The 2017 Internship Newsletter is Live on Compass!

The 2017 Internship Newsletter is now available on Pre-Law Advising Service’s Compass page. Please visit our Compass page to begin combing through the newsletter for summer opportunities that interest you.  If you are a designated pre-law student, simply log in with your credentials to access the page. If you are not a designated pre-law student but would like to access the newsletter, please follow the instructions here. Positions are available throughout Illinois, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Indianapolis, and other cities across the country. Many positions have due dates over break and in early January, so we encourage you to begin working on applications as soon as possible.

There are internship listings for criminal law, environmental law, labor and employment law, intellectual property law, state and federal government work, and full time job opportunities for December and May graduates.

Make use of your long winter break to begin planning for summer: update your resume, create cover letters, and make sure to pay attention to the job postings’ deadlines. The time to apply is now! The internship newsletter also has opportunities posted for December 2017 and May 2018 graduating seniors. December 2017 graduates – make sure you visit our blog post from last week about current job openings for you.

For anyone who has not applied to their prospective schools yet and wishes to start in fall 2018, FINISH YOUR APPLICATIONS! The time to submit is now!

For those of you who plan on applying to law school in Fall 2019, winter break is a great time to begin preparing for the LSAT. Over winter break, try to take a practice LSAT to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. We’ve posted one over on our Compass page too. You can never start studying too early!  Additionally, this will provide you with some perspective that will help you gauge which LSAT prep company is the best for you at the 2018 LSAT Prep Fair on Tuesday February 6, from 4:00-6:00 pm in Illini Union Rooms B & C.

Save the Date for these Spring Semester events!

Monday January 29 – Pre-Law 101

4:00-5:00PM in 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore

Friday February 16 – Practice LSAT

8:00AM -12:00PM Illini Union Bookstore Building Room 514

This full length practice LSAT will be given in actual test conditions.

Monday February 26 – Negotiating Scholarships Workshop

5:00-6:15PM Location: 1090 Lincoln Hall

Featuring: Dean of Admissions Rebecca Ray from the University of Illinois College of Law, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions Amanda Noascono from DePaul University College of Law, and Assistant Dean for Admissions Nicole Vilches from Chicago-Kent College of Law

Enjoy your break and Happy Holidays!

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GRE Update

As we have previously mentioned, several law schools have begun accepting either the GRE or the LSAT from law school applicants. This week, two more law schools, Brooklyn Law School and George Washington University Law School, announced that they, too, would accept the GRE, bringing the number to 15 law schools that will begin accepting the GRE now or next year.  Educational Testing Service (ETS), the entity that administers the GRE, has posted the current list on its website.

It is important to remember that the LSAT is still the most widely-accepted standardized test by U.S. law schools.  We strongly encourage you to visit each law school’s website to understand the requirements for selecting the GRE in lieu of the LSAT. Note: This situation is in a state of flux.  The American Bar Association, the entity that oversees the accreditation of law schools in the United States, is currently reviewing whether the GRE is an appropriate evaluation tool for law school applicants. This means things could change. Stay tuned!

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5 Things to Do After the December LSAT

December is here and the LSAT is over, which means it is time to focus on the remaining elements of your application so that you can get those applications out as soon as your LSAT score is available in the first week of JanuaryWhat should you be doing now?

Check on your letters of recommendation…NOW!! Your recommendations should already be in your LSAC account. Check your account and follow up with your recommenders ASAP if they aren’t, so that you know when they will be in. Remember that your application is not complete and will not be considered without them.  This should be your top priority because the closer we get to break, the busier professors get (or they begin to travel and be unreachable).

Draft your personal statement. It’s time to take that energy and time you were focusing on the LSAT and devote it to your personal statement. Although our personal statement workshops are over, we have some tips and suggestions for the personal statement on our website and a helpful video and handout on our Compass page.  You can also get help through the Writer’s Workshop, which is a great place to start. Spend some time thinking about your values, your career goals, and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Then write a draft, set it aside for a few days, and revisit it. Don’t worry if you don’t love the first draft–no one does. Start now so that you can spend at least a few weeks thinking, writing, and editing.

Schedule an appointment now. When you are ready for some feedback, you can make an appointment for a Pre-Law Advisor to review your personal statement and discuss it with you in addition to answering any questions about the application process.

  • December appointments: Both Pre-Law Advisors will be available for appointments through December 22, and we expect to be very busy with appointments during this time given that applications are up this year. It is a good idea to schedule your appointment now by calling 333-9669. Please email us your statement and resume two business days prior to your appointment so that we have time to review them.
  • Winter break appointments: The office will be closed Dec. 25 through January 1. Appointments will be available again starting January 2. If you are not in the Champaign-Urbana area, you can make a phone appointment–just let the receptionist know when you schedule that it will be a phone appointment.

Order your transcripts. You’ll need to order a transcript from each undergraduate institution you attended. At Illinois, you can check the “hold for fall grades” box to have your Fall 2017 grades included. Visit the LSAC here, http://www.lsac.org/jd/applying-to-law-school/cas/requesting-transcripts, for more information on the transcript ordering process. You can order your Illinois transcript through the Registrar’s website here.

Schedule law school visits.  Many law schools offer open houses. Check your top 3-5 law schools’ websites and social media. Individual law school visits are a good alternative. Call the law school and ask for a tour and to sit it on a class. Visiting a law school is very important to your overall law school choice, and is a MUST for schools that you are seriously considering. Plus, law schools will note your visit and you may even get to meet the person reading your application, so be sure to make a good impression.

Take a look at our earlier post called “The Application Process: LSAC Tips” for even more application details.

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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, finish your applications!  If you have everything you need to apply there is no reason to procrastinate. This is a rolling admissions process — file your applications ASAP!
  2. If you are taking the December 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.
  3. If you are waiting on Letters of Recommendation, gently remind your recommenders (either via a phone call or email) that you want to submit your applications ASAP but cannot do so until LSAC/CAS receives all required letters of recommendation.
  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!)
    1. DePaul Law is hosting an Open House on Saturday, November 18. Click here for more details.
    2. For those of you applying to the University of Chicago, they will be holding an open house on Monday, November 20.  Click here to register for this event.
  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 250 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 2018 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 2018, 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 you on 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 learn more about the legal system and the practice of law.  Do you need some suggestions on how and where to find an internship?  Check out this 2018 Internship Plan from our blog. We also recently posted several internships to our Facebook page. And remember: the PLAS Annual Internship Newsletter will be out and published on Compass the week of December 18!
  4. Network and conduct informational interviews. A great way to start to build 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 250 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! Here are a few great undergrad scholarships with upcoming deadlines. Find these and over 200 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. A Better America Scholarship Program application is due December 31.

Have a great break!

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Timelines for 2018 LSAT Takers

2018 LSAT Takers: it’s time to pick a test date and plan your schedules for 2018! You have four LSAT options to choose from next year: February, June, September, and November.

The first LSAT in 2018 is in February. For more information, visit the LSAC’s website here

FEBRUARY 10th, 2018 TEST DEADLINES (you should sign up soon!):

Regular Registration: December 27, 2017
Regular Registration Accommodation Request: December 27, 2017
Nonpublished Test Center Registration (additional fees apply): December 13, 2017
Late Registration—Published Test Centers only (additional fees apply): January 3, 2018
Late Registration Accommodation Request—Published Test Centers only (additional fees apply): January 3, 2018

 

UPCOMING LSAT DATES FOR 2018:

Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:30 AM
Monday, February 12, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM

Monday, June 11, 2018 12:30 PM

Saturday, September 8, 2018 8:30 AM
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM

Saturday, November 17, 2018 8:30 AM
Monday, November 19, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM

COSTS FOR THE LSAT:

Basic Fees
LSAT $180
Credential Assembly Service (CAS) $185
Auxiliary Fees
Late Registration $100
Test Center Change $100
Test Date Change $100
Nonpublished Test Center Domestic: $285
International: $380

Other Important Things to Consider for the 2018 LSAT: (1) Spring Schedules and (2) Study Abroad

(1) Now that the courses for Spring 2018 are available, try to plan your spring schedule so you give yourself enough time to study for your respective exam. If you can take a lighter load of classes and free up your schedule to study for the LSAT, it is highly recommended.

(2) Studying Abroad in 2018? Think ahead for which test you want to take!  A note about the LSAT and Study Abroad: Many students choose to study abroad in the
spring of their Junior year. This can impact your planning and preparation for the LSAT,
especially if you plan to take the exam in June. You should factor in your study abroad timing when deciding which LSAT to take. The LSAT is offered in many other countries (which you can investigate at www.lsac.org), but you should carefully consider whether you will have the time and focus necessary for preparing for the exam while abroad.

See our handbook for more information about the application process.

Also, keep an eye out for updates about our 2018 LSAT Prep Fair that will be on February 6, 2018! If you are thinking about attending law school, come and learn what the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is all about, find the perfect prep course, and learn more about how to prepare for the LSAT.

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December 2017 LSAT Study Groups

Taking the December 2017 LSAT? The test is only 5 weeks away!

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the December 2017 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Wednesday October 25th at 9AM. Study groups will be assigned next week.

Please click the link here to sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/QAJqodO8Js5i5BlB3

 

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December LSAT Update: What to know and do for December takers

The December 2 LSAT is only 6 weeks away, and the deadline to register is tomorrow! Based on the increase in September LSAT takers and last year’s December LSAT data, we predict that there will be a lot of December takers, so register now to get your preferred location. Register here: https://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines/2017-2018/us-canada-dec

Are you still trying to decide whether to retake? You’ll want to ask yourself some careful questions. Revisit this blog post for data on retakers, advice on deciding to retake, and next steps: http://publish.illinois.edu/…/what-to-do-now-that-the-lsat…/.

The timing of the December LSAT is challenging for current students, since it is so close to finals. How can you maximize your performance?

  • Clear your schedule as much as possible. With upcoming papers, projects, and assignments, November is going to be busy. You want to devote at least 10-15 hours per week to LSAT prep. (It’s only temporary.)
  • Make sure that you are taking TIMED, FULL LENGTH exams as part of your prep. Timing is a key issue for most LSAT takers.
  • Follow up with your recommendation writers and order your transcripts (click on “hold for fall grades” when ordering) so that your applications can be complete as soon as December LSAT scores are reported in January.
  • Take advantage of fall break to really crank up your LSAT prep.
  • If you are retaking:
    • Be realistic about how much improvement and progress you can make in 6 weeks. The average retaker scores within 2.5 points of where they scored last–which can be significant, in LSAT terms, but does not suggest that a jump of 10 points is likely.
    • Use your score report to carefully assess what questions you missed. Was what you missed consistent with your LSAT prep? Or did you find some surprises?
    • Consider: What can you do differently to prepare this time? Using a different book, teacher, or resource can help you progress. (You can use our LSAT Resources handout on our Compass page to find new study tools.)

 

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Applications, Open Houses, and Finishing Up Your Fall 2018 Applications

While the fall is a busy time for everyone, if you are currently working on your law school applications for Fall 2018, you should be wrapping things up!
Next steps once your applications are almost done or done:

If you are applying for law school this year to enter into school in Fall 2018, consider attending our “Applying to Law School” Workshop to get any of your last minute questions answered. The event is on Monday October 16 at 4PM in the Illini Union Bookstore Building Room 514. Click here for more information.

If you are still working on your personal statement, attend our “Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume for Law School” workshop on Monday October 23 at 4PM in the Illini Union Bookstore Building Room 514. Please register for this event by clicking here so we can ensure we have enough materials and spots for everyone that would like to attend.

Once the Law School Fair is over on Wednesday, you should begin wrapping up your law school applications and registering for open houses and touring schools. Listed below are the open houses or tour opportunities for schools in Illinois.

Open House/Tour Info for Illinois Law Schools 2017-2018

Some schools schedule formal open houses and others require you to choose a date for a visit. Open houses are a great opportunity to visit the campus, sit in on the class, see what the students and professors are like, and a great opportunity to answer all your questions. Here are some options for visits and open houses for Illinois schools:

Please check our Compass page for more information if you are in the process of applying. The information is located in Compass under the “Applying to Law School Folder.”

3 Things To Do Before a Law School Visit or Open House

Once you decide to attend a law school open house or tour, here are a few things you should do.

  1. REGISTER! Make you are following the school’s directions and reserve a spot for the open house or tour.
  2. Dress professionally for the event. Likely the open houses will have a business casual dress code. Tours may be more casual attire, but check with the school and see what they encourage prospective students to wear. You want to make a good first impression!
  3. Read the website and be familiar with the time, date, where to park, and what to bring to the event. Write down any questions you have so you can ask them on the tour or during the visit.

Also, research schools that you are considering out of state. Most schools offer open houses throughout the year and regular tours. Make use of the week off for Thanksgiving break and the long winter break for farther distance trips. Schedule these events early!

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Mark Your Calendars – Law School Application Week Edition

It’s Law School Application Week! Check out our 3 wonderful events going on this week!

The Law School Fair is Wednesday September 27, at the Illini Union in Rooms A, B, and C. We are looking forward to seeing many of you there!

 Join us as over 100 law schools visit campus to meet with prospective students. Gather information about law schools, talk with admissions professionals about their schools, collect some fun freebies and law school application fee waivers. This event is FREE and open to the public. Dress is business casual. For more information, including a list of law schools attending the fair, visit our website. See you at the fair! No registration is required.

Four Things to Do Before the Law School Fair

Here are a few things to do before to get the most of out of the Law School Fair.

  1. Look at the Schools’ Websites and Do Some Background Research
    1. Have specific questions for the admissions representatives that are coming to campus. Most basic questions can be answered by simply looking at the website (GPAs, LSAT scores, where their graduates work, professors, etc).
    2. Example questions to ask: Where do students typically work after their first year summer? What is the school environment like? Are there study groups or other academic resources available? What do students do in their free time? How many students are involved in clubs and activities? What is the most popular class at the law school?
  2. Have an Elevator Pitch Ready
    1. What’s an elevator pitch? It is a 30 second introductory speech about yourself.
    2. The elevator pitch should start out by telling the representative your name, your hometown, your major, when you are applying to law school, and why you are interested in that specific law school. The law schools want to get to know you, so you should tell them a little about yourself.
    3. Don’t read off the speech, consider it the beginning of a conversation.
  3. Get Your Outfit Ready
    1. Dress is business causal for the event.
    2. Men – A dress shirt, dress pants, and a tie are appropriate. No suit coat is needed.
    3. Women – A dress shirt, blouse, or sweater, and dress pants or a skirt are appropriate.
  4. Things to Bring With to the Event
    1. A list of schools you want to talk to and why you are interested in those law schools.
    2. A notebook and pencil. If you are impressed with a school or want to remember a specific detail about a conversation, it is best to write it down right away.
    3. No need to bring a resume – most law schools will not accept resumes at this event.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

For Law School Application Week we have some great events planned!

FALL EVENTS

Law School Admissions Panel Tuesday September 26

7:00PM 1002 Lincoln Hall

What are law school admissions professionals really looking for in an applicant? How do they weigh LSAT scores, grades, or work experience? What makes them take notice of an applicant–and what would make them deny someone? Join us for this expert law school admissions panel to discover this and more. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. This is a must-see event for anyone considering applying to law school!

Panelists include:

Dean Ann Perry from the University of Chicago Law School  http://www.law.uchicago.edu/

Ms. Grace Mayeda from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law  https://www.law.berkeley.edu/

Dean Rebecca Ray from the University of Illinois College of Law  https://law.illinois.edu/

Law School Fair Wednesday September 27

10:00-2:00PM Illini Union Rooms A, B, and C

It’s the biggest pre-law event of the year! Join us as 120+ law schools visit campus to meet all who are interested in applying to law school. Learn about law schools, scholarships, and the application process while meeting the people who will be reading your law school applications. Application fee waivers and other freebies will be available. Stop by or stay the whole time! This event is free and open to the public. Business casual dress.

Getting to Know Northwestern Law (co-hosted with Pre-Law Honors Society) Thursday September 28

6:00 – 7:30 pm  1090 Lincoln Hall

Interested in Northwestern Pritzker School of Law?  Join us as Assistant Director of Admissions Sarah Rewerts discusses The Northwestern Law Difference.  Sarah will also share her inside perspective on Northwestern Law’s admission process, including:  the Early Decision program; the interview process; the recent decision to begin accepting the GRE (for the Fall 2019 entering class), and more!  This is a great opportunity to get to know Northwestern Law and to have your questions answered!

Pre-Law 101 Tuesday October 3

4:00-5:00PM Room 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore

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. Click the link above to register so that we can guarantee seating and materials for everyone. Each Pre-Law 101 session is the same. Incoming students should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment.

Scholarships

We’ve collected 275 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!

Internships

It’s NOT too early to start looking for spring/summer internships today! We post internships on our blog and our Facebook page. Check out this blog post for a plan on how to start finding spring and summer internships this fall.

Pre-Law Resources

Now is a great time to check out–or join–all of our pre-law resources! Click the links to explore. You can also search this blog for posts about the LSAT, law school applications, resumes, internships, and more!

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Compass page

 

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What to Do Now That the LSAT Is Over

If you took the September LSAT, now is the time to be planning ahead for the rest of the fall semester. The release date for scores (via email) for the September LSAT is October 12.

The regular registration deadline for the December 2nd LSAT is only 6 days after the release date. The regular registration deadline for the December LSAT is Wednesday October 18. The late registration deadline (with possible additional fees) is Wednesday October 25.

By registering for the December LSAT then, it is not guaranteed that your preferred testing location will be open. Spots will fill up quickly, especially for the LSAT location in Urbana-Champaign.

If you took the September LSAT and are currently waiting for your score, this blog entry will go on to discuss how to decide whether to retake.

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 December).

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 December?
  • 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 December, 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 mid-January, when the December LSAT scores will be released.

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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