How to decide which LSAT to take

First, take a look at our previous post here, which carefully considers the details of each 2019 LSAT.

How can you determine which LSAT is right for you? Here are key questions to ask yourself.

When do you want to apply to law school? If you want to enter law school in 2020, then you will want to apply in the fall of 2019. Law schools use rolling admission–that means that the application opens in September and they will admit people until the class is full or until the hard deadline of April. Applying early–as a general rule, by Thanksgiving–is greatly beneficial both for admission and scholarships. So IF you plan to apply to law school to enter in 2020, ideally you should plan to be finished with the LSAT completely by Thanksgiving or (preferably) earlier. Find a list of all LSATs through April of 2020 here.

If you don’t plan to enter law school until 2021 or later, you have a lot more flexibility in which LSAT you choose because you have another year (at least) of LSAT options. In that case, you can choose which LSAT suits your schedule. Sometimes people wish to be done with the LSAT before entering the working world post-graduation.

Do you want to provide time for an LSAT retake? About half of Illini LSAT takers retake the exam. It makes many test takers less anxious to know that they have time for a backup rather than “one shot” at the exam. It is wise to build in time for an LSAT retake, even if you end up not needing it. Take a look at this blog post for advice about which 2019 exams offer adequate retake options.

Which LSAT will interfere less with school? OR, if you are a working professional: Which LSAT will interfere less with your professional obligations/work flow?  Whichever LSAT you choose, the general recommendation is to prep for about 4-6 months. Ideally you would choose an LSAT with the least amount of interference with your other obligations.

For 2019 takers only:

How important is it to you to take the paper version of this test? Some people are very anxious about taking the “known quantity” paper LSAT versus the new digital format. (Others feel just fine about the digital version and the new format does not stress them out given that the content of the test will remain the same.) If you decide that the paper format is important to you, then the March and June tests are your last options. Many people who were planning on taking the LSAT later in 2019 figure that they may as well move it up to summer in order to take a known format rather than an unknown (digital) one.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

A Guide to ALL of the 2019 LSAT Options

Thinking of taking the LSAT in 2019? This blog is a must-read to consider all of your LSAT options, along with the pros and cons of each. As you know, the LSAT is experiencing lots of changes in 2019, from the schedule to the digital transition, which may impact your choice(s).

January 26, 2019 LSAT–Paper exam
January LSAT takers have already been preparing, although registration is still open here until Dec. 17. This LSAT has some advantages: 1. It is right after winter break, allowing test takers who are still in school to maximize winter break study time. 2. This exam is one of the few remaining paper exams that allows a retake (in March or June) that is also in the paper format.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Saturday morning.

This LSAT is the last realistic option for those who plan to apply this cycle (to enter law school in the fall of 2019).

March 30, 2019 LSAT NOTE: SOME TEST SITES ARE ALREADY FULL–REGISTER SOON FOR THIS ONE
Timing-wise, this LSAT could be a great option for LSAT takers who are still in school but plan to apply to law school in the fall of 2019 (to enter law school in 2020), allowing you to use both winter break and spring break to crank up the LSAT prep. And this LSAT will be over long before spring finals, allowing students to focus completely on those exams. Registration is still open for this exam until February 20, although some test sites are already full.

This is also a good option for students graduating in May who plan to apply to law school in the fall of 2019 (to enter in 2020) or later–because it allows you to “bank” an LSAT score now (which remains good for 5 years) in order to avoid having to study for the LSAT while working full time after graduation. Alums tell us all the time how difficult LSAT prep is while working full time, so this one is really worth considering for May grads who are fairly certain that you’ll apply to law school in the next few years.

However, this LSAT is not a good option for those who wish to enter law school in the fall of 2019–many deadlines for law school applications will have already passed, and April is very, very late in a rolling admissions cycle that begins in September.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Saturday morning.

June 3, 2019 LSAT–The final paper option
This is the final paper and pencil LSAT, and many people are anxious about taking it in this tried-and-true format. As such, demand is high, and if this LSAT interests you then you’ll want to register ASAP when registration opens. UPDATE:  Registration opened January 10 here.

Timing-wise, the June LSAT is great for those applying in Fall 2019 because it allows retake options in September (July will be too soon), October, or even November while still applying by the preferred early law school application timeline of Thanksgiving. This LSAT is also early enough in the summer that afterward test takers can turn to other pursuits–internships, summer study abroad programs, or summer classes–without too much LSAT study interference.

For current students, studying for this LSAT will take place throughout spring semester, so it is helpful if you can lighten your academic load by taking slightly fewer credit hours or not taking five of your most challenging courses at the same time while you’re LSAT prepping.

The final piece of good news: This LSAT is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive not only their score but also their answer sheet with correct and incorrect answers. That information can be very helpful to study from if you wish to prepare for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Monday afternoon, so you may need to take the day off of work or your internship.

July 15, 2019 LSAT–The “transition” LSAT
The format of this exam could be considered good or bad news, depending on your perspective. For this exam–and ONLY this exam–half of the registrants will be assigned to the paper LSAT and the other half will take the digital (tablet based) LSAT. Test takers will not know which format they are taking in advance. However, the LSAC–for this test only–will allow the July LSAT takers to view their score with the option of canceling it and retaking a future LSAT for free.

The “surprise” nature of this LSAT–not knowing which format you’ll have until test day–could be stressful for some, although note that the content of the two tests will be exactly the same.

Because many view this LSAT as a “freebie” (due to the option to cancel the score and retake for free), demand is high. Therefore, if you are interested in taking this LSAT then you will want to register ASAP when registration opens. UPDATE: Registration opened January 10th here.

Timing-wise, the July LSAT can be good for students because it provides nearly two full months after the spring semester ends to crank up the LSAT prep. However, it may also interfere with any summer plans such as study abroad or internships since it takes place in the middle of the summer. Taking this LSAT will also provide time to retake in October (September will likely be too soon to re-prep) or even November and still apply to law school in the fall of 2019.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Monday afternoon, so you may need to take the day off of work or your internship..

September 21, 2019 LSAT–The first “all digital” LSAT
This LSAT is the first one that will be administered entirely in the tablet format. It takes place on a Saturday morning.

Timing-wise, this LSAT can be good because it allows test takers to devote the entire summer to LSAT prep, and for current students it only overlaps one month with the fall semester. However, it may also interfere with any summer plans–especially study abroad or a time consuming internship–since test takers will need to be LSAT prepping all summer. Taking this LSAT will also provide time to retake in November (October will likely be too soon to re-prep) and still apply to law school in the fall of 2019. Takers of this exam can also turn to prepping other elements of their law school applications as soon as this exam is over, allowing plenty of time to finish applications by Thanksgiving.

This LSAT is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive not only their score but also their answer sheet with correct and incorrect answers. That information can be very helpful to study from if you wish to prepare for a retake.

October 28, 2019
This LSAT–and every subsequent LSAT–will be administered entirely in the tablet format. It takes place on a Monday afternoon, so takers may need to miss work or class to take it.

Timing-wise, this LSAT allows test takers to devote the summer and first half of the fall semester to LSAT prep. It does require balancing school and LSAT prep for the first eight weeks of the fall semester, though. It may also interfere with any summer plans–especially study abroad or a very time consuming internship–since test takers will need to be LSAT prepping most of the summer. Takers of this exam can also turn to prepping other elements of their law school applications as soon as this exam is over, allowing adequate time to finish applications by Thanksgiving.

Taking this LSAT does not provide many opportunities to retake IF you want to apply in the fall of 2019.  The November LSAT will likely be too soon to provide ample time for re-prepping, and the next LSAT after November is mid-January, which is getting late in the application cycle.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake.

November 25, 2019–The final LSAT of 2019
This digital LSAT will take place on a Monday afternoon, so takers may need to miss work or class to take it.

The timing of this LSAT is not ideal for most students…taking the September or October options would be a better choice. This LSAT will require a careful balance of classwork with LSAT prep for most of the fall semester. Test takers who plan to apply in the fall of 2019 would be wise to work on other elements of the application throughout the fall as well so that they can submit their law school applications as soon as November LSAT scores are released (likely in early December). Students who plan to take the November LSAT may want to lighten their academic load by taking fewer credit hours so that they can devote adequate time to LSAT prep.

This LSAT will not allow time for retaking the LSAT and still applying in the fall of 2019 because the next LSAT won’t take place until January 2020…and that is getting late in the law application cycle (which opens in September).

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake.

Those are all of the 2019 LSAT options. Take some time to really think about which one will work best for you, and make sure to read our next blog entry about How to Decide Which LSAT to Take.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Just got your LSAT score? Pre-Law appointments are available!

With November LSAT scores arriving this weekend, now is a great time to come in and see a Pre-Law Advisor! Appointments ARE available for both the week of Dec. 10 and the week of Dec. 17th. We will be here through December 21. We encourage you to come in early so that we can discuss your options and next steps.

The office will close Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, reopening on Jan. 2. If you’re not on campus, you can still schedule a phone or Skype appointment (either before Dec 21 or after Jan 2). All appointments can be made by calling 217-333-9669.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

New PAID spring legal internship–Applications due Dec. 12!

We are happy to share a new paid legal internship opportunity for undergrads in University Legal Counsel’s Office starting in the spring semester. Note that applications are due Dec. 12.

Legal Administrative Intern Opportunity
The Office of University Counsel seeks 1-2 undergraduate student interns for 2018-2019. This PAID position will provide administrative support to the office, with specific duties outlined below. Hours per week will depend upon intern availability. Interns will gain experience working in a legal environment
and will also be introduced to legal procedures with the possibility of increased responsibilities over time.

Required: Sophomore, junior, or senior standing; minimum 3.0 GPA; consistent weekly availability. Preference will be given to candidates with availability over breaks.

About the office: The Office of University Counsel (OUC) provides legal advice and representation to the university, its administrators/employees, University Related Organizations and others who seek legal advice arising from their official university responsibilities. OUC attorneys provide advice on an extremely wide variety of subjects. The office staff consists of attorneys and staff with unique skills and specialized training, as well as generalists who are well versed in multiple areas of law and policy. For more information, please visit: legal.uillinois.edu

Specific intern duties will include:
• Responsible for review of legal invoices to verify compliance with contract requirements
• Maintains electronic files of invoices, approvals and any supporting documentation. Record must be accurate and complete for auditing and reporting purposes
• Completes data entry and ensures the data integrity of legal services invoices in OUC systems (Legal Files eBill)
• Provide backup support for answering main phone line and directing calls to appropriate personnel (attorneys, support staff and business staff)
• Copying/scanning/shredding projects as needed including highly confidential legal documents
• Assisting with legal and business document compilation, organization and delivery
• Other duties as assigned

To apply: Submit a resume and cover letter to Ms. Teresa Temples at ttemples@uillinois.edu. Cover letters should include: 1) Relevant experience; 2) Weekly availability; 3) GPA and class standing; and 4) Availability over breaks.
Deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, December 12. 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Our Favorite Pre-Law Things: Winter Break Edition

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…wait, those are from the Sound of Music. Here are a few of our favorite pre-law things–just in time for you to explore them over winter break.

Taking a break
After a long semester, we all need a break! (Hamilton fans will remember Eliza begging Alexander to take a break…with disastrous results when he did not.) Note that Pre-Law Services will be closed from December 24 until January 2, when we will open again for appointments. We will be available for appointments over winter break again starting on January 2, so if you are working on your law school applications or personal statement over break, you can still schedule a phone appointment by calling 217-333-9669!  On January 14 we will be back to our regular semester schedule.

Reading for fun with Goodreads and NPR’s Book Concierge
Most lawyers enjoy reading, especially when it’s a great novel and not the Tax Code. (Side bonus: Reading widely and often is recommended by the writers of the LSAT to improve performance.) Goodreads makes reading even more fun by allowing its users to document and review the books you’ve read, get book recommendations, and set and track your personal reading goal with its yearly Reading Challenge. Looking for some interesting and recent book recommendations? Check out NPR’s Book Concierge, which lets users search by your favorite genres to find recently published recommendations. And speaking of recent books…

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Regardless of your political affiliation, this book contains a thoughtful and thorough reflection of Mrs. Obama’s entry into and ultimate exit out of the legal profession. A successful Princeton undergrad, upon reflection she concludes that applying to law school for her was more out of expectation than passion. She candidly writes about her legal career, including her lack of fulfillment at a law firm, and about how and why she ultimately left the practice of law. While she is certainly high profile, her experience is not uncommon in the legal world, and reading about her professional path provides excellent food for thought for those considering law school: What are you passionate about? How might law school lead to work in those areas? Is law truly your calling or just “the next logical step” for a smart and successful student? What steps can you take to find out more about the legal profession? What do other legal jobs look like beyond the traditional practice of law?

…And we recommend exploring the following websites

The Making the Most of Your Major Blog
We love the Department of English’s Making the Most of Your Major blog. Covering all kinds of topics, from how to reassure your family that you’ll be gainfully employed, to how to network with professors, to presenting professional paths you may have never considered, this is a great blog to read whether or not you are an English major. Winter break is a great time to catch up on previous entries. (And naturally we recommend catching up on this very Pre-Law blog…did you know that you can search for topics in the search box to the left and read about everything from internships to LSAT to course options?)

The Girl’s Guide to Law School
Many pre-law students are so focused on getting into law school that they don’t consider what it will actually be like once you’re there, or after you’re done. This website presents thoughtful, realistic perspectives on whether law is right for you (including their podcast, the article Should You Go to Law School?, and their series on Law School Myths), how to get through law school (with articles on law school pressures and exploring areas of law), and building a post-law school career (leaving litigation, non-traditional law careers). This is a great resource–not just for girls–for anyone considering law school.

Michigan Law’s Debt Wiz Calculator
While it may not exactly be FUN to calculate future law school debt, what we like about this debt wizard is that it allows future lawyers to consider what KIND of legal employment you’re seeking and in what METRO AREA for a nuanced view of what your debt repayment will look like. If nothing else, users can begin to see the distinctions between expected incomes and the impact of cost of living in a variety of cities (hint: the city where you live makes a huge difference).

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing over this winter break, we wish you a joyful holiday season and some fun and relaxing down time!

 

 

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Mark Your Calendars – Week of December 3

Although PLAS programming is finished for the semester, there are some campus workshops, scholarships and internships of note, as well as some law school admissions webinars.  And…our annual PLAS Internship Newsletter will be posted on our Compass page this WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5!! Finally, in case you missed the big announcement last week, registration for the June and July 2019 LSAT administrations will open on December 12Click here to read last week’s LSAT blog post for more important information about these administrations and scroll down to learn more about upcoming campus events!

Career Center EventsClick here to visit the Career Center’s website for more information or to register for these sessions.

  • Global Careers: Peace Corps General Information Meeting — Dec. 3, 6-7pm,  TCC Room 143
  • Making the Most of Your Summer,  Dec. 5, 4-5pm, TCC Room 143
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Dec. 3 , 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Dec. 4, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Dec. 5, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center, 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Dec. 6, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Dec. 7, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Dec. 9, 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons

Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals – Applications Due December 12

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until December 12th for 2018-2019 Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals! Complete your application here.

The Social Justice Educator Paraprofessional Program is a 3-semester peer education program powered by students for students. The Social Justice Education Paraprofessional Program 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. Through this program, paraprofessionals serve as a campus leaders in social justice by developing and facilitating educational programs for the campus. Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals receive 11 advanced credit hours in Psychology. For more information, click on this link.

Law School Admissions Events

NYU Law Admissions Office – Online Information Sessions

These presentations will be a special broadcast of a live information session with an admissions representative. Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions about NYU’s curriculum, student life, and the admissions process via the online chat tool. The Online Information Sessions will be held at the following times (all times are Eastern Time):

  • Wednesday, December 5 at 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, January 10 at 12:00 pm

Please register for one of the Online Information Sessions. Registrants will receive access instructions the day before the online session. If you have any questions, please let us know at law.moreinfo@nyu.edu.

Harvard and Yale Law School Online Webinars

Harvard and Yale Law School would like to invite to you to participate in their Online Information Sessions. Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions about the universities curriculum, student life, and the admissions process. Follow the link to register for these events.

Harvard: https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/jdadmissions/connect-with-admissions-online-events/

Yale: https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admissions/recruiting-schedule

Internships

Coming soon: The Pre-Law Internship Newsletter will be posted THIS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5 over on our Compass page!

Scholarships–Now is a great time to apply!

National and International Scholarships Program: Fulbright UK Summer Institutes – Info Session December 7, 4-5pm, 514 IUB

Freshmen and Sophomores,

Do you want to study in the United Kingdom this summer for free? The Fulbright UK Summer Institutes offer nine programs for 2019:

  • Interested in global leadership? Join the Future Leaders of a Global Age summer institute at the University of Westminster in London.
  • Interested in the environment? Study climate change issues at the University of Exeter.
  • Interested in social justice or education policy? Explore these in the post-conflict setting of Northern Ireland at Queen’s University Belfast.
  • Interested in the performing arts? Practice combat and swordplay, movement, dance and design at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.
  • Interested in arts as activism?  Consider how social policy, philosophy and the arts have been combined to promote social change at the University of Bristol.
  • Interested in technology and design? Explore Scotland’s creative and technological industries through study at the University of Strathclyde and the Glasgow School of Art.
  • Interested in media?  Explore film and media culture in the UK at the University of Birmingham
  • Interested in British or Irish studies?  Explore British culture at the University of Sussex or Irish studies at the Queen’s University Belfast.
  • Interested in international politics? Study identity and nationhood at the Aberystwyth University in Wales.

The Summer Institutes cover the majority of the participant costs (round-trip airfare from the US to the UK, tuition and fees at the university, room and board, and social programs).  Students must be US citizen freshmen or sophomores with a GPA of 3.7 or above.

More information about the institutes and their application can be found at: http://www.fulbright.org.uk/going-to-the-uk/uk-summer-institutes

Our info session will tell you everything you need to know about the benefits of attending a Fulbright UK Summer Institute and how to be a competitive applicant. We’ll also hear from previous Illinois recipients.

UK Summer Fulbright Information Session: Friday, December 7th, 3:00-4:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building

DUE THIS SATURDAY, DEC. 8–University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association Scholarship. Open to Latina/Latino undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the 2018-2019 academic school year. In honor of our ten year anniversary and thanks to a generous donor, IllinoisLLAA is able to grant two $5,000 scholarships to either an undergraduate or graduate student, one of which is reserved for an undocumented student. Click here to apply.

DUE DEC.31–Health and Wellness $2,000 Scholarship. Available to students enrolled at an accredited college or university. You must have at least a 3.4 GPA and submit an essay of 800-1000 words, promoting a practical approach to healthy lifestyle during college years and how these habits can be sustained over a lifetime. Additionally, you must demonstrate detailed knowledge of health and wellness and discuss why healthy living is a lifetime endeavor. Click here to apply.  

DUE JAN. 19–Virginia M. Wagner Educational Award. Open to female students in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin who are attending college/university in pursuit of a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree. Click here to apply.

DUE FEB. 15 — Fred S. Bailey Scholarship for Cause Driven Leaders

The Bailey Undergraduate awards are $3000 awards ($1500/semester) given each year to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois who have demonstrated positive impact and commitment as a result of service, community involvement, leadership, and action. Financial need and academic achievement will also be considered. University of Illinois – Urbana campus undergraduate students in all programs are eligible to apply. Applications due February 15.  For more information or to apply online, visit: www.universityymca.org/bailey Contact: Kasey Umland, Director, Bailey Scholarship Program, University YMCA 217.337.1514; baily@universityymca.org.

DUE MARCH 19–Create-a-Greeting-Card $10,000 Scholarship. Open to currently enrolled high school and college students in the United States. To enter, you must design a holiday, get well, or birthday greeting card and submit your work to be judged. Your photo, art, or graphics submitted must be your own original work and you must be at least 14 years of age to be eligible for this award. Click here for more details.

Interested in other scholarships? PLAS has collected information on over 150 scholarships–for both undergrads and incoming law students–on our Scholarships Spreadsheet over on our Pre-Law Compass page. It’s a wide variety of scholarships based on everything from being left-handed to making a video to tweeting, and deadlines vary, so check it out!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email