December Snapshot

December is finally here and with it the end of the semester! Our best wishes as you complete end of semester tasks and prepare for finals.  Below please see a list of important dates, upcoming events, and reminders for December 2020.

    • Tuesday, December 1: PLAS Workshop – To Go or Not to Go? Deciding if  Gap Year is Right for You
    • Good Luck on Exams!

 

Take Care and Be Well! The end of the semester is always a stressful time of year, this year presents unique and unprecedented challenges for many.  Be sure to take care of yourself during the upcoming weeks and be sure to take advantage of the many resources available on campus to support you during this time!

 

  • Stay Tuned! 

  • Check back later this week for information regarding the 2020 edition of our Annual Internship Newsletter
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Law School Spotlight: University of Iowa

This year the Pre-Law Advising Services Office will be featuring law students, admissions deans, and attorneys as guest bloggers to help provide unique and valuable perspectives on law school, the application process, and the legal profession.   Stay tuned throughout the year for our guest blogger spotlights!

Guest Blogger: Martin Kiernan 

Law School:  University of Iowa College of Law

Class Year: 1L

Undergraduate Institution:  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Hometown: Libertyville, IL

Undergraduate Major/Minor: I have a B.S. in Agricultural & Consumer Economics with two concentrations in Public Policy & Law and Consumer Economics & Finance.

 

Why did you decide to attend law school and pursue a legal career?

Law school was a great fit for me because I have many interests and the legal implications that arise in most every industry fascinate me. Also, the conceptualizing of justice, the rule of law, and societal inhabitance as foundations to the success of nations I believe is a worthwhile academic pursuit.

Do you know what type of law you will practice?

Currently, I have interests in securities, banking, family, criminal law. I’ve done some work in personal injury and I found that to be intriguing as well.

Why did you choose the University of Iowa College of Law?

The University of Iowa College of Law displays a proven history of fostering prepared and conscientious attorneys. The decision to attend has afforded its students the opportunity to become competent leaders in the field. I chose to attend because under its instruction I can prepared for whatever is to come in my professional career.

What surprised you the most about law school?

I was surprised about the varying approaches professors take to teaching a class. There is a wide spectrum.

What has been your favorite class in law school?

I really enjoy my American Property Law course. My professor is experienced and passionate about the material.

What type of activities, programs, internships, or extracurricular activities did you participate in prior to law school?

While at UIUC, I volunteered at a couple Champaign elementary schools as a mentor/tutor, and sat on the Undergraduate Student Advisory Board. I worked at Parkland College’s Counseling Department and then at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. After graduation, I worked as a paralegal and then as a court reporter doing criminal background checks. Outside of work, I volunteered at a courthouse helping pro se litigants and I coached my sister’s middle school basketball team.

What are some of the best aspects of living in the Iowa City community?

It is a really fun and kind community of people. Whenever I want a study break there is always something to do.

What do you like best about being a law student?

I like the challenge it presents. Some of the more abstract concepts can be difficult to comprehend, but engaging with the material is rewarding. Also, the opportunities that are available during school and after graduation are exciting.

How did you prepare for the LSAT?

I took the Testmasters LSAT Prep Course.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to a student applying to law school?

For the applications, focus on highlighting strengths, but just as significant is explaining inconsistencies or negatives in application materials. Try not to leave important questions left unanswered.

 

University of Iowa College of Law Snapshot*:

    • Total JD Enrollment: 460
    • First Year Class Size: 166
    • Median LSAT/GPA: 161 / 3.64
    • Application Deadline: May 1, 2021
    • Website: https://law.uiowa.edu

*The enrollment and profile data listed above are as of October 5, 2020 and include information for the Fall 2020 entering class.  

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Tips for Fall Break…

1.  Finalize Applications

Applying this year? Set a goal date for application submission and stick to it! The current application cycle is proving to be a very competitive year.  Application numbers have increased significantly, and law schools have reported a very high quality applicant pool.  If you are still working to submit applications for a Fall 2021 start don’t be discouraged, but do make sure you are employing strategies that can help maximize your chances of success!

We highly recommend trying to apply by December 1 if possible.  Use Thanksgiving break as an opportunity to finalize your applications and submit to schools.  If you will be applying later than December 1, use Thanksgiving break to complete as many of the application components as you can and identify the earliest date you feel you can apply.  Here is a brief checklist of basic items you will need to complete.

        • CAS, LOR, Transcripts – make sure you are familiar with the LSAC Credential Assembly Services (CAS), stay current on the status of your materials and application components.  Request transcripts NOW, these will take several weeks to process.  Be sure you have submitted ALL required transcripts.  Follow-up with recommenders, be sure they are aware of your goal timeline, and be sure to check CAS to confirm when your letters of recommendation are uploaded.
        • LSAT – you will need your final score to apply.  If you don’t have your score, confirm when it will be available and plan your goal submission date accordingly.  Have you completed the LSAT Writing? You must complete the Writing portion to receive your score.  Be sure to do that prior to the score release date (11/24).
        • Personal Statement – Fall break is a great time to draft and hopefully finalize your statement! Edit, Edit, Edit.
        • Resume – make sure it is current and ready to apply! Edit, Edit, Edit.
        • Addendums – Are there addendums required by your schools?  Are there optional addendums?  Be sure you have confirmed what addendums you will be submitting and try to complete this week! 
        • School specific requirementsmake sure you have reviewed the specific application requirements for the schools you will be applying to, create a check-list for each school.
        • Questions? If you have questions about an individual school’s application requirements or process ask NOW! Don’t wait until your goal submission date to confirm details.  Reach out directly or send emails over Thanksgiving break!
        • Think broadly Review your list of target schools, make sure you are casting a wide net (this is a very competitive year), be strategic…

2. Relax and Rejuvenate

The end of the semester is always a busy, and often stressful, time.  This year particularly has presented difficult challenges for us all.  Make time for yourself over break to rest and rejuvenate prior to the end of the semester.  Campus also provides a wide-variety of services and resources to help make the end of the semester as manageable as possible!

 3. Plan the End of Your Semester

Make a strategic plan for the end of the semester to help make things manageable. Think backward from deadlines and due dates to ensure you have enough time to prepare for each end of semester item.  Take into account:

    • Final academic obligations (papers, projects, final exams, and study time). Mark deadlines and dates on your calendar.
    • Upcoming deadlines for internships or other special programs.
    • Admissions events and programs you may wish to attend (Last LSAC Forum is on December 12th!).
    • Time for life logistics – plan around busy times and deadlines for things like groceries/bills, exercise, family and friends.

4. Start Thinking Ahead

Make efforts to finalize your spring plans including course selections, extracurricular involvements, and goals for internships and other opportunities.  Stay tuned for our annual Internship Newsletter which will be available in December.  In the meantime, be sure to check out our Thanksgiving Break Internship Newsletter for opportunities with deadlines in the upcoming weeks!

 

Upcoming Events and Programs
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Alumni Attorney Talks

FEATURING:  Jason Emmanuel

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


Jason Emmanuel, Assistant State’s Attorney – Criminal Division Chief at the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office

    • Law School: University of Iowa College of Law
    • UIUC Undergraduate Major/Minor: Political Science, minor in English
    • Gap Year Experience: 2 years working in retail management
    • Jason’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Assiduous | Advocate | Inexhaustible

Be sure to check out this insightful interview!

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Spring 2021 Course Options for Pre-Law Students!

Registration for Spring 2021 is here!  Every semester around this time, our office hears from students asking for course suggestions.  Students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework. However, given an interest in law, we have compiled a list of suggested spring courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting.   To review a handy chart version of suggested Spring 2021 course options, please click here

Be sure to keep in mind…

    • This is not an exhaustive list.  How did we pick them? We’ve simply chosen a selection of courses that build skills law schools like to see and/or cover topics of interest to many pre-law students
    • These courses are only suggestions and are NOT requirements.   For some additional information about course planning, check out the “Selecting Pre-Law Courseworkblog post for an overview of pre-law course planning and practical tips about planning your schedule.
    • Some of these courses have prerequisites or may be restricted to students in the same department; check Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best individual courses for you.  We are always here to help as well!
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November Snapshot

Welcome November and Daylight Savings…

November is a busy and critical month for pre-law students and alumni, between the LSAT, Fall Break, Thanksgiving holiday, transition to all online courses, the beginning of course registration, and of course working toward application submission –  there is a lot to keep track of this month! Below please see a list of important dates, upcoming events, and reminders for November 2020…

    • Thursday, November 12 – Sunday, November 15: 16th Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair

    • Saturday, November 21 – Sunday, November 29: Fall Break
    • Monday, November 30: Priority registration for Winter and Spring 2021 begins…

Be sure to check the Pre-Law Advising Calendar and  Facebook page for additional upcoming programs and events!

Need an advising appointment?

Pre-Law Advisors are available for general advising or for document review (personal statement/resume/addendums) appointments. Be sure to schedule an appointment online for individual questions!

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MAPLA Law School Caravan

 

Don’t Miss the 2020 MAPLA CARAVAN!

  • Wednesday, October 28
  • 5:00 – 8:00 pm (CST)
  • Via Handshake
  • Register Today!

Join students from across the Midwest on Wednesday October 28 from 5-8 pm (CST) for the opportunity to meet with more than 100 law schools from around the country!  Admissions representatives from schools in every “tier” will be in attendance to talk about the education their school can offer students, discuss admissions criteria, and answer your questions.

Hosted by the Midwest Association of PreLaw Advisors, this free event is open to all students and alumni from a college or university in the Midwest Region, regardless of major or year in school.

How to Participate:
    1. Use your Handshake account to register up until and including the day of the event (registering in advance is highly recommended).
    2. Sign up for school-specific 30 min group sessions and 10 min 1-to-1 appointments.
      • On the event page, go to the “Available Sessions” tab.  You can also search for a specific law school using the search box.  After you have signed-up for a session, it will be added to the “Your Sessions” tab.
    3. Participate via live video during the event
    4. Log in to Handshake and click on this event under “Your Schedule“.  Go to the “Your Sessions” tab.  To join your Expo sessions, click on the “Join Video” link next to each session.
    5. Once the session has started you will not be able to enter – be sure you are not running late!
How to Prepare:
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LSAT Update!

January, February, and April 2021 LSAT Exams will now be LSAT-Flex format…

Below, please see the details released today from LSAC regarding the January, February, and April 2021 LSAT Exams.

Given the continuing COVID-19 emergency, LSAC has made the decision to offer the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex for the last three test administrations in the current testing cycle, instead of the in-person tests previously scheduled. 

This means the January LSAT (U.S./Canada/International), the February LSAT (U.S./Canada only), and the April LSAT (U.S./Canada/International) will now be delivered in the LSAT-Flex format only. 

The LSAT-Flex gives candidates the opportunity to earn an LSAT score and continue their law school journeys despite COVID-19 restrictions on travel or public gatherings. Over the past six months, LSAC has taken an incremental approach to canceling the in-person LSATs one by one and replacing them with LSAT-Flex administrations, based on public health guidance. Given the ongoing disruption and uncertainty over how the COVID-19 situation will evolve, and feedback from candidates, the decision was made to provide clarity for the next six months, so that everyone can plan accordingly.

The January, February, and April LSAT-Flex administrations will begin on the same date as the previously announced in-person tests. Most test takers will test on Saturday or Sunday of that week, with some tests occurring later in the week based on test taker volumes or specific remote proctoring requirements. These LSAT-Flex administrations will count toward the annual, multi-year, and lifetime limits on taking the LSAT, and due to the demands of the LSAT-Flex administration, these will be undisclosed tests.

Learn more about the LSAT-Flex and see answers to frequently asked questions on the LSAC website. You can also learn more about deadlines for requesting formal accommodations, how to request assistance with a loaner device or a quiet place in which to test, deadlines for changing a test date, and score release dates for each of the LSAT-Flex administrations on our “Test Dates, Deadlines, and Score Release Dates” page.

What do test takers need to do?
        • Candidates currently registered for any of the January, February, or April 2021 in-person LSAT administrations may take the corresponding LSAT-Flex, or opt out by Friday, November 13, 2020, and receive a full refund. They should visit their LSAC account and submit the online form with their choice. If we do not hear from a test taker by November 13, they will be registered automatically for the LSAT-Flex corresponding to their current LSAT registration(s).  
        • LSAC is working to help every test taker in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada have the equipment and other resources they need to take the online, remotely proctored exam and do their best work. Any candidate who does not have the necessary equipment or an appropriate place to test should submit an online form in their LSAC account by the deadline for each administration (generally about 3-4 weeks before the onset of testing). For the first five administrations of the LSAT-Flex, LSAC shipped more than 1,500 free loaner devices to candidates who did not have a computer to take the online test, and guaranteed hotel reimbursements to hundreds more who needed reliable internet or a quiet place to test.
        • Because the LSAT-Flex is an online, remotely proctored test, LSAC is able to offer a variety of test start times for test takers to choose from. LSAC will continue to open the scheduling sign-up process about 10 days before the first day of testing for each of the LSAT-Flex administrations, so test takers can select the available time that works best for them. Test takers will receive more information and instructions prior to that time.
        • LSAC has created a new score preview option for first-time test takers who wish to see their score before deciding whether or not to keep it. The score preview option costs $45 for test takers who sign up by 11:59 p.m. ET on the day before the first day of testing for each LSAT-Flex administration, or $75 if test takers sign up after testing has concluded. You can see the exact score preview sign-up periods for the January and April 2021 test administrations at the “Test Dates, Deadlines, and Score Release Dates” page for each administration. First-time test takers who have an approved LSAT fee waiver will receive score preview free of charge. You can learn more about the score preview option here.
        • As a reminder, all test takers must have a completed LSAT Writing sample on file in order to see their score or have their score released to law schools. To help candidates complete the writing portion of their test, LSAC now opens LSAT Writing eight (8) days prior to every test administration. If a candidate already has a writing sample on file from a previous exam, they do not need to complete a new LSAT Writing sample. For more information about LSAT Writing, visit our website.

For more information, please visit LSAC.org

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T-minus 2 Days: The Illinois Law Fair

Hello Illini…

 

We are now 2 DAYS away from the Illinois Grad, Law and Professional School Fair!!!

If you have not already done so – REGISTER NOW! Registering in advance allows you to express your interest to attending law schools and provides them the opportunity to reach out to you in advance with special invitations and information!

Law Fairs provide a unique opportunity for students to interact with a variety of law schools in one concise setting.  There are many virtual opportunities this fall – but  Illinois Law Fair provides unique one – on- one opportunities for Illinois students & alumni.  To help you prepare, below are a list of tips, strategies, and goals for Thursday!

Goals:

Individuals may attend the fair for any number of reasons, be sure to keep in mind what you would like to accomplish. This will help you formulate questions and make the most out of your day! Below are a few goals you might have…

    • Discover more about specific law schools to help you decide where you would like to apply.
    • Ask for perspectives on your candidacy and learn more about what specific law schools are looking for in prospective students.
    • Learn more about the general application process and hear perspectives from admissions deans.
    • Make a connection with law schools you would like to attend, demonstrate your interest.
    • Learn more about what you can do with a legal education.
    • Explore the many diverse law schools and learn more about their unique attributes.
    • Discover new schools and programs that you did not know about!

Strategize – Make A Plan:

    • Determine when you will be able to attend the fair.
    • Do your homework and review general information about schools.
    • Identify your “must visit” schools, plan a questions or two for each.
    • Research school availability and make a personal schedule based on your availability and the schools – remember you can be in multiple chat rooms at the same time!

Note: The generally designated law hours are from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, however, each law school has set their own unique hours. Some will be hosting longer hours, starting earlier, or staying later.

    • Set-aside additional time to visit schools you haven’t considered before!

TIP: Search for law schools on the CareerEco site in advance by utilizing the search filters – we recommend putting “law” in the Areas of Study field.  You can also search by location and school name!

TIP: Pay close attention to the institution you are visiting as some schools may have multiple departments participating.  For example – The University of Illinois College of Law will have a chat room, as will the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

TIP:  Let law schools know you are interested in advance by checking the “interest” box on the school profile page.

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T-Minus 3 Days: Illinois Law School Fair!

Hello Illini!  3 days to go and counting…

The Law Fair is a great opportunity to ask informative questions about schools you are interested in, discover new schools to consider, demonstrate your interest, and  make a great first impression on admissions representatives. Here are some potential questions you might find helpful to ask…

    • What are some qualities or characteristics you are looking for in law school applicants?
    • What kinds of experiential learning opportunities do you offer students?
    • What might my path look like at your school if I am interested in (blank) law?
    • What kind of scholarships are available to students?
    • How are your students prepared for the bar exam?
    • Why did you decide to work at the school? (or if you know the admissions rep attended that law school, you may ask why they attended that school)
    • Is there a way to get in touch with current students for informational interviews?
    • How accessible are faculty?
    • What is your school’s policy for evaluating multiple LSAT scores?

For more potential questions, see LSAC’s list of suggested questions for law fair attendees.

TIP: Take notes!  If you are applying this cycle take notes to remember the information you learn, consider asking the same question(s) in each chat room and compare answers later.

TIP: Make sure you note which representative(s) you talked to for future reference and follow-up!

TIP: Make time to review profile pages and chat with 1 or 2 schools you haven’t considered before – you may be surprised what you learn!

To Register!

Go to https://go.illinois.edu/2020GLPFair

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