Application Dos and Don’ts…

We are reaching that point in the cycle where many applicants are moving into the final stages of preparing their applications. Whether you are looking to apply in a few weeks, or later this application cycle, below are some helpful tips based on actual applicant experiences to assist in your final preparations!

DO:

1. Follow all directions closely! When asked for their best advice, we routinely hear law admissions deans say “follow the application directions” as their #1 tip. Follow the application directions as written and provided – full stop!

  • Example: if the personal statement page limit is 2, don’t submit a 2.5 page document and assume they won’t mind – even if it is well written.
  • Each application may have slightly different criteria or directions, it is important to confirm specifics for each school.

2. Triple-check mentioned school names in essays to match the school you’re submitting the individual application to. If you choose/are required to individualize documents for each individual school based on their directions (see above) – be sure to confirm you have submitted the right draft to the right school. This mistake really happens…every year.

3. Choose recommenders wisely. Those with whom you have a strong relationship and will write about specific experiences and qualities will be most effective.

4. Use your resources! There are many resources to help you succeed in this process. Be sure to utilize the PLAS Office! Whether we help you directly or connect you with the necessary resources – we are here to help!

5. Explore a wide variety of schools. You may be surprised at what you find! Be sure to check out the Researching Law Schools blog post for tips on identifying schools!

  • Be sure to attend a law fair and meetings with schools – there is an LSAC Digital Forum occurring on November 19!

6. Get Organized! Create a spreadsheet, google doc, or other means to organize your information and track your application tasks. PLAS has put together an Excel spreadsheet that you can use to get started. To see the example, click here.

  • Don’t forget about your email! Set up folders to organize communications as you receive them!

7. Apply to a range of schools where you feel your LSAT/GPA are very competitive, competitive, and less competitive (some may refer to this as safety, target, and reach schools). This will open up the most opportunities for admission and potential scholarships, it will also help provide as much choice in the admission process as possible.

DON’T:

1. Forget to proofread all your application materials. Be sure to plan time to give every application a comprehensive and thorough review before submitting.

2. Skip directions. Yes – it’s so important we’ve included it on our list twice!

3. Submit applications to law schools that you do not see yourself attending. Every school you apply to will not necessarily satisfy your goals/wish list to equal measure as another. However, don’t waste your energy or time with options that you know you will not pursue. Instead, look for a better-fitting option that meets at least some of your most important goals and that you could see yourself attending.

4. Write optional statements/addendums that 1. don’t apply to your personal situation; or, 2. that you feel compelled to write simply to “add more” to your application. Only include addendums where required, relevant, and that add new, substantive information.  Doing “more” can take away from your application if it doesn’t contribute something relevant, meaningful, or helpful!

5. Apply late without a strategy. Most law schools admit students on a rolling basis with final deadlines in the spring semester. You should balance carefully having a strong application with the submission timing of your application. Sometimes applying a bit later in the cycle can result in submitting a superior application overall, however, if you will be submitting after December you do want to take timing into account and adjust your strategy.

6. Put all your eggs in one, super competitive, basket! In other words, don’t apply only to schools where acceptance rates are low or where you are at the low end of their GPA and LSAT ranges.

7. Lose touch! You should be making connections with schools throughout the application process, both before and after you apply. This will help you gather important information and perspectives to assist you with final decisions and also in creating more opportunities for you to leave a positive impression with schools. Be sure to make time for programs, events, and visits (virtual and in-person) at the schools you are applying to!

  • Stay Tuned! We will have great programming upcoming this winter and spring to help you navigate the post-application process!

Meet with a pre-law advisor…

The Pre-Law Advising Office is designed to help you achieve success in your goal of attending law school (seriously – it’s kind of the reason for our existence…). Whether you are a senior Illini or an alum planning to continue your education in law school, we are anxious to meet with you!

Schedule an appointment online to meet with an advisor or attend an upcoming workshop or event. We hope to see you soon!

Spring 2023 Course Recommendations

It’s time to get excited for Spring courses! Each semester we receive many questions from pre-law students regarding courses helpful in preparation for law school in advance of course registration.  To assist in this process, Pre-Law Advising has made a helpful chart with suggested classes pre-law students might find useful and interesting in planning and exploring a legal education.

In general, students interested in going to law school should take classes that focus on analytical and critical thinking, communication, research and writing, and when possible – legal topics of interest. The recommended course list includes classes from many different disciplines that might serve one, or more, of these goals.  Take a look at the chart to find courses that are both interesting to you and will help build the necessary skills for law school.

Click Here for the list of Spring 2023 Recommended courses!

Please keep in mind that this list should not be viewed as exhaustive as there are many beneficial courses offered each semester.  This list should be used to highlight courses of particular interest and give a broad overview of options. 

Want to learn more?

See what fellow Class of 2023 Illini say are some of their favorite pre-law related courses at Illinois…

Justin Davis

Justin is currently the Class of 2023 Representative of the PLAS Advisory Council and president of UIUC Accounting Club. He shared the following perspectives on his favorite pre-law related courses…

  • PHIL 102 – Logic and Reasoning – It was a great introduction to applying critical thinking to a text and then writing down your analysis.
  • BADM 300 – The Legal Environment of Business This was my first perspective on what laws apply to corporations. It also provided a glimpse into liability, constitutional law, and the hierarchy of federal vs state laws.

Jack McNabb

Jack is currently a pre-law student of the Class of 2023, studying Sociology and Business & Informatics. Here are his perspectives on his list of favorite pre-law related courses…

  • SOC 364 – Impacts of Globalization – Professor Dill is my other favorite professor at Illinois and his globalization class combined economic and sociology theory to explain globalization trends throughout the world. This course was also reading and discussion intensive.
  • BADM 340 – Ethical Dilemmas of Business – I am currently taking this course and I have enjoyed it thus far. As the name states, this course explores some at large ethical issues facing the current business world and could be valuable to students interested in business law.

Sruthi Navneetha

Sruthi is currently the At-large Representative of the PLAS Advisory Council, president of Phi Alpha Delta, and president and founder of Women In Law Pre-Law Society. She shared the following perspective on her favorite pre-law related course…

  • ECON 437 – Game Theory This can really help with other pre-law-related classes as topics in this class reappear in almost even Political Science class. It also helps people think critically, which is essential to scoring well on the LSAT.

Alex Nevarez

Alex is currently the Class of 2023 Representative of the PLAS Advisory Council, president of Pre-Law Honors Society, and vice-president of Kappa Alpha Pi. These are her favorite pre-law related courses…

  • PHIL 103 – Logic and Reasoning QR 2 – This is the most important course I have taken because it is directly applicable to the LSAT. In this course, you learn logic, symbolic logic, and essentially a new way of thinking. This new way of thinking is directly applicable on the LSAT as there are two logic sections. Because I had already taken this course when I started LSAT studying the logic sections came easy to me because my brain already had logic thinking background.
  • PHIL 104 – Intro to Ethics – In this course it is logic, ethics and writing combined. You cover three hot topics and read from philosophers coming from both sides and then you will write a paper on who you believe is right for each topic. The material is extremely in-depth and eye-opening and it aided me in helping me create good and sound arguments. I grew as a thinker and a writer.

James Weigel

James is currently the At-large Representative of the PLAS Advisory Council studying Aerospace Engineering with a Political Science minor. He shared the following perspective on his favorite pre-law related course…

  • PS 370 – Justice in the Law – In this class, students work through supreme court cases and brief them. The brief style has a heavy emphasis on legal reasoning and other skills important for prospective lawyers. The professor (Ben Miller) is one of the best professors that I have ever had and cares deeply about the educational development of his students.

Considering a minor?

Check out this informative video about the Legal Studies Minor, including Q&A with Professor Jennifer Pahre: 

Visit the Legal Studies Minor website to learn more or email:  

law-undergrad@illinois.edu!

Still not sure what to take? 

Schedule a pre-law advising meeting to discuss course options!

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.

BONITA B. HWANG CHO

OWNER & PARTNER, LAW OFFICES OF CHENG, CHO & YEE

SPECIALIZING IN IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY LAW

Learn more about the Law Offices of Cheng, Cho & Yee here.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT bonita b. hwang cho
  • Law School: Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • UIUC Undergraduate Major: Business Administration
  • Ms. Cho’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Meaningful | Worthwhile Impactful

CHECK OUT THIS INSIGHTFUL INTERVIEW BELOW! 

October Snapshot

October is officially here and the busy application season is in full swing!  Below is a list of important dates, upcoming events, and reminders for this month. Be sure to check back regularly. The Snapshot is updated weekly with new events and deadlines.

October 1: DEADLINE! Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Scholarship | For more information, click here.

October 1: DEADLINE! Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. Law School Disability Scholarship | For more information, click here.

October 2: DEADLINE! Last day to apply to become an I STAR Ambassador | For additional information and to apply, click here.

October 3: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for Fulbright scholarship | For additional information and to apply, click here.

October 3: DEADLINE! Campus deadline for Churchill scholarship |For more additional information and to apply, click here.

October 3: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 4:00 pm Wholers Hall. For more information, click here.

October 4: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for the Gilman scholarship | For more information and to apply, click here.

October 4: AccessLex Webinar – Applying to Law School |3:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 4: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 4:00 pm Lincoln Hall. For more information, click here.

October 4: The Suite Life on Campus: Managing Healthy Relationships and Conflict | 7:00 pm in 1041 BIF. For more information, click here.

October 5: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 7:00 pm ISR 94AB. For more information, click here.

October 6: In Focus Workshop | 1:00 pm at Psychology Building Room 11. For more information, click here.

October 6: Critical Language Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm at 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 6: PLAS Workshop – Drafting Your Application | 5:30 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 7: Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm in Lincoln Hall 1092. For more information and to register, click here.

October 7: Alumni Talk: The Peace Corps and the State Department: Great Career Moves | 2:00 pm in Coble Hall room 306. For more information, click here.

October 10: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 4:00 pm Wholers Hall. For more information, click here.

October 10: PLAS Workshop – Pre-Law 101 Session One | 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 11: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 4:00 pm Lincoln Hall. For more information, click here.

October 11: Acing your Interview | 5:00 pm in Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 12: AccessLex Webinar – Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach For Underrepresented Students |11:00 am ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 12: “Paying for Law School” Workshop (in Spanish) from AccessLex | 6:00 pm on Zoom. To register, click here.

October 12: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 7:00 pm ISR 94AB. For more information, click here.

October 13: AccessLex Webinar – Paying for Law School | 1:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 13: Goldwater Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 13: Creating a Powerful Resume | 5:00 pm Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 13: “Reporting on Politics and Elections” Panel from The Frank Center for Leadership & Innovation in Media | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum or join via Zoom. For more information and Zoom registration, click here.

October 14 – 15: October LSAT Best wishes to everyone taking the LSAT this weekend!

October 14: ONLINE Goldwater Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am on Zoom. For more information, click here.

October 14: Special Event! College of Law Vacketta-DLA Piper Lecture on the Role of Government and the Law featuring Micheal Strautmanis, ’94 | 12:00 pm in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Law Building. For more information, click here.

October 14: UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program Info Session | 12:00 pm on Zoom | For more information, and to attend, click here.

October 14: Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm in Lincoln Hall 1092. For more information and to register, click here.

October 14: Goldwater Scholarship Workshop | 3:00 pm at 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 14: DEADLINE! Champaign County Public Defender Internship | To apply, click here.

October 14: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for the Castillo Scholars Mentorship Program through Loyola Chicago Law School. For additional information and to apply, click here.

October 15: DEADLINE! Enjuris Scholarship Essay Contest | For more information, click here.

October 15: DEADLINE! Illinois Club Scholarships | For more information, click here.

October 17: PLAS Workshop – Pre-Law 101 Session Two | 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 17: Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter | 5:00 pm in Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 17: IU Maurer: Law and Technology: Intellectual Property (including NIL Initiative)| 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 18: PLAS Workshop – Legal Studies Minor Info Session | 2:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 18: Don’t Stop Believing in Yourself: Learning Self-Compassion | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 19: Graduate and Professional School Fair | 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Illini Union. For more information, click here.

October 19: AccessLex Webinar – Your Law School Investment |4:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 19: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 5:00 pm BIF 1041. For more information, click here.

October 19: Finding an Internship | 5:00 pm Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 20: Dean’s Public Engagement Lecture: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Carter | 12:00 pm in Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Law Building. For more information, click here.

October 20: Boren Scholarship Information Session |3:30 pm at 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 20: AccessLex Webinar – Choosing a Law School | 5:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 20: IU Maurer: International Law| 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 21: ONLINE Boren Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 21: Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm in Lincoln Hall 1092. For more information and to register, click here.

October 21: Boren Scholarship Undergraduate Workshop | 3:00 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 22: October LSAC Digital Law School Forum | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 24: Spring course recommendations out on the blog!

October 24: Spring LSAT Study Groups!  Interested students planning to sit for an upcoming 2023 LSAT exam (January-June) are invited to sign-up for a peer study group!  Click here for additional details and to sign-up!  Sign-ups end November 13.

October 24: IU Maurer: Name, Image Likeness Initiative | 6:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 25: A Fireside Chat with Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lisa Holder White | 12:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 25: Test Anxiety Program | 1:00 pm Lincoln Hall 1027. For more information, click here.

October 25: Mental Health Fair | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm in Illini Union. For more information, click here.

October 25: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

October 25: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Addressing Body Image | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 26: Business Majors Only: Pre-Law Advising Information Session at the GIES Undergraduate Success Lab | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm In Person – Business Instructional Facility 1401. For more information and to register, click here.

October 26: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 5:00 pm BIF 1041. For more information, click here.

October 27: DEADLINE! Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans | For more information, click here.

October 27: Beinecke Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 27: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

October 27: IU Maurer: Family Office Program| 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 27: Roosevelt University Paralegal Studies Program Information Session | 6 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

October 27: Atlanta’s John Marshall Virtual Open House | 6 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 27: The World of Patent Law: A Panel Presentation | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Online. Sponsors: Council on Intellectual Property, NYC Bar Association and the Office of Preprofessional Advising, Berick Center for Student Advising, Columbia University. To learn more and register, click here.

October 27: APPtitude certificate program Information Session | 12:00 pm via Zoom. Pre-registration is not required, click here for additional information.  For students with anticipated graduation dates of December 2024, May 2025, or August 2025. 

October 28: Application for TRIALS 2023, hosted by NYU School of Law opens | for more details, click here.

October 28: APPtitude certificate program Information Session (ENCORE) | 10:00 am via Zoom. Pre-registration is not required, click here for additional information. For students with anticipated graduation dates of December 2024, May 2025, or August 2025. 

October 28: ONLINE Beinecke Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 28: AccessLex Webinar – Building Your Law School Budget | 11:00 am ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 28: Beinecke Scholarship Workshop | 3:00 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 29: Sophomore Super Saturdays | Hosted by CLEO and co-hosted by the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and DePaul University College of Law. For more information and to register, click here.

October 29: Road to Law School | Hosted by CLEO and co-hosted by the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and DePaul University College of Law. For more information and to register, click here.

October 29: Juniors Jumpstart the LSAT | Hosted by CLEO and co-hosted by the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and DePaul University College of Law. For more information and to register, click here.

October 31: DEADLINE! Good Works Scholarship | For more information. click here.

October 31: Acing Your Interview | 5:00 pm in Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 31: Internship with the Office of Congressman Sean Casten in Washington D.C. and Glen Ellyn, IL | Applications are due November 11, 2022. For more information and to apply, click here

October 31: UChicago Law Admissions On-Campus Visit | 12:15 pm – 4:00 pm – To learn more, click here.