Back to School | Spring Preview

Spring semester is here and this is an important time to look ahead at what you can do to best prepare yourself for your future law school adventures, including planning your spring task list, finalizing summer plans, and revisiting timelines.

Below are some suggested areas to prioritize this spring, depending on your place in the journey to law school. Also included are some January Application Tips for those who are submitting applications this January!


Have you submitted applications? Are you looking to apply to law school in January – it is still a great time to submit applications to achieve admissions success! Be sure to keep a few things in mind in you are in the application process this year.

If you are still working on applications

  • If it is still on your to-do list, make sure you sign up for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) as soon as possible to begin uploading and submitting all application materials. For more information on CAS, click here.
  • Check all applicable deadlines. Remember, law schools use a rolling admissions process, so get your applications in as soon as possible, with the understanding that while many law schools have deadlines in March, deadlines are school-specific and may be in February, March, April, May, or later!
  • If you are still waiting on letters of recommendation, make a concerted effort to reach out to your recommender(s) and agree on a completion date (by the end of January if possible) so you can execute on your application submission timeline without delay.
  • Make sure you have submitted your transcript to LSAC. To learn more about the transcript summarization process, click here.
  • If you are planning on applying during the 2023-2024 cycle but have not yet taken the LSAT, please reach out to our office right away. We are happy to strategize with you!
  • 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 an undergrad or an incoming law student.

If you have submitted applications…

  • Be sure to monitor your inboxes for updates and communications each day.
  • Keep researching schools and mark important upcoming dates, events, and programs on your calendar.
  • Create a spring application budget – consider travel expenses for admitted student events and begin researching seat deposit expectations which will likely be several hundred dollars or more.
  • Consider if you would want to submit a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI). Consider what you might say and when you should submit (timing is important)! Keep in mind that some schools may have specific guidance on when/if LOCIs will be reviewed and considered. PLAS is also here to help you strategize!
  • 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 an undergrad or an incoming law student.


Jan. 10 – 13: January LSAT Administration Dates | For more information, click here.

Feb 2: February LSAC Digital Law School Forum — JD-focused | 4:00 – 7:00 pm ONLINE. Register by January 31, 2024, by clicking here.

Feb. 9-10: February LSAT Administration Dates | For more information, click here.

Feb 29: Last Day to Register for the April LSAT | For more information, click here.


January 23: LSAT Jumpstart| Session One: LSAT Overview and Session Two: Reading Comprehension with Blueprint | 6:00 – 8:00 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

January 24: LSAT Jumpstart|Session Three: Logical Reasoning with Blueprint and Session Four: Analytical Reasoning with Blueprint | 6:00 – 8:00 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

January 26: Pre-Law Leadership Summit|9:30 – 11:00 pm IN PERSON. For more information and to nominate a representative, click here.

January 30: LSAT Jumpstart|LSAT Peer Perspectives Panel| 4:00 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

February 1: Pre-Law 101 – Session One | 12:00 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

February 8: Pre-Law 101 – Session Two| 12:00 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.


Apply for Summer Jobs and Internships.  Now is a great time to research summer opportunities and experiences. This is a great way to gain valuable experience and enhance your resume. Check out our Internship Guide or browse available opportunities on UIUC’s Handshake page.
Note: To access the internship guide, you must enroll in the PLAS Canvas page. Click here for more information.

Apply to Summer Pre-Law Programs These short summer programs are a wonderful opportunity for students interested in the legal profession. They typically last 3-5 weeks and are usually free for qualified students. Application deadlines vary but are typically in March and April. If you are interested in these programs check out the AccessLex Directory here!

Sophomore Students – Start researching the LSAT. Not ready to take the real LSAT yet but wondering what it’s all about? Then it’s time to make LSAC (Law School Admission Council) your best friend! This is the organization that administers the LSAT. Learn how to prepare for the LSAT and even take a free test here. Additionally, join PLAS for LSAT Jumpstart to learn foundational information about this crucial exam. To learn more click here.

Job Shadow/Informational Interviews. Job shadow or 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 them coffee and ask about their professional life. Connect with the Career Center for great tips on acing interviews!

Keep up. Use this time to reassess your study plans and goals. Are you satisfied with your major? Are you finding meaningful opportunities and connections on campus? Are you hoping to study abroad? What would be most useful to you now?

Juniors, Seniors and Alumni Applying during the 2024-2025 cycle:

Make your LSAT plans.  Taking the April or June LSAT? Select your prep option and start studying as soon as possible. You want to give yourself the most time to prepare. Ideally, you will study for 4-6 months before taking the LSAT. Keep this in mind when selecting your ideal LSAT examination date. Spring break can be a great time to crank up your LSAT studying.

Save the Date for LSAT Jumpstart & Learn About LSAT Updates: As you may have heard, the LSAT is changing in August 2024. There will be important things to consider as you explore when to take the LSAT. Mark your calendars for LSAT Jumpstart – you don’t want to miss it!

Meet with Pre-law Advising Services. This is the perfect semester to schedule an individual advising session to meet with an expert pre-law advisor on your law school plans. Appointments can be scheduled online at anytime.

Begin considering who will be your recommendation writers.  Applications to law school require letters of recommendation. If you know who you will want to support you with a letter, you should consider approaching your recommenders by this May/June (at the end of THIS semester) so they have plenty of time to write the letter and your performance is still fresh in their mind. If you are an alum, reach out this spring to begin connecting – the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to track people down and for them to remember you. If you don’t feel you have recommenders to ask, begin building relationships this spring in preparation for your application cycle. We recommend identifying two “academic” and at least one additional “professional/leadership/service” related recommender.

Plan to Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  This is the account you will need to open to have your recommendation letters processed. Be sure to get signed up no later than August if you will be applying in the 2024-2025 cycle.  Once you set it up, your account is good for five years. You can read all about it here.

Seniors taking a gap year (or two) before law school:

Decide who will be your recommendation writers.  It’s a good idea to decide who on campus will write your recommendations, and approach them by the end of this semester to make contact. If you are applying during the 2024-2025 cycle, you’ll want to secure those letters in the spring. If you are planning on applying in a future cycle, it will be important to make contact with your recommender and ask for support. If you keep in touch regularly, your recommender will be better prepared to assist you in a year or two. Plus, regular contact will help with timing. Remember, if you wait too long to make contact,  your preferred professor may be gone, on sabbatical, retired, etc., so it’s better to connect now.

Research Opportunities & Apply. Consider what you hope to achieve by taking time prior to law school and look for opportunities that help you achieve those goals whether it be further education, job opportunities, service, or more. Be sure to connect with career resources on campus, update your resume, and begin creating a timeline for securing your next opportunity.

Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  If you plan to apply during the 2024-2025 cycle, register for CAS in the summer or early fall. If you plan to apply in a future cycle, hold off on CAS until you are closer to applying.

tips for a successful spring

Get organized! Mark important dates on your calendar. This can include seat deposits, admitted student open house days, and scholarship deadline information for those applying during this cycle. If you are not there yet, consider updating your calendar with academic, RSO, and personal dates. Organization frees up space in your mind!

Stay Connected – Attend Programs! Attend upcoming workshops for guidance on all things pre-law. Check out our Master Calendar below:

Apply for additional scholarships. There may be some wonderful local, state and/or national scholarship opportunities with your name on them! Check out AccessLex’s Scholarship Databank here.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of where you are on your pre-law journey, remember we are here to support you, so please reach out with any questions or thoughts or if you just want to talk.