Researching Law Schools

Whether you are planning to apply during the current application cycle or are beginning to prepare for a future year, determining what is important to you in a law school and assessing what individual law schools can offer is an important step in your admissions process. 

What to look for…

Deciding what to look for in a potential law school requires an assessment of your goals and priorities.  As you consider your choice in law school you should include the following in your list of potential goals:

  • Academic Opportunities
  • Geographic Location Present & Future
  • Affordability
  • Career Goals
  • School Size

Learn more about each of these goals and more at our prior blog post “Where to Apply”.

Getting started…

In setting your ultimate goals for your law admission process, the first step is often getting familiar with law schools to more fully understand what legal education has to offer.  Every school has its own unique strengths and characteristics.  Learning about different law schools is an excellent place to start in developing a list of goals that are important to you. Here are a list of resources and tips for getting started in your research.

Connect at a law fair!

Law fairs can provide one of the best ways to begin your exploration and research into law schools.  It provides you the opportunity to gather information and insights from a large number of diverse schools, from across the country, in a short amount of time!

There are many options to attend law fairs each year in both in-person and virtual format!  UIUC students can attend the Illinois Law Fair on September 28 at the Illini Union!

Not on campus?  Not a problem!  LSAC hosts both in-person and virtual forums each year at locations around the country. Check out the list of 2022-2023 dates online.

LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools:

The LSAC Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools is a wonderful database that allows you to search for law schools based on a number of criteria including location, your GPA/LSAT, and program.  LSAC also offers a few specifically targeted resources to help students in their research:

ABA 509 Disclosure Reports

Law schools must report data to the American Bar Association (ABA) each year which is then compiled into what are known as “509 Reports”.  This data includes information regarding career placement, bar passage, admissions, scholarship and financial aid, academics, and student body profile information.  These are one of the best resources for reaching schools.  We encourage you to look up 509 Reports on any school you are interested in.  Please note profile data for students beginning in Fall 2022 will be reported by October 5 and published publicly in the following weeks.

Ranking Lists:

Choosing a school based on ranking alone can result in a very unbalanced decision at a school that ultimately does not support your individual needs and goals.  However, organizations that provide such rankings do gather a large amount of information about individual schools which can be researched quickly including specialized programs, average starting salaries, and average debt for graduates.  Ranking lists can be a good way to get a broad perspective on schools or quickly find more specific details about programs.  Keep in mind that many schools can support your success amongst the nearly 200 ABA-approved schools in the U.S.!

TIP:  Research a few schools you know nothing about, never heard of, or that are located in a completely different region than you think you would like to be.  Even if you may not ultimately apply to these school, challenging yourself to explore something different is an excellent way to discover different options and possibilities that law schools may offer!

September Snapshot

September 1: Application Deadline! Applications for the Pre-Law Advisory Council are due today! For more information and to apply, please click here.

September 1: DEADLINE! Last day to register for the October LSAT – please visit LSAC for more information.

September 1: Gilman Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm at 1065 Lincoln Hall. For more information, click here.

September 1: We CU Community-Engaged Scholars Information Session | 4pm on Zoom. To register, click here.

September 2: ONLINE Gilman Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am – 10:00 am via Zoom. For more information, click here.

September 2: Gilman Scholarship Workshop Session | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. For more information, click here.

September 6: Career Preparation Workshop at the Career Center715 S. Wright Street from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. For additional information about this opportunity, click here.

September 6: Luce Scholarship Priority Deadline – For more information on this scholarship opportunity, click here.

September 7: Political Science & Economics Fall Kickoff | David Kinley Hall South Lawn, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. For more information, please contact the Economics or Political Science departments.

September 7: IU Maurer School of Law Admissions Info Session | Virtual | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm CT. For more information and to register, click here.

September 7: Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Informational Meeting | Virtual |3:00pm – 4:00pm. Click here for more information and for the Zoom link.

September 8: Gates Scholarship Priority Deadline – For more information about this scholarship opportunity, click here.

September 9: Application Deadline! 2022-2023 Provost’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Board. For additional information about this opportunity, click here.

September 9: Churchill Scholarship Information Session | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. For more information, click here.

September 9: UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program Info Session | Virtual | 12:00pm CST. Click here to attend the session.

September 9 – 10: September LSAT Best wishes to everyone taking the LSAT this weekend!

September 12: Knight Hennessy Scholarship Priority Deadline – For more information about this scholarship opportunity, click here.

September 12: PLAS Workshop – Drafting Your Application at 4:00 pm. To learn more and register, click here.

September 12: Marquette Law Diversity Information Session | 3:30pm – 4:30pm in Eckstein Hall. To learn more and register, click here.

September 12: Application Deadline! Peer Advocate Program. For more information click here.

September 13: FREE LSAT Workshop | 6:00pm – 7:30pm. To register, click here.

September 13: Career Preparation Workshop at the Career Center715 S. Wright Street from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. For additional information about this opportunity, click here.

September 13: Reproductive Justice Collaborative Panel Discussion |4:00pm – 5:30pm at 300 Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois, Champaign. For more information, click here.

September 14: PLAS Workshop – Pre-Law 101| Session One at 5:00 pm. To learn more and register, click here.

September 15: Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Informational Meeting | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at 123 David Kinley Hall.

September 16: Apply for Illinois Club Scholarships! | Applications are due by October 15th. For more information click here.

September 16: Constitution Day 2022: Interpreting the Constitution | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm at the Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Illinois College of Law. Also available to view via Livestream. For more information, click here.

September 16: Conversation Café & Friday Forum |12:00pm – 1:00pm at University YMCA. For more information, click here.

September 18: DEADLINE! Last day to sign up to volunteer at the 2022 Law School Fair – Sign up to volunteer at the Law School Fair! Various shifts are available. To sign up, click here.

September 20: Schwarzman Scholarship Deadline for US/Global Applicants | For more information about this scholarship opportunity, click here.

September 21: PLAS Workshop – Pre-Law 101| Session Two at 5:00 pm. To learn more and register, click here.

September 22: IU Maurer School of Law Admissions Info Session | In-Person|12:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT. For more information and to register, click here.

September 23: Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Informational Meeting | 3:00 – 4:00 pm at 1002 Lincoln Hall.

September 24: Chicago LSAC Law School Forum | 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. To learn more, click here.

September 28: LAW SCHOOL FAIR – Illini Union – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. To learn more click here. No pre-registration is required. Free and open to all!

September 29: DEADLINE! Last day to register for the November LSAT– please visit LSAC for more information.

September 29: Truman Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm at 514 Illini Union Bookstore. For more information, click here.

September 30: ONLINE Truman Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am – 10:00 am via Zoom. For more information, click here

September 30: Truman Scholarship Workshop Session | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. For more information, click here.

September 30: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for the Internship with Office of University Counsel | For more information, click here.

Pre-Law Registered Student Organizations at UIUC

Looking to get involved?  Want to connect with other pre-law students? Check out details and highlights for the University of Illinois pre-law student organizations!

Click on the button below to view a PowerPoint with information on all the student organizations or scroll down to learn more!

Illinois Trial Team

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “We are a pre-law organization that focuses on creating legal arguments, public speaking, and teamwork. Teams work together to analyze a case, create a theme and theory, and make arguments. We also offer fun social events, networking opportunities, and amazing academic resources.”

Undergraduate Law Review

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “The Review aims to shine a light on legal issues that affect the broader Champaign-Urbana community. We’re comprised of two organizational bodies – the executive board and the editorial board – and spend the year researching, developing, and ultimately writing articles on legal topics.”

Kappa Alpha Pi (KAP)

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “Kappa Alpha Pi is a co-ed professional pre-law fraternity. We strive for excellence in professionalism and with our academics, while also creating a welcoming organization.”

Minority Association for Future Attorneys (MAFA)

Email

Instagram

About: “Founded to assist, support, and advance pre-law students on their journey to law school and becoming successful attorneys.”

Phi Alpha Delta (PAD)

Email

Instagram

About: “Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International is the largest professional law fraternity in the United States. Founded in 1902, P.A.D. has since grown to 717 established pre-law, law, and alumni chapters and over 330,000 initiated members.”

Phi Delta Phi (PDP)

Email

Instagram

About: “Phi Delta Phi is the nation’s oldest legal honor society in continual existence. Phi Delta Phi boasts one of the most impressive lists of alumni out there, offering some of the best membership benefits available, and creating a space for like-minded individuals to gather. Whether you are looking for a place to network, a place to learn, or simply a community of accepting individuals, this organization has something to offer.”

UIUC Pre-Law Club

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “The UI Pre-Law club gives students the opportunity to learn more about their pre-law journey. We host informational events with law school professors and also host LSAT information sessions. Most importantly, we allow students to network with other pre-law students.”

UIUC Pre-Law Honors Society

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “The Pre-Law Honors Society is an organization that brings high-achieving undergraduate students closer to a future in the legal field. We educate members on the requirements and preparation needed to enter law school and a career in law through LSAT prep workshops, law school trips, networking opportunities, guest speakers, social events, and more.”

Women in Law (WIL)

Instagram

About: “Women in Law provides prelaw students insight into the legal world in regard to lobbying, legal review of the law, and gender inequality within the career field itself. We perform legal research, discuss the limitations of women under the law, and make meaningful change/awareness through a variety of methods.”

Women’s Undergraduate Law Society (WULS)

Email

Instagram

About: “WULS creates safe and productive work environments for aspiring law students, provides prelaw resources for all class levels, and creates a network of women who are interested in the legal field.”

Back to School Checklist!

Welcome home to ILLINOIS!  Whether you are a returning student or joining campus for the very first time, we hope you are prepared for a wonderful start to the academic year!  As you say good-bye to the summer and look forward to classes beginning next week, we wanted to share a few beginning of semester check-list items for a successful start to the academic year!

Update Your Resume…

For returning students, this is an ideal time to review your resume and make sure it is current and ready to go for the academic year.  As you review and update, be sure to include:

  • any experiences from the summer – get these items locked in while it is fresh in your mind!
  • upcoming and new leadership positions or campus involvement, and
  • updated academic status or information including GPA, scholarships, awards, and honors.

For individuals applying this application cycle, be sure to set up a time with the PLAS Office to have your resume reviewed.  You can schedule an appointment online at any time!

For new students to campus, be sure to add your new status as an Illinois student to your resume and make room for anticipated activities and experiences this fall!

TIP! If you don’t currently have a resume or feel your resume needs improvement, the Career Center offers a number of resources and advising opportunities to help you get started!

Set Goals…

Being proactive and setting goals is an excellent way to help you prioritize throughout the semester and bring you closer to your overall long-term goals.  Pursuing a path to a legal education takes many years of preparation and development.  Consider setting three goals in areas related to academic, personal, and professional development for this semester.  Whether it be improving your writing through a successful grade in a writing course, creating a consistent exercise plan, or taking on a leadership role, determine a few ways in which you can enhance your skills and experiences this semester.  Keep in mind that whatever goals you set, it is important to be realistic and set expectations that are proportional to the time you have to accomplish them.  

  • Not sure what to do? Feeling overwhelmed?  Don’t hesitate to set up a time to speak to a Pre-Law Advisor – we are happy to help you think through important priorities and goals for this semester. 
  • Tip!  Don’t forget to utilize your department advisor(s) and talk to your professors!  These individuals are exceptional resources to help you manage your academic progress, learn about new opportunities, and plan your future goals!

Mark Your Calendars…

The semester is always full of unexpected opportunities and experiences but creating a strong semester calendar now with important anticipated events, academic work, and obligations can be extremely helpful to your overall goals and success.  Be sure to start the semester off with the following items on your semester calendar:

  • Review your syllabus for each of your classes and mark your calendar now with due dates for big projects and assignments.  Be sure to schedule upcoming reminders several weeks prior to the deadlines to help you manage your various workloads. If you are applying this application cycle, be sure to include goal dates and important LSAT and admission deadlines!
  • Connect with student organizations and be sure to review their schedule of events and programs for those groups you belong to or are interested in. Put event dates on your calendar.  If dates are tentative, but you know the month – mark a reminder for the first day of the month and be sure to update details as they become available.

Join Us! If you are looking to learn more about pre-law organizations, join us on Monday, August 29 at 6 pm for our Pre-Law Student Organization Panel.

  • Participate in Activities on Campus!  One of the most exciting parts of being a student at UIUC is the incredible opportunity to participate in a wide spectrum of activities and events!  Check out the following links to plan ahead for things you would like to participate in!
  • Plan the Personal Stuff:  You will inevitably have important commitments to friends and family throughout the semester.  Be sure to mark important dates on your calendar now so you can plan around these important commitments later.  It is also important to take care of yourself through the semester and make time for things that will contribute to your overall well-being and success.  Be sure to research the many campus resources to help you stay well and be sure to schedule the time to invest in yourself!

Connect with Pre-Law Advising Services! 

Whether you are a freshman student or senior completing your last semester of classes, the PLAS Office is here to help and has something to offer to support you on your pathway to a legal career.  Don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities upcoming the Fall!

  • Want to get involved?  Join us on Monday, August 29 for the Pre-Law Student Organization Panel and learn more about pre-law organizations on campus, how to join, and engage with some of our pre-law student organization leaders.
  • In your freshman or sophomore year?  Check out the Pre-Law 101 Workshop series offered through the fall and spring semesters specifically designed for freshman and sophomore students!
  • Looking for a unique opportunity?  Consider applying for the inaugural Pre-Law Advisory Council.  Applications are due September 1, learn more online!
  • Stop by for a chat!  We are anxious to meet with you and discuss your plans and goals.  Be sure to set up an individual advising session!
  • Save the Date!  Be sure to mark your calendar and plan to join us for the Illinois Law School Fair on September 28.  Join us as we host law schools from across the country here at the Illini Union!

Be sure to check out the Pre-Law website to learn more about the many resources and services available for students and alumni!

Have a Fantastic Start to the Semester!

Alumni Attorney Talks

Alumni Attorney Talks is a virtual series that aims to provide prospective law students with helpful insights about attending law school and pursuing a legal career. This series features interviews with University of Illinois alumni working in a variety of diverse settings within the legal profession.

SUSAN ZIELKE

ManaginG Attorney of the Eastern Regional Office of Land of Lincoln Legal Aid

Learn more about Land of Lincoln by clicking here.

Quick Facts about Susan Zielke
  • Law School: University of Illinois College of Law
  • UIUC Undergraduate Major: English Language and Literature
  • Susan’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Service | Access |  Justice

CHECK OUT THIS INSIGHTFUL INTERVIEW BELOW!  

Q and A with Law School Admission Experts

Meet the Law Admission Experts:

Nicole Vilches

Assistant Dean for Admissions
Chicago-Kent College of Law

Janet L. Hein

Director of Admissions
Indiana University – Maurer School of Law

Rebecca Ray

Assistant Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid
University of Illinois College of Law

Katherine Scannell

Vice Dean for Institutional Success
Washington University School of Law

Read the Q & A:

Q: What do you wish more applicants would do (or not do) in the application process?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “You should create a timeline for applying since advance planning is key in the application process. You should plan to devote about six to eight months to the process, including time to study for the LSAT, prepare your personal statement and resume, request letters of recommendation, research schools, attend law school information sessions, and visit schools in person. It is also important to allocate sufficient time to prepare for the LSAT. You should plan to take the test once and only retake the test if you are fairly certain that your score will improve. You should also take the test early enough in the application cycle that you have time to register for a later exam without significantly delaying your applications. As you complete your applications, you should carefully proofread all of your application materials and make sure that you have fully answered all of the questions. You should also anticipate questions the Admissions Committee might have (for example, a period of weak undergraduate grades) and address those in an addendum. We would much prefer to hear directly from you rather than be left wondering about something in your application.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “DO: Plan ahead and create an “applying to law school” timeline. DO: Speak with a variety of people involved in legal education from a variety of perspectives (pre-law advisors, admissions professionals/counselors, current law students, faculty, alumni, and lawyers) DO: your own self-assessment about your ultimate goals, and is law school the path to achieve them DON’T: use social media for law school research – seek out the experts including your pre-law advisors and law school admissions professionals DON’T: ignore the non-statistical pieces of the application, particularly the personal statement. This is your opportunity to make your “case” for admission by expertly communicating your passion for this path. DON’T: wait late in the cycle to apply! Don’t rush either, but make sure you have a well-planned application timeline so that you apply well before law school priority deadlines.”

  • UIUC:

    “I wish more applicants would take advantage of the resources available to them. UIUC students are very lucky to have a robust and expert Pre-Law Advising department. The flip side of this is that I wish students wouldn’t put so much stock in what they read on the internet about the law school application process. In short, I wish students would rely on the bona fide experts, i.e., Pre-Law advisors, and less on anonymous message boards.”

  • WashU:

    “Apply early! Like most law schools, our application opens on September 1, and our admissions committee makes decisions on a rolling basis. Although we review applications in the same way throughout the cycle – quite frankly, schools have more capacity – and more seats to fill – early on. Confirm whether the schools you are applying to make admissions decisions on a rolling basis, or wait to review applications until later in the cycle. We encourage candidates to supplement their application throughout the cycle with updates to their resume, letters of recommendation, accomplishments, LSAT score, etc. Supplementing also gives candidates an extra touchpoint with an admissions team, and a way to express continued interest. While there are certain pieces of the application that do need to be in final form before submitting – I encourage candidates to view their application as a living document – apply early and supplement, rather than waiting to apply when every piece is complete. WashULaw appreciates knowing about your interest early, even if we need to hold your decision until your application is complete. Be sure to check the preferences of other schools on your list.”

Q: What do you think is the most important thing for freshman and sophomore students to focus on if they have ambitions toward law school?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “It is very important to confirm that the legal profession is the right career path for you before you reach the point of applying to law school. You should look for opportunities to learn about the legal profession. This can be done through joining prelaw groups, attending presentations, conducting informational interviews with attorneys, and through internships and work experience. In addition, many law schools allow prospective students to visit first-year classes. This is a great opportunity to learn what the law school academic experience is like. It is also very important to take classes that will develop the skills that you will use in law school and legal practice. You should take classes that will develop your writing skills as well as your research and analysis skills. Finally, there are costs associated with applying to law school and visiting schools, so it is never too early to start saving funds for this purpose.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL SUCCESS. Grades are extremely important in the application process of course. But take advantage of everything your college has to offer both in and out of the classroom.”

  • UIUC:

    “We are looking for students who make the most of the opportunities in front of them. Your first two years of undergrad are a great time to start doing that! Keeping undergraduate grades as high as possible should be a focus, but not to the exclusion of other activities. Students should be well-rounded. That will look different for every student, but it could be a part-time job, extra-curriculars, or volunteering. None of this needs to be law-focused unless the student wants it to be.”

  • WashU:

    “Pursue curiosities and try different things! Your freshman and sophomore years are opportune times to try your hand at a variety of subjects, and see what fits best. This advice is two-fold: first, if you are interested in the subject area, you will be more motivated to study it; and second, if you study hard, you will (usually) do well in the subject, which translates in your performance….. (do you see the connection here?!) You do not need a political science or history degree to go to law school. WashULaw is looking for students with unique backgrounds who will bring a dynamic perspective to the classroom and broader community. It is not unusual for us to have an entering class with 50 plus different undergraduate majors!”

Q: What is one of the simplest ways an applicant can stand out in a positive way?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “Put together a thoughtful and compelling application package. Everything you include should enhance our understanding of you as a candidate for admission. You should also be strategic about your extracurricular, internship, and work experiences. Think about why you are pursuing those activities and how you are developing as a result of the experiences you are gaining.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “We are not looking for applicants to stand out. We are looking for the best fit for our law school and applicants are also looking at the best law school fit for them. Applicants need to be honest, open, and detailed in all aspects of the application. This can take the form of many things, depending on the context of the applicant’s situation, experiences, and life. This will be apparent in letters of recommendation, resume, and personal statement.”

  • UIUC:

    “Applicants stand out positively for lots of different reasons. The best way to do that is to be authentic to who you are and not try to fit any kind of mold of who you think we’re looking for. Be yourself, and you’ll end up at a law school that is the right fit for you.”

  • WashU:

    “The little things matter! It sounds obvious, but make sure your written materials are typo-free. If you are offered an interview or visit a law school, make sure you put your best foot forward and show that you are happy to be there. Positive energy spreads!”

Q: What is one of the simplest ways an applicant can stand out in a negative way?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “Submitting an application without giving it the proper time and attention. This includes things like typing the entire application in lowercase letters, poor proofreading (especially in supplemental statements), failure to follow the application instructions, and failure to provide full and complete information in response to the application questions. You should take each aspect of the admissions process seriously.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “A poorly communicated application. There are many ways this can go negative such as descending grades (with no explanation), negative letters of recommendation, and/or a poorly written personal statement.”

  • UIUC:

    “The easiest way to stand out in a negative way is to not follow the application directions.”

  • WashU:

    “Project confidence, not arrogance. Also, admissions offices understand candidates are typically applying to more than one school – make sure your written materials include the name of the school you are applying to (and not the name of another school where you are applying…believe me, it happens!).”

Q: What is an example of a good experience or activity to engage in as an undergraduate student to prepare for law school and why?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “As I mentioned earlier, it is important to make sure that the legal profession is the right career path for you before you apply to law school, so anything that will give you insight into the day-to-day practice of law will be helpful. In terms of the admissions process, we don’t have specific activities and experiences that we are looking for since our applicants come from a wide variety of backgrounds. You should pursue activities that are meaningful to you and that align with your interests and career goals.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “An experience that is outside of an applicant’s comfort zone, and communicating that expertly to an admissions committee. This can also take the form of a leadership or leading role in the activity. If the experience was tried and ended up not being a desirable one, that is a lesson as well.”

  • UIUC:

    “Students should be intentional about getting to know their faculty. I’m not a fan of doing things just because you think it will help you get into law school, but this will help you no matter what you decide to do post-undergrad! Go to office hours. Take a second (or third!) class with a professor you enjoyed. From a practical standpoint, this will lay the groundwork for letters of recommendation down the road; however, I suspect most students will value these relationships for reasons beyond a positive letter of recommendation. Being intentional about this process is especially important for students at larger universities, such as UIUC.”

  • WashU:

    “Any opportunities that require extra writing or public speaking experience. Research or TA positions are great. Try out moot court or mock trial. Speech and debate organizations, any publishing opportunities, writing competitions – really any activities that allow you to hone research, writing, analytical, and communication skills. Substantive internships and work experience will also be beneficial. Work experience doesn’t have to be legal.”

Q: What is one thing that many applicants may not know about your school, but you wish they did?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “Chicago-Kent has outstanding faculty members who excel in teaching and involve students in their research. Our faculty is ranked 40th in the nation based on scholarly impact and we are one of only three law schools in Chicago to be recognized on this assessment of faculty scholarship. As a student at Chicago-Kent, you will have the opportunity to study with professors who are recognized thought leaders and who are dedicated to training the next generation of lawyers. Read more here.

  • IU Maurer:

    “The high level of intellectual engagement coupled with the overwhelmingly strong bonds between students as well as students bonds with faculty, staff, and alumni. Our students are extremely engaged in activities outside the classroom including projects (within the first month of their 1L year), involvement in student organizations, and community involvement. And all in one of the best college towns in the country.”

  • UIUC:

    “Despite being in Champaign-Urbana, we have strong ties to the Chicago legal market. Most of our students work in Chicago post-graduation. That’s not to say that they don’t end up in other markets around the U.S., but Chicago is the third-largest legal market in the country, it is our largest alumni base, and we have a lot of positive brand recognition there. Our students can spend their last semester in Chicago through our Chicago Program.”

  • WashU:

    “WashULaw is adept at helping each individual student find their best path, and being flexible as that path changes. A part of that is our Career Center, which starts working with the incoming class as soon as the applicant is fully committed to WashULaw. This is important because legal recruiting starts very early, and our students go all over the country – typically to over 30 states and several countries each year, including Washington, DC, New York, Texas, California, and Illinois. Because students go everywhere, it is critical that students have an individualized career plan. Speaking of individualized strategy – if you have any questions about WashULaw, the dynamic city of St. Louis and what makes it great, or the law school application process generally, schedule a pop-in or a consultation. No question is too small!”

Final Thoughts

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “Founded in 1888, Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology is the second-oldest law school in Illinois. Chicago-Kent’s forward-thinking approach to legal education combines academic rigor with practical training, readying graduates for a rapidly changing legal industry. Our students receive a comprehensive and practice-focused legal writing foundation that empowers them to be successful at every step of their careers. With faculty who are both scholars and practitioners, a dynamic legal externship program, pioneering legal clinics, and award-winning moot court and trial advocacy teams, Chicago-Kent provides students with skills-based learning opportunities that prepare them to practice law in one of the largest legal markets in the U.S. and beyond.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “As a top 20 public law school, we have earned national acclaim for our programs in business, criminal, environmental, intellectual property, tax, and international law. Our unique Legal Professions course is one reason we are considered a top innovative law program. The collegial community fosters an environment in which our students learn about the roles law plays in structuring society. From day-to-day transactions to the most controversial topics of the moment, our remarkable students come together to learn from our faculty and from one another. We have 10,000+ alumni, located across the country and around the world, and include the first African American to serve on any state supreme court, the first Japanese American admitted to the bar in the US, the first woman chief justice of Wisconsin, and the first woman chief justice of Indiana. IU is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful college campuses and college towns in the country!”

  • UIUC:

    “Students are welcome to make an appointment to meet with a member of the admissions team, take a tour with a current student, and/or sit in on a first-year class. Email law-admissions@illinois.edu to schedule an appointment!”

August Snapshot


WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU BACK TO CAMPUS later this month! as you prepare for the semester, be sure to Take advantage of the various pre-law events happening in AUGUST!

August 1: NEW! Application open for the Pre-Law Advisory Council for more information and to apply, please click here.

August 3: Seton Hall Law School: Virtual Social Justice Summer Workshop Series – Networking plus Meet and Greet Session – In-Person (3:00-5:00 p.m. CST) To learn more and register, please click here.

August 6: DEADLINE! Legally BLK Fund Scholarship – Click here to learn more.

August 9: PLAS Workshop: Application Roadmap at 12:00 pm. Click here for additional information. 

August 10:  JD Advising – Free Law Prep Course for Students – The course is designed to support pre-law students in achieving greater academic success in law school. The course is offered on-demand. It is recommended for individuals beginning law school in an upcoming academic year but can be taken by students in any class year.  To learn more, click here.

August 12: Luce Scholars Information Session online at 9:00 am. To learn more, click here.

August 12: August LSAT Begins – Best wishes to all of our students taking the LSAT this weekend!

August 16: PLAS Workshop: Drafting Your Application at 5:30 pm. Click here for additional information. 

August 16: Kaplan Campus Brand Ambassador Hiring Event – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm CT. To learn more and apply, click hereThis position is also posted on the UIUC Handshake page.

August 17: Kaplan Campus Brand Ambassador Hiring Event – 11:00 am – 1:00 pm CT. To learn more and apply, click hereThis position is also posted on the UIUC Handshake page.

August 19: New Student Convocation – Welcome to Illinois!

August 21: QUAD DAY on the Main Quad from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  Quad Day is a great opportunity to meet with current student leaders from registered student organizations (RSOs) here on campus. To learn more, click here.

August 22: First day of class! Welcome!

August 22: Application Deadline! Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell Scholarships Campus Deadline. To learn more, click here.

August 23: Illinois Trial Team Info Night | DKH Room 119 at 6:30 pm. To learn more, view the flyer.

August 24: Illinois Trial Team Info Night | DKH Room 119 at 6:30 pm. To learn more, view the flyer.

August 25: Application Deadline! Schwarzman Scholarship Priority Deadline. To learn more, click here.

August 26: IU Maurer School of Law Admissions Info Session | In-Person |12:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT. For more information and to register, click here.

August 28: Save the Date! 2022 Law School Fair will be on September 28 at the Illini Union. For more information, click here.

August 29: Application Deadline! Fulbright Campus Deadline. To learn more, click here.

August 29: Pre-Law RSO Panel | In-Person | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Everitt Lab 1306. To learn more, click here.

August 30: Career Preparation Workshop at the Career Center715 S. Wright Street from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. For additional information about this opportunity, click here.

August 31: October LSAT Registration Deadline is tomorrow, September 1! To learn more, click here.

August 31: PLAS Workshop: Application Roadmap at 4:00 pm. Click here for additional information. 

Be sure to check back soon…

The Monthly Snapshot is updated weekly throughout the month, be sure to check the Snapshot regularly for new events and programs!

Application Perspectives

A look at past UIUC applicants…

One of the most helpful tools for any applicant to law school is good research.  With approximately 200 law schools to choose from and a very competitive application process, it is important to have good information to help guide your efforts and choices.   With the 2022-2023 Application Cycle quickly approaching, we have compiled some helpful insights from recent years to assist in your information-gathering efforts!

When to Submit?  Law admissions is a rolling admissions process, meaning law schools will be extending admission offers throughout the application period.  Most applications will open in September and close in mid-spring (typically March) – be sure to check specific deadlines for the schools you are most interested in!  While it is not necessary to submit applications within the first few weeks of the application period, you do want to be strategic with your submission timeline.  We highly recommend submitting applications during the first half of the cycle. Last year, 65% of all UIUC applications were completed and submitted prior to February 1.

Where to Apply?  Determining where to apply is an important part of the application process.  Any school you apply to should be a school that you would potentially attend.  In determining where to apply, you should first clarify your individual admission goals and priorities – these can range from academic offerings to geographic location to cost.  Once you have determined your individual preferences, you can begin looking for schools that will fit these needs and goals.  UIUC applicants applied to over 150 different law schools from across the country last year alone! 

Below is a list highlighting the 50 schools* where Illini students submitted the most applications during the 2021-2022 application cycle. The top ten are in bold.

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
BOSTON COLLEGE LAW SCHOOL
BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
CHICAGO-KENT COLLEGE OF LAW
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
CORNELL LAW SCHOOL
DEPAUL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW
DUKE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
HOWARD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
INDIANA U ROBERT H. MCKINNEY SCHOOL OF LAW
INDIANA UNIV SCHOOL OF LAW-BLOOMINGTON
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO SCHOOL OF LAW
MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV COLLEGE OF LAW
NEW ENGLAND LAW- BOSTON
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
NORTHWESTERN PRITZKER SCHOOL OF LAW
NOTRE DAME LAW SCHOOL
SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIV SCHOOL OF LAW
STANFORD UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LAW SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA COLLEGE OF LAW
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LAW SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SCHOOL OF LAW
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO SCHOOL OF LAW
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-DAVIS
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO LAW SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON LAW CENTER
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS COLLEGE OF LAW
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI SCHOOL OF LAW
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA LAW SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA CAREY LAW SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA SCHOOL OF LAW
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN LAW SCHOOL
VANDERBILT LAW SCHOOL
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
YALE LAW SCHOOL

*School names appear as reported by LSAC. Data as of April 2022.

Generally speaking, you should apply to a variety of schools to maximize your opportunities for success!   Be sure to speak with a PLAS advisor or attend an upcoming workshop for more information on creating your list of schools!

A great way to explore and learn more about law schools is by attending a law school fair. UIUC is hosting an in-person law fair this fall.

Don’t Miss out!

Illinois Law School Fair | September 28, 2022

How will my academic program be measured? Law schools are looking for academically accomplished candidates from all majors.  Ideally, your major has allowed you to explore your interests, engage in professional learning opportunities, helped you develop necessary skills for law school, solidified your interest in the legal profession, and provided an opportunity for you to excel academically.  The social science majors make up the largest portion of law applicants each year, but UIUC applicants hail from a wide range of disciplines.  Below is a list of some of the majors* represented amongst the 2021-2022 UIUC applicants.

  • ACCOUNTING
  • ADVERTISING
  • AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES
  • ANIMAL SCIENCES
  • BIOLOGY/BIOMEDICAL
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
  • CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
  • CHEMISTRY
  • CIVIL ENGINEERING
  • COMMUNICATIONS
  • COMPUTER SCIENCE
  • ECONOMICS
  • ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
  • ENGLISH
  • ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
  • FAMILY RELATIONS/CHILD DEVELOPMENT
  • FINANCE
  • FRENCH
  • GERMAN
  • HEALTH/KINESIOLOGY
  • HISTORY
  • HOSPITAL/HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION
  • INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING
  • INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
  • INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
  • JOURNALISM
  • LINGUISTICS
  • MARKETING
  • MATHEMATICS
  • PHILOSOPHY
  • POLITICAL SCIENCE
  • PSYCHOLOGY
  • RECREATION AND LEISURE SERVICES
  • RUSSIAN
  • SOCIAL WORK
  • SOCIOLOGY

*Majors are picked from pre-determined titles and may not reflect exact titles of academic majors at UIUC.

How successful are UIUC applicants?  The short answer is – VERY!  Each individual applying to law school should shape their application strategy and process to fit their own individual needs and goals.   UIUC is consistently ranked as one of the top US feeder schools to ABA-approved law schools in the country.  In addition, during the 2020-2021 admission cycle, approximately 88% of UIUC senior applicants were admitted to law school compared to approximately 68% of all applicants nationwide, with the 2020-2021 admission cycle considered one of the most competitive application cycle in the past 10 years (and possible beyond).   Stay tuned for additional details regarding applicants from the 2021-2022 cycle or check out our Instagram to see our featured ILLINI beginning law school this fall!

Meet with a Pre-Law Advising Expert!

Each year UIUC applicants present a diverse set of credentials and qualities to law schools across the country. We welcome the opportunity to support you on your individual journey to law school and hope to speak with you soon!

Alumni Attorney Talks

Alumni Attorney Talks is a virtual series which aims to provide prospective law students with helpful insights about attending law school and pursuing a legal career. This series features interviews with University of Illinois alumni working in a variety of diverse settings within the legal profession.

Michael Damergis

U.S. Bank, Vice President, Compliance Manager

QUICK FACTS ABOUT Michael Damergis
    • Law School: Chicago-Kent College of Law
    • UIUC Undergraduate Major:  Accounting
    • Michael’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Research | Connections | Perception

CHECK OUT THIS INSIGHTFUL INTERVIEW BELOW!  

July Snapshot


We hope you are having a safe and enjoyable Summer Break!
Be sure to Take advantage of the various pre-law events happening in July!

 

July 1:  Application Deadline! The Harvard Junior Deferral Program: Application is today! To learn more and apply, click here.

July 1:  Citizens Scholarship Deadline.  Click here to learn more – this is just a quick form to apply!

July 1:  Good Lawyers / Good People Scholarship Deadline.  Click here to learn more.

July 2:  Save the Date! 2022 Law School Fair will take place on Wednesday, September 28! The law fair will be held at the Illini Union (1401 W Green St, Urbana, IL) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. For additional information about this opportunity, click here.

July 4:  Independence Day and University Holiday (offices closed/no classes)

July 4 – 8:  PLAS Office will be closed the week of July 4.  Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday!

July 5:  Seeking Scholarships?  There are many scholarships available for aspiring law students.  Check out the Access Lex Database for upcoming opportunities!

July 8: Coming Soon! Pre-Law Advisory Councilto learn more about this unique opportunity, click here.

July 11 – 29: University of Miami School of Law – Summer Legal Academy: For more information, click here

July 12:  Finding Your Get Up and Go | Lessons for Living:  This webinar from the University of Illinois Extension will help you learn how to give your enthusiasm a boost during challenges.  Click here to register.  The program is offered online at 2:00 pm.

July 12:  Access Lex | 10 Things You Should Know Before Starting Law School  webinar at 2:00 pm (CT)

July 13: Seton Hall Law School: Free Virtual Social Justice Summer Workshop Series – Mass Incarceration and the Constitution – Virtual (12:00-`1:00 p.m. CST) To learn more and register, please click here.

July 15:  Application Deadline! Latino Justice PRLDEF – LawBound: LawBound is a summer program (in August) for pre-law students.  Click here for additional application details.

July 15:  Avnet Law National Scholarship Deadline.  Click here to learn more.

July 16 – July 17:  CLEO 1L Prep – Attitude Is Essential (AIE) Seminar for Fall ’22 first-year law students.  Click here to register. Can’t make the July dates? AIE will also be offered on August 13 & 14.

July 18:  The Career Center Virtual Summer Hours: No appointment is needed. Log on to Zoom at the appropriate time.

        • Virtual Career Advising: Monday – Thursday, 11 am to 1 pm. Zoom link.
        • Virtual Resume and Cover Letter Drop-In Reviews: Monday – Thursday, 1 pm to 3 pm. Zoom link.

July 20:  PLAS Workshop: Application Roadmap at 6:00 pm. Click here for additional information. 

July 20: Seton Hall Law School: Free Virtual Social Justice Summer Workshop Series – Police Accountability and Qualified Immunity – Virtual (12:00-`1:00 p.m. CST) To learn more and register, please click here.

July 23:  Washington, D.C. Law School Fair: Consider attending the in-person law school fair at The Catholic University of America from 11 am – to 3 pm ET. To learn more, click here.

July 26:  Registration Deadline! Last day to register for the September 2022 LSAT. Visit LSAC to register. Prices have increased! The LSAT is now $215 (up from $200).

July 20: Seton Hall Law School: Free Virtual Social Justice Summer Workshop Series – Business Planning for Social Justice – Virtual (12:00-`1:00 p.m. CST) To learn more and register, please click here.

July 28:  Access Lex | 10 Things You Should Know Before Starting Law School  webinar at 4:00 pm (CT)

July 28 & July 29: Pre-Law Diversity Fellowship program hosted by Davis Wright Tremaine | 11 am (CT) To learn more and register, click here.

July 31:  ABC Law Centers Disability Advocacy Scholarship Deadline. Click here to learn more.