How to decide which LSAT to take

First, take a look at our previous post here, which carefully considers the details of each 2019 LSAT.

How can you determine which LSAT is right for you? Here are key questions to ask yourself.

When do you want to apply to law school? If you want to enter law school in 2020, then you will want to apply in the fall of 2019. Law schools use rolling admission–that means that the application opens in September and they will admit people until the class is full or until the hard deadline of April. Applying early–as a general rule, by Thanksgiving–is greatly beneficial both for admission and scholarships. So IF you plan to apply to law school to enter in 2020, ideally you should plan to be finished with the LSAT completely by Thanksgiving or (preferably) earlier. Find a list of all LSATs through April of 2020 here.

If you don’t plan to enter law school until 2021 or later, you have a lot more flexibility in which LSAT you choose because you have another year (at least) of LSAT options. In that case, you can choose which LSAT suits your schedule. Sometimes people wish to be done with the LSAT before entering the working world post-graduation.

Do you want to provide time for an LSAT retake? About half of Illini LSAT takers retake the exam. It makes many test takers less anxious to know that they have time for a backup rather than “one shot” at the exam. It is wise to build in time for an LSAT retake, even if you end up not needing it. Take a look at this blog post for advice about which 2019 exams offer adequate retake options.

Which LSAT will interfere less with school? OR, if you are a working professional: Which LSAT will interfere less with your professional obligations/work flow?  Whichever LSAT you choose, the general recommendation is to prep for about 4-6 months. Ideally you would choose an LSAT with the least amount of interference with your other obligations.

For 2019 takers only:

How important is it to you to take the paper version of this test? Some people are very anxious about taking the “known quantity” paper LSAT versus the new digital format. (Others feel just fine about the digital version and the new format does not stress them out given that the content of the test will remain the same.) If you decide that the paper format is important to you, then the March and June tests are your last options. Many people who were planning on taking the LSAT later in 2019 figure that they may as well move it up to summer in order to take a known format rather than an unknown (digital) one.

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A Guide to ALL of the 2019 LSAT Options

Thinking of taking the LSAT in 2019? This blog is a must-read to consider all of your LSAT options, along with the pros and cons of each. As you know, the LSAT is experiencing lots of changes in 2019, from the schedule to the digital transition, which may impact your choice(s).

January 26, 2019 LSAT–Paper exam
January LSAT takers have already been preparing, although registration is still open here until Dec. 17. This LSAT has some advantages: 1. It is right after winter break, allowing test takers who are still in school to maximize winter break study time. 2. This exam is one of the few remaining paper exams that allows a retake (in March or June) that is also in the paper format.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Saturday morning.

This LSAT is the last realistic option for those who plan to apply this cycle (to enter law school in the fall of 2019).

March 30, 2019 LSAT NOTE: SOME TEST SITES ARE ALREADY FULL–REGISTER SOON FOR THIS ONE
Timing-wise, this LSAT could be a great option for LSAT takers who are still in school but plan to apply to law school in the fall of 2019 (to enter law school in 2020), allowing you to use both winter break and spring break to crank up the LSAT prep. And this LSAT will be over long before spring finals, allowing students to focus completely on those exams. Registration is still open for this exam until February 20, although some test sites are already full.

This is also a good option for students graduating in May who plan to apply to law school in the fall of 2019 (to enter in 2020) or later–because it allows you to “bank” an LSAT score now (which remains good for 5 years) in order to avoid having to study for the LSAT while working full time after graduation. Alums tell us all the time how difficult LSAT prep is while working full time, so this one is really worth considering for May grads who are fairly certain that you’ll apply to law school in the next few years.

However, this LSAT is not a good option for those who wish to enter law school in the fall of 2019–many deadlines for law school applications will have already passed, and April is very, very late in a rolling admissions cycle that begins in September.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Saturday morning.

June 3, 2019 LSAT–The final paper option
This is the final paper and pencil LSAT, and many people are anxious about taking it in this tried-and-true format. As such, demand is high, and if this LSAT interests you then you’ll want to register ASAP when registration opens. UPDATE: The LSAC has just postponed registration for this exam until early January (date as yet unknown).

Timing-wise, the June LSAT is great for those applying in Fall 2019 because it allows retake options in September (July will be too soon), October, or even November while still applying by the preferred early law school application timeline of Thanksgiving. This LSAT is also early enough in the summer that afterward test takers can turn to other pursuits–internships, summer study abroad programs, or summer classes–without too much LSAT study interference.

For current students, studying for this LSAT will take place throughout spring semester, so it is helpful if you can lighten your academic load by taking slightly fewer credit hours or not taking five of your most challenging courses at the same time while you’re LSAT prepping.

The final piece of good news: This LSAT is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive not only their score but also their answer sheet with correct and incorrect answers. That information can be very helpful to study from if you wish to prepare for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Monday afternoon.

July 15, 2019 LSAT–The “transition” LSAT
The format of this exam could be considered good or bad news, depending on your perspective. For this exam–and ONLY this exam–half of the registrants will be assigned to the paper LSAT and the other half will take the digital (tablet based) LSAT. Test takers will not know which format they are taking in advance. However, the LSAC–for this test only–will allow the July LSAT takers to view their score with the option of canceling it and retaking a future LSAT for free.

The “surprise” nature of this LSAT–not knowing which format you’ll have until test day–could be stressful for some, although note that the content of the two tests will be exactly the same.

Because many view this LSAT as a “freebie” (due to the option to cancel the score and retake for free), demand is high. Therefore, if you are interested in taking this LSAT then you will want to register ASAP when registration opens. UPDATE: The LSAC has just postponed registration for this exam until early January (date as yet unknown).

Timing-wise, the July LSAT can be good for students because it provides nearly two full months after the spring semester ends to crank up the LSAT prep. However, it may also interfere with any summer plans such as study abroad or internships since it takes place in the middle of the summer. Taking this LSAT will also provide time to retake in October (September will likely be too soon to re-prep) or even November and still apply to law school in the fall of 2019.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Monday afternoon.

September 21, 2019 LSAT–The first “all digital” LSAT
This LSAT is the first one that will be administered entirely in the tablet format. It takes place on a Saturday morning.

Timing-wise, this LSAT can be good because it allows test takers to devote the entire summer to LSAT prep, and for current students it only overlaps one month with the fall semester. However, it may also interfere with any summer plans–especially study abroad or a time consuming internship–since test takers will need to be LSAT prepping all summer. Taking this LSAT will also provide time to retake in November (October will likely be too soon to re-prep) and still apply to law school in the fall of 2019. Takers of this exam can also turn to prepping other elements of their law school applications as soon as this exam is over, allowing plenty of time to finish applications by Thanksgiving.

This LSAT is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive not only their score but also their answer sheet with correct and incorrect answers. That information can be very helpful to study from if you wish to prepare for a retake.

October 28, 2019
This LSAT–and every subsequent LSAT–will be administered entirely in the tablet format. It takes place on a Monday afternoon, so takers may need to miss work or class to take it.

Timing-wise, this LSAT allows test takers to devote the summer and first half of the fall semester to LSAT prep. It does require balancing school and LSAT prep for the first eight weeks of the fall semester, though. It may also interfere with any summer plans–especially study abroad or a very time consuming internship–since test takers will need to be LSAT prepping most of the summer. Takers of this exam can also turn to prepping other elements of their law school applications as soon as this exam is over, allowing adequate time to finish applications by Thanksgiving.

Taking this LSAT does not provide many opportunities to retake IF you want to apply in the fall of 2019.  The November LSAT will likely be too soon to provide ample time for re-prepping, and the next LSAT after November is mid-January, which is getting late in the application cycle.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake.

November 25, 2019–The final LSAT of 2019
This digital LSAT will take place on a Monday afternoon, so takers may need to miss work or class to take it.

The timing of this LSAT is not ideal for most students…taking the September or October options would be a better choice. This LSAT will require a careful balance of classwork with LSAT prep for most of the fall semester. Test takers who plan to apply in the fall of 2019 would be wise to work on other elements of the application throughout the fall as well so that they can submit their law school applications as soon as November LSAT scores are released (likely in early December). Students who plan to take the November LSAT may want to lighten their academic load by taking fewer credit hours so that they can devote adequate time to LSAT prep.

This LSAT will not allow time for retaking the LSAT and still applying in the fall of 2019 because the next LSAT won’t take place until January 2020…and that is getting late in the law application cycle (which opens in September).

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake.

Those are all of the 2019 LSAT options. Take some time to really think about which one will work best for you, and make sure to read our next blog entry about How to Decide Which LSAT to Take.

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Just got your LSAT score? Pre-Law appointments are available!

With November LSAT scores arriving this weekend, now is a great time to come in and see a Pre-Law Advisor! Appointments ARE available for both the week of Dec. 10 and the week of Dec. 17th. We will be here through December 21. We encourage you to come in early so that we can discuss your options and next steps.

The office will close Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, reopening on Jan. 2. If you’re not on campus, you can still schedule a phone or Skype appointment (either before Dec 21 or after Jan 2). All appointments can be made by calling 217-333-9669.

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New PAID spring legal internship–Applications due Dec. 12!

We are happy to share a new paid legal internship opportunity for undergrads in University Legal Counsel’s Office starting in the spring semester. Note that applications are due Dec. 12.

Legal Administrative Intern Opportunity
The Office of University Counsel seeks 1-2 undergraduate student interns for 2018-2019. This PAID position will provide administrative support to the office, with specific duties outlined below. Hours per week will depend upon intern availability. Interns will gain experience working in a legal environment
and will also be introduced to legal procedures with the possibility of increased responsibilities over time.

Required: Sophomore, junior, or senior standing; minimum 3.0 GPA; consistent weekly availability. Preference will be given to candidates with availability over breaks.

About the office: The Office of University Counsel (OUC) provides legal advice and representation to the university, its administrators/employees, University Related Organizations and others who seek legal advice arising from their official university responsibilities. OUC attorneys provide advice on an extremely wide variety of subjects. The office staff consists of attorneys and staff with unique skills and specialized training, as well as generalists who are well versed in multiple areas of law and policy. For more information, please visit: legal.uillinois.edu

Specific intern duties will include:
• Responsible for review of legal invoices to verify compliance with contract requirements
• Maintains electronic files of invoices, approvals and any supporting documentation. Record must be accurate and complete for auditing and reporting purposes
• Completes data entry and ensures the data integrity of legal services invoices in OUC systems (Legal Files eBill)
• Provide backup support for answering main phone line and directing calls to appropriate personnel (attorneys, support staff and business staff)
• Copying/scanning/shredding projects as needed including highly confidential legal documents
• Assisting with legal and business document compilation, organization and delivery
• Other duties as assigned

To apply: Submit a resume and cover letter to Ms. Teresa Temples at ttemples@uillinois.edu. Cover letters should include: 1) Relevant experience; 2) Weekly availability; 3) GPA and class standing; and 4) Availability over breaks.
Deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, December 12. 

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BIG June and July 2019 LSAT Registration news!

The LSAC has just announced that registration for the June 2019 LSAT–the final paper and pencil LSAT–will open on December 12. If it is important to you to take the test in a paper format, then you’ll want to register ASAP because demand is extremely high and it will fill quickly. We suggest putting a reminder on your calendar and registering first thing when you wake up on Dec. 12 to ensure that you get a seat.

Surprise: The LSAC also announced that registration for the July 2019 LSAT will open on that same date.  Again, demand for the July exam will be very high, so register ASAP on Dec. 12 if that’s the one you want. The July exam will mark the transition from paper to digital, and test takers for July ONLY will be assigned to take either the paper or the tablet based test. Note: Test takers will not know in advance which format they are taking. Test takers–again ONLY for the July exam–will be able to view their score and cancel it…and those who do cancel their score will get a free LSAT retake. Find more details here.

Another important note: The LSAC has just posted which 2019-20 LSATs will be disclosed, and which will be nondisclosed, here.  Why is that important? Disclosed tests mean that test takers will receive their full answer sheets with their scores and will be able to see each question that they got correct and incorrect, which helps when preparing for a retake. Nondisclosed tests mean that test takers will ONLY get a score–no answer sheet and no report about which questions were correct and incorrect.

We are closely monitoring these changes and will continue to post updates as they arise. LSAT details and registration can be found here.

 

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What to do over Fall Break

Fall Break is here — now what?

Aside from relaxing, eating, and watching football (and maybe getting ready for finals?!), what else could/should you be doing?

If You Are Currently Applying to Law School

  1. If you are done with the LSAT, then finish your applications!  If you have everything you need to apply then there is no reason to procrastinate. This is a rolling admissions process — file your applications ASAP!
  2. If you are waiting on Letters of Recommendation, gently remind your recommenders  that you want to submit your applications ASAP but cannot do so until LSAC/CAS receives all required letters of recommendation. Ask them when they can complete your recommendation.
  3. If you are taking the January LSAT — keep studying!  A strong LSAT score helps both with admissions and scholarships! Set some goals for how many practice LSATs you can take over break and stick to it.
  4. Attend an Open House or schedule a visit with law schools. (If you’re scheduling a visit, make sure the school is open and staffed during Thanksgiving week!) Scroll down to see Open House listings here. Before your visit, check out this piece on how to make a good impression on a law school dean
  5. Check deadlines for Early Decision!  While many schools list November 15 as their early decision deadline, several others allow early decision applications until December 1 or even Dec. 15.  Not sure about early decision? Click here for a PLAS blog post on the pros and cons of applying early decision.
  6. Complete your FAFSA.
  7. Did you know that you can already apply for scholarships sponsored by non-university sources? Take a look at the scholarship spreadsheet with over 150 options over on our Compass page–these have a variety of due dates and many are due by the end of the calendar year, so now is a great time to apply!

If You Are Not Yet Applying to Law School

  1. Study for finals and write those papers!  Your GPA is a very important part of the law school admissions and scholarship process!
  2. LSAT Prep. In general, we advise those planning to apply to law school next fall to take the June or July 2019 LSAT (unless study abroad prevents you from doing so). You should plan to spend approximately 4-6 months studying for the LSAT–so now is the time to prepare for that process. As you plan your schedule for Spring 2019, consider not overloading on courses since the time necessary for effective preparation equates to the time invested in a rigorous 3 credit class. Remember: the LSAT is NOT like the ACT or the SAT.  It does not test what you know.  Rather, it tests how you think.  It is important to determine how you plan to study for the LSAT (on your own, through a commercial prep company, etc.), and decide where you want to take the LSAT. To begin your research, go to the LSAC’s website for info on the LSAT, how to register and select a test site, and how to be successful on the test.
  3. Apply for Internships — Have you thought about what you will be doing next summer?  Are you looking into internships? Internships can be a great way to build transferrable skills or learn more about the practice of law.  Do you need some suggestions on how and where to find an internship?  Check out this Internship Plan from our blog.  And remember: the PLAS Annual Internship Newsletter will be out and published on Compass before winter break!
  4. Network and conduct informational interviews. A great way to start building your professional network and get to know various legal practice areas is to meet with lawyers! Do you or your parents know any lawyers? Are any of your friends’ parents lawyers? You can also use the alumni association directory to identify Illinois alumni who are lawyers. Ask a lawyer to spend 30 minutes doing an informational interview with you. Don’t be intimidated; this is an opportunity for you to buy him/her coffee and ask about their professional life. Here’s a resource for planning your informational interview. 
  5. Complete your FAFSA
  6. Apply for scholarships! We’ve included lots of scholarships for continuing undergraduate students. Take a look at the scholarship spreadsheet with over 170 options over on our Pre-Law Compass page–these have a variety of due dates and many are due by the end of the calendar year, so now is a great time to apply! Here are a few great scholarships with upcoming deadlines. Find these and over 160 more on our Scholarship Spreadsheet!
    1.  Ai Engstrom National Scholarship application is due December 1. 
    2. Bankruptcy Law Center Scholarship Contest application is due December 20.
    3. The Levin Firm Scholarship application is due February 19.

Have a great break!

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Outside of Illinois Law School Open House/Visits

If you haven’t already, NOW is the time to plan your law school visits! We’ve already posted about Illinois law school visits here, but what about law schools outside of Illinois? Here is a roundup of Open House days or visit opportunities at law schools located outside of Illinois that are popular with Illini.

(Outside of Illinois) Big 10 Law Schools

Indiana University Maurer School of Law (click here to RSVP)

  • Admissions Information Session–Saturday, Dec. 8, 1-3 pm
  • Virtual Admissions Information Session–Nov. 29, 6-7 pm EASTERN (5-6 pm Central)
  • Individual visits can also be scheduled if you can’t attend these sessions

University of Iowa College of Law (click here)

  • Iowa Law Open House–Feb. 16, 2019 (register here)
  • Individual tours and class visits, along with self-guided tours, available

University of Michigan Law School offers individual visits here

  • Tours, classes, and appointments with an admissions counselor on most weekdays between 8 and 5; if you want to visit a class, however, we recommend avoiding Fridays because few classes are available.

Michigan State University Law School

University of Minnesota Law School 

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Penn State Law 

University of Wisconsin Law (click here)

Other (Outside Illinois) Law Schools Popular with Illini Applicants

Boston University Law School (click here)

  • BU Law Open House–Saturday, December 1, 9:15-11:00 am.
  • Offers class visits with a posted schedule of available classes online
  • Webinars upcoming:
    • Admissions Counselor Office Hours with a Current Student–Nov. 28 at 3:00 pm Eastern
    • Financial Aid and Admissions Office Hours–Dec. 10 at 5:30 pm Eastern

Emory Law (click here)

  • Offers information sessions every Tuesday and Friday at 10:00 am during the fall semester
  • Classroom observations have ended for fall but will be available again during spring semester
  • A campus virtual tour is also available here

Georgetown Law (click here)

  • JD Information Sessions and Guided Tours offered Nov. 30, Dec. 7, and Dec. 17
  • Self-guided tours and class visits (sitting in on a law school class) are offered for those who cannot make the sessions

George Washington Law (click here)

  • Student-led tours and class visits offered through Nov. 14. Contact the school to arrange visits after that date.

Notre Dame Law School (click here)

  • Offers class observations, admission sessions, and tours for prospective students on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

UCLA  Law

  • Tours are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and class visits are available by appointment. Click here to schedule.
  • UCLA Law Liveguide (online sessions with current students) recordings on a variety of topics are available to watch here

Vanderbilt Law School 

Washington University Law School (click here)

  • Open Houses will be held Feb. 1 and March 1
  • Details on scheduling individual visits, along with sample visitor schedules, can be arranged online
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Mark Your Calendar: Week of November 12

November is a busy time in the pre-law world!  Scroll down for info on law school admissions webinars by Harvard, NYU and Yale, a PAID internship opportunity, Pre-Law 101, law school open houses, the Udall Scholarship Program and more!

PLAS Events

Pre-Law 101 – Tuesday, November 13, 4-5pm, 514 IUB. This is the final Pre-Law 101 of the semester. This workshop is designed for incoming students who are new to pre-law or are interested in learning more about it. We will cover: What it means to be pre-law at Illinois, course selection, majors, and extracurriculars, building a pre-law resume, and what law schools are really looking for. We will outline a four year plan to maximize your undergraduate experiences in order to make a great law school candidate. We’ll also take any questions about law school and legal careers.  Incoming students should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. Registration will be open until November 12 or until the session is full.  Go here to register.

Upcoming PLAS Event — Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume for Law School Tuesday, November 27, 4-5pm, 514 Illini Bookstore Building

This workshop will discuss how to draft a personal statement and resume for a law school application. We will cover:

  • Ideas for personal statement topics
  • How to get started writing it
  • What to include and exclude
  • Length, structure, and formatting details
  • Law school resume tips
  • How to have the resume and personal statement coordinate; and
  • A 5 step plan for writing the personal statement and resume.

Please RSVP by November 19 by clicking on this link. Workshops with 3 or fewer registrants may be cancelled and converted to individual appointments. 

Campus and Off-Campus Events

Free Midwest VIRTUAL Law Fair Wednesday, November 14! Were you unable to attend our Law School Fair? Over 25 Midwest law schools will be available to chat online with you about the admissions process, their schools, scholarships, journals, etc. This event is FREE and participants don’t need to travel! Click here for more information and to register. 

Career Center EventsClick here to visit the Career Center’s website for more information or to register for these sessions.

  • Finding and Applying to Federal Government Jobs — Nov. 14, 3-4pm,  TCC Room 143
  • Mind the Gap: Exploring Benefits of Taking a Gap Year — Nov. 14, 4-5pm, TCC Room 143
  • Global Careers: Peace Corps Application Workshop–Nov. 12, 5-6 pm, TCC Room 143
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Nov. 12 , 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Nov. 13, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Nov. 14, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center, 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Nov 15, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Nov. 16, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center

Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals – Applications Due December 12

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until December 12th for 2018-2019 Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals! Complete your application here

The Social Justice Educator Paraprofessional Program is a 3-semester peer education program powered by students for students. The Social Justice Education Paraprofessional Program is designed to promote diversity and student leadership by providing intensive training for students in areas of knowledge, awareness, and skills related to issues of diversity and social justice. Through this program, paraprofessionals serve as a campus leaders in social justice by developing and facilitating educational programs for the campus. Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals receive 11 advanced credit hours in Psychology. For more information, click on this link.

Law School Admissions Events: Note that several are over FALL BREAK!

Law School Open Houses–Some fall law school open house opportunities have already passed.  Make sure you check the websites of your selected schools for these very helpful events!

  • University of Chicago: Monday, November 19 (NOTE: That’s during Fall Break!), from 1-5pm.  Click here for more details.
  • Chicago-Kent: Their Fall Open Houses have now passed, but you can still arrange for an individual tour, admission info session, and sit in on a class. Click here for more details.
  • DePaul University: Their Fall Open Houses have now passed, but you can still arrange for an individual tour, admission info session, and sit in on a class. Click here for more details. 
  • University of Illinois: You can schedule a visit, attend a class, and meet with faculty, students, and senior administrators to discover all that Illinois Law has to offer. If you are on campus, now is a great time to visit! Click here for more details.
  • John Marshall: JMLS hosted their final Fall 2018 Open House already. For information on scheduling a campus visit, click here.
  • Loyola-Chicago: Information Sessions: Monday, November 19 (Note: That’s during Fall Break!) at 11:15 am; or Friday, November 30 at 12:15 pm. Click here for more details.
  • Northern Illinois University: NIU Law offers Information Sessions at both their DeKalb location (12:00 pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) and in the Chicago Loop (on Tuesdays at 11:00 am). Click here for more details.
  • Northwestern University: Virtual tour available. In addition, student guided tours are offered Mondays and Fridays at 12:00 pm. In addition, class visits can be scheduled while classes are in session. Click here for more details.
  • Southern Illinois University: Visits can be scheduled Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. Click here to schedule a visit. There are opportunities to sit in on classes throughout the fall.

For more information about upcoming Open House Days and how to prepare for these visits, go here to our blog post from October 3.

NYU Law Admissions Office – Online Information Sessions

These presentations will be a special broadcast of a live information session with an admissions representative. Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions about NYU’s curriculum, student life, and the admissions process via the online chat tool. The Online Information Sessions will be held at the following times (all times are Eastern Time):

  • Thursday, November 15 at 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, December 5 at 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, January 10 at 12:00 pm

Please register for one of the Online Information Sessions. Registrants will receive access instructions the day before the online session. If you have any questions, please let us know at law.moreinfo@nyu.edu.

Harvard and Yale Law School Online Webinars

Harvard and Yale Law School would like to invite to you to participate in their Online Information Sessions. Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions about the universities curriculum, student life, and the admissions process. Follow the link to register for these events.

Harvard: https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/jdadmissions/connect-with-admissions-online-events/

Yale: https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admissions/recruiting-schedule

Internships

DUE NOV. 13: FRED S. BAILEY INTERNSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR CAUSE-DRIVEN LEADERS
Are you interested in an unpaid internship but are concerned about the financial hardship it may cause? The Fred S. Bailey Internship Scholarship Program for Cause-Driven Leaders is available to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois who receive an unpaid internship with a public service agency or not-for profit organization. Awards are $1,000 for a part-time internship or $2,500 for a full-time internship and are given directly to the student to help with educational expenses. Spring 2019 (For internships that occur between January 1, 2019 – May 15, 2019) Application Deadline: November 13. Click here to apply.

Coming soon: The Pre-Law Internship newsletter will be posted before winter break over on our Compass page!

Scholarships–Now is a great time to apply!

DUE DEC. 8–University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association Scholarship. Open to Latina/Latino undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the 2018-2019 academic school year. In honor of our ten year anniversary and thanks to a generous donor, IllinoisLLAA is able to grant two $5,000 scholarships to either an undergraduate or graduate student, one of which is reserved for an undocumented student. Click here to apply.

DUE DEC.31–Health and Wellness $2,000 Scholarship. Available to students enrolled at an accredited college or university. You must have at least a 3.4 GPA and submit an essay of 800-1000 words, promoting a practical approach to healthy lifestyle during college years and how these habits can be sustained over a lifetime. Additionally, you must demonstrate detailed knowledge of health and wellness and discuss why healthy living is a lifetime endeavor. Click here to apply.  

DUE JAN. 19–Virginia M. Wagner Educational Award. Open to female students in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin who are attending college/university in pursuit of a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree. Click here to apply.

DUE MARCH 19–Create-a-Greeting-Card $10,000 Scholarship. Open to currently enrolled high school and college students in the United States. To enter, you must design a holiday, get well, or birthday greeting card and submit your work to be judged. Your photo, art, or graphics submitted must be your own original work and you must be at least 14 years of age to be eligible for this award. Click here for more details.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Campus Deadline: November 26, 2018

The Goldwater is for juniors or exceptional sophomores who are current U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or resident aliens. The Goldwater awards one- or two-year $7,500 awards to students who demonstrate strong evidence of contributing to the technological advances of the U.S. Applicants should be committed to pursuing a Ph.D in the research fields of mathematics, sciences, or engineering. Go here for more information.

Interested in other scholarships? PLAS has collected information on over 150 scholarships–for both undergrads and incoming law students–on our Scholarships Spreadsheet over on our Pre-Law Compass page. It’s a wide variety of scholarships based on everything from being left-handed to making a video to tweeting, and deadlines vary, so check it out!

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Getting to know your professors: Now is the time!

My classes were all big lectures.

This is such a big place.

I never had the opportunity to talk with my professors one-on-one.

Attending a Big 10 school has many advantages, but often “small class sizes” is not one of them. Why is it critical for pre-law students to develop relationships with professors, and how can you go about it?

Whether you choose to apply to law school, graduate school, or job opportunities, you will need recommendations–and this is true throughout your lifetime. (If you ever intend to apply for a promotion or another job, you will again need references.) Building and maintaining these types of professional relationships is a skill you will use throughout your entire professional life.

As we focus on law school, though, as a general rule we suggest that law school applicants with less than 3 years of full-time postgraduate work experience provide two academic and one non-academic letter of recommendation. (Some law schools will require 1 or 2 letters but most schools will accept 3 to 4 letters.) Applicants who have 3+ years of post-graduation work experience might consider submitting two work and one academic letter, to emphasize the extent of your present work skills.

Academic letters are from professors or teaching assistants who have been in a position to assess your work in the classroom and compare you to other students. Non-academic letters can be from a work supervisor, internship supervisor, volunteer site supervisor, coach, or someone else who knows you well but is not a personal friend or family member, so they still have some objectivity.

You will need to get to know your professors (or TAs) in order to obtain those two academic letters. How can you do that even at a big place like Illinois?

  • Take the same professor/TA for multiple classes if you are able. This may require some advanced planning.
  • Go to office hours.  Many undergrads are terrified of office hours, because it sometimes feels as if you are taking up someone’s valuable time. However, most professors would welcome the opportunity to discuss course work, get to know their students, and talk about their discipline. Remember that they were once in your shoes too, and needed recommendations for graduate school. How can you approach the office hours visit to make it less stressful?
    • Read the current assignments and bring with you a few questions and/or observations about them.
      • What did you find most interesting or challenging?
      • Is there anything that confused you?
      • Have you drawn any connections between assignments that haven’t been discussed in class–or that you’d like to discuss more?
    • If you like, you can tell the professor that you are making an effort to get to know all of your professors this semester.
    • Ask the professor questions about his/her professional path, like:
      • What are you currently working on?
      • How did you find your passion for this material or discipline?
      • Why did you decide to assign this particular work over others?

You don’t have to make it lengthy–even a 15 minute chat helps to develop a connection and let the professor get to know you. Go a few times during the semester to develop a solid connection.

Non-academic recommenders, such as an internship or work supervisor, may not know how to go about writing a law school recommendation. How can you handle that situation?

  • Share the handout we posted over on our Compass page about letters of recommendation that lists the type of qualities and skills that law schools value.
  • Remind your recommender about the work that you’ve done, including any big projects, team contributions, written materials, or presentations that you created on the job.
  • Suggest skills that your recommender could write about–for example: I’m hoping you could include details about the website redesign that I completed.
  • Ask the recommender to highlight any especially relevant transferrable skills, such as: marketing, working with clients, resolving conflict, writing complex reports, giving presentations, facilitating financial transactions.

IF you are applying to law school this cycle, then NOW is the time to ask for those letters of recommendation so that you can complete your applications in November or early December.

 

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Mark Your Calendars–Week of October 22

PLAS Events

Pre-Law 101, TODAY, October 22, 4-5pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building

This workshop is designed for incoming students who are new to pre-law or are interested in learning more about it. We will cover: What it means to be pre-law at Illinois, course selection, majors, and extracurriculars, building a pre-law resume, and what law schools are really looking for. We will outline a four year plan to maximize your undergraduate experiences in order to make a great law school candidate. We’ll also take any questions about law school and legal careers.

Each Pre-Law 101 session is the same, so pick the one that best suits your schedule. Incoming students should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. Bring your questions!

Applying to Law School Webinar–Addenda: Character & Fitness and Optional Essays, Friday, Oct. 26 at 2:00 pm. During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • What Character & Fitness questions are
  • How to draft responses to required disclosures
  • Tips for keeping required disclosures professional
  • How to maximize an optional essay without recycling the personal statement
  • Considerations for when an optional statement should–and shouldn’t–be submitted

Register here for this webinar by October 24. Webinar link and handouts will be sent to registrants before the session.

College of Law Events–ALL are invited to attend!

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis to present Dean’s Public Engagement Lecture–Oct. 25, 12pm-1pm, Max L. Rowe Auditorium in the Law Building. The Dean’s Public Engagement Lecure Series aims to increase integration between the legal academy, the legal and business professions, and the public. Hosted by Dean Vikram David Amar, the lecture series brings thought leaders, including distinguished judges, lawyers, and businesspersons to the College of Law to talk on cutting-edge issues affecting law, justice, business, and government.Lecture is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided for lecture attendees.

Upcoming: Midwest VIRTUAL Law Fair on November 14! Were you unable to attend our Law School Fair? Over 25 Midwest law schools will be available to chat online with you about the admissions process, their schools, scholarships, journals, etc. This event is FREE and participants don’t need to travel! Click here for more information and to register. 

Career Center EventsClick here to visit the Career Center’s website for more information or to register for these sessions.

  • Global Careers: Singapore — Oct. 25, 6-8pm Interview Suite Room 213
  • Well-O-Ween–Oct. 23, 4-7 pm at the ARC
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Oct.22 , 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Oct. 23, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Oct. 24, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center, 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Oct. 26, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center, 5-7:30 Ikenberry Commons

Law School Open Houses

Some fall law school open house opportunities, including one this past weekend at Chicago-Kent, have already passed.  Make sure you check the websites of your selected schools for these very helpful events.

  • University of Chicago: Monday, October 29, from 1-5pm or Monday, November 19 (NOTE: That’s during Fall Break!), from 1-5pm.  Click here for more details.
  • Chicago-Kent: Saturday, November 10, 9:00am-12:30pm. Click here for more details.
  • DePaul University: Saturday, November 10 – 10:00 am-1:00 pm. Click here for more details. 
  • University of Illinois: You can schedule a visit, attend a class, and meet with faculty, students, and senior administrators to discover all that Illinois Law has to offer. If you are on campus, now is a great time to visit! Click here for more details.
  • John Marshall: Open House Saturday, November 3, 9am-12pm. Click here for more details.
  • Loyola-Chicago: Information Sessions are offered TODAY Monday, October 15 at 11:15 am; Monday, November 19 (Note: That’s during Fall Break!) at 11:15 am; or Friday, November 30 at 12:15 pm. Click here fore more details.
  • Northern Illinois University: NIU Law offers Information Sessions at both their DeKalb location (12:00 pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) and in the Chicago Loop (on Tuesdays at 11:00 am). Click here for more details.
  • Northwestern University: Virtual tour available. In addition, student guided tours are offered Mondays and Fridays at 12:00 pm. In addition, class visits can be scheduled while classes are in session. Click here for more details.
  • Southern Illinois University: Visits can be scheduled Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. Click here to schedule a visit. There are opportunities to sit in on classes throughout the fall.

For more information about upcoming Open House Days and how to prepare for these visits, go here to our blog post from October 3.

Scholarships and Other Campus Opportunities

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Campus Deadline: November 26, 2018

The Goldwater is for juniors or exceptional sophomores who are current U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or resident aliens. The Goldwater awards one- or two-year $7,500 awards to students who demonstrate strong evidence of contributing to the technological advances of the U.S. Applicants should be committed to pursuing a Ph.D in the research fields of mathematics, sciences, or engineering.

 

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