What to do over Fall Break

Fall Break is here — now what?

Aside from relaxing, eating, and watching football (and maybe getting ready for finals?!), what else could/should you be doing?

If You Are Currently Applying to Law School

  1. If you are done with the LSAT, then finish your applications!  If you have everything you need to apply then there is no reason to procrastinate. This is a rolling admissions process — file your applications ASAP!
  2. If you are waiting on Letters of Recommendation, gently remind your recommenders  that you want to submit your applications ASAP but cannot do so until LSAC/CAS receives all required letters of recommendation. Ask them when they can complete your recommendation.
  3. If you are taking the January LSAT — keep studying!  A strong LSAT score helps both with admissions and scholarships! Set some goals for how many practice LSATs you can take over break and stick to it.
  4. Attend an Open House or schedule a visit with law schools. (If you’re scheduling a visit, make sure the school is open and staffed during Thanksgiving week!) Scroll down to see Open House listings here. Before your visit, check out this piece on how to make a good impression on a law school dean
  5. Check deadlines for Early Decision!  While many schools list November 15 as their early decision deadline, several others allow early decision applications until December 1 or even Dec. 15.  Not sure about early decision? Click here for a PLAS blog post on the pros and cons of applying early decision.
  6. Complete your FAFSA.
  7. Did you know that you can already apply for scholarships sponsored by non-university sources? Take a look at the scholarship spreadsheet with over 150 options over on our Compass page–these have a variety of due dates and many are due by the end of the calendar year, so now is a great time to apply!

If You Are Not Yet Applying to Law School

  1. Study for finals and write those papers!  Your GPA is a very important part of the law school admissions and scholarship process!
  2. LSAT Prep. In general, we advise those planning to apply to law school next fall to take the June or July 2019 LSAT (unless study abroad prevents you from doing so). 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 2019, consider not overloading on courses since the time necessary for effective preparation equates to the time invested in a rigorous 3 credit class. Remember: the LSAT is NOT like the ACT or the SAT.  It does not test what you know.  Rather, it tests 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.
  3. Apply for Internships — Have you thought about what you will be doing next summer?  Are you looking into internships? Internships can be a great way to build transferrable skills or learn more about the practice of law.  Do you need some suggestions on how and where to find an internship?  Check out this Internship Plan from our blog.  And remember: the PLAS Annual Internship Newsletter will be out and published on Compass before winter break!
  4. Network and conduct informational interviews. A great way to start building your professional network and get to know various legal practice areas is to meet with lawyers! Do you or your parents know any lawyers? Are any of your friends’ parents lawyers? You can also use the alumni association directory to identify Illinois alumni who are lawyers. 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. 
  5. Complete your FAFSA
  6. Apply for scholarships! We’ve included lots of scholarships for continuing undergraduate students. Take a look at the scholarship spreadsheet with over 170 options over on our Pre-Law Compass page–these have a variety of due dates and many are due by the end of the calendar year, so now is a great time to apply! Here are a few great scholarships with upcoming deadlines. Find these and over 160 more on our Scholarship Spreadsheet!
    1.  Ai Engstrom National Scholarship application is due December 1. 
    2. Bankruptcy Law Center Scholarship Contest application is due December 20.
    3. The Levin Firm Scholarship application is due February 19.

Have a great break!

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