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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