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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Mark Your Calendars — Week of February 6

Pre-Law Advising Services Workshops and Programs

We have updated our Spring Semester calendar of events! Upcoming PLAS programs include the FREE Practice LSAT on Friday, February 24, and the Negotiating Scholarships Workshop, featuring Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, at the UIUC College of Law, on Monday, February 27 at 5pm! For more information and to register for the practice LSAT, go to our website here.

Upcoming Campus Events

Pre-Law Honors Society is taking applications for new members with a minimum 3.3 GPA and sophomore status. Applications are due THIS FRIDAY, Feb. 10 at 5:00pm. Click here for the application: PLHS Application Spring

The Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations has posted its spring events! Check them out here.

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. This Friday, February 10, the Career Center is hosting a “Pizza & Professionals” lunch (with free pizza) on internships at Research Park.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — Feb. 6, 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.
  • Career Fairs: Maximizing Your Experience — Feb. 6, 4-5 pm Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — Feb. 6, 5-6 pm Career Center Room 143
  • Career Services Paraprofessional Info Session — Feb 7, 5-6 pm Career Center Room 143; Feb 8, 6-7pm Native American House
  • Finding An Internship — Feb. 8, 5-6pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter — Feb. 9, 5-6 pm Career Center Room 143
  • Linked In and Job Search Resources for International Students — Feb 9, 5-6:30pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Pizza & Professionals Lunch Series: Internships at Research Park, Feb 10, 12-1pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for International Students — Feb 10, 3-4pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) for International Students — Feb 10, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213

Internship and Scholarship Opportunities

Student Affairs internships are now available!  Many internships are available at various sites on campus including: Asian American Cultural Center, Campus Recreation, Illinois Leadership Center, Office of Volunteer Programs, and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Explore these internship opportunities on their website here.

PAID internship opportunity in Chicago – The deadline to apply is TODAY Monday February 6th!  The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has paid internship opportunities for students in the court areas of Judicial Services, Operation Services, Administrative Services, and the Computer Systems Department. For more information and to apply, go here.

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 Wednesday, March 1, at 11:59 p.m. Questions may be addressed to ugresearch@illinois.edu

We hope you have been utilizing 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.) It’s got 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

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 March 2. Find the application and more details here. 

Upcoming Law School Events–OPEN TO ALL PRE-LAW STUDENTS

Indiana University Maurer School of Law Diversity Law Day is Saturday, February 18. You’ll learn about what lawyers do, experience a mock class, meet current law students, and tour the school. For more details and to register visit their website. http://www.law.indiana.edu/what/professional-careers/jd-degree/diversity-day/

The Wisconsin Statewide Pre-Law Diversity Day is set for Friday, February 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. This event is open to all students. For more information and to register, visit their website here. Cosponsored by the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School, this FREE event includes lunch and:

  • an update on law school admissions in Wisconsin featuring the University of Wisconsin and Marquette Law Schools;
  • an overview of the Law School Admission Test with practice questions;
  • breakout workshops featuring a mock class for students ; and
  • law school fair featuring admissions representatives from law schools around the country.  Click here for a list of law schools that are registered for this year’s event.
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It’s January — Submit Your Applications ASAP!

If you are applying to law school this cycle and do not have your applications in, get them in ASAP!  Remember: this is a rolling admissions process! What is your hold up?

Personal Statement: If you are struggling with drafting your personal statement, get cracking!  Not sure how to get started?  Check out our “Perfecting Your Personal Statement” video on the PLAS Compass page You can also look at our tips both on Compass and the PLAS website.  Once you have a draft, you are welcome to contact the PLAS office at (217) 333-9669 to set up an appointment with an advisor to go over your personal statement.  REMEMBER: you need to submit your draft personal statement 2 business days prior to your appointment!

Addendum:  If you have to submit an addendum to explain something related to a character and fitness disclosure or to explain something else in your application, just sit down and write it!  No amount of hand wringing is going to change a law school’s requirement that you submit this.  Not sure how to begin? First —  Check out the PLAS website to help you get started. Next — Go to the PLAS Compass page for more specific advice.  Both the “Perfecting Your Personal Statement” and “Character and Fitness” videos (found within the “Application Pointers” section) provide information to help you decide how to craft this document.  Once you have a good draft, feel free to make an appointment with a pre-law advisor to discuss it.  We have the same policy for a written addendum as we do for the personal statement: submit your draft 2 business days prior to your appointment.

Letters of Recommendation: Have your letter writers turned in your letters?  If not, you should gently remind them that you need letters submitted to LSAC before the law schools that require LORs will review your applications.  If you haven’t yet asked for letters of recommendation ASK TODAY!

Transcripts:  You need to submit your request for your most recent UIUC transcript to be submitted to your LSAC-CAS account.  Here is a link to the UIUC Registrar’s Office and to LSAC’s explanation of transcripts.  Note: if you have already submitted your applications, you still are obligated to submit an updated transcript to LSAC as part of your continuing obligation to disclose new information and supply updates to your file.  Go here for information on this requirement.

Good Luck!

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Welcome Back Edition – Week of January 16, 2017

Welcome back to spring semester! LOTS of excellent opportunities are coming up, including the Illini Union Winter Week of Welcome, campus events honoring MLK Day, paid internships, scholarships and the PLAS LSAT Test Prep Essay Contest application deadline NEXT MONDAY, January 23 so be sure to give this week’s blog a read.

Pre-Law Advising Services Workshops and Programs

We have updated our Spring Semester calendar of events! Check them out on our website here.

Pre-Law 101 — Tuesday, January 31, 4:00pm, 514 IUB

Are you new to pre-law at Illinois? Then this event is a great opportunity for you! This workshop will cover: What it means to be pre-law at Illinois; what law schools are really looking for; what pre-law students can do to maximize their undergraduate years; how to build a strong pre-law resume; what resources are available to assist pre-law students at Illinois. For more details and to register, click here.

2 Ways to Win an LSAT Test Prep Scholarship

(1) The PLAS-sponsored LSAT Test Prep Company Fair is set for Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 2:00-:004pm, Illini Union Rooms B&C! This event is a chance to learn more about several commercial LSAT test prep companies, participate in informative mini-workshops conducted by the companies and win discounts on test prep materials and scholarships for courses! To find out who is coming and see the workshop schedule, keep checking the PLAS website for updates on the fair.

(2) LSAT Test Prep Essay Scholarship Contest – Entries DUE NEXT Monday, January 23 at NOON!

Are you taking the June LSAT but not sure you can afford a commercial prep course? Pre-Law Advising Services is pleased to announce that 7Sage Test Prep has donated six LSAT prep course scholarships and Kaplan Test Prep has donated one full scholarship for one complete LSAT Prep Live Online, In Person or Self-Paced course.  Find out more about 7Sage here and Kaplan here.

These scholarships are intended to assist a University of Illinois student who is in financial need and who will be taking the LSAT within the next year. (Please note that the Kaplan scholarship expires on June 1, 2017, and you must be enrolled in a course by that time). If you are interested in applying for one of these scholarships, please submit the following:

1) Your resume, AND
2) A short essay (no more than 600 words) that addresses each of the following:

  • When do you plan to take the LSAT?
  • Have you taken an LSAT prep class before? If so, which one and when?
  • What is your financial need? (It is not necessary to provide exact numbers, just describe your financial situation and why a scholarship is necessary.)
  • How can this scholarship help you achieve your goals?

Submit your resume and essay to Judy Argentieri via email only at jargenti@illinois.edu by NEXT MONDAY, January 23, at NOON.

Note: Pre-Law Advising Services does not endorse any commercial LSAT test prep company.

Upcoming Campus Events

UIUC is hosting many events to celebrate the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Click on the following link to find out more. http://www.diversity.illinois.edu/mlk/calendar.html.

The Illini Union is hosting the Winter Week of Welcome featuring all kinds of fun events this week.  Check out the listing here, and mark your calendars for the RSO Involvement Fair on Wednesday, January 25!

Illinois in Washington summer semester applications are due Feb. 1. For more information check out the Illinois in Washington website.

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. Upcoming workshops include:

  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews, Tues, Jan. 17, 2-4:30pm Career Center; 5:30-7:30pm at the IKE, Room 1010; 7:30-9:30pm at the Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner
  • Career Certificate – International Students (CCI) Info Session – Tuesday, Jan.17, 4:00pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews, Wed, Jan. 18, 2-4:30pm Career Center;  7:00-9:00pm at the Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews, Thurs, Jan. 19, 2-4:30pm Career Center
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews, Fri, Jan. 20, 2-4:30pm Career Center

Interested in working on campus? You won’t want to miss the Career Center’s Opportunities Fair, on Tuesday, January 24, 5:00-6:30pm, at the Career Center. Visit with campus units that are hiring students for part-time jobs and internships. This is your chance to build your resume, enhance your Illinois experience, and learn more about The Career Center and various campus departments! 

Ilinois Leadership Center will host several upcoming I-Programs. For more information and to register, visit their website here.

  • Petullo Insight: Saturday, January 21
  • Inclusion: Saturday, January 28

Study Abroad Summer 2017 Faculty Led Programs–Applications due Feb. 1. These are 2-5 week study abroad programs over summer break with automatic Illinois credit. This could be a great way to manage both study abroad and taking the LSAT. For a list of available courses and application materials, visit the study abroad website here.

UIUC College of Law needs students to evaluate their new website!

The UIUC College of Law (COL) is about to launch a new website. They are looking for student volunteer to conduct user testing. The purpose of user testing will be to determine the effectiveness of the new site for our key audiences.  The COL would also like to gather candid feedback and first impressions and of course identify any development bugs that need to be addressed. 

Interested students do not need to have any familiarity with the current COL site, and they do not need to be committed to applying to or attending the law school here. A small token gift of appreciation will be provided to anyone who elects to participate.

The test will take place at the COL building this week, on either 1/19 or 1/20, and will take no more than fifteen minutes. If you are interested in helping out, contact Krista Gaedtke, Director of Communications, UIUC College of Law, kgaedtke@illinois.edu.

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS), set for Thursday, April 27.

Deadline for submitting an application to the URS is Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at 11:59 pm. The application can be found at: http://go.illinois.edu/urs2017

The URS is the signature event of Undergraduate Research Week (April 23-29), and brings together students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, as well as corporate partners and sponsors, to learn more about undergraduate research and its potential to change the world. Students are encouraged to apply even if titles or abstracts have not yet been finalized – they can be edited.  Just make sure the application is successfully submitted by February 1!

For more information on Undergraduate Research Week, the URS, and OUR programs, please visit our website at: http://undergradresearch.illinois.edu/

Questions may be addressed to ugresearch@illinois.edu; please put “URS Application” in the subject line.

The Office of Undergraduate Research announces its Spring 2017 calendar for the Getting Started in Research Workshop!

PLEASE NOTE – These workshops fill up quickly, so if you are interested, sign up now!

During the workshop, we will discuss the various forms of undergraduate research that take place on campus, guide students to develop a plan of action to locate research opportunities on campus, and discuss ways to contact faculty research mentors. Students will leave the workshop with (1) a better understanding of undergraduate research and how it takes place on our campus, (2) increased confidence to contact faculty research mentors, and (3) a list of faculty mentors to contact.

The first two workshops will be held this week:

Getting Started in Research Workshop, January 18, 2017
Date/Time: Wednesday January 18, 2017 from 3:00 – 4:30pm
Location:
Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 335

Registration is available at: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/5532747

Getting Started in Research Workshop, January 19, 2017
Date/Time: Thursday January 19, 2017 from 3:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 243
Registration is available at: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/4063454

For additional workshop dates, registration, and more details please visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website.

Internship and Scholarship Opportunities

We hope you have been utilizing 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.) It’s got 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

Undergrad PAID Internship at UIUC in Bio-Humanities for 2017-2018        Applications due March 1, 2017!

Are you a bio-engineering or life science major interested in philosophy, politics, history, and literature? Are you a humanities major who also dabbles in biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroscience or endocrinology? Are you interested in how the sciences and the humanities are generating new areas of research together?  The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) is looking for undergraduate interns to work with its Bio-humanities research group for the academic year 2017-2018.

The research group seeks three undergraduate interns who will work with the group on their seminars, workshops and programs.  Interns will also work with the research group director to develop their own research projects as well as a research symposium for undergraduates at the end of the spring semester.

Interns will work approximately 10-11 hours per week, paid at the rate of $15.75 per hours, and will have $600 to support their research. Applicants must be juniors or seniors the year of the internship. For more information, go here.  Please address questions to: Dr. Nancy Castro, at ncastro@illinois.edu.

Paid Summer Internship at the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, D.C. Application Deadline is January 31!

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) in Washington, D.C., has a number of openings for paid interns beginning in the summer of 2017. The Nuclear Energy Institute (www.nei.org) is the policy organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industry and participates in both the national and global policy-making process. NEIs mission is to ensure the implementation of policies that promote the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies in the United States and around the world. To that end, NEI works to establish unified industry positions on the regulatory aspects of generic operational and technical issues. NEI’s members include all entities licensed to operate commercial nuclear power plants in the United States, nuclear plant designers, architect/engineering firms, fuel fabrication facilities, nuclear materials licensees, and other organizations and entities involved in the nuclear energy industry.

Interns at NEI will work with seasoned nuclear professionals in one of the following areas: technical, communications, policy development, government relations, legal, and member relations and corporate services on issues critical to the industry. Descriptions on each area are below. Internships are 10 weeks and take place during the summer. Interns will be paid $15.00 an hour.

All applicants must submit an application that includes the NEI Internship Application, a resume, and a copy of their transcript to resumes@nei.org. If requested, applicants must also participate in an interview either by phone or in person.

Applications are being accepted for review between December 15, 2016 and January 31, 2017. Applications submitted beyond January 31, 2017 may be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis thereafter. Click on this link for more information. https://www.nei.org/About-NEI/Employment-at-NEI/InternshipsIf you have additional questions about NEI’s Internship Program, please contact the NEI Human Resources Department at resumes@nei.org.

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 March 2. Find the application and more details here. 

Upcoming Law School Events–OPEN TO ALL PRE-LAW STUDENTS

The Wisconsin Statewide Pre-Law Diversity Day is set for Friday, February 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. This event is open to all students. For more information and to register, visit their website here. Cosponsored by the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School, this FREE event includes lunch and:

  • an update on law school admissions in Wisconsin featuring the University of Wisconsin and Marquette Law Schools;
  • an overview of the Law School Admission Test with practice questions;
  • breakout workshops featuring a mock class for students ; and
  • law school fair featuring admissions representatives from law schools around the country.  Click here for a list of law schools that participated in last year’s event.

Law School Open Houses and Admitted Students Days

As we first mentioned in several of our fall blog posts, many law schools host open houses for prospective applicants and all law schools strongly encourage students to visit their campuses.  Note: spring semester is a time when many law schools will host events specifically for admitted students. Make sure you check the law school websites to see what types of events the schools in which you have an interest are offering.   Listed below are upcoming events for three Illinois law schools.

DePaul University College of Law Open House, Saturday, January 21, 10:00am. For more information and to register, go here.

Chicago Kent Law School Open House, Saturday, January 28, 9:00am-2:00pm.  For more information or to register, go here. 

John Marshall Law School Open House, Saturday, January 28, 9:00am-Noon. For more information or to register, go here.



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Important info for December 2016 LSAT takers; Deciding whether to retake

The December LSAT scores will not be out until January 4, 2017.  If you took the December LSAT, please take a moment to review this very important information on February 2017 LSAT registration. Then, this blog entry will go on to discuss how to decide whether to retake.

February LSAT registration.  As you know, the LSAC indicated that scores would be released on January 4, but the regular registration deadline for the February LSAT is TOMORROW, DECEMBER 21! If you took the December LSAT and you have decided you want to retake in February, and then decide NOT to retake after you see your score, the LSAC will refund your regular or late registration fee. BUT you must register by December 28 (late registration deadline) and request the refund by January 10, 2017. Mark your calendars! Here are instructions about the process, straight from the LSAC website:

December 2016 LSAT scores will not be available until after February 2017 LSAT registration deadlines have passed. Therefore, if you think you may want to take the February 2017 test, you must register for it before you know your December 2016 score. December 2016 test takers with a reportable score who no longer wish to test in February can request a refund for both regular and late registration fees after receiving their December score. Eligible candidates must submit a request for a refund by January 10, 2017. Your email request should include your name and LSAC account number and be sent to LSACrefunds@LSAC.org. Please indicate “February 2017 Full Refund” in the subject line to ensure accurate processing.

Whether to retake the LSAT. The bigger question for many of you will be: Should I retake the LSAT? This consideration is even more important due to the timing of the next LSAT (in February).  Note: February is the one nondisclosed LSAT administration.  What does this mean?  If you take a nondisclosed test, you will have online access only to your LSAT score, score band, percentile rank, and writing sample. You will not be given a copy of your answers and the answer key.  As such, you will know how you did but not what you missed.

How do Illini perform on an LSAT retake? As a general guideline, most retakers score within 2.5 points of where they scored on the last LSAT. We did a study of University of Illinois LSAT takers from 2012-2015 and found these results:

  • 44% of Illini took the LSAT more than once
  • The average Illini LSAT retaker scored 2.45 points higher on the second exam
  • Of all Illini LSAT retakers:
  • 51% of Illini retakers scored better on a subsequent LSAT
  • 15% of Illini retakers scored worse on a subsequent LSAT
  • 6% of Illini retakers scored the same on a subsequent LSAT
  • 33% of Illini register to retake and then are absent for the subsequent exam

Some questions to ask yourself about whether to retake:

  • Was your actual score consistent with your practice exams?
  • Do you have the time and willingness to continue your LSAT preparation consistently until February?
  • How will you continue LSAT prep without your academics suffering? (Consider final papers and exams.)
  • What can you do differently so that this exam performance is better?
  • How close is your score to the medians of your top choice law schools? Is it likely that you could achieve the medians by retaking?

If you decide to retake in February, here are some suggested next steps:

  • Register ASAP; you may not get your preferred test site and that will mean making other arrangements such as a hotel
  • It is VERY important that you return to studying for the LSAT now! Don’t wait.
  • Clear your upcoming schedule as much as possible to allow you to balance prepping for the LSAT and prepping for final exams/papers/projects.
  • Consider doing something different in your LSAT prep–exploring a different book, class, website, using a different study plan, etc. (For some suggested resources visit our Compass page and click on the LSAT folder.)
  • Revamp your application timeline. Your goal should be to apply by early March, when the February LSAT scores will be released.
    • Applying in March is quite LATE in a rolling application cycle.  You might want to consider waiting to apply until next fall, which would put you in the pool of applicants looking to begin law school Fall 2018.

You may find it helpful to speak with a Pre-Law Advisor about next steps. Call 333-9669 to make an appointment!

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