about next steps. Call 333-9669 to make an appointment!

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The 2016 Internship Newsletter is Live on Compass!

The 2016 Internship Newsletter is now available on Compass.  Please visit our Compass page to begin combing through the newsletter for summer opportunities that interest you.  If you are a designated pre-law student, simply log in with your credentials to access the page. If you are not a designated pre-law student but would like to access the newsletter, please follow the instructions here. Positions are available throughout Illinois, Washington D.C., and across the country. Many positions have due dates over break, so we encourage you to begin working on applications as soon as possible.

Make use of your long winter break to begin planning for summer. Many deadlines in the newsletter are for late December and early January. The time to apply is now! The internship newsletter also has opportunities posted for December 2016 and May 2017 graduating seniors.

For those of you who plan on applying to law school in fall 2017, 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’ve posted one over on our Compass page too. 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 2017 LSAT Prep Fair on Wednesday, February 1, from 2:00-4:00 pm in Illini Union Rooms B & C.

For anyone who has not applied to their prospective schools yet and wishes to start in fall 2017, FINISH YOUR APPLICATIONS! The time to submit is now!

Enjoy your break and Happy Holidays!

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UPDATED December Checklist

It’s now December (can you believe it?) which means that programming is winding down as we turn to finals. What should be on your December checklist so that you can finish the year strong?

December checklist for pre-law students

  • December is a great time to start applying for summer internshipsGo to our Compass page to check out our 20+ page Internship newsletter!
  • This is also a great time to update your resume. Add all of the details of things you did this semester–before you forget. Use the Career Center’s resume resources if you need some pointers.
  • Planning to take the LSAT in 2017? Need a scholarship to afford an LSAT prep class? Apply for our LSAT test prep scholarships!
  • Winter break is a great time to take a baseline practice LSAT. You can find a free practice exam on our Compass page. Make sure that you time yourself!
  • For freshmen and sophomores who are not ready to take the LSAT but want to build LSAT-related skills, check out Khan Academy’s Introduction to Critical Thinking lessons!
  • Take your winter courses seriously. Your GPA is very important to law schools.

December checklist for law school applicants

  • Finish your essays and SUBMIT those applications! We are now at the point that you should not delay.
  • Check your LSAC account to make sure your recommendations are in; if not, follow up again with your recommenders. Note: the LSAC typically closes around the holidays, so you should expect processing delays if submitting at this time.
  • You can still make an appointment (call 333-9669) to review personal statements/optional essays. Pre-Law Advising Services will be closed Dec. 23-Jan.2, reopening for limited appointments from Jan. 3 until spring semester begins.
  • Plan any winter break law school visits. If you are returning home, this could be a good time to visit nearby law schools without making a special trip. Contact the schools to make sure they are open and able to accommodate.
  • Begin looking into scholarship options (like the ones we posted to our Facebook page) and complete your FAFSA as soon as possible.
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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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