What should you do this summer?

So your exams wrapped up last week.  You are now surfacing from extensive sleep recuperation.  Now is the time to decide how to use your summer.  Here are some suggestions.

1. Shadow an attorney(s).  Before you take the plunge and decide to go to law school you should have an understanding of what lawyers really do (Hint — watching countless hours of TV shows featuring lawyers doesn’t count).  Do you have lawyers in your family?  Do you or your parents/roommates/classmates know lawyers?  Now is the time to network and meet these people.  Start by inviting them out for coffee or a soda and ask them to talk about a typical day; what they like about the law; what they don’t like about being a lawyer, etc.  Then ask if you can spend a day shadowing them so you can experience/witness what they are telling you. 

2. Research law schools. You can always conduct research on line.  However, another option to get more information about specific law schools and the application process is to attend an LSAC Law School Forum.  

The forums are a series of free law school recruitment fairs, each of which attracts an average of 160 law schools from across the nation, representing public and private, large and small, rural and urban law schools. The Law School Forums give students an opportunity to talk informally with law school representatives and get firsthand information about admission requirements, course offerings, campus life, and financial aid.

The LSAC will be hosting a Law School Forum in Chicago on Saturday, July 13, 9am-4pm at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, 540 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. Admission is free and registration is easy, and you can register online here

In addition, as we mentioned in last week’s blog and email, you should mark your calendars now for another great opportunity to meet law school admissions folks.  On Tuesday, October 22, PLAS will host the annual Law School Fair, 11am-3pm on campus at the ARC!! Last year we hosted over 110 law schools from around the country so this is a must attend event!!

3. Start working on your applications. If you are applying to law school in the fall, work on the parts of you application that you can.  Your top priority should be preparing for either the June or October LSAT. Next, if you haven’t already done it, you should open up your Credential Assembly Service account with the LSAC.  Go here for more information. http://www.lsac.org/jd/apply/cas.asp. You should also request your letters of recommendation.  June LSAT takers — once the test is over, start working on your personal statement and resume.  October LSAT takers — in between studying for the LSAT, work on your personal statement and resume.  Check out the PLAS web page for suggestions on how to prepare these items. http://www.prelaw.illinois.edu/applying/index.html.

Remember: Law schools will start posting their applications online in mid-August.  Admissions is rolling so it is always a good idea to file your applications as early as possible.  Do not wait until fall to work on these important application elements!

From the PLAS Office — Pre-law advising appointments will be available later this summer.  After June 24, call the PLAS Office at (217) 333-9669 to schedule an appointment for early July.