Course Options for Fall 2017

Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, here are some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. Check out Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

AAS 370/LLS 372: Immigration, Law, and Rights

  • Exploration of the histories, cultures, and experiences of immigration to the United States by examining cultural production (literary and visual narratives and texts) alongside legal discourses (legislation, federal court cases).

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning

  • Understanding financial instruments and tax implications is critical for many lawyers

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills.

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

INFO 303: Writing Across Media, a skill that all careers integrate and value.

LAW 301: Introduction to Law

  • Serves as a general foundation course for those interested in applying to law school.

Philosophy options include: 

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning This course is particularly helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics This course includes some basic exploration of ethics, including looking at the relationship between social morality and the law.

Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:

  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II, are helpful primers for law school
  • PS 312: Politics and the Media
  • PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 323: Law & Representation

PSYC 368: Psych and Law

  • Examines relationship of the administrative, civil, and criminal justice systems to educational and mental health institutions; individual rights, social issues, and psychological well being.

Sociology is introducing its Criminology, Law and Society Minor this fall, and has some interesting classes listed, including:

  • SOC 275: Criminology
  • SOC 477: Sociology of Law

Other courses to explore different areas of law include:

  • JOUR 311: Media Law
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport
  • SE 400 (formerly GE 400): Engineering Law – note – only prerequisite is Rhet 105
  • TE 450: Startups: Incorporate, Fund, Contracts, Intellectual Property
  • UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law

Remember: these are only suggestions.  Further, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify other good options.

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of March 27

Welcome back!  We hope you had a restful break. 

Still not sure about whether to go straight to law school from UIUC or work for year or two first? PLAS resumes its programming this Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, 514 IUB, with the “Taking a Gap Year” Workshop! Scroll down for more info on this, other programs and UIUC summer class options!

PLAS Programs

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School — THIS Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, Room 514 IUB

Are you considering working or taking a gap year before law school? Do you want to know more about going straight through to law school after undergrad? Pre-Law Advising Services and the UIUC Pre-Law Honor Society are co-hosting an event for students to learn more about different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students at the UIUC College of Law–two with work experience and one who went directly from undergrad to law school–to answer your questions and discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working. We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — NEXT Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB

Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

UIUC Summer Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases.  All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Also — the Sociology Department Fall 2017 Course Fair is tomorrow, March 28, 5:30pm, Room 1092 Lincoln Hall.  Come and hear about Sociology courses for the Sociology Major, Minor and the Criminology, Law and Society Minor.  Pizza will be provided!

Interested in ideas for other Fall 2017 classes?  Check out our midweek PLAS blog this Wednesday, March 29!

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Scroll down for info on the Career Center’s “Illini Career & Internship Fair”, set for next Wednesday, April 5 at the ARC! Another resource you should continue to utilize is 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.) The Internship Newsletter has 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.

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive

The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences. 

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.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — March 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — March 28, 6-7pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 28, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 5-6pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — March 30, 5-6pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1002
  • Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop — March 31, 2-3:30pm, Career Center Conference Room

Scholarship Opportunities 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. Our commitment to inclusion is the foundation for a vibrant work environment and unparalleled client service that comes from varied perspectives in developing strategies and solutions to serve our clients’ business goals.  In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due THIS THURSDAY, April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Casper

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards scholarships up to $10,000 for students working for social and economic justice. Applications–including recommendations–due April 1. Click here to apply.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications due March 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Iranian American Bar Association provides scholarships to law students of Iranian-American heritage. Applications due March 31. Click here to apply.

Jewish Vocational Service scholarships are available to Jewish students demonstrating financial need. Applications due March 31. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Mark Your Calendars – March 27

Welcome back!  We hope you had a restful break. 

Still not sure about whether to go straight to law school from UIUC or work for year or two first? PLAS resumes its programming this Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, 514 IUB, with the “Taking a Gap Year” Workshop! Scroll down for more info on this, other programs, UIUC summer class options, and scholarships with deadlines this week!

PLAS Programs

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School — THIS Wednesday, March 29, 5-6pm, Room 514 IUB

Are you considering working or taking a gap year before law school? Do you want to know more about going straight through to law school after undergrad? Pre-Law Advising Services and the UIUC Pre-Law Honor Society are co-hosting an event for students to learn more about different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students at the UIUC College of Law–two with work experience and one who went directly from undergrad to law school–to answer your questions and discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working. We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — NEXT Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB

Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

PLAS has additional programs planned for April, including: Transitioning to Law School; Applying to Law School; and Personal Statement and Resume for Law School Workshop.  Go here for more information on all of our programs: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/2508.

UIUC Summer Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases.  All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Looking for some ideas for Fall 2017 classes?  Watch for for our midweek PLAS blog post!

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Scroll down for info on the Career Center’s “Illini Career & Internship Fair”, set for next Wednesday, April 5 at the ARC! Another resource you should continue to utilize is 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.) The Internship Newsletter has 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.

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive

The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences. 

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.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — March 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — March 28, 6-7pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 28, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 5-6pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — March 30, 5-6pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1002
  • Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop — March 31, 2-3:30pm, Career Center Conference Room

Scholarship Opportunities 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due THIS THURSDAY, April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Casper

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

BARBRI Law Preview and the American Bar Association have partnered to award one incoming law student a $10,000 scholarship and a second runner up a $5,000 scholarship to help offset the cost of first year law school tuition. Application deadline: April 15! Panelists will select and notify 10 finalists by April 25, 2017. Official rules.

  • Complete your online scholarship application on lawpreview.com.
  • Submit a 250-word essay online in response to:
    How you hope to use your law degree to change our world and how would $10,000 towards your 1L tuition change your world?
  • Stay tuned on April 25, 2017, to see if you’re a winner.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards scholarships up to $10,000 for students working for social and economic justice. Applications–including recommendations–due THIS Friday, April 1. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications due THIS Wednesday, March 30. Click here to apply.

The Iranian American Bar Association provides scholarships to law students of Iranian-American heritage. Applications due THIS Thursday, March 31. Click here to apply.

Jewish Vocational Service scholarships are available to Jewish students demonstrating financial need. Applications due THIS Thursday, March 31. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Make the most of your spring break

For all pre-law students:

  • Complete your FAFSA if you haven’t already. This is how financial aid for federal loans for summer/fall will be determined, whether you are an undergrad or an incoming law student.

Freshmen and Sophomores:

  • Apply for Summer Jobs and Internships. Do you have summer plans locked down? If not, apply for jobs and internships. Check out our internship newsletter over on our Compass page. We’ve also listed many internships on our Facebook page and on our blog!  Use the search box on either of these to find internships. You should also be checking I-Link regularly (or set it to email you when new listings appear).
  • Apply to Summer Pre-Law Programs. Apply for summer pre-law programs. These are typically 4 week residential programs to teach basics of law and how to prepare for law school, and most are free and come with a stipend for selected students. We have posted several in our blog and on our Facebook page. Take a look at the Summer Pre-Law Programs spreadsheet on our Compass page, listing over 40 summer programs, for even more opportunities. Note: Some deadlines have passed and others are April 1, so apply SOON.
  • Take a practice LSAT. Not ready to take the real LSAT yet but wondering what it’s all about? Go to this website to download a free practice test. When you’re done, you can score it and watch videos there with explanations of the answers.
  • Job shadow, or ask a lawyer to spend 30 minutes doing an informational interview with you. Don’t be intimidated; this is an opportunity for you to buy him/her coffee and ask about their professional life. Here’s a resource for planning your informational interview. 
  • Get caught up. Use this time to catch up on studying and prepare for finals–those grades are very important to law schools!

Juniors and Seniors Applying This Fall:

  • Make your LSAT plans. 
    • Taking the June LSAT? You should already have selected your prep option and started studying. Spring break is a great time to crank up your LSAT studying.Tip: REGISTER FOR THE JUNE LSAT NOW, because the popular test sites do fill up around spring break each year.
    • Taking the September LSAT? Now is the time to research LSAT prep options. Check out the LSAT Preparation folder over on our Compass page for information on free LSAT resources as well as listings of popular LSAT prep companies, including discounts they are offering to Illinois students.
  • Decide who will be your recommendation writers. You will want to approach them by this May/June (at the end of THIS semester) so that they have plenty of time to write the letter and your performance is still fresh in their mind.
  • Register for the Credential Assembly Service. This is the account you will need to open in order to have your recommendation letters processed. Once you set it up, your account is good for five years. You can read all about it here.
  • Mark your calendars. We have upcoming workshops just for you that you should plan to attend. Find them all on our Event Calendar.

Seniors taking a gap year (or two) prior to law school:

  • It’s still a good idea to decide who on campus can write your recommendations, and approach them by the end of this semester. If you wait a year or more the professor is sometimes gone, on sabbatical, retired, etc., so it’s still a good idea to get them now. Register for the Credential Assembly Service as listed above so that you can send the letters in to your account.
  • We will have a special workshop about Taking a Gap Year Before Law School on March 29 at 5 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building.  This workshop will cover how you can maximize your postgraduate time to make yourself an even better law school candidate, and we will share a timeline and game plan for applying to law school as a working professional. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from current law students who worked prior to law school.

Seniors and alumni headed to law school this fall:

  • Complete your FAFSA! Your federal loans will not be disbursed without it.
  • Make final visits to law schools/attend admitted student days. If you’ve decided where to attend, then withdraw from the other schools that have admitted you so that they can offer that seat/scholarship to someone else.
  • Apply for scholarships, like those we listed in this blog posting. Ask your law school financial aid office about scholarship opportunities.
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Mark Your Calendars: Week of March 13

Connect with Pre-Law Advising Services! Join us for even more internship, scholarship, and event opportunities!
Facebook: Click here to join our group
T
witter: Click here to follow us

Upcoming Programs from Pre-Law Advising Services:

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School, Wednesday March 29 at 5PM. Room 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore Building. Are you considering working before law school? Or want to know more about going straight through to law school? This panel will feature three current law students from the University of Illinois College of Law. They will discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working. We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time off and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

International Students’ Perspectives on Law School in the United States. Wednesday April 5 at 4PM. Room 504 in the Illini Union Bookstore Building. Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this great panel discussion. The panel for this event will include two current international law students who will discuss their decision to attend law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, visa processes, and life at an American law school.

Transitioning to Law School. Monday April 10, 4PM-5PM. Room 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore Building. Attending law school this fall? Learn about how to prepare for law school and the next three years. Topics discussed will include: finances, seat deposits, living arrangements, and advice for what to do this summer. Meet other U of I students attending law school this fall across the country!

On Campus Events

MAFA meeting–Learn about the application process and what Illinois Law is looking for from Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, at MAFA’s meeting on Tuesday, March 14 at 7 pm in 165 Noyes. All students welcome.

Joint Degree Info Session: See the signup link below.

From Champaign to Capitol Hill--check out this alumna’s talk on her path to law school and now working in public policy.

Career Center Workshops–Find the full list of Career Center events here. All workshops in the Career Center Conference Room 143 unless otherwise noted.

  • Creating Your Powerful Resume, March 13, 5-6 pm
  • Finding an Internship, March 14, 4-5 pm
  • Finding & Applying to Federal Government Jobs, March 14, 3-4 pm
  • Global Career Opportunity: Careers in Singapore, March 15, 6-8 pm in the Career Center Interview Suite Room 213
  • Immigration Options 101–March 16, 4-5:30 pm, Interview Suite Room 213

Scholarship Opportunities

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards scholarships up to $10,000 for students working for social and economic justice. Applications–including recommendations–due April 1. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications due March 30. Click here to apply.

The Iranian American Bar Association provides scholarships to law students of Iranian-American heritage. Applications due March 31. Click here to apply.

Jewish Vocational Service scholarships are available to Jewish students demonstrating financial need. Applications due March 31. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Another resource you should continue to utilize is 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.) The Internship Newsletter has 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.

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Waitlisted, or just waiting? What to do now.

We’re hearing from a lot of students who have submitted their applications and now find themselves either waiting to hear back or finding out they’ve been wait listed. Here are some helpful tips and pointers to help you position yourself in the best manner for admission and aid!

If you’re still waiting for an admission decision…
You are NOT alone! Many students tell us they have been waiting weeks or months. What is going on? It could mean:

  • The school is essentially “waitlisting” you, but not calling it that, by waiting to respond to you until they see the rest of the applicant pool.
  • The admissions office is understaffed or inundated with applications.
  • You applied later in the cycle and a backlog of applications must be reviewed before yours.

What can you do?

  • IF it has been at least 4-6 weeks or whatever time frame the school has indicated as their response time, reach out and gently inquire about anticipated time frames for a decision. Reiterate your interest in the school.
  • Follow the law school on Twitter; many deans have taken to updating applicants about expected decisions there.
  • Don’t: (1) Complain about their slowness or criticize the school’s process; (2) tell them you’ve already heard back from everyone else or from “better” schools; or (3) give the school a deadline. Sometimes patience is key.

If you’ve been waitlisted…Understand what this means: that you are an admissible candidate but the school needs to hit its institutional goals before they can admit you. Institutional goals could be LSAT/GPA related but could also be related to balancing the class with regard to gender, diversity, in state/out of state, age, etc. Very few schools can accurately predict how many applicants–and with what qualities–they will be pulling from a waitlist. When the school tells you they don’t know, it is very likely true.

What can you do?

  • Follow the school’s directions carefully. Do not email to ask them what to do after the school sends very specific instructions. Some law schools will ask you to confirm that you want to be on their waitlist–if you don’t do so, you will not be considered.
  • Update your application by sending an updated resume, a new recommendation, or a letter or email expressing continued interest in that school (sometimes called a LOCI, or letter of continued interest).
  • Stay in touch–no more than once every week or two–to demonstrate your interest in the school. IF the school is your top choice, then say so.
  • Continue to make other plans. No one should proceed by “expecting” to be pulled from a waitlist…even if this does happen, it can be anytime up to the day classes begin. You need to start making other plans if you haven’t heard by April or so.
  • Don’t demand a decision right now…you may get one but it will not be the one you want.

Be “pleasantly persistent” as we move into late March and April, which are prime decision-making times for schools and for entering students. And always remember that professionalism and good manners go a long way in this business!

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Admitted Student Days and Law School Visits

 Admitted Students Days and Law School Visits

Admitted student days are typically day-long events and programs that are held by most law schools for admitted students only. These events allow you to visit and see the school. If you are unsure about your decision, an admitted student day can help make your decision a little easier.

When choosing a law school, it is important to make sure it’s the right fit for you. Admitted student days are the best way to learn about the school(s) you are considering. These events are a preview to what the next three years will be like.

Travel expenses are also reimbursed for many schools if you are traveling a certain distance for the event. Some schools will cover up to $300-$400 in travel expenses. Check with the school for more information.

Here are some tips for admitted student days:

  1. Dress professionally.
    1. Business casual dress is a good idea for an event like this.
    2. If you meet professors, deans, and other important people, you want to look the part.
    3. At the very least, be cognizant that you will be making many first impressions this day, you want to dress appropriately.
    4. Check with the school and see if they have a dress code for the day – some schools will be more formal than others.
  2. Try to write down your thoughts after the admitted students day.
    1. Did you like the way the school was set up?
    2. Is there anything unique about the school that made you more inclined to go there?
    3. Is there anything you didn’t like?
    4. What was your overall impression of the students?
    5. If you go to more than one admitted student day, try to remember how the students interacted with one another – could you see yourself fitting in at this school?
  3. Ask questions!
    1. Talk to the current students about employment, externships/internships, job placements, bar passage rates, and what they think of the school. Current student perspectives can be an asset for the decision process.
    2. What type of extracurricular activities are they involved in? Or what clubs? What programs are best for a first year law student to join?
    3. How often are there networking events at the law school?
    4. If you are concerned about finances, ask students if they work at law firms or are paid research assistants? Are there any ways to off-set the costs early on?
  4. Explore the surrounding area.
    1. What is the average cost for rent? Where do most law students live? What is the month that most leases start?
    2. How close are grocery stores and malls? Are there other libraries nearby besides the library in the law building?
    3. Do you need a car for this school? What does it cost to park near the law school or to take public transportation?
    4. What is it like to travel to this town or city? Some schools are more difficult to get to than others. Keep in mind the trip you will need to take to back for school vacations and breaks.
    5. Are there nearby courthouses and law firms where students can work?
  5. Refrain from bringing guests to an admitted student day.
    1. While it is great to have your parents supporting you, you should be attending this event on your own and the decision you make should be for you.

If you cannot make a formal admitted student day or you get off a wait list after an admitted student day, try to visit the law schools you are seriously considering. Law school is busy enough – the first time you step on campus should not be the first day of school. If you are waitlisted at a school and are highly considering it as an option if you get in, try to visit during spring break or when you have the time now.

Consider joining “Admitted Student” Facebook pages (if the school has one) and/or other social media accounts if you are looking for a roommate, or trying to meet more people before you start school. Some schools have roommate matching programs in place for the incoming classes. If you know any alumni or current students at the law school you are visiting, check in with them to see the advice they have in mind.

If you cannot make the formal event, try to visit over spring break or over a weekend before the next seat deposit is due. Law school is a big investment for both time and money – you want to make sure it’s the right fit for you!

Also, consider attending Pre-Law Advising Services’ “Transitioning to Law School Event” on April 10th to learn more about what you can do to prepare for the start of your law school career!

Here are the dates for some admitted student days for schools in Illinois:

Chicago-Kent: Admitted Students Weekend is: Friday March 31 and Saturday April 1; Other visit days for Admitted Students are: March 10th and 24th, April 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th, and May 5th 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

DePaul: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 (5:30 PM), Saturday, April 8, 2017 (10 AM), Saturday, May 20, 2017 (10 AM)

Loyola Chicago: Saturday March 25 and Friday April 28.

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of March 6

Connect with Pre-Law Advising Services! Join us for even more internship, scholarship, and event opportunities!
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Thank you to everyone who attend our Negotiating Scholarship Workshop last Monday. We have other pre-law events at the end of the month and the beginning of April for you to look forward to, as well.

Upcoming Programs from Pre-Law Advising Services:

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School

Are you considering working before law school? Or want to know more about going straight through to law school?

The panel will feature three current law students from the University of Illinois College of Law. They will discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working.

We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time off and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

Wednesday March 29 at 5PM. Room 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore Building

International Students’ Perspectives on Law School in the United States

Wednesday April 5 at 4PM. Room 504 in the Illini Union Bookstore Building

Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this great panel discussion.

The panel for this event will include two current law students that will discuss their decision to attend law school in the United States

Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, visa processes, and life at an American law school.

Transitioning to Law School

Monday April 10, 4PM-5PM. Room 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore Building

Attending law school this fall? Learn about how to prepare for law school and the next three years.

Topics discussed will include: finances, seat deposits, living arrangements, and advice for what to do this summer

Meet other U of I students attending law school this fall across the country!

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Another resource you should continue to utilize is 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.) The Internship Newsletter has 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.

On Campus Events

Writer’s Workshop Event

The Writer’s Workshop is hosting a “Writing Effective Thesis Statements” workshop on Wednesday March 8 from 4PM- 5PM in 1062 Lincoln Hall.

Career Center’s “Finding an Internship” Workshop

Gaining experience while in college is very important when it comes to finding employment after graduation. Learn how to search for internships and other opportunities by using different search engines including I-Link, Illinois’ campus-wide recruiting platform.

March 7 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. The workshop will be held in the Career Center Conference Room 143.

Career Center’s “Acing Your Interview” Workshop

During an interview, you only have a short time to convey you are a great fit for a position or organization. Learn the most common types of interviews, how to prepare for an interview, how to structure answers to interview questions, and tips for following up after an interview.

March 8 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. The workshop will be held in the Career Center Conference Room 143.

Internship Opportunity! See the flyer below for more information on the Wolff Public Policy Research Intern position.

Learn more about the new Sociology minor! There will be an Information Session for the new Sociology Minor in Crimonology, Law, and Society this week. The info session will be Thursday March 9th at 5PM in Lincoln Hall 3057.

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Negotiating Scholarships Roundup

Negotiating law school scholarships has become quite common in the last few years. While many students have successfully bargained for additional scholarship dollars, the process of negotiating can be risky and stressful. On February 27, PLAS welcomed Rebecca Ray, Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law who shared her insights on negotiating scholarships with law schools. For those of you who were unable to attend, here are some of the questions addressed.

1. Under what circumstances should students negotiate scholarships?

  • Generally speaking, it is fine to contact schools about your scholarship as long as they do not expressly indicate that they will not reconsider your scholarship.
  • Most law schools are open to renegotiating/reconsidering scholarships under certain circumstances.  Specifically, it is appropriate to request reconsideration of your scholarship if you really want to attend that law school but are facing a financial hurdle that might prohibit you matriculating there.
  • Dean Ray discouraged the use of scholarship reconsideration solely to leverage offers at other law schools.
  • Remember: Most law schools’ initial scholarship offers are offers that they intend view as market competitive so don’t approach the reconsideration process assuming that the law school is using a “low-ball” offer as a starting point.  As such, although it is fine to ask for reconsideration, in most cases the law schools say “No” more often than they say “Yes” to these requests.

2. How can students successfully engage with law schools?

  • Follow the instructions provided by the schools that outline the process and procedure for reconsideration of scholarship offers.  It the school requests a separate email, write the email.  If the school requires the submission of a special form, complete and submit it.  If the school would prefer you call them, then make the phone call.
    • Note – if a school specifically states it will not reconsider scholarship offers then respect that and do not contact the school to attempt to negotiate.
    • Also – some schools set aside a specific time frame for renegotiation.  As such, pestering them for a final decision before their designated time for reviewing scholarships is not a good strategy.
  • Be professional, courteous and prepared. Before you submit anything or make a phone call, consider your demeanor and the quality of your submission.  Professionalism is key!
  • Dean Ray indicated that she was not persuaded simply by arguments that she “should match” another school’s scholarship offer.
  • Manage your expectations — full tuition scholarships are very rarely awarded so do not expect that result.
  • Do not turn the negotiation into something resembling haggling over a purchase of a used car.
  • Visit the law school.  There is no better way to convey your sincere interest in attending a school than to schedule a visit.  Tip – all admitted students should visit any school they are considering attending before submitting a seat deposit. You never know if the atmosphere of the school is going to match how it seems to fit you “on paper.”

3. What would make a law school deny a request to renegotiate/reconsider a scholarship?

  • Lack of additional funding.  This is important to remember — however much a law school might want to provide you with additional scholarship money, there are limits to their financial resources.
  • Lack of professional behavior by the requesting student.  See number 2, above.

4. Why do law schools ask to see other scholarship offers as part of the negotiation process?

  • Schools typically ask for this to verify the conditions and amounts that the student is claiming she has received.
  • Note — there is nothing wrong with such a request.  This is simply good lawyering by the admissions office.  As such, if possible, you should attach the other competing scholarship offers to your reconsideration letter/email.  That equals good lawyering by you!

5. What is a “peer” institution? Why is this relevant?

  • Generally speaking, schools with similar admitted student profiles consider themselves “peer” institutions.
  • A peer institution could be a school with similar GPA and LSAT medians.
  • A peer institution could also be another law school in the same region or grouping of schools, e.g., Big 10 law schools, Chicago-area law schools.  The definition is subject to interpretation by each law school.
  • Note: This designation is important because most law schools consider scholarship offers from peer institutions to be more relevant in the reconsideration process.

Final Thoughts — Dos and Don’ts for Negotiating Scholarships

Do

  • Follow each school’s directions for scholarship reconsideration
  • Decide what you are able and willing to pay for your education before you ask for reconsideration
  • Conduct yourself professionally by being prepared and courteous – your proposal should be a well-crafted and thoughtfully-presented piece of advocacy
  • Show your interest by visiting the school

Don’t

  • Ignore specific instructions for contacting the school about scholarships
  • Become demanding and difficult if the school cannot accommodate your request
  • Expect to get a full ride/free legal education – those situations are extremely rare

Still not sure what to do or have specific questions to discuss?  Please contact our office 333-9669 and make an appointment with an advisor.

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