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!