Interesting, fun, and productive things for everyone pre-law to do over winter break

Make your summer plans!

  • Apply for spring and summer 2018 internships! Check out our 2017 Internship Newsletter over on our Compass page for over 25 pages of internship listings and ideas. (Don’t wait until spring to look for summer internships–many will be filled by then.)
  • Apply for Summer 2018 pre-law programs. In addition to those we listed in our Internship Newsletter, we’ve also posted a spreadsheet of pre-law summer programs over on our Compass page with links and application details. Note: Many scholarships are available to incoming 1Ls even if you don’t know which law school you are attending yet, like this one, so it’s still a good time to apply for them.
  • Apply for Summer 2018 Study Abroad programs. Now is the time, as many summer study abroad program deadlines are in January/February like this Rome trip about Italian healthcare (due Jan. 15) or this ACES in Argentina program. Explore all available summer programs on the Study Abroad website.

REGISTER for the June 2018 LSAT. With LSAT takers up 20% this year, we expect next year to fill even earlier than it typically does (around spring break). Registration is open here: https://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines/2018-2019/us-canada-june

Apply for scholarships!

  • Explore the Top Scholars website here–they offer lots of opportunities like these upcoming scholarships: UK Summer Fulbright, Boren, and Gilman scholarships.
  • Did you know that you can get a scholarship for writing one tweet? Or making a 2 minute video? Or being left-handed? Check out our 275+ Scholarship Spreadsheet–listing ALL kinds of scholarships, not just essays–over on our Compass page.

Update your professional and online presence

  • Draft or update your resume to reflect what you accomplished this semester. These Career Center resources on drafting resumes can be helpful.
  • Create or update your LinkedIn profile
  • Create a professional-sounding email account (such as your full name, not jedimaster97 or hotmama23) if you are getting ready to apply for jobs, internships, scholarships, or graduate school
  • Clean up your social media/online presence. When you apply for jobs, internships, or graduate school, many people will Google you or review your social media sites, so make sure they are appropriate for those audiences. Take down anything questionable, un-tag yourself, and double check your privacy settings.

Informational Interviews. While you have some free time, take the opportunity to reach out to local lawyers and get some insight into legal careers. Ask if you can take them to coffee and chat about their careers.

  • How to find lawyers: Do your parents know any lawyers? Do you have any family members or family friends who are lawyers? They probably know even more lawyers to whom they can refer you for even more interviews. If you don’t know any lawyers and you live in Illinois, use the Illinois Lawyer Finder here, which allows you to search for lawyers by location and practice area around the state
  • For more details on how to conduct the interview use this Career Center resource.

Read up on legal issues and legal careers

  • A great book providing insight into lots of different legal careers is 24 Hours with 24 Lawyers by Jasper Kim. 
  • Legal websites and blogs abound. Here are popular legal sites where you can learn about hot legal issues and about the legal profession.
    • SCOTUSblog for up-to-the-minute analyses of what the Supreme Court is hearing and doing
    • Law.com for a look inside the legal profession from various practice areas
    • LawProfessorBlogs.com Want to get a peek into the world of law professors and the topics they consider important? This site provides a directory of many different blogs by topic area and includes everything from Adoption Law to White Collar Crime and everything in-between.
    • Illinois State Bar Association’s website includes a blog and daily legal news about legal issues around the state. (You can find other state sites by searching, for example, “Texas” and state bar association.)

Listen to podcasts–there are tons of great legal podcasts out there, including these.

  • I Am the Law presents interviews with all different types of lawyers, from environmental lawyers to prosecutors to family law and corporate.
  • Serial provides an in depth view of the nuance and challenges of prosecuting crimes as each season analyzes one criminal case.
  • Women in the Law. This special short-term series explored issues of particular relevance to women in the profession.
  • The Girl’s Guide to Law School–Don’t be fooled by the name; this is not just for girls! This podcast is relevant for everyone interested in law school. With topics ranging from Will Law School Be a Disaster to Which Law School Should I Go To to explaining OCI (an interview process for law students) to Avoiding Disasters in Law School to how to read cases, this podcast truly has something for everyone.

If you are currently applying to law school:

  • Finish those applications. It is time to get them in!
  • Plan your law school visits–many schools will have open houses or visit days in January and February. This may require pre-registration and some travel that you’ll want to plan in advance.
  • Follow your law schools on social media if you’d like to know when they are making decisions or scheduling open house/admitted student events.
  • Make a Pre-Law Advising appointment–If you have application questions or want some feedback on an essay, you can make a phone or Skype appointment if you’re not in the area. Here is our appointment availability over winter break.
    • Appointments with a pre-law advisor are available through December 21.
    • The office will be closed December 25 through January 1, reopening on Jan. 2. (Staff will not be available during this time.)
    • Appointments will be available again January 2 through January 12.
    • Our regular schedule will resume with the Spring Semester on January 16.

 

 

 

 

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The 2017 Internship Newsletter is Live on Compass!

The 2017 Internship Newsletter is now available on Pre-Law Advising Service’s Compass page. Please visit our Compass page to begin combing through the newsletter for summer opportunities that interest you.  If you are a designated pre-law student, simply log in with your credentials to access the page. If you are not a designated pre-law student but would like to access the newsletter, please follow the instructions here. Positions are available throughout Illinois, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Indianapolis, and other cities across the country. Many positions have due dates over break and in early January, so we encourage you to begin working on applications as soon as possible.

There are internship listings for criminal law, environmental law, labor and employment law, intellectual property law, state and federal government work, and full time job opportunities for December and May graduates.

Make use of your long winter break to begin planning for summer: update your resume, create cover letters, and make sure to pay attention to the job postings’ deadlines. The time to apply is now! The internship newsletter also has opportunities posted for December 2017 and May 2018 graduating seniors. December 2017 graduates – make sure you visit our blog post from last week about current job openings for you.

For anyone who has not applied to their prospective schools yet and wishes to start in fall 2018, FINISH YOUR APPLICATIONS! The time to submit is now!

For those of you who plan on applying to law school in Fall 2019, winter break is a great time to begin preparing for the LSAT. Over winter break, try to take a practice LSAT to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. We’ve posted one over on our Compass page too. You can never start studying too early!  Additionally, this will provide you with some perspective that will help you gauge which LSAT prep company is the best for you at the 2018 LSAT Prep Fair on Tuesday February 6, from 4:00-6:00 pm in Illini Union Rooms B & C.

Save the Date for these Spring Semester events!

Monday January 29 – Pre-Law 101

4:00-5:00PM in 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore

Friday February 16 – Practice LSAT

8:00AM -12:00PM Illini Union Bookstore Building Room 514

This full length practice LSAT will be given in actual test conditions.

Monday February 26 – Negotiating Scholarships Workshop

5:00-6:15PM Location: 1090 Lincoln Hall

Featuring: Dean of Admissions Rebecca Ray from the University of Illinois College of Law, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions Amanda Noascono from DePaul University College of Law, and Assistant Dean for Admissions Nicole Vilches from Chicago-Kent College of Law

Enjoy your break and Happy Holidays!

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GRE Update

As we have previously mentioned, several law schools have begun accepting either the GRE or the LSAT from law school applicants. This week, two more law schools, Brooklyn Law School and George Washington University Law School, announced that they, too, would accept the GRE, bringing the number to 15 law schools that will begin accepting the GRE now or next year.  Educational Testing Service (ETS), the entity that administers the GRE, has posted the current list on its website.

It is important to remember that the LSAT is still the most widely-accepted standardized test by U.S. law schools.  We strongly encourage you to visit each law school’s website to understand the requirements for selecting the GRE in lieu of the LSAT. Note: This situation is in a state of flux.  The American Bar Association, the entity that oversees the accreditation of law schools in the United States, is currently reviewing whether the GRE is an appropriate evaluation tool for law school applicants. This means things could change. Stay tuned!

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5 Things to Do After the December LSAT

December is here and the LSAT is over, which means it is time to focus on the remaining elements of your application so that you can get those applications out as soon as your LSAT score is available in the first week of JanuaryWhat should you be doing now?

Check on your letters of recommendation…NOW!! Your recommendations should already be in your LSAC account. Check your account and follow up with your recommenders ASAP if they aren’t, so that you know when they will be in. Remember that your application is not complete and will not be considered without them.  This should be your top priority because the closer we get to break, the busier professors get (or they begin to travel and be unreachable).

Draft your personal statement. It’s time to take that energy and time you were focusing on the LSAT and devote it to your personal statement. Although our personal statement workshops are over, we have some tips and suggestions for the personal statement on our website and a helpful video and handout on our Compass page.  You can also get help through the Writer’s Workshop, which is a great place to start. Spend some time thinking about your values, your career goals, and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Then write a draft, set it aside for a few days, and revisit it. Don’t worry if you don’t love the first draft–no one does. Start now so that you can spend at least a few weeks thinking, writing, and editing.

Schedule an appointment now. When you are ready for some feedback, you can make an appointment for a Pre-Law Advisor to review your personal statement and discuss it with you in addition to answering any questions about the application process.

  • December appointments: Both Pre-Law Advisors will be available for appointments through December 22, and we expect to be very busy with appointments during this time given that applications are up this year. It is a good idea to schedule your appointment now by calling 333-9669. Please email us your statement and resume two business days prior to your appointment so that we have time to review them.
  • Winter break appointments: The office will be closed Dec. 25 through January 1. Appointments will be available again starting January 2. If you are not in the Champaign-Urbana area, you can make a phone appointment–just let the receptionist know when you schedule that it will be a phone appointment.

Order your transcripts. You’ll need to order a transcript from each undergraduate institution you attended. At Illinois, you can check the “hold for fall grades” box to have your Fall 2017 grades included. Visit the LSAC here, http://www.lsac.org/jd/applying-to-law-school/cas/requesting-transcripts, for more information on the transcript ordering process. You can order your Illinois transcript through the Registrar’s website here.

Schedule law school visits.  Many law schools offer open houses. Check your top 3-5 law schools’ websites and social media. Individual law school visits are a good alternative. Call the law school and ask for a tour and to sit it on a class. Visiting a law school is very important to your overall law school choice, and is a MUST for schools that you are seriously considering. Plus, law schools will note your visit and you may even get to meet the person reading your application, so be sure to make a good impression.

Take a look at our earlier post called “The Application Process: LSAC Tips” for even more application details.

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of December 4, 2017


Pre-Law Advising

As we noted in last week’s post, the PLAS Fall Events Calendar is complete.  We will resume our programing in January, beginning with our Pre-Law 101 Workshop on Monday, January 29, followed by the LSAT Test Prep Fair on Tuesday, February 6.  In the meantime, stay tuned for our Annual Internship Newsletter, which will be posted NEXT WEEK!  This resource will contain over 15 pages of suggestions, ideas and actual internships for Summer 2018. Note – winter break is the best time to apply for summer internships as many of these opportunities have January application deadlines. This is also a great time to work on applications for scholarships such as the Boren, Beinecke, Udall or the summer UK Fulbright.  Scroll down for more info!

Campus Events

Career Center events of interest to pre-law students include the following list; check www.careercenter.illinois.edu for location & other details and to register.

  • Peace Corps General Informational Meeting — Dec. 6, 6-7pm at Career Center
  • International Student Career Meet Up –  Dealing with Job Search Stress — Dec. 7, 4-5:30pm, Career Center Interview Suite, Room 213, 616 E. Green Street
  • Resume, Cover Letter, LinkedIn Reviews
    • Dec. 4 from 2-4:30 pm at Career Center
    • Dec. 4 from 7-9 in Undergrad Library
    • Dec. 5 from 2-4:30 at Career Center
    • Dec. 5 from 5:30-7:30 at the Ike Room 1010A
    • Dec. 6 from 2-4:30 at Career Center
    • Dec. 6 from 7-9 in Undergrad Library
    • Dec. 7 from 2-4:30 at Career Center
    • Dec. 8 from 2-4:30 pm at Career Center
    • Dec. 10 from 4-9 pm in Undergrad Library

National and International Scholarships Program

Winter break is a great time to work on scholarship applications like the Boren ($20K for lang. study – Jr/Sr), Beinecke ($34K for grad. programs in arts, humanities/social studies – Jr), or Udall ($7K towards environmental studies -Soph-Jr).  Schedule an appointment with David or Jeff before you leave campus so you have everything you need.

Call: 217 333-4710 or email: topscholarsh@illinois.edu.

We are open for appointments Dec. 4-8 from 8:30-5:00 pm.

http://topscholars.illinois.edu/administered-scholarships

Summer UK Fulbright Program for Freshmen and Sophomores

The Fulbright UK Summer Institutes are three-to-four week programs for US Fresh-Soph students who have not yet traveled outside the US.  All expenses paid by the Fulbright program and the application is short!  Participants explore the culture, heritage, and history of the UK while experiencing higher education at a UK university.  Come to an info session to learn how to apply and meet a U of I student who recently won this award.

Friday, Dec. 8th  3:30-4:30 pm  Rm 514  Illini Union Bookstore Building.

http://www.fulbright.org.uk/going-to-the-uk/uk-summer-institutes

For more information of any of these scholarship programs, contact:

 Jeff Yockey Ph.D., Scholarships Coordinator,

National and International Scholarships Program

217 333-4710, yockey@illinois.edu

http://www.topscholars.illinois.edu

Social Justice Education Paraprofessional Program is taking applicants!

The Department of Diversity and Social Justice Education (Diversity ED) is now taking applications for the Social Justice Education Paraprofessional (SJEP) program.  SJEP is designed to promote diversity and student leadership by providing intensive training for students in areas of knowledge, awareness, and skills related to issues of diversity and social justice. Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals serve as peer educators through facilitating workshops, class facilitation, allyship, and program development.  Students who are junior and seniors in the humanities and social sciences are encouraged to apple.  Click here to apply, or for more information: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/9768586?referrer=

 

Internships, Scholarships, & Opportunities

Sidley Scholars Program–Juniors and Seniors planning on attending law school in the Fall of 2019: consider applying for the Sidley Austin LLP Summer Pre-Law Scholars Program. This program helps to subsidize the cost of LSAT Prep and offers possible additional scholarships.

Scholars will receive up to $2,500 in benefits to fund the LSAT, CAS credentialing, pay tuition in a commercial LSAT preparation course, as well as reimbursement for application and CAS fees for up to seven law schools.

Scholars further may be eligible to receive an additional $2,500 scholarship award, in two installments. Scholars will receive $1,250 when they have (1) successfully completed an approved LSAT preparatory course, (2) taken the LSAT, and (3) applied to at least five accredited law schools. Finally, each Scholar will receive a final $1,250 scholarship distribution once the Scholar has informed Sidley that he or she has been accepted to, and is committed to start law school at, an accredited law school and has attended the entire Sidley Scholars Summer Seminar in the summer immediately preceding the Scholar’s matriculation at that law school.

Click here for more information. Application materials are due Friday January 12!

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