Mark Your Calendars: Week of March 30

Welcome back from Spring Break! Time to mark your calendars for the remaining programs of the semester.

PLAS Events

Financing Your Legal Education: An Access Group Webinar: Friday, April 3, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 PM (online). How will you finance your legal education? This workshop features Joni Bradley-Scott from Access Group, a nonprofit providing excellent resources in support of financial education for graduate students. Joni will provide an overview of law school financial aid including how it works and what students can do to maximize aid. She will share many helpful resources students can use to effectively finance their legal education. Registration is limited to the first 25 students. To register, go here.

The Path to Practicing Law in the US: An International Law Student Panel & Discussion: Wednesday, April 5, 2015, 4:30 – 5:30 PM in IUB Room 514. Are you an international student considering attending law school in the U.S.? Join us as we host a panel of international law students from China and Brazil. PLAS welcomes four current College of Law international students, Ning Ning, Andre Reis, Zhiqi Wu and Xi Zhou, to answer questions and discuss their experiences studying law in the U.S. After the panel, students will get to talk to the speakers in small groups. Bring your questions! For more information on the event and the panelists, go here. Food will be served. No registration necessary.

For more info about these and other PLAS Events, go here.

Campus Events

Career Center Workshops–Unless otherwise indicated, all workshops are held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street. For more information or to register, click here.

  • Careers in the Federal Government, Tues Mar 31, 4-5 pm
  • Making Your Major Decision, Tues Mar 31, 4-5 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Bldg
  • Getting the Job: Interviewing Tips, Wed Apr 1, 5-6 pm
  • Finding an Internship, Thurs Apr 2, 4-5 pm

Illinois Leadership Center is hosting Integrity, a workshop investigating personal values and intersections of morals, ethics, and integrity, on April 4. For more info and to register visit the Illinois Leadership Center website.

Reminder: Illinois in Washington’s deadline is April 1Illinois in Washington – Spend Fall Interning and Taking Classes in Washington, DC! Fall is the best time to come to Washington – lovely weather and less competition for internships. Plus you can apply for internships over summer instead of during the school year!

Illinois in Washington is an academic internship program open to all Illinois undergraduates. Students live in Washington, DC, for a semester, intern 4 days a week and take U of I classes. Students intern in a range of positions from nonprofits and government agencies to think tanks and consulting firms.

For more information on IIW and the application, visit IIW’s website and check out their Facebook page. For views from students, visit IIW’s blog If you have any questions, please email Susan Halebsky Dimock, PhD, Interim Director, Illinois in Washington, at sdimock@illinois.edu. Fall 2015 Application Deadline: April 1.

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School Decisions and Seat Deposits

The deadlines for seat deposits at law schools are rapidly approaching.  Meaning that it is time to decide where you will spend the next three years of your life.  In many cases, these decisions prove difficult.  Scholarships, living expenses, geographic locations and other considerations all play a part in the decision process.  We at PLAS would like to offer a few tips to help you through this process and an important disclaimer as well.

When you applied to your list of schools, you likely had them ranked in some sort of order.  One idea is to stick to your pre-application ranking.  This allows you to make a seemingly difficult decision simpler.  However, as scholarships often times accompany the acceptance letters, some schools may seem more attractive than before.  If this is the case, try to gain as much information as you can before the seat deposit deadline.  Visit campuses, schedule phone appointments, speak with career counseling, discuss your options with knowledgeable relatives, etc.  Consider: What information will help you make this decision? The bottom line is that you have to make a decision.  So make a choice and embrace whatever decision you make.  Then you can begin thinking about next steps such as housing or roommates.

Many applicants view the law school selection process as a Right/Wrong dichotomy. They think that if the pick the Right law school, everything will be wonderful and life will be perfect. If they pick the Wrong law school, life will be miserable and they will spend their days regretting it. This is not helpful and in most cases, not true. It is more accurate to approach this decision by acknowledging that there is no one perfect law school for everyone. Every law school will have strengths and weaknesses. Your job should be to consider what your priorities are in a legal education, and to choose a school that matches those priorities. Then, once you are in law school, take advantage of every opportunity, program, and connection they offer to maximize your law school experience.

If you need extra time to make your decision, you may ask for an extension.  Before asking for an extension, consider: What am I going to do with this extra week that will make my decision easier for me? For most people, your situation will be exactly the same one week from now–it’s just delaying the decision. If you absolutely need the extra time, request it and use it wisely.

Now, for the disclaimer: one option you should not consider is submitting many final seat deposits at multiple law schools.  Read this excerpt from LSAC:

“Applicants should be aware that a law school is not required to maintain an offer of admission if it discovers that the applicant has accepted an offer at another institution. Beginning on May 15 of each year, law schools may be provided with information concerning all enrollment commitments to any law school made by those applicants who have indicated an intention to enroll in that school’s entering class. Applicants should be sure that they understand policies on multiple commitment deposits set by schools to which they have applied.” (http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/misconduct-and-irregularities/what-to-expect?sfvrsn=2).

Submitting multiple seat deposits is a tricky business.  Schools can retract your offer of admission, the practice is costly and borderline unethical, and it only prolongs the decision process.  You have done all the hard work to receive these offers so take the last step and make your choice.  Then you can relax – at least until September.

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of March 16th  

PLAS Events

Financing Your Legal Education: An Access Group Webinar: Friday, April 3, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 PM (online). How will you finance your legal education? This workshop features Joni Bradley-Scott from Access Group, a nonprofit providing excellent resources in support of financial education for graduate students. Joni will provide an overview of law school financial aid including how it works and what students can do to maximize aid. She will share many helpful resources students can use to effectively finance their legal education. Registration is limited to the first 25 students. To register, go here.

The Path to Practicing Law in the US: An International Law Student Panel & Discussion: Wednesday, April 5, 2015, 4:30 – 5:30 PM in IUB Room 514. Are you an international student considering attending law school in the U.S.? Join us as we host a panel of international law students from China and Brazil. PLAS welcomes four current College of Law international students, Ning Ning, Andre Reis, Zhiqi Wu and Xi Zhou, to answer questions and discuss their experiences studying law in the U.S. After the panel, students will get to talk to the speakers in small groups. Bring your questions! For more information on the event and the panelists, go here. Food will be served. No registration necessary.

For more info about these and other PLAS Events, go here.

 

June LSAT Update

Are you planning on taking the LSAT this June?  Registration is open and spots are beginning to fill. LSAC tells us that one Chicago LSAT Test Center, Loyola-Chicago, is already full.  Consequently, if you know you are taking the June LSAT but haven’t registered yet, you should do that ASAP.  For more information and to register, go here.

 

Campus Events

Career Center Workshops

Unless otherwise indicated, all workshops are held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street. For more information or to register, go here.

Creating Powerful Resumes and Cover Letters, Monday, March 16, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Career Fair Prep: Maximize Your Experience, Monday, March 16, 5:00 – 6:00 PM or Tuesday, March 17, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Diversity & Inclusion Networking Exchange, Tuesday, March 17, 5:30 – 7:30 PM, held in the Illini Union Ballroom

Coffee Chat at the Career Center, Wednesday, March 18, 4:30 – 5:30 PM

Getting the Job: Interviewing Tips, Wednesday, March 18, 6:00 – 7:00 PM

Strategic Use of LinkedIn for International Students, Thursday, March 19, 4:00 – 5:30 PM, held in The Interview Suite, 616 E. Green

 

 Remember — the All Campus Career Fair is this Wednesday, March 18, 12-4pm, at the ARC!

 

Illinois in Washington – Spend Fall Interning and Taking Classes in Washington, DC!

Fall is the best time to come to Washington – lovely weather and less competition for internships. Plus you can apply for internships over summer instead of during the school year!

Illinois in Washington is an academic internship program open to all Illinois undergraduates. Students live in Washington, DC, for a semester, intern 4 days a week and take U of I classes. Students intern in a range of positions from nonprofits and government agencies to think tanks and consulting firms.

For more information on IIW and our application, see our website and check out ourFacebook page. For views from students, visit our blog If you have any questions, please email Susan Halebsky Dimock, PhD, Interim Director, Illinois in Washington, at sdimock@illinois.edu. We look forward to your applications. Fall 2015 Application Deadline: April 1.

 

Off Campus Event

Chicagoland Law Fair: Thursday, March 26, 6-8:30pm

Harold Washington Library, Multipurpose Rooms A & B

Lower Level, 400 South State Street, Chicago

Hosted by Chicagoland Law Schools:

This event is sponsored by the Chicagoland law schools.  It is designed to help prospective law students assess whether law school is the right choice for them.  The program presenters will provide information about the legal market and the application process.  The structure is similar to large regional law fairs but the intent is that with a smaller group of law schools, participants in the program will enjoy a more intimate setting.

Schedule of Events

6:00 – 6:30 p.m. The Future of the Chicago Legal Market
6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Hot Topics for Law School Applicants
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Law School Fair: Meet with representatives from seven Chicagoland law schools

Registration is required – the deadline is TODAY, Monday, March 16, 2015.  For more information and to register, go here.

 

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Just Say Thank You!

The application process is winding down.  You are reviewing your offers and trying to make a decision.  You put in a lot of work and effort to get here so congratulations!

But what about those professors, bosses and mentors who helped you along the way?  Moreover, what about those same individuals that then agreed to write your letters of recommendation?  They typically have to set aside time outside of the office/classroom to write these letters.  And how long do you think it takes to craft a detailed, strong and persuasive letter?  Many hours, according to some letter writers I know.  So THANK THEM!  Let them know how the process has concluded and how much they contributed to your success.

Still not persuaded that good letters of recommendation are that important?  Click on this link to read what Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean for Admissions, Yale Law School has to say about letters of recommendation and why they are so impactful.  Then reach out to your letter writers and JUST SAY THANK YOU!

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of March 9

Scroll down for info about this week’s visit from Nicole Vilches, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Assistant Dean for Admissions, an update about the June LSAT, the Chicagoland Law Fair on March 26, Illinois in Washington and more!

PLAS Events and Information

Chicago-Kent College of Law presents: Building Relationships with Law Schools this Wednesday, March 11, from 5-6 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building

Whether students are meeting law admissions staff at a fair, visiting during an open house, or working with admissions offices to maximize their aid, building relationships with law admissions professionals is critical before, during, and after admission to law school. Nicole Vilches, Assistant Dean for Admissions at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, will share the secrets to developing strong relationships with admissions professionals. Pre-law students at every level will gain valuable insight at this workshop.

June LSAT Update

Are you planning on taking the LSAT this June?  Registration is open and spots are beginning to fill. LSAC tells us that one Chicago LSAT Test Center, Loyola-Chicago, is already full.  Consequently, if you know you are taking the June LSAT but haven’t registered yet, you should do that ASAP.  For more information and to register, go here.

Campus Events and Information

The Illinois Leadership Center presents Ignite, a workshop to develop skill in leading change and understanding systems thinking, on March 14 from 10:00 am – 5:45 pm. For more information and to register, visit their website here.

Career Center Workshops

Unless otherwise indicated, all Career Center events will be held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street. For more information or to register for any of these programs, go here.

  • Selling Your LAS Degree (Social Sciences) at the All-Campus Career Fair, March 9, 1022 Lincoln Hall, 6-7pm
  • Selling Your LAS Degree (Humanities) at the All-Campus Career Fair, March 10, 1022 Lincoln Hall, 6-7pm
  • Creating Powerful Cover Letters and Resumes, March 10, 5-6pm.
  • Selling Your LAS Degree (Sciences) at the All-Campus Career Fair, March 11, 1022 Lincoln Hall, 6-7pm
  • Utilizing Your Strengths to Plan Your Career, March 11 5:30-7pm, Illini Union 406
  • Finding an Internship, March 12, 6-7 pm.

 Remember — the All Campus Career Fair is next Wednesday, March 18, 12-4pm, at the ARC!

Illinois in Washington – Spend Fall Interning and Taking Classes in Washington, DC!

Fall is the best time to come to Washington – lovely weather and less competition for internships. Plus you can apply for internships over summer instead of during the school year!

Illinois in Washington is an academic internship program open to all Illinois undergraduates. Students live in Washington, DC, for a semester, intern 4 days a week and take U of I classes. Students intern in a range of positions from nonprofits and government agencies to think tanks and consulting firms.

For more information on IIW and our application, see our website and check out our Facebook page. For views from students, visit our blog If you have any questions, please email Susan Halebsky Dimock, PhD, Interim Director, Illinois in Washington, at sdimock@illinois.edu. We look forward to your applications. Fall 2015 Application Deadline: April 1.

Off Campus Event

Chicagoland Law Fair: Thursday, March 26, 6-8:30pm

Harold Washington Library, Multipurpose Rooms A & B

Lower Level, 400 South State Street, Chicago

Hosted by Chicagoland Law Schools:

This event is sponsored by the Chicagoland law schools.  It is designed to help prospective law students assess whether law school is the right choice for them.  The program presenters will provide information about the legal market and the application process.  The structure is similar to large regional law fairs but the intent is that with a smaller group of law schools, participants in the program will enjoy a more intimate setting.

Schedule of Events

6:00 – 6:30 p.m. The Future of the Chicago Legal Market
6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Hot Topics for Law School Applicants
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Law School Fair: Meet with representatives from seven Chicagoland law schools

Registration is required on or before Monday, March 16, 2015.  For more information and to register, go here.

 

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Best Financial Aid Resources for Law School

It’s that time of year again! Applicants have gotten their acceptances and thoughts now turn to “how will I pay for this?” Great financial aid resources are out there, and we’ve done the work of finding them for you. Here is our Best Financial Aid Resources roundup.

If you’re trying to understand how law school financial aid works:

If you’re entering law school this fall–even if you don’t know where just yet:

  • It all starts with filling out your FAFSA. Grab your W-2s if you worked last year, and submit this as soon as possible. Priority deadline is March 15 for many schools. https://fafsa.ed.gov/ If you don’t know where you’re going yet, just list each law school that you might attend or each one that has admitted you.
  • It’s time to check your credit report! Many law students will receive both federal (government-backed) loans and private (lender) loans, and private lenders will base your interest rate on your credit score. Check your credit report and correct any errors that may exist BEFORE your lenders see it. Go to the only government-provided free credit report: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action
  • Make sure to visit the financial aid websites of all the law schools where you’ve been admitted. There you will find scholarships specific to the school–and many have deadlines NOW, before you may even have committed. Go ahead and apply–it is always better to turn down a scholarship than not to apply for it at all because you haven’t decided where to attend law school yet!
  • Spend some time searching for other scholarships offered by the American Bar Association or local bar associations or other legal organizations. (John Marshall Law School provides an excellent scholarship listing here.) Searching for “your county” and “bar association” is a good start too.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mark Your Calendars: Week of March 2

It’s finally March! Check out this week’s events on campus and beyond.

Pre-Law Advising Services Events
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3 from 3:30-4:30 we will present Pre-Law 101 in Room 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore Building. Are you new to being pre-law, or new to Illinois? 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. All students are welcome.

This Wednesday, March 4 we will be at Majors and Minors Fair from 2-4 in the Illini Union Rooms A, B & C! Stop by our Pre-Law Advising Services booth to say hello or to learn more about being Pre-Law at Illinois.

Interested in business law? Undergraduate students are invited to attend the College of Law’s Bankruptcy Law Society, Corporate & Business Law Association and the Real Estate Law Society Guest Speakers: Stephen P. Harbeck & Jill Nicholson.  Stephen P. Harbeck, President and CEO of Securities Investor Protection Corporation, will present his role in the Lehman Brothers and Madoff bankruptcy cases. Ms. Jill Nicholson, Foley & Lardner’s National Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization Practice Chair and Alumna will moderate.  This event will take place at the College of Law on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 12:00 in Room D.  Lunch will be provided to all attendees.

Chicago-Kent College of Law presents: Building Relationships with Law Schools next Wednesday, March 11, from 5-6 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building.  Whether students are meeting law admissions staff at a fair, visiting during an open house, or working with admissions offices to maximize their aid, building relationships with law admissions professionals is critical before, during, and after admission to law school. Nicole Vilches, Assistant Dean for Admissions at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, will share the secrets to developing strong relationships with admissions professionals.  Pre-law students at every level will gain valuable insight at this workshop.

The Illinois Leadership Center presents Ignite, a workshop to develop skill in leading change and understanding systems thinking, on March 14 from 10:00 am – 5:45 pm. For more information and to register, visit their website here.

Career Center Workshops
Unless otherwise indicated, all Career Center events will be held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street. For more information or to register for any of these programs, go here.

  • Finding an Internship, March 4, 6-7 pm.
  • Attending a Career Fair for the First Time, March 5, 12-1 pm
  • Career Closet, March 5, 1-4 pm in the Interview Suite (616 E Green)

Gilman Scholarship for Study Abroad
Are you interested in study abroad but concerned that it is not financially feasible? Are you a recipient of the Federal Pell Grant?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, there is a study abroad scholarship just for you! The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.
Eligibility: U.S. citizen undergraduate students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding
Timeline: The Gilman Scholarship is available for semester-long, year-long, and summer programs (must be at least 4 consecutive weeks in a country). The next deadline is March 3, 2015 for Summer 2015, Fall 2015, and Academic year 2015-2016 study abroad programs.

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