Fall and Summer Recommended Course Charts

Recommended Course Lists

It is that time of the year again! Registration for Summer and Fall 2022 is just around the corner!  Students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework. However, given an interest in law, we have compiled a list of suggested fall courses that pre-law students may find helpful and interesting.

Be sure to keep in mind…

      • These are not exhaustive lists.  There are hundreds of classes being offered this fall and summer. The highlighted classes may be particularly helpful and interesting for pre-law students, but there are many great options available that may not be listed.
      • These courses are only suggestions and are NOT requirements. Students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework.
      • Recommended courses include those that examine specific and related legal topics, and also classes that provide opportunities to build skills or knowledge in areas particularly relevant to legal studies and future careers in law, including writing, research, leadership, cultural competency,  communication, and critically thinking and analysis!
      • Some of these courses have prerequisites or may be restricted to students in the same department; check Course Explorer for additional course details and specific enrollment requirements.
      • Some courses may be more relevant to you than others – look for classes in your major/minor or on general topics that enhance your skills and knowledge.
      • Keep checking back and check-in with the experts!  Courses may continue to be added as we approach the fall semester.  Having trouble deciding?  Be sure to meet with your academic advisors for academic and course planning, we are also here to assist with course options!  Professors are also a great resource to discuss goals and course options!
To review a handy chart version of suggested Summer 2022 course options, please click here.
To review a handy chart version of  suggested Fall 2022 course options, Please Click here.

*last updated 3.28.22

 

See what fellow Illini say about some of the most helpful courses at Illinois…

Stella Green

Stella is currently a communications intern with the Pre-Law Advising Services Office and shared the following perspectives on her list of  favorite pre-law related course…

    • ACE 240 – Personal Financial Planning – This class helped me gain a better understanding of different financial principles. I now have a better understanding of personal finance, which I think almost anyone can benefit from. The topics covered in this course can be used and applied in the legal world, as well.
    • CMN 111/112 – Although these courses are generally required for most undergraduate students, I would recommend them to everyone. I noticed great improvement in both my written and verbal communication skills.
    • CMN 321 – Strategies in Persuasion– This class uses different aspects of U.S. political history and relates it to different forms of public persuasion. I became more familiar with different strategies of speech that are used in politics and the media. If you are interested in politics, I would highly recommend this course.
    • Law 301 Intro to Law –This class is a hidden gem. It is a great introduction to general law concepts and covers a variety of topics that are learned in law school. This class has given me a really great starting point as I begin my legal education. If you plan on going to law school or find interest in the legal field, I would 100% recommend this course. This course is a prerequisite to LAW 303, which applies these different concepts to real life situations. I recommend that course as well.
    • RST 354 – Legal Aspect of Sport – If you are interested in sports, I would definitely take this class. It was really interesting to be able to apply legal principles to the sports industry. This class was both interesting and enjoyable. This is another class that helped me gain a better understanding of topics that will be learned in law school.
Abbey Mizer

Abbey is currently the Vice President of the Pre-Law Honors Society and shared the following perspectives on her list of  favorite pre-law related course…

    • Phil 102 – Logic and Reasoning – This class was great for learning simple logic and being able to understand and work with complex arguments.
    • PS 270 – Intro to Political Theory – This class was helpful for getting comfortable with older texts and being able to put ideas about different political ideologies together.
    • PS 301 – The US Constitution I – This class helps you set a foundation for understanding how to brief cases, and the different branches of government, specifically the judicial branch.
    • PS 370 – Justice in the Law – This class was useful for reading and discussing a lot of court cases and practicing briefing skills. You learn how to brief cases in a way that helps you to truly understand and connect certain cases to the bigger picture of law.
    • PS 492 – Undergrad Research –  I did undergrad research for Prof. Samantha Frost, and found it to be super beneficial. I got to work with a team of research assistants and collaborate on a 25 page research paper. There are tons of professors who are looking for research interns, all you have to do is reach out to them via email to express your interest!
    • PS 375 – Feminist Political Theory – This class is very beneficial if you want to work on your writing skills. You get to learn different political theories, how they are connected, and how to form your opinions on which theories are the most effective and why.
MaryAllison Mahacek

MaryAllison is currently a student at the University of Illinois College of Law where she serves as the Notes Editor on the Elder Law Journal.  She will graduate as a double Illini in spring 2022 before sitting for the bar examination! Take a moment to view her list of  favorite pre-law related course from her time as a University of Illinois undergraduate student…

    • LAW 199: I took this my first year of college and honestly wish I would’ve wait to take it later because I completely forgot what it was like before law school. I believe the topics change each semester; when I took it, it was topics in domestic violence law. It was an awesome class, and a great primer to what law school is like.
    • CMN 101: Public Speaking. Pretty sure everyone has to take this, or most people, it was a good class and got me comfortable speaking publicly.
    • CMN 220: Communicating Public Policy. An interesting introduction to what public policy is, how people create policy and laws, and what it looks like in the public sector. If you want to go into government, its a great class.
    • CMN 323: Argumentation. While this isn’t exactly the type of arguing you’ll be doing in law school, it helped me learn how to form arguments and use evidence to back up my claims.
    • SOC 275: Criminology. An interesting view of social factors that relate to crime. I really liked this class and found it very interesting, especially for someone who wanted to go to law school.
    • CMN 211: Business Communication. A great class to help you with resume tweaking, interview prep, and making presentations! While it is more business oriented, I found my resume was helped a LOT from this class and I got a lot of interview experience in, which you’ll need in law school.
    • LAW 301: Intro to Law. While I didn’t take this class, I’ve heard many people liked it and it was a good introduction to topics that you’ll learn about in law school…
Considering possible minors?

Check out information about the Legal Studies Minor, including Q&A with Professor Pahre:  Legal Studies Minor At A Glance 

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Alumni Attorney Talks

Alumni Attorney Talks is a virtual series which aims to provide prospective law students with helpful insights about attending law school and pursuing a legal career. This series features interviews with University of Illinois alumni working in a variety of diverse settings within the legal profession.

Featuring: Aja Carr-Favors

Associate General Counsel for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

QUICK FACTS ABOUT Aja Carr-Favors:
    • Law School: Valparaiso University School of Law
    • UIUC Undergraduate Major: Pre-Law and History
    • Aja’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Challenging | Gratifying Impactful

CHECK OUT THIS INSIGHTFUL INTERVIEW BELOW!
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Selecting A Law School

Making the Right Choice for You…

You’ve applied, you’ve waited, and you’ve been accepted – now you have to decide.  Although this might feel like the easiest part of the process, many applicants are surprised to feel unsure, anxious, and overwhelmed once they face making the final decision on where to attend law school.  It’s important to know that these feelings are normal!

As you advance through the application process you gain more knowledge and insights about the schools you have chosen to apply to, what it means to attend law school, and what the most important aspects of a law school are to you.  As a natural result, your priorities and perspectives about the schools you applied to may have also changed.  A school that may have been in the middle of your list – could now be your top choice.  A top choice school, may no longer feel like the right fit for you.

One of the most important things you can do at this stage is to reevaluate! 

In addition to your personal rankings and perspectives, you are also now working with more information about the realities of what your choices may be.  Some schools may no longer be options (aka you received a denial), you may have received generous scholarship offers you weren’t expecting.   This is an important time to step back and assess your situation – reevaluating your goals and seeking out information you need to feel confident in your decision.

Take a look at the following slides for perspectives on navigating your selection process:

Need to Talk? Join Us…

SOUND OFF @ 7: March 23|April 6

Many applicants seek peer perspectives through online discussion platforms and social media as way to help navigate the application process and create community.  Sound Off is a discussion group which aims to create a community unique to UIUC students and alumni who are participating in this year’s application cycle.  Sound Off provides an opportunity to discuss personal experiences, share insights, offer advice, and connect with one another. This is a great way to meet new people and establish a network of UIUC students who will be attending law school after graduation.  We hope you can join us!

Discussion are held at 7 pm via Zoom, visit the PLAS calendar for Zoom link and to learn more!

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Tips for Maximizing Spring Break

Spring Break Top Ten Image with Butterfly

Spring Break is right around the corner and is a wonderful opportunity to make some progress towards your law school goals. Here is our “Spring Break Top Ten” list to help you maximize Spring Break!

#10: 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 a returning undergrad or planning on being an incoming law student next year, be sure to get this done ASAP!

#9: Think about what classes you want to take

Spring break is a great time to begin researching classes and upcoming academic opportunities. Check out our blog post: Guide to selecting Pre-Law coursework for Illinois students! Also, stay tuned for a future blog post about our suggested courses for the Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 semesters!

#8: Start thinking about your summer plans

Will you be working or completing an internship? Will you be taking summer classes?  Perhaps a Pre-Law Summer program is exactly what you need! Start making a plan for how you will maximize your summer. Check our internship newsletter and Handshake regularly for new opportunities!

#7: Research and Connect

Job shadow, or ask a law student or lawyer to spend 30 minutes doing an informational interview with you. Don’t be intimidated; this is an informal opportunity for you to have coffee with someone new and ask about their educational and/or professional life. Here’s a resource for planning your informational interview. 

#6: Get a head start on LSAT Prep

If you are in the early stages of your application process, consider using this time to take a practice LSAT. 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.

#5: Visit Law Schools

Have you started receiving letters of admission to law schools? Consider using this time to visit (virtually or in-person) your top choices! This is also a good time to begin narrowing your list and withdrawing from schools that you know you are not going to attend.

#4: Start Planning

Are you getting ready to apply to the 2022-2023 cycle? Think about when you will take the LSAT. You’ll want to consider how much time you need to study and the possibility that you may choose to take the LSAT twice. June, August, or September are good test dates to consider.  Start building out your overall timeline for law school applications considering when you will submit an application and planning for big events in the fall!  Be sure to mark important deadlines and dates now!

      • Consider registering for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) if you will be applying to law school during the 2022-2023 application cycle.  This is the account you will need to open in order to have your recommendation letters processed, submit transcripts, and compile your application materials. Once you set it up, your account is good for five years. You can read all about it here.  We recommend setting up your account no later than August if you will be applying this cycle.
#3: Decide who will be your recommendation writers

Letters of recommendation will be necessary for many different opportunities throughout college including scholarships, leadership roles, internships, and other positions.  This is particularly true as you enter your upper-level years and prepare for your law applications.  If you are a junior or senior, you will want to consider approaching potential recommenders by the end of THIS semester for upcoming opportunities this summer or fall (including your law application). If you are an alum, reach out ASAP because the longer you wait the more difficult it is to track people down and for them to remember you.

#2 WORK AHEAD

The end of the spring semester is fast approaching. Consider carving out an hour or two a day to work ahead on a project or assignment, internship and/or leadership application, or your resume. By working ahead you are setting yourself up to make your last few weeks go really smoothly! Your future self will thank you.

#1 Recharge!

Returning from spring break not only means the final weeks of the semester are approaching, but the end of the entire academic year – it will be busy! Get some rest, reconnect with friends and family, catch up on your favorite shows, read for fun, get outside! Use this time to reflect, rest, and regroup!

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March Snapshot

Spring is almost here! Here’s to a month full of warmer weather and more amazing events and opportunities! Keep checking this post as we will continuously update it throughout the month.

March 1: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for Southern Illinois University School of Law’s Diversity Prelaw Summer Institute. For more information about this opportunity, click here.

March 1: The Career Center at Illinois “Creating Your Powerful Resume” In-Person Workshop at 5:00 pm, The Career Center Conference Room 143. Click here for additional information.

March 2: AccessLex “Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach For Underrepresented Students” Webinar at 11:00 am. Click here for additional information.

March 2: LSAC “A Look Toward the Future: Planning Your Legal Career Today” Webinar at 1:00 pm. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 2: PLAS Workshop- Application Roadmap and Gap Year at 4:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 3: AccessLex “Choosing a Law School” Webinar at 2:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 3: UIUC Counseling Center– Test Anxiety Workshop at 3:00 pm via Zoom. Click here for additional information.

March 3: The Career Center at Illinois “Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter” In-Person Workshop at 5:00 pm, The Career Center Conference Room 143. Click here for additional information.

March 3: University of San Francisco School of Law Webinar: “Information Session on Criminal Law” at 6:30 pm. To access this event, click here.

March 4: University of Houston Law Center Webinar: “Law in the Lone Star State” at 11:00 am. Click here for additional information.

March 8: UIUC Counseling Center– Test Anxiety Workshop at 2:00 pm via Zoom. Click here for additional information.

March 9: PLAS Workshop- Law Chat Live: Selecting a Law School at 12:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 9: University of San Francisco School of Law Webinar: “Information Session on Environmental and Energy Law” at 6:00 pm. To access this event, click here.

March 9: PLAS Event- Sound Off: Peer Discussion Group at 7:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 10: AccessLex “Applying to Law School” Webinar at 11:00 am. Click here for additional information.

March 11-12: March 2022 LSAT Administration. Good luck to all of our test takers! 

March 12-20: Spring Break! 

March 13: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for the Summer 2022 Minnesota Pre-Law Scholars (MPLS) Program. For additional information about this program or to apply, click here.

March 15: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for the 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS). For additional information, click here.

March 15: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for the Environmental Law & Policy Center’s Science & Policy summer internship in their Chicago office. For more information about this opportunity, click here.

March 15: “Strategies for Success” Webinar with law representatives from eight different law schools across the country at 11:00 am. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 15: AccessLex “Paying for Law School” Webinar at 3:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 16: Deadline! Last day to register for the April 2022 LSAT Administration. Visit LSAC to register.

March 16: Ms. JD 2022 Annual Virtual Law School Fair from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. For more information about the fair and how to register, click here.

March 16: University of Illinois College of Law Prospective Student Webinar: “Admissions Open Forum” at 2:00 pm. For additional information, click here.

March 18: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for the Division of General Studies Summer Peer Advisor program. Email a cover letter, resume, and three references (including email and phone number) to Jessica Arnold (jarnold7@illinois.edu) by 5:00 pm.

March 18: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for Chicago-Kent’s Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.

March 20: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for a Summer 2022 Illinois Student Admissions Representative position (I STARs). For more information about this position or to apply, click here.

March 21: National and International Scholarships Program information session for juniors and seniors at 2:00 pm via Zoom. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 22: National and International Scholarships Program information session for juniors and seniors at 11:00 am via Zoom. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 22: AccessLex “Building Your Law School Budget” Webinar at 11:00 am. Click here for additional information.

March 22: PLAS Workshop: Pre-Law 101- Session 1 at 5:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 23: LSAC “Decision Day: Choosing the Right Law School” Webinar at 1:00 pm. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 23: National and International Scholarships Program information session for juniors and seniors at 4:00 pm via Zoom. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 23: PLAS Event- Sound Off: Peer Discussion Group at 7:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 24: La Casa Cultural Latina “Lunch on Us” at 12:00 pm.

March 24: Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations Undocu/DACA Student Support “ALAS” Introductory Meeting at the OVCDEI Building (614 E. Daniel St., 3rd Floor, Room 3070) at 6:30 pm. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 28: National and International Scholarships Program information session for freshmen and sophomores at 3:30 pm via Zoom. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 29: National and International Scholarships Program information session for freshmen and sophomores at 1:00 pm via Zoom. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 29: AccessLex “Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach For Underrepresented Students” Webinar at 2:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 29: PLAS Workshop: Pre-Law 101- Session 2 at 5:00 pm. Click here for additional information.

March 30: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for The Career Center Undergraduate Summer Internship. View details on Handshake. Questions can be directed to James Castree at castree2@illinois.edu

March 31: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for the University of Memphis School of Law’s 2022 Virtual PLUS program. To learn more about this summer opportunity, click here.

March 31: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program. For additional information about this program or to apply, click here.

March 31: Application Deadline! Last day to apply for the Career Center’s Undergraduate Summer Intern position. For more information about this opportunity or to apply, click here.

March 31: LSAC Webinar: “Prelaw Professionalism in the Virtual and Physical World” at 1:00 pm. For additional information or to register, click here.

March 31: National and International Scholarships Program information session for freshmen and sophomores at 3:00 pm via Zoom. For additional information or to register, click here.

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