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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Important Updates! Summer 2020 and Future LSAT Administration

Below please find important updates from LSAC regarding future and Summer 2020 LSAT offerings including adjustments to planned test dates, deadlines, administration format, and fees.

Summer 2020 Updates

Given the continued uncertainties and health risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to replace the in-person LSAT scheduled for July 13 in the U.S. and Canada with an LSAT-Flex administration, which would occur the week of July 12 with scores available on July 30. We have also extended the July test registration deadline to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, June 1, to allow additional time for candidates to register given the new testing dates and format.

In addition, the in-person paper-and-pencil International LSAT scheduled for June 27-28 will also be cancelled, and those international test takers will have the option of taking the LSAT-Flex during the week of July 12 as well.

As you may know, we recently delivered the first LSAT-Flex administration in the U.S. and Canada, which was generally quite successful. Nearly 10,000 candidates took the LSAT-Flex between May 18 and 22. While some test takers experienced technical difficulties with their computers, internet connection, or the proctoring process, 99% of test takers who started the test successfully completed it. We are using the experience of delivering the May exam to make future LSAT-Flex administrations even better.

Our next LSAT-Flex administration is scheduled for the week of June 14, so we will continue to learn and apply any lessons to the July LSAT-Flex administration.

2020-2021 Test Administration and Fees

LSAC has today opened up registration for all of the remaining tests in the 2020-2021 testing cycle. While it is too soon to predict how the ongoing COVID-19 emergency will affect the format or dates of these tests, we will continue doing everything we can to support our law school candidates and provide testing opportunities, while following public health guidance to help protect the safety of test takers and the broader community.

We also announced today that the prices for all LSAC services – testing, CAS, school reports, cancellation fees, and other services – will remain at their 2019-2020 levels. While the cost of providing many of these services continues to rise, LSAC is committed to closing the gap through greater efficiency in order to keep candidate costs as low as possible.

 

You can find more information about the LSAT-Flex at LSAT-Flex Frequently-Asked-Questions page, and more information about 2020-2021 registration and pricing at LSAC.org. If you want to familiarize yourself with the format and content of the LSAT-Flex, we recommend using the free Official LSAT Prep practice tests available on LSAC’s LawHub.

 

 

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Pre-Law Advising Services – Important Updates for Spring and Summer

Hello Pre-Law Students!

As most of you know, there are big changes coming for the PLAS Office.  Alex Gil, our Graduate Assistant, who is a 3L at the UIUC College of Law, will be graduating in May.  Jamie Thomas-Ward, our long-time Director of Pre-Law Advising Services, took a new position in the LAS Department of Economics in January.  Judy Argentieri, Pre-Law Advisor, is retiring on April 30.  There is a search underway for a new Director of Pre-Law Services, but that person will not be “here” on May 1, when we are all gone. So what are you going to do?

Appointments – Alex will be accepting appointments through this Thursday, April 23, then will be focusing on his law school final exams.  Judy will be taking student appointments through next Wednesday, April 29.  Please go to our online scheduling portal to make appointments.

New Team – As mentioned above, the search for a new Director of Pre-Law Services is ongoing.  The hope/plan is to have that person on board soon, possibly by June 1.  In any event, there will be a new director in place before classes resume in the fall.

In the meantime, when you have pre-law questions….

  1. SEARCH THE PLAS BLOG!! Do not forget to search this blog for any topic related to pre-law.  For example, as you all begin Fall 2020 course registration, you can use our March 30 blog post “Suggestions for Fall 2020 Courses” to assist you. Even some of our older posts, covering a wide variety of topics, can be helpful!
  2. USE THE PRE-LAW HANDBOOK!!  As we have mentioned many, many times, the PLAS Handbook, accessible on our webpage, has answers to a lot of your questions with embedded links to help with your research on a host of issues.  Spend some time reading through it.
  3. USE THE PLAS COMPASS PAGE!!  Our Compass page contains a lot of good information, such as: info on UIUC law school applicants; Pre-Law 101 and Personal Statement short videos; the Jobs/Internship Newsletter; and more!  Not sure how to access it?  Go to the Resources tab on our PLAS webpage, and then scroll all the way to the bottom for instructions on how to add the PLAS Compass page.
  4. KEEP CHECKING THE PLAS FACEBOOK PAGE!!  As updates are available concerning the new PLAS team, this will be the best place for up-to-the-minute information.  Haven’t joined our Facebook page yet?  Ask to join Pre-Law Advising Services at Illinois ASAP!
  5. KEEP CHECKING LSAC.ORG!! LSAT registrants and law school applicants – make sure you check www.lsac.org for announcements about LSAT cancellations, LSAT Flex (registration OPENS THIS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 – TEST TO BE ADMINISTERED MONDAY, MAY 18 OR TUESDAY, MAY 19), law school application changes, etc.  And do not forget that you can access the LSAC’s FREE LSAT Test Prep Class, developed in partnership with Khan Academy, on LSAC’s website.
  6. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!! Now is not the time to be passive.  You must be proactive to stay on top of the constant changes happening here and elsewhere.  Put reminders in your mobile phones to check each of the above resources for important updates and changes!!  Here are a few other areas of interest that most pre-law students want/need to learn more about:
    1. Financing Law School: AccessLex (https://www.accesslex.org/) Law School Transparency (https://www.lawschooltransparency.com/ Our PLAS resources, including our Handbook, list these and other good sources for information on how to manage the cost of a law school education.
    2. Employment Information: ABA’s website http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/MainHome.aspx. You can also check each individual law school website – this data MUST be published on their websites by ALL ABA-accredited law schools. Articles featured in the Law.com and NationalJurist.com publications, as well as data compiled by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) are also helpful. https://www.nalp.org/
    3. LSAT and GPA Medians ABA 509 Report data – ABA’s website here http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/MainHome.aspx. You can also check each individual law school website – this data MUST be published on their websites by ALL ABA-accredited law schools.

Refer back to this post or the PLAS Handbook as questions arise during this transition period.  And stay tuned for announcements and updates related to the new Director of Pre-Law Advising Services!

 

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Wait listed or just waiting? Some tips about what law school applicants can do.

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

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

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

What can you do if you are still waiting on an answer?

  • IF it has been at least 4-6 weeks or whatever time frame the school has indicated for your file to be reviewed, reach out and politely inquire about anticipated time frames for a decision. Reiterate your interest in the school.
  • Review your status checker in your CAS/LSAC account.
  • Follow the law school on Twitter – many deans have taken to updating applicants about expected decisions there.
  • Don’t:
    • Complain about their slowness or criticize the school’s process
    • Tell them you’ve already heard back from everywhere else or from “better” schools
    • Give the school a deadline.

Sometimes patience is key!

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

What can you do if you are wait listed?

  • Follow the school’s directions carefully. Do not email to ask them what to do after the school sends very specific instructions. Some law schools will ask you to confirm that you want to be on their wait list–if you don’t do so, you will not be considered. Pay attention to these details and instructions and follow them carefully.
  • Visit the school if you haven’t already. Making a strong impression on an admissions professional can go a long way toward being selected when it’s time for them to pull from the wait list. Just make sure that your visit is welcome or appropriate as a wait list candidate.
  • Update your application by sending an updated resume, a new recommendation, or a letter or email expressing continued interest in that school (sometimes called a LOCI, or letter of continued interest).
  • Stay in touch–no more than once every couple of weeks–to demonstrate your interest in the school. Keep them updated on your plans. IF the school is your top choice, then say so.
  • Continue to make other plans. No one should proceed by “expecting” to be pulled from a wait list…even if this does happen, it can be anytime up to the day classes begin. You need to start making concrete plans in early April. Decide which law school you will attend out of those who accepted you. Make plans for putting down your deposit(s).
  • Don’t demand a decision right now…you may get one but it will not be the one you want.

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

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Build that Law School Resume – Look for Internships and RSO Opportunities NOW!

Law schools are especially interested in applicants who have some experience in legal related positions.  The sooner you get that experience, the better!  Your campus involvement and leadership are also important factors considered in the review of your applications.  Here are some ideas and opportunities to help you build a strong law school resume.

Local Opportunities. Internships can be really helpful to you and are valued by the law schools as part of your overall applicant profile.  As we posted earlier this week, there are events and opportunities on campus for law-related internships, even some paid ones! Go here and scroll down for more information about current openings on campus in the University Counsel’s Office and Environmental Humanities, as well as one in a local law firm.

Summer Internships. If you would rather look into summer internships, the time for action is now.  We published our PLAS Jobs and Internship Newsletter on Compass in December.  Go here to access it.  Note – many summer internships have deadlines in the next few weeks.

Resume Help. Interested in finding a job or internship but not sure how to craft a strong resume and make yourself competitive?  Then mark your calendars for next week’s PLAS workshop, Get That Law-Related Internship or Job — Wednesday, January 29, 5:00pm, 514 IUB.

Whether you are a sophomore applying for summer internships or a senior applying to post-graduation jobs, this workshop is for you! We will help you draft a resume and learn important skills for effectively finding and landing law-related internships and jobs!

We will cover:

  • Resume tips for applying to law-related jobs/internships, including what to avoid, what to include, how to structure it, and more. Bring your resume!
  • How to find law-related internships and jobs, including what to look for, where to look, and how to enhance your application
  • How to create effective cover letters that lawyers will read
  • What kinds of transferrable skills to highlight

Join us as we provide inside insight into how exactly to land a meaningful internship or job in the legal world.

Student Organizations. Maybe you already have an internship and are looking for a student group to join.  You are in luck!  The RSO Involvement Fair is TOMORROW, Thursday, January 23, 11am-3pm, Illini Union (I-Rooms, South Lounge, Courtyard Cafe).  This is a great opportunity to learn about the hundreds of registered student organizations on campus and possibly find one to join.  You should think in terms of getting involved with 2-3 meaningful extracurriculars while a student at UIUC. Clubs, volunteering, working on campus, mentoring, tutoring, etc., are all great options.

Remember – it is never too early to start building that law school resume so don’t miss out on these great opportunities!

 

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What to do over Winter Break

Make your summer plans!

  • Apply for spring and summer 2020 internships! Check out our 2019 Internship/Jobs Newsletter over on our Compass page for over 30 pages of internship and job listings and other good ideas for pre-law opportunities. (Don’t wait until spring to look for summer internships–many will be filled by then.)
  • Apply for Summer 2020 pre-law programs. In addition to jobs and internships, we have provided information on several pre-law summer programs in our Jobs/Internships Newsletter.  These opportunities can be found in the Internship/Jobs Newsletter, starting on page 7.
  • Apply for Summer 2020 Study Abroad programs. Now is the time, as many summer study abroad program deadlines are in January/February. Program offerings include locations such as Milan, Barcelona and many others. Explore all available summer programs on the Study Abroad website.

Check out the LSAT Schedule!

Registrations for Spring 2020 LSAT administrations are open.  Go here for more info and to register.  The schedule for 2020-2021 LSAT Administrations, which begin with the June 2020 administration, should be posted in early January so keep checking LSAC.org for updates.

Also – don’t forget to mark your calendar for the PLAS LSAT Boot Camp, set for February 10!  Go here for more info.

Apply for scholarships!

  • Explore the Top Scholars website here–they offer lots of opportunities like these upcoming scholarships: UK Summer Fulbright, Boren, and Gilman scholarships.
  • Did you know that you can get a scholarship for writing one tweet? Or making a 2 minute video? Or being left-handed? Check out our 150+ Scholarship Spreadsheet–listing ALL kinds of scholarships, not just essays–over on our Compass page.

Update your professional and online presence!

  • Draft or update your resume to reflect what you accomplished this semester. These Career Center resources on drafting resumes can be helpful.
  • Create or update your LinkedIn profile
  • Create a professional-sounding email account (such as your full name, not jedimaster97 or hotmama23) if you are getting ready to apply for jobs, internships, scholarships, or graduate school
  • Clean up your social media/online presence. When you apply for jobs, internships, or graduate school, many people will Google you or review your social media sites, so make sure they are appropriate for those audiences. Take down anything questionable, un-tag yourself, and double check your privacy settings.

Informational Interviews. While you have some free time, take the opportunity to reach out to local lawyers and get some insight into legal careers. Ask if you can take them to coffee and chat about their careers.

  • How to find lawyers: Do your parents know any lawyers? Do you have any family members or family friends who are lawyers? They probably know even more lawyers to whom they can refer you for even more interviews. If you don’t know any lawyers and you live in Illinois, use the Illinois Lawyer Finder here, which allows you to search for lawyers by location and practice area around the state
  • For more details on how to conduct the interview use this Career Center resource.

Read up on legal issues and legal careers!

  • A great book providing insight into lots of different legal careers is 24 Hours with 24 Lawyers by Jasper Kim. 
  • Legal websites and blogs abound. Here are popular legal sites where you can learn about hot legal issues and about the legal profession.
    • SCOTUSblog for up-to-the-minute analyses of what the Supreme Court is hearing and doing
    • Law.com for a look inside the legal profession from various practice areas
    • LawProfessorBlogs.com Want to get a peek into the world of law professors and the topics they consider important? This site provides a directory of many different blogs by topic area and includes everything from Adoption Law to White Collar Crime and everything in-between.
    • Illinois State Bar Association’s website includes a blog and daily legal news about legal issues around the state. (You can find other state sites by searching, for example, “Texas” and state bar association.)

Listen to podcasts–there are tons of great legal podcasts out there, including these.

  • I Am the Law presents interviews with all different types of lawyers, from environmental lawyers to prosecutors to family law and corporate.
  • Serial provides an in depth view of the nuance and challenges of prosecuting crimes as each season analyzes one criminal case.
  • Women in the Law. This special short-term series explored issues of particular relevance to women in the profession.
  • The Girl’s Guide to Law School–Don’t be fooled by the name; this is not just for girls! This podcast is relevant for everyone interested in law school. With topics ranging from Will Law School Be a Disaster to Which Law School Should I Go To to explaining OCI (an interview process for law students) to Avoiding Disasters in Law School to how to read cases, this podcast truly has something for everyone.

If you are currently applying to law school:

  • Finish those applications. It is time to get them in!
  • Plan your law school visits–many schools have scheduled open houses or visit days in January and February. This may require pre-registration and some travel that you’ll want to plan in advance.
  • Follow your law schools on social media if you’d like to know when they are making decisions or scheduling open house/admitted student events.
  • Make a Pre-Law Advising appointment–If you have application questions or want some feedback on an essay, you can make a phone or Zoom appointment if you’re not in the area. Here is our appointment availability over winter break.
    • Appointments with a pre-law advisor are available through December 20.
    • The office will be closed December 24 through January 5, reopening on Jan. 6. (Staff will not be available during this time.)
    • Appointments will be available again January 6 through January 16.
    • Our regular schedule will resume with the Spring Semester on Tuesday, January 21.

 

 

 

 

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November LSAT takers: 5 Things to Do NOW

November LSAT registration was very high, and lots of people are now submitting their applications. An inside tip that we want to share: Many of last year’s November LSAT takers ended up waiting until January to apply. Why? It was Fall Break, then finals, then the holidays, then winter break…and before they knew it, it was the end of January. Our advice? DON’T WAIT.

Remember that most law schools use rolling admissions–they have been admitting people since September. So your goal should be to complete your applications as soon as your LSAT score is released on December 19. Here’s what to do now.

  1. Complete the writing portion of the LSAT. Many law schools will not review your application until you finish the writing section of the LSAT so hop on that ASAP!
  2. Register for the Credential Assembly Service if you haven’t already. This is the account where your letter of recommendation writers will send your letter–and they can’t write your letter until you set this up.  Click here for more information.
  3. Follow up with your recommenders. By now you should have already approached your letter of recommendation writers, but if not, NOW is the time. Provide a resume and allow at least 6-8 weeks for them to write and upload the letter to your CAS account.
  4. Order your transcript(s) now. Note: You will need to order a transcript from every undergraduate institution where you took courses–even summer courses–so now is a good time to reach out to the registrar of any community colleges or schools from which you transferred. Here is where you order your UIUC transcript. Want more information about the LSAC’s transcript policies? Go here.
  5. Write your personal statement. Our personal statement workshops are finished for the year, but we also provide a quick overview of the personal statement in our PLAS Handbook. Click on the “Applying to Law School” tab.  Once there, select the “Personal Statement” tab.  We have additional information in the “Applying to Law School” section of our PLAS Compass page. As both of these resources explain, each law school will have its own prompt(s) for the personal statement. While you may discover that many of these personal statement prompts are similar, you need to CAREFULLY REVIEW each prompt for each law school and reply to that prompt. Besides giving you a topic or direction to take, the prompt may also contain information about font size, page limits, etc. You need to open your CAS account and then begin to apply to each law school to see the details in each application. Note: just because you open an application today does NOT mean you have to finish it today. You can begin your law school applications and then go back and work on them at your own pace.
  6. Research law schools. The very first thing to consider is: What are your top 3 priorities in a legal education? (Location, employment, affordability, and admissibility are common priorities.) You’ll want to develop a list of 8-10 law schools that meet those priorities. You can find LSAT/GPA data, employment information, tuition, and more by using a resource like the American Bar Association’s Required Disclosure reports. On this website you will find these reports:
    1. 509 Required Disclosures = Previous year’s incoming class data such as GPA, LSAT, ethnicity, number of applicants + admits, etc., plus you can find tuition, number and amount of scholarships awarded, and transfer data.
    2. Employment Outcomes = Law schools are required to report the employment status of graduates 10 months after graduation. Here you will see how many of the law schools’s most recent grads are employed, and in what sectors.
    3. Bar Passage Outcomes = Law schools must report bar passage data about a year out. This report will show which state bar exam this school’s grads take, how many pass, and comparisons to the general state pass rate.

If you have questions and would like to meet with an advisor, go here to schedule an appointment. We will be available until December 20 and then again in January.

 

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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 Taking the November LSAT

  1. Keep studying!  As you know, the test is NEXT Monday, November 25.
  2. Review the LSAC’s Test Center Requirements, which can be found here.
  3. Get plenty of rest and try to eat something before you head to the exam.
  4. Once the LSAT is over, take a day or so to recover, then….

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!) Click here to revisit our November 13 Blog, which lists several law school Open Houses both within and outside of Illinois.  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 2020 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 2020, 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, using the FREE Khan Academy Prep, 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. Note – PLAS will be holding the “LSAT Boot Camp” on Monday, February 10, 2020, featuring presentations by both the LSAC and Kaplan Commercial Test Prep! Keep checking back for more info as the event gets closer.
  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 on December 9!
  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 150 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.

Have a great break!

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November 18, 2019 – Mark Your Calendars

As Fall Break approaches, the campus schedule of events is winding down.  However, there still are some interesting programs and events, on and off campus, before, during and after the break, so scroll down and mark your calendars!

Pre-Law Advising Services

Personal Statement and Resume Workshop – Monday, December 2, 4-5pm, 503 IUB

This workshop will cover:

  • What the personal statement is (and isn’t)
  • The role of the statement in the application process
  • A suggested plan for drafting it
  • An overview of law school resumes
  • How to make sure that your resume and personal statement complement each other.

All Illinois students and alumni are welcome, particularly those who will be applying to law school this fall.

Please register by clicking on this link so that we can ensure enough seating and materials.

Career Center

The Career Center will continue to offer Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn reviews this week, over break and when you return from break.  Go here for the schedule for these sessions.

Harvard Law School Online Info Sessions. Interested in learning some tips about applying to Harvard Law School?  HLS has begun offering online information sessions.  Some concern the admissions process, others offer insight into campus life, student organizations, and clinical opportunities at HLS. Click here to register for these upcoming sessions, and to see the entire schedule. 

1L Year at HLS
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
6:00 – 7:00 PM Eastern

Students of Color at HLS
Thursday, November 21, 2019
6:00 – 7:00 PM Eastern

Living and Learning in Greater Boston
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
6:00 – 7:00 PM Eastern

Law School Open Houses Over Fall Break

  1. University of Chicago Law School – Monday, November 25, 1:30-4:00pm.  For more information and to register, go here.
  2. DePaul University College of LawSaturday, November 23, 10am.  For more information and to register, go here.
  3. Loyola University School of Law – Friday, November 22, 11:15am To register, go here and scroll down the page to find the registration for the  November 22 information session.

Go here to see the November 13 PLAS Blog post for a detailed list of other law school Open Houses.

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Law School Open Houses – Illinois and Beyond

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

Illinois Law Schools

Chicago-Kent Law School Open House/Admissions Workshop:  Preparing for a Legal Career. Saturday, November 16, 9am-12:30pm. This will be an in-depth workshop on Preparing for a Legal Career, including a mini law school class, admissions overview, and tour. Click here to register!

University of Chicago Law School Open House – Monday, November 25, 1:00-4:30pm. The programs for the Open House will give you a glimpse into life at the Law School: you will attend a class, meet with students, faculty, and staff, and take a tour of the school. Members of the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid will be available to answer any questions you have about applying for admission to the Law School or about the Law School in general. Click here for more information and to register!

DePaul University College of Law – Saturday, November 23, 10am. The faculty, students and staff of DePaul University College of Law invite you and a guest to our Open House events for prospective students. Our programs provide you with information about admission requirements, areas of concentration and financial aid. Each Open House also includes a student panel discussion, mock class, lunch and a tour of our facilities. Programs begin promptly at 10 a.m.  For more information and to register, go here.

Loyola University School of Law – Friday, November 22, 11:15am We host information sessions to provide an informal opportunity to ask questions of a member of the JD Admission team. Approximately 45 minutes will be allotted for the information sessions. These sessions are offered on select dates during fall and spring semesters. Information sessions are intended for prospective students; admitted students should select from our other visit options. To register, go here and scroll down the page to find the registration for the  November 22 information session.

Northern Illinois University College of Law Open HouseSaturday, November 16, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Includes a student panel, mock class, tour, and lunch with current law students. For more information and to RSVP visit their website here.

Northwestern University School of Law – Super Saturday – November 9.  After requesting an On-Campus Interview within your JD application (so you need to submit your application first), the Admissions Office will send you an invitation and you will be equipped to select from available slots for your interview.  Go here for more info. Note:  Early decision / ED applicants are required to complete an online video interview. Upon submitting your ED application to Northwestern Law, you will receive an invitation to our online video interview portal and guidance for completing this requirement. For additional information on the interview process, visiting the school and other questions you may have, check out the FAQs on Northwestern Law’s website here.

Southern Illinois University School of Law  The best way to really connect with SIU is the see it for yourself.  Visits are scheduled during normal business hours – Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Complete the information here and an admissions representative will be in contact with you to customize your visit. We appreciate 48 hours notice for any campus visit. If you have any questions, please call the Office of Admissions at (618) 453-8858.

University of Illinois College of Law – Nothing will give you a greater sense of the College of Law at Illinois than an in-person visit.  Please reach out to our Office of Admissions to schedule your visit. You may also want to browse our events calendar, in case you’d like to schedule your visit to coincide with one of our upcoming events. For more information, go here.

UIC John Marshall Law School Throughout the academic year, the Office of Admission offers open house programs for prospective students interested in UIC John Marshall. The open house programs provide an overview of curriculum, the classroom experience, and student life, and offer prospects a chance to familiarize themselves with legal education. In addition, the Law School offers guided tours to prospective students at scheduled times throughout the week. To schedule a tour, call the Office of Admission at 800.537.4280. For more information, go here.

(Outside of Illinois) Big 10 Law Schools

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

  • Admissions Information Session–Saturday, Dec. 7, 1-3 pm
  • Virtual Admissions Information Session– January 3, 6-7 pm EASTERN (12 -1 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. 15, 2020 (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 

  • Only self-guided tours and admissions counselor visits will be available during Finals & Winter Break (December 2 through January 22).

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

  • Fall Open House will be held on November 21, 2019 from 4-7 pm. Please register here.
  • Info sessions and class observations   Visits are conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays . Click here to access the schedule and RSVP

Penn State Law 

University of Wisconsin Law

  • Offers group visits and individual visits, plus an online tour of the law school  (click here)

Other (Outside Illinois) Law Schools Popular with Illini Applicants

Boston University Law School (click here)

  • BU Law Open House– Saturday, November 16 from 9:30 – 12:00 p.m.
  • Offers class visits with a posted schedule of available classes online

Emory Law (click here)

  • Offers information sessions every Tuesday and Thursday 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. 22, Dec. 6, and Dec. 16
  • 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. 20. 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

Saint Louis University School of Law (click here)

  • Preview Day, Jan. 4 from 9:30 to 2:00

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 Friday, November 22, January 17, and February 28 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Details on scheduling individual visits, along with sample visitor schedules, can be arranged online
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