Mark Your Calendars – End of Semester Edition – Farewell Class of 2017!

Information for Graduating Seniors and Alumni

Congratulations and best wishes to our UIUC graduating Seniors!  We would love to hear from you so please keep in touch.  In fact, we have created a Linked In Group, entitled “Illini Pre-Law Alumni.”  This is an opportunity for PLAS to stay in touch with all of you and for you to stay in touch with your classmates and other UIUC alums. You never know when you might end up in a new city and need to network to find a new job or information on law school. Please go to LinkedIn to join our group.

Information for Fall Law School Applicants

Our events have concluded for this semester but we do have a public service announcement.  Fall law school applicants — do not forget to identify and meet with people whom you would like to write letters of recommendation on your behalf BEFORE you leave campus!  If you wait until the fall to make the request(s), you will likely find yourself waiting in line behind others who asked first!  For information on how to solicit letters of recommendation and some other application tips, go to our April 26 blog post.  If you would like a helpful overview on letters of recommendation that you can share with letter writers, go to the PLAS Compass Page and check out our “Guide to Letters of Recommendation” in the “Application Pointers” section.

Information for June LSAT Test Takers — Reminder about day of exam!

LSAC provides a list of day of test reminders here. It is absolutely critical that you look at this list well in advance of June 12 so that you follow the LSAC’s instructions to the letter. Any violation of LSAC rules constitutes grounds for you to be dismissed from the test.  

PLAS Summer Activities and Office Hours 

Although we will only be posting to our blog a couple of times per month, we will occasionally post information of interest on Facebook (Pre-Law Advising at U of IL) and Twitter (@UIUCPreLaw).  Keep checking in – you never know what interesting opportunities we will hear about and share.

If you need to schedule an appointment with a pre-law advisor over the summer, remember that PLAS Summer Hours are in effect and appointments are available in advance.  Just call the PLAS office at (217) 333-9669 to make an appointment. Enjoy your break and look for announcements about our fall calendar when you return in August.

Have a great summer!

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LSAT Preparation: Some Thoughts from a UIUC Alum

Today’s guest blogger is Cary Shepherd, a graduate of the UIUC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where he studied History.  Cary received a 171 on the LSAT, which is the 98th percentile (scores range from 120-180).  After taking the LSAT, Cary became an LSAT tutor, working with students at UIUC and in Chicago. Cary is currently in his second year at the University of Chicago Law School.

To read an extended version of this article, please visit the “LSAT Preparation” tab on the UIUC Prelaw Compass page. The Compass version contains important details about the preparation process, and links to LSAT studying materials.

______________________________________________________________________

If you choose to attend law school, taking the LSAT will likely be one of the most important events of your career. Much like marriage, this pivotal event is not guaranteed to change your life for the better. Roughly 50% of marriages nationwide end in divorce; roughly 40% of law school graduates fail to find long-term jobs as attorneys. But there is good news. If being an attorney is the job for you, it is possible to improve drastically on the LSAT, and a great LSAT score will help to get you into a great school, maybe with a great scholarship! That said, doing well on the LSAT is no easy task. This article will provide you with the basic steps to success on the test.

First things first – for the best results, you need to spend at least six months studying for this test. This next part is important: it is not possible to cram for the LSAT.  Even if you study 40 hours a week, it takes time to absorb what you are learning. Success requires that you study for two hours per day, six days per week, for at least six months. I’ve tutored numerous law school candidates, and the ones who work hard generally improve an average of 1.5-2 points per month.

During those two hours a day, your studying is going to be divided among an assortment of tasks at the beginning stages, and gradually narrow down to a more simplified set of responsibilities. Here’s a look at the fundamental steps:

  1. Purchase and take an LSAT preptest that is no older than 2012. You need to do this at the earliest possible stage so you know your base-level performance. This will help you to focus your study efforts, and it will allow you to gauge how long it will take for you to reach your target score. It also allows you to better understand the advice given in your preparation guides.
  2. Purchase and carefully read a high-quality LSAT preparation book. Then reread it. Now again. If you purchase books divided into the three section types, start with the logical reasoning, then read the logic games, and finally the reading comprehension guide. You can read them all simultaneously, but if you start reading them one at a time, do it in that order.
  3. After you have been reading your study guides for about two weeks, it is time for you to start taking an LSAT preptest on a weekly basis. Carve out a time of the week that you always have free and take a four-section preptest. Make sure to use a digital proctor, a wooden pencil, an analog watch, and never give yourself extra time or extra breaks. When you finish the test, take a break and then correct your exam.
  4. Record your performance. Create a spreadsheet and input the date you took the preptest, the preptest number, your score, and how you performed on each section. This will allow you to track your progress and focus your efforts on the areas that need improvement.
  5. Once you have grasped the fundamentals of the sections types, you should start taking individual sections under real test conditions daily (i.e. take one 35-minute section each day). After you have taken your section, score it and correct the questions you answered incorrectly. Make sure you understand why you were mistaken on your incorrect answers, as if you fail to do this, you will fail to improve.
  6. Once you have reread your LSAT books ad nauseam, you can put them on your shelf for a while. Use this extra time to increase your preptest schedule to twice a week, and spend more time taking individual 35-minute sections. The key to this phase is correcting both your answers as well as your habits. For example, if you find yourself becoming unfocused, note this, and labor to resolve that issue. If your records indicate you are regularly missing “parallel reasoning” questions, reread the chapter on these, and check out what other reputable LSAT guides say on the topic.

A lack of obvious improvement can be demoralizing. Mental health aside, this will make it hard to keep studying for dozens of hours every month if you haven’t seen your score increase in weeks. But if you are studying intently – even if your score doesn’t show it today – you will improve eventually. I’ve gone as long as six weeks without seeing any improvements. When I finally did make that next breakthrough though, it was well worth it and the results were apparent. Good luck, and try to enjoy yourself!

Author’s Note

Please note that there is more than one way to prepare for this test. I’ve had considerable personal success using this approach, and many of my tutoring students have benefited from these practices as well. Additionally, these points only scratch the surface of the best preparation methods. Many students benefit from additional practices ranging from meditation to reading National Geographic.

If you have any questions, or if you are interested in tutoring services, please feel free to email me at lsat.shepherd@gmail.com. I offer a free introductory tutoring session, and I am always happy to hear from UIUC students.

 

 

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of April 17

PLAS Programs

Applying to Law School: A Workshop for Fall Applicants – TODAY, April 17, 4-5pm, Room 514 IUB

This workshop is designed for students who plan to apply to law school this fall. We will provide an overview of the application process, including: Understanding the Credential Assembly Service, getting recommendations, creating an application strategy, researching law schools, budgeting for the application process, suggested resources to use, LSAT considerations, and more. Time for Q&A will be available. This workshop does not cover writing the personal statement, which is covered in the separate workshop on Perfecting the Personal Statement and Resume for Law School.  

Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume: A Workshop for Fall Applicants – NEXT Tuesday, April 25, 4-5pm, Room 514 IUB

Planning to apply to law school this fall? This summer is a great time to focus on crafting the perfect personal statement and resume, which are very important elements of the application process. This workshop will provide an overview of the personal statement and resume required for law school applications, plus it will cover: Brainstorming topics, how to begin, creating a timeline, how to make the resume and personal statement complement each other, and we will provide a four step plan to approach crafting these critical documents. Please register so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

Campus Opportunities

The Office of Volunteer Programs is hiring PAID undergraduate office staff positions School year student employees work regular office hours as well as special events that occur in the mornings, evenings, and on weekends. Applicants must be enrolled in Fall 2017 classes at the start of employment. Starting pay rate is $8.25/hr. To apply: please complete an application at the Illini Union Employment website, and after you have filled out the form, send a cover letter that includes your interest in the position along how you will contribute to the success of the office; a resume; phone and email contact information for two references; and availability for a potential 30-minute phone/Skype/in-person interview during the next three weeks to John Race, Program Advisor, by email at jrrace@illinois.edu.

Apply to be a Women in Leadership Intern. The YWCA of the University of Illinois is seeking Women in Leadership interns for the 2017-18 school year. Women in Leadership is an intensive, two semester leadership and project management internship. Structured as a group consulting project, the program allows interns to work directly with local human services agencies to learn about the nonprofit sector; identify organizational challenges; and research, propose, and implement solutions. Throughout the year, interns receive training focusing on professional development, leadership skills, and building a working team, all of which are applied to their projects. Interns are guided through this process by mentors drawn from Urbana-Champaign’s excellent professional and graduate student pools. Open to all UIUC students. For more information, please contact Amarin Young at amarin@ywcauofi.org. To learn more and apply, visit: www.ywcauofi.org/womeninleadership. Applications are due April 30th.

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

The Family Resiliency Center is currently accepting applications for the HDFS 494: STRONG Kids undergraduate research course.  The STRONG Kids Research Program provides a unique, team-based, hands-on research experience working with over 450 families with children aged 3 months-4 years. Applications are due THIS FRIDAY, April 21st!  Applications will be reviewed and interviews conducted the last week of April. The link to the application is below.

Students are eligible if they:

  • Will have sophomore, junior, or senior class standing by Fall 2017
  • Are available to work regular hours on an assigned research project for 6-9 hours per week
  • Have two, 3 hour blocks of time each week (including one evening)
  • Are able to attend class every other week on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00

The purpose of these two-semester year-long supervised research course is to provide students with a first-hand experience working as part of a research team as well as to help them develop a working knowledge of the theory and applications of transdisciplinary approaches to obesity research.

This course is divided into 3 components: Obesity prevention, professional development training, and applied research.

Additional information about this course, as well the application can be found on our website at: http://familyresiliency.illinois.edu/education/undergraduate-students.

Fulbright Scholarship Information Sessions

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards approximately 2,000 full scholarships annually to students for studies, research, or English teaching in any of 140 countries worldwide. The National and International Scholarships Program will provide a comprehensive overview of the grant and include advice from recent Illinois Fulbright recipients. There will be lots of time to get your questions answered and enjoy free pizza. The session is targeted to juniors, seniors, and graduate students who wish to explore Fulbright opportunities and ready materials for the Fulbright Priority Deadline of June 29, 2017 for grants beginning in fall 2018.Interested in pursuing a Fulbright Scholarship?  Here

Fulbright Information Session – Tuesday, April 18, 3:30-5:30 pm, 180 Bevier Hall Sponsor: National and International Scholarships Program, including speakers from the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships and recent Fulbright grantees

Fulbright Informational Webinar for Illinois Alumni and Students Abroad – Thursday, April 20, 12:00-1:00pm CST Sponsor: National and International Scholarships Program

If you are not currently on campus to take advantage of our Fulbright Information Session, join us remotely for this webinar!  The same detailed overview will be provided for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, including: eligibility, grant types, and application advice.  There will also be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Fulbright Personal Statement Workshop – Friday, April 21, 3:30-4:30pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore Sponsors: National and International Scholarships Program and the Writers Workshop

The two main sections of a Fulbright application consist of 1) an essay describing your Fulbright project and how you will spend your year—Statement of Grant Purpose, and 2) an essay describing why you should be the one to do this project—Personal Statement.

We will dissect the key components Fulbright reviewers are seeking to glean from the personal statement, review and discuss past winning Fulbright personal statements, and assist you in beginning to sketch and portray your own story.

You need not know your desired destination or specific Fulbright project to benefit from this workshop. The session is targeted to juniors, seniors, and beginning graduate students who wish to apply for any type of Fulbright grant and ready materials for the Fulbright Priority Deadline of June 29, 2017 for grants beginning in fall 2018.

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Reviews — April 17, 2-4pm, Career Center Resources Center; April 17,7-9pm, Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner. This workshop is offered on several other dates. Click here for more info.
  • Finding and Applying to Federal Government Jobs — April 17, 3-4pm
  • Acing Your Interview — April 17, 4-5pm
  • Peace Corps: General Information Meeting — April 18, 6-7pm

Scholarship Opportunities 

Please check out last Wednesday’s blog post on scholarships.  You can also go directly to our Compass page for a list of over 200 scholarships for undergrads and incoming law students!

NEW–The Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship is accepting applications until May 19. This scholarship awards $40,000 over 3 years to an incoming law student attending any Illinois law school who intends to pursue a career in public interest law. Click here for more details and to apply.

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Course Options for Fall 2017

Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, here are some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. Check out Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

AAS 370/LLS 372: Immigration, Law, and Rights

  • Exploration of the histories, cultures, and experiences of immigration to the United States by examining cultural production (literary and visual narratives and texts) alongside legal discourses (legislation, federal court cases).

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning

  • Understanding financial instruments and tax implications is critical for many lawyers

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills.

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

INFO 303: Writing Across Media, a skill that all careers integrate and value.

LAW 301: Introduction to Law

  • Serves as a general foundation course for those interested in applying to law school.

Philosophy options include: 

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning This course is particularly helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics This course includes some basic exploration of ethics, including looking at the relationship between social morality and the law.

Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:

  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II, are helpful primers for law school
  • PS 312: Politics and the Media
  • PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 323: Law & Representation

PSYC 368: Psych and Law

  • Examines relationship of the administrative, civil, and criminal justice systems to educational and mental health institutions; individual rights, social issues, and psychological well being.

Sociology is introducing its Criminology, Law and Society Minor this fall, and has some interesting classes listed, including:

  • SOC 275: Criminology
  • SOC 477: Sociology of Law

Other courses to explore different areas of law include:

  • JOUR 311: Media Law
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport
  • SE 400 (formerly GE 400): Engineering Law – note – only prerequisite is Rhet 105
  • TE 450: Startups: Incorporate, Fund, Contracts, Intellectual Property
  • UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law

Remember: these are only suggestions.  Further, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify other good options.

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of March 27

Welcome back!  We hope you had a restful break. 

Still not sure about whether to go straight to law school from UIUC or work for year or two first? PLAS resumes its programming this Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, 514 IUB, with the “Taking a Gap Year” Workshop! Scroll down for more info on this, other programs and UIUC summer class options!

PLAS Programs

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School — THIS Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, Room 514 IUB

Are you considering working or taking a gap year before law school? Do you want to know more about going straight through to law school after undergrad? Pre-Law Advising Services and the UIUC Pre-Law Honor Society are co-hosting an event for students to learn more about different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students at the UIUC College of Law–two with work experience and one who went directly from undergrad to law school–to answer your questions and discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working. We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — NEXT Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB

Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

UIUC Summer Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases.  All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Also — the Sociology Department Fall 2017 Course Fair is tomorrow, March 28, 5:30pm, Room 1092 Lincoln Hall.  Come and hear about Sociology courses for the Sociology Major, Minor and the Criminology, Law and Society Minor.  Pizza will be provided!

Interested in ideas for other Fall 2017 classes?  Check out our midweek PLAS blog this Wednesday, March 29!

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Scroll down for info on the Career Center’s “Illini Career & Internship Fair”, set for next Wednesday, April 5 at the ARC! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive

The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences. 

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — March 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — March 28, 6-7pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 28, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 5-6pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — March 30, 5-6pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1002
  • Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop — March 31, 2-3:30pm, Career Center Conference Room

Scholarship Opportunities 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. Our commitment to inclusion is the foundation for a vibrant work environment and unparalleled client service that comes from varied perspectives in developing strategies and solutions to serve our clients’ business goals.  In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due THIS THURSDAY, April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Casper

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards scholarships up to $10,000 for students working for social and economic justice. Applications–including recommendations–due April 1. Click here to apply.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications due March 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Iranian American Bar Association provides scholarships to law students of Iranian-American heritage. Applications due March 31. Click here to apply.

Jewish Vocational Service scholarships are available to Jewish students demonstrating financial need. Applications due March 31. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Mark Your Calendars – March 27

Welcome back!  We hope you had a restful break. 

Still not sure about whether to go straight to law school from UIUC or work for year or two first? PLAS resumes its programming this Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, 514 IUB, with the “Taking a Gap Year” Workshop! Scroll down for more info on this, other programs, UIUC summer class options, and scholarships with deadlines this week!

PLAS Programs

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School — THIS Wednesday, March 29, 5-6pm, Room 514 IUB

Are you considering working or taking a gap year before law school? Do you want to know more about going straight through to law school after undergrad? Pre-Law Advising Services and the UIUC Pre-Law Honor Society are co-hosting an event for students to learn more about different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students at the UIUC College of Law–two with work experience and one who went directly from undergrad to law school–to answer your questions and discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working. We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — NEXT Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB

Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

PLAS has additional programs planned for April, including: Transitioning to Law School; Applying to Law School; and Personal Statement and Resume for Law School Workshop.  Go here for more information on all of our programs: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/2508.

UIUC Summer Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases.  All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Looking for some ideas for Fall 2017 classes?  Watch for for our midweek PLAS blog post!

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Scroll down for info on the Career Center’s “Illini Career & Internship Fair”, set for next Wednesday, April 5 at the ARC! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive

The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences. 

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — March 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — March 28, 6-7pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 28, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 5-6pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — March 30, 5-6pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1002
  • Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop — March 31, 2-3:30pm, Career Center Conference Room

Scholarship Opportunities 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due THIS THURSDAY, April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Casper

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

BARBRI Law Preview and the American Bar Association have partnered to award one incoming law student a $10,000 scholarship and a second runner up a $5,000 scholarship to help offset the cost of first year law school tuition. Application deadline: April 15! Panelists will select and notify 10 finalists by April 25, 2017. Official rules.

  • Complete your online scholarship application on lawpreview.com.
  • Submit a 250-word essay online in response to:
    How you hope to use your law degree to change our world and how would $10,000 towards your 1L tuition change your world?
  • Stay tuned on April 25, 2017, to see if you’re a winner.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards scholarships up to $10,000 for students working for social and economic justice. Applications–including recommendations–due THIS Friday, April 1. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications due THIS Wednesday, March 30. Click here to apply.

The Iranian American Bar Association provides scholarships to law students of Iranian-American heritage. Applications due THIS Thursday, March 31. Click here to apply.

Jewish Vocational Service scholarships are available to Jewish students demonstrating financial need. Applications due THIS Thursday, March 31. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Waitlisted, or just waiting? What to do now.

We’re hearing from a lot of students who have submitted their applications and now find themselves either waiting to hear back or finding out they’ve been wait listed. Here are some helpful tips and pointers to help you position yourself in the best manner for admission and aid!

If you’re still waiting for an admission decision…
You are NOT alone! Many students tell us they have been waiting weeks or months. What is going on? It could mean:

  • The school is essentially “waitlisting” you, but not calling it that, by waiting to respond to you until they see the rest of the applicant pool.
  • The admissions office is understaffed or inundated with applications.
  • You applied later in the cycle and a backlog of applications must be reviewed before yours.

What can you do?

  • IF it has been at least 4-6 weeks or whatever time frame the school has indicated as their response time, reach out and gently inquire about anticipated time frames for a decision. Reiterate your interest in the school.
  • Follow the law school on Twitter; many deans have taken to updating applicants about expected decisions there.
  • Don’t: (1) Complain about their slowness or criticize the school’s process; (2) tell them you’ve already heard back from everyone else or from “better” schools; or (3) give the school a deadline. Sometimes patience is key.

If you’ve been waitlisted…Understand what this means: that you are an admissible candidate but the school needs to hit its institutional goals before they can admit you. Institutional goals could be LSAT/GPA related but could also be related to balancing the class with regard to gender, diversity, in state/out of state, age, etc. Very few schools can accurately predict how many applicants–and with what qualities–they will be pulling from a waitlist. When the school tells you they don’t know, it is very likely true.

What can you do?

  • Follow the school’s directions carefully. Do not email to ask them what to do after the school sends very specific instructions. Some law schools will ask you to confirm that you want to be on their waitlist–if you don’t do so, you will not be considered.
  • Update your application by sending an updated resume, a new recommendation, or a letter or email expressing continued interest in that school (sometimes called a LOCI, or letter of continued interest).
  • Stay in touch–no more than once every week or two–to demonstrate your interest in the school. IF the school is your top choice, then say so.
  • Continue to make other plans. No one should proceed by “expecting” to be pulled from a waitlist…even if this does happen, it can be anytime up to the day classes begin. You need to start making other plans if you haven’t heard by April or so.
  • Don’t demand a decision right now…you may get one but it will not be the one you want.

Be “pleasantly persistent” as we move into late March and April, which are prime decision-making times for schools and for entering students. And always remember that professionalism and good manners go a long way in this business!

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Negotiating Scholarships Roundup

Negotiating law school scholarships has become quite common in the last few years. While many students have successfully bargained for additional scholarship dollars, the process of negotiating can be risky and stressful. On February 27, PLAS welcomed Rebecca Ray, Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law who shared her insights on negotiating scholarships with law schools. For those of you who were unable to attend, here are some of the questions addressed.

1. Under what circumstances should students negotiate scholarships?

  • Generally speaking, it is fine to contact schools about your scholarship as long as they do not expressly indicate that they will not reconsider your scholarship.
  • Most law schools are open to renegotiating/reconsidering scholarships under certain circumstances.  Specifically, it is appropriate to request reconsideration of your scholarship if you really want to attend that law school but are facing a financial hurdle that might prohibit you matriculating there.
  • Dean Ray discouraged the use of scholarship reconsideration solely to leverage offers at other law schools.
  • Remember: Most law schools’ initial scholarship offers are offers that they intend view as market competitive so don’t approach the reconsideration process assuming that the law school is using a “low-ball” offer as a starting point.  As such, although it is fine to ask for reconsideration, in most cases the law schools say “No” more often than they say “Yes” to these requests.

2. How can students successfully engage with law schools?

  • Follow the instructions provided by the schools that outline the process and procedure for reconsideration of scholarship offers.  It the school requests a separate email, write the email.  If the school requires the submission of a special form, complete and submit it.  If the school would prefer you call them, then make the phone call.
    • Note – if a school specifically states it will not reconsider scholarship offers then respect that and do not contact the school to attempt to negotiate.
    • Also – some schools set aside a specific time frame for renegotiation.  As such, pestering them for a final decision before their designated time for reviewing scholarships is not a good strategy.
  • Be professional, courteous and prepared. Before you submit anything or make a phone call, consider your demeanor and the quality of your submission.  Professionalism is key!
  • Dean Ray indicated that she was not persuaded simply by arguments that she “should match” another school’s scholarship offer.
  • Manage your expectations — full tuition scholarships are very rarely awarded so do not expect that result.
  • Do not turn the negotiation into something resembling haggling over a purchase of a used car.
  • Visit the law school.  There is no better way to convey your sincere interest in attending a school than to schedule a visit.  Tip – all admitted students should visit any school they are considering attending before submitting a seat deposit. You never know if the atmosphere of the school is going to match how it seems to fit you “on paper.”

3. What would make a law school deny a request to renegotiate/reconsider a scholarship?

  • Lack of additional funding.  This is important to remember — however much a law school might want to provide you with additional scholarship money, there are limits to their financial resources.
  • Lack of professional behavior by the requesting student.  See number 2, above.

4. Why do law schools ask to see other scholarship offers as part of the negotiation process?

  • Schools typically ask for this to verify the conditions and amounts that the student is claiming she has received.
  • Note — there is nothing wrong with such a request.  This is simply good lawyering by the admissions office.  As such, if possible, you should attach the other competing scholarship offers to your reconsideration letter/email.  That equals good lawyering by you!

5. What is a “peer” institution? Why is this relevant?

  • Generally speaking, schools with similar admitted student profiles consider themselves “peer” institutions.
  • A peer institution could be a school with similar GPA and LSAT medians.
  • A peer institution could also be another law school in the same region or grouping of schools, e.g., Big 10 law schools, Chicago-area law schools.  The definition is subject to interpretation by each law school.
  • Note: This designation is important because most law schools consider scholarship offers from peer institutions to be more relevant in the reconsideration process.

Final Thoughts — Dos and Don’ts for Negotiating Scholarships

Do

  • Follow each school’s directions for scholarship reconsideration
  • Decide what you are able and willing to pay for your education before you ask for reconsideration
  • Conduct yourself professionally by being prepared and courteous – your proposal should be a well-crafted and thoughtfully-presented piece of advocacy
  • Show your interest by visiting the school

Don’t

  • Ignore specific instructions for contacting the school about scholarships
  • Become demanding and difficult if the school cannot accommodate your request
  • Expect to get a full ride/free legal education – those situations are extremely rare

Still not sure what to do or have specific questions to discuss?  Please contact our office 333-9669 and make an appointment with an advisor.

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of February 27

U of I kicks off its Sesquicentennial Celebration this week! Also don’t forget — TODAY is the day for our Negotiating Scholarships Workshop, featuring Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, UIUC College of Law, on Monday, February 27 at 5:00pm, Room 514 IUB!  This is a MUST for those of you looking for tips on how to handle a scholarship negotiation! Finally — the end of February/beginning of March is a time of internship and scholarship deadlines.  Scroll down for more information on several opportunities with application deadlines THIS WEEK!

UI Sesquicentennial Kickoff Celebration: Funkadesi

February 28, 2017, marks the 150th anniversary of the passage of the legislative act that created the University of Illinois in 1867. This sesquicentennial milestone provides the opportunity to commemorate our shining accomplishments of the past 150 years and to look forward to the possibilities the future holds. Krannert Center hosts the sesquicentennial kickoff celebration with a keynote address by Chancellor Jones, and a free lobby concert and reception featuring six-time Chicago Music Award winners Funkadesi, who meld musical styles from around the globe and whose one-world sound and positive vibe make the band a unique, compelling, and flat-out fun musical force. Here’s to the past 150 years and to the next! For more information on UIUC’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, go here.

PLAS Opportunities

TODAY Monday February 27th – Negotiating Scholarships Workshop with UIUC College of Law Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid Rebecca Ray, 5:00pm, Room 514 IUB

The hard part of applying to law school is over, and now you’re starting to receive acceptances and financial aid offers. So…what happens next? Now is the time to assess aid offers and discuss options for additional scholarships with your law schools. What information can you provide that will persuade a law school to reconsider your aid? How can applicants have a respectful yet productive conversation that potentially results in more scholarship dollars being awarded? Join us as we examine exactly how to go about negotiating law school scholarships with the expertise of Dean Rebecca Ray, the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law. This session is a must-see for anyone applying to law school, and the information applies whether U of I or another law school is your goal.

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.  Read on for a reminder about the TRIALS Summer Program at Harvard Law School.

TRIALS Summer Program — Application Deadline is TOMORROW, February 28. 

Trials is a unique partnership of NYU School of Law, Harvard Law School, and the Advantage Testing Foundation. It is a fully subsidized summer study program for students of modest means whose backgrounds are currently underrepresented at the nation’s top law schools.

For five weeks in the summer, Trials students take residence at Harvard or New York University. The residency alternates from year to year. In 2017, Trials will be held at Harvard Law School from June 25 to July 30.  For more information and to apply, go here: http://trials.atfoundation.org/program/index.

Campus Events and Opportunities

Subcommittees on Student Conduct — Students Needed — Applications due TOMORROW, February 28, 2017

The Senate Committee and the Office for Student Conflict Resolution are now seeking to fill vacant student and faculty seats on the Subcommittee on Undergraduate Student Conduct and the Subcommittee on Graduate Student Conduct, and vacant faculty, student and staff seats on the Subcommittee on Sexual Misconduct.  Applications are due TOMORROW, February 28, 2017.  For more information and to apply, go here.

UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. More information will be coming soon. Minority Association for Future Attorneys (MAFA) Meeting. Join Director of Pre-Law Advising Services Jamie Thomas-Ward and PLAS Graduate Assistant Lydia Faklis as they discuss “New Perspectives on Choosing a Law School” at MAFA’s. Jamie and Lydia will be talking about bar passage results and why these numbers matter, how to make sure you are getting a good return on your law school investment, exploring law schools, law school scholarships and more! The meeting is open to anyone that would like to attend.

Women’s Career Institute — Saturday, March 4, 9:00am-5:00pm, 616 E. Green Street, Room 213.  The Women’s Resources Center, the Career Center and the YWCA of the University of Illinois are sponsoring the Women’s Career Institute, a day-long women’s leadership and career development institute featuring practical workshops, networking opportunities, and strengths-assessment. This institute is designed for undergraduate students of all genders eager to explore considerations for women in seeking career and leadership opportunities. The Women’s Career Institute will offer meals for attendees and is free of charge. For additional information or if you have any questions, contact Women’s Resources Center Assistant Director, Rachel Lauren Storm, at rstorm2@illinois.edu. To register, fill out an application here: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/7977462. 

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — Feb. 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — Feb. 28, 4-5pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 1, 4-5pm Career Center Room 143
  • Acing Your Interview —  March 1, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Linked In and Job Search Resources for International Students — March 3, 4-5:30pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
New Sociology Minor of Criminology, Law, and Society!

The Department of Sociology is very excited to announced that coming this Fall they are launching a Minor in Criminology, Law, and Society. Pizza will be provided!  For more information about this minor, go here. Interested students should attend one of these info sessions, all held in Room 3057 Lincoln Hall on the following dates:

Wednesday March 1 at 5:00PM
Thursday March 9 at 5:00PM

Scholarship and Grant Opportunities 

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is now accepting applications for the Research Support Grant (RSG). This grant provides students from all disciplines with the funds necessary to conduct research or creative projects during the academic year both on and off campus (including summer terms). Awards will be up to $2,000 and are meant to cover research travel costs, living expenses incurred during academic breaks (i.e., winter break and summer terms, NOT regular semester living expenses), and materials or other ancillary costs.  We hope that this competition will both broaden and deepen the types of research being conducted by undergraduate students on campus, and that the recipients are able to use this opportunity as a way of engaging with their fields. For details and eligibility requirements please visit: http://go.illinois.edu/OUR_RSG. Deadline for applications will be THIS Wednesday, March 1, at 11:59 p.m. Questions may be addressed to ugresearch@illinois.edu

Scholarship opportunity for those entering law school this fall

The ABA Diversity Scholarship is designed for underrepresented students who demonstrate financial need and community involvement. Awards will be $15,000 for entering law students, which is renewable for years 2 and 3 of law school.  Applicants must be entering law school in 2017 and submit an application, personal statement, and statement of financial need by THIS THURSDAY March 2. Find the application and more details here. 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. Our commitment to inclusion is the foundation for a vibrant work environment and unparalleled client service that comes from varied perspectives in developing strategies and solutions to serve our clients’ business goals.  In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Caspers.

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Admissions Cycle Roundup — February Checklist Items

February is here! Sadly, per the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, we still have to endure several more weeks of winter.  Now is a good time for those of you in the midst of the application cycle to think about a few things.

  1. Admitted Student Days Many of you have been admitted to several law schools and are in the process of deciding where you will go next year.  Most law schools offer “Admitted Students” days or weekends.  We encourage you to try to attend these events for the law schools where you are still considering attending.  Remember: you will be spending the next three years of your life there.  It is important to determine if the school is a good fit, both in terms of your classmates and the school’s location BEFORE you accept an admissions offer.  There is no substitute for a campus visit.
  2. Declining Admissions Offers Those of you who have already accepted an admissions offer should notify the other law schools to which you applied that you will not be attending their law school.  This allows those schools to plan and to offer admission to another applicant so is the right thing to do.
  3. Financial Aid and Housing Once you have accepted an admissions offer, you should touch base with the Financial Aid office to make sure that you have submitted all of the necessary paperwork to secure your scholarship/financial aid package.  In addition, it is a good idea to reach out to the admissions office to find out the best way to begin researching your housing options.  Some law schools actually maintain lists of housing options with reviews by law students.
  4. Negotiating Scholarships If you are still deciding among multiple law school admissions offers and wondering how to negotiate additional scholarship funds, plan on attending our Negotiating Scholarships Workshop, Monday, February 27, 5pm, Room 514 IUB, featuring Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, UIUC College of Law.
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