Mark Your Calendars: Week of April 8

Pre-Law Campus Events:

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School – April 10, 6:00 – 7:00 pm, Gregory Hall Room 319  Nationwide, the average law student has taken one or more gap year(s) after undergrad before applying to law school. Whether you are planning to go straight through to law school after undergrad is over or looking at one or more years before law school, this workshop will help you prepare for that next step.  Hear from our panel of current law students from the University of Illinois College of Law and learn more about the pros and cons of both choices.

ATTENTION SPRING 2019 GRADS – Check out our Compass page for a recently-updated listing of job opportunities in Chicago, NYC, DC and more!

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AND INFO FOR PRE-LAW STUDENTS:

NOW is the time for June and July LSAT Registration–Planning to take the June or July LSAT? Demand is high, so click here to register now to get a seat.

Fall 2019 Course Suggestions: Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, click on the link here for some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting.

National and International Scholarship Program Info Sessions
During the first two weeks of April, the National and International Scholarship Program will be hosting information sessions for undergraduate students across colleges and fields to learn about some nationally competitive scholarship opportunities.

Information Sessions for freshmen and sophomores will be held the week of April 8th: For first and second year undergraduates, sessions will focus on what students should be doing to strengthen their candidacy for various awards.

Monday, April 8th: 3:30-4:00 or 4:00-4:30
Tuesday, April 9th: 11:30-Noon3:30-4:00 or 4:00-4:30
Wednesday, April 10th: 2:30-3:00 and 3:00-3:30
Thursday, April 11th: 2:30-3:00 or 3:00-3:30
Friday, April 12th: 1:30-2:00

All information sessions will be held in conference room 514 in the Campus Center for Advising and Academic Services at 807 South Wright Street, which is the Illini Union Bookstore building.

PAID SUMMER LEGAL INTERNSHIP IN CHICAGO

Elise Harmening is the Owner and Principal Attorney for Harmening Law, LLC. Elise began Harmening Law, LLC as part of the Justice Entrepreneur’s Project through the Chicago Bar Foundation.  Harmening Law, LLC is committed to providing legal services for clients who do not fit into the traditional legal services model or qualify for legal aid. Throughout her life, Elise has found a real connection with working with families and youth. She has personal experience working through the school system to advocate for accommodations and understands, intensely, what it feels like on both sides of the table. Harmening Law only deals with family and education law. Interns will be able to learn the ins and outs of family and education law. Harmening Law is offering a paid summer internship of $13 an hour for 10-30 hours a week to one intern.

Qualifications:

– Currently pursuing an undergraduate degree.
– Preferably majoring in Political Science, International Relations, Criminal Justice, Philosophy and other related fields of study
– Strong writing skills
– Ability to analyze information
– Ability to quickly learn new tasks
– Ability to do projects independently with deadlines
– Passion in law

Responsibilities:

– Filing and making copies
– Writing responses
– Organizing schedule
– Take notes for meetings
– Go to the courthouse at least once a week
– Organizing evidence
– Assist with fillings
– Assisting with client intakes

To apply, send a cover letter (include availability), resume and sample paper to
elise@harmeninglaw.com. Deadline is April 30, 2019.

llini Career and Internship Fair, Thursday, April 11, 12pm-5pm, at the ARC!!

This career fair is open to all disciplines and is designed to serve as a “just-in-time” fair for students that have yet to secure a summer internship or full-time job after graduation.

DINE: Diversity and Inclusion Networking Exchange, April 10, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Illini Union Room 314

Engage with employers who value diversity in the workplace. Practice networking with company representatives in a casual setting. Register at go.illinois.edu/dine2019

 
Upcoming Workshops:

Tuesday, April 9, Career Fair Prep: Maximize Your Experience 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., The Career Center, Conference Room 143, 715 S Wright St.

Wednesday, April 10, Rock You Resume Noon – 4 p.m., Student Services Arcade Building, The Career Center Resource Library

Employers Speak 5 – 6 p.m., Illini Union, Room 210, 1401 W Green St.
DINE: Diversity and Inclusion Networking Exchange 6:30 – 8 p.m., Illini Union, Room 314, 1401 W Green St.

Drop-in Career Advising:
The Career Center, 715 S. Wright, offers drop-in service Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for students with quick career-related questions.

Drop-in Health Professions Advising: The Career Center, 715 S. Wright, offers drop-in service on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1:30 – 3 p.m. for students with quick questions about health professions.

Resume/Cover Letter/ LinkedIn Review Hours: The Career Center offers resume and cover letter reviews at various places and times throughout the week:
· Monday-Friday, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at The Career Center, 715 S. Wright
· Monday, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Ikenberry Commons
· Tuesday, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Brewlab
· Wednesday, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Brewlab
· Sunday, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Ikenberry Commons
New Student Programs
Apply to be an Orientation Leader by October 29 at newstudent.illinois.edu

SCHOLARSHIPS:

American Bar Association Legal Opportunity Scholarship–Applications due May 1. The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund will award $5,000 of financial assistance annually to each scholarship recipient attending an ABA-accredited law school.  An award made to an entering first-year student may be renewable for two additional years, resulting in financial assistance totaling $15,000 during his or her time in law school. In addition to whether the applicant is a member of a racial and/or ethnic minority that has been underrepresented in the legal profession, the applicant’s financial need; personal, family, and educational background; personal statement; and participation in community service activities will be considered in selecting the recipients. For more information and to apply visit their website here.

And check out the PLAS Facebook page for NEW internship opportunities, summer programs and more!

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Fall 2019 Course Suggestions

Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, here are some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. CLICK ON THIS LINK for a handy chart version of Fall 2019 course options. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. Check out Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

NONE of these classes is REQUIRED for law school. How did we pick them? We’ve simply chosen courses that build skills law schools like to see and/or cover topics of interest to many pre-law studentsPlease be aware that some of these classes listed and other summer classes have prerequisites. Check Course Explorer for details.

For more info on selecting courses that build academic skills for law school, visit this blog post.

AAS 370/LLS 372: Immigration, Law, and Rights. Exploration of the histories, cultures and experiences of immigration to the US by examining cultural production (literary and visual narratives and texts) alongside legal discourses (legislation, federal court cases).

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning–Understanding financial instruments and tax implications is critical for many lawyers

ACE 306: Food Law and ACE 406: Environmental Law

ADV 310: Intro to Public Relations: Introduces the student to the practice and profession of public relations. Course material covers topics such as the history of public relations and the role of law and ethics in public relations.

Community Health courses are helpful for people interested in healthcare law, such as

  • CHLH 100: Contemporary Health
  • CHLH 101: Intro to Public Health

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills.

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

ECON 484: Law and Economics Applications of economic theory to problems and issues in both civil and criminal law and the effect of legal rules on the allocation of resources.

EDUC 202: Social Justice, School & Society

English courses help develop writing, research, and analysis skills.

  • ENGL 199: Career Planning for Humanities Majors
  • ENGL 360: Environmental Writing (same as ESE 360)

ESE 210: Social & Environmental Issues and ESE 466: Environmental Policy for those interested in environmental law

FIN 241: Fundamentals of Real Estate A survey of real estate finance, appraisal, investment, law, brokerage, management, development and economics.

FSHN 101: Intro to Food Science & Nutrition Discusses the evolution of the food system to meet the needs and desires of a complex, heterogeneous society. Provides an overview of food in relation to nutrition and health, composition and chemistry, microbiology, safety, processing, preservation, laws and regulations, quality, and the consumer.

Geography courses may be particularly engaging for students interested in environmental issues, global politics, and/or international legal issues

  • GEOG 101: Global Development & Environment 
  • GEOG 210: Social & Environmental Issues

GLBL 100: Intro to Global Studies; GLBL 260: Global Human Rights; GLBL 340: Policy & Governance

GWS 387/HIST 387: History of Sexuality in the U.S. Explores a wide variety of sources to understand how notions of sexuality have emerged and been contested at key moments in U.S. history. Our guiding questions include: How have “official” or governing discourses of sexuality (in law, medicine, religions, science) been formulated? In turn, how have “ordinary” people understood and practiced their sexuality? How has the meaning of particular sexual practices changed over time?

INFO 303: Writing Across Media, a skill that all careers integrate and value.

LAW 301: Introduction to Law
Serves as a general foundation course for those interested in applying to law school.

Labor & Employment Relations offers multiple courses for undergraduates on labor law and employment law issues, including:

  • LER 100: Introduction to Labor Studies
  • LER 290: Introduction to Employment Law
  • LER 320: Gender, Race, Class, and Work

Philosophy options include:

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning This course is particularly helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics This course includes some basic exploration of ethics, including looking at the relationship between social morality and the law.
  • PHIL 436: Philosophy of Law and of the State

Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:

  • PS 101: Intro to US Government & Politics
  • PS 199: Politics, Power and Protest
  • PS 220: Intro to Public Policy
  • PS 225: Environmental Politics & Policy
  • PS 280: Intro to International Relations
  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II are helpful primers for law school
  • PS 306: Judicial Politics
  • PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 329: Immigration & Citizenship
  • PS 491: Internship with the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project completed in conjunction with the internship itself for academic credit, credit in this program is based on class meetings and structured assignments that integrate readings on political systems, the legal system, and constitutional and human rights, with on-the-job experience summarizing case files, witnessing trials and colloquies, and interviewing witnesses and clients. Students are supervised by the Champaign County Public Defender or attorneys in the office. Applications are due Thursday, April 4, by Noon.  To apply, click on this link: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/7215596 .  For more information, go here: https://pol.illinois.edu/academics/undergraduate-program/internships.

PSYC 468: Psych and Law
Examines relationship of the administrative, civil, and criminal justice systems to educational and mental health institutions; individual rights, social issues, and psychological well being.

  • SOC 275: Criminology
  • SOC 373: Social Inequality
  • SOC 378: Sociology of Law

SOCW 200: Intro to Social Work studies systemic social issues and resources, working with vulnerable populations

Other courses to explore different areas of law include:

  • JOUR 199: Free Speech & the Right to Offend (2nd 8 weeks) What is the law of Hate Speech? Cross Burning? Flag burning? Can you say the F-word? The N-word? Can a judge or the government do anything about it? This course separates the law from the B.S. and informs you in clear terms what you do and do not have a Constitutional right to say and do in America.
  • JOUR 311: Media Law Detailed analysis of the theories of freedom of expression, the legal doctrines of greatest concern to mass communicators, and contemporary issues related to free speech and press, including libel, copyright, and news-gathering in a digital age.
  • REL 214: Introduction to Islam History of Islamic thought from the time of Muhammad to the present, including the prophethood of Muhammad, the Qur’an, theology and law, mysticism and philosophy, sectarian movements, modernism and legal reform, and contemporary resurgence.
  • RST 225: Environmental Politics & Policy (cross listed as PS 225) Examinations of the political, economic, ecological, and cultural trade-offs between the use and the preservation of the environment, with particular emphasis on the preservation of land and water resources in national parks, forests, and other reserved lands.
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport A study of legal principles and their impact on the sport industry; the course examines the application of different areas of law including tort, contract, constitutional, anti-trust, and intellectual property law to professional, amateur and recreational sport.
  • SE 400: Engineering Law – note – only prerequisite is Rhet 105. Course covers: nature and development of the legal system; legal rights and duties important to engineers in their professions; contracts, uniform commercial code and sales of goods, torts, agency, worker’s compensation, labor law, property, environmental law, intellectual property.
  • TE 450: Startups: Incorporate, Fund, Contracts, Intellectual Property Explore legal tools used in constructing and operating companies. Topics include: issues with business formation, intellectual property, NDA, contracts, and other corporate legal issues impacting startups.
  • UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law Provides students with a basic understanding of the governmental structure, legal aspects, and practice of local municipal planning, with special emphasis on case law, constitutional principles, zoning, subdivision regulations and comprehensive planning. Gives an introduction for students interested in pursuing more advanced studies in land use law and local government planning.

Remember that these are only suggestions and that none of these courses is required for law school.  Further, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify courses that are the best fit for you.

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Spring Break Plans For Pre-Law Students!!

How can you maximize your spring break? First things first: Get some sleep, watch Netflix, visit your family and friends. Then take a look at these lists to be super productive and make the rest of your semester SO much easier.

  • Complete your FAFSA if you haven’t already. This is how financial aid for federal loans for summer/fall will be determined, whether you are an undergrad or an incoming law student.

Registration Advice: For help on selecting pre-law courses, check out our blog post  Guide to selecting pre-law coursework for Illinois students! Also, keep a look out for our blog post about our suggested courses for the fall!

Undergraduate Jurors Wanted! The Illinois College of Law Trial Advocacy classes are preparing to put on their final trials this April, and are looking for undergraduate students to participate as jurors.

Participants will get to hear either Powell v SuperPulper Inc, a civil suit about a workplace manufacturing death or State v Skywolf, a criminal murder trial.  Trials would take place on April 2nd, 8th, 10th, and 11th.  Jurors would arrive at the Anderson Courtroom at the College of Law at approximately 4:45, with an expected duration of about 2 and a half hours, and food will be served in an informal post-trial reception with jurors, student attorneys, and guest judges.

If you are interested in participating in one (or more) of these sessions, please e-mail Trial Advocacy’s Visiting Law Associate Thanin Stewart at tostewa2@illinois.edu to sign up.

Freshmen and Sophomores:

  • Apply for Summer Jobs and Internships. Do you have summer plans locked down? If not, apply for jobs and internships. Check out our internship newsletter over on our Compass page. We’ve also listed LOTS of internships on our Facebook page and on our blog!  Use the search box on either of these to find internships. You should also be checking Handshake regularly (or set it to email you when new listings appear).
  • Apply to Summer Pre-Law Programs. These are typically 4-week residential programs to teach the basics of law and how to prepare for law school, and most are free and come with a stipend for selected students. We have been posting these all spring on our blog and Facebook page. Take a look at the Summer Pre-Law Programs spreadsheet on our Compass page, listing over 40 summer programs, for even more opportunities. Note: Some deadlines have passed and others are April 1, so apply SOON.
  • Take a practice LSAT. Not ready to take the real LSAT yet but wondering what it’s all about? Go to this website to download a free practice test. When you’re done, you can score it and watch videos there with explanations of the answers. Want to take more practice LSATs? You can purchase books of 10 previously administered LSATs like this one at Amazon or another bookseller, or used on ebay.
  • Job shadow, or 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. 
  • Get caught up. Use this time to catch up on studying and prepare for finals–those grades are very important to law schools!

Pre-Law Students and Alumni Applying This Fall:

  • Make your LSAT plans. 
    • Taking the June LSAT? You should already have selected your prep option and started studying. Spring break is a great time to crank up your LSAT studying. Tip: REGISTER FOR THE JUNE LSAT NOW, because the popular test sites fill up around spring break each year.
    • Taking the September LSAT? Now is the time to research LSAT prep options. Check out the LSAT Preparation folder over on our Compass page for information on free LSAT resources as well as listings of popular LSAT prep companies.
  • Decide who will be your recommendation writers. You will want to approach them by this May/June (at the end of THIS semester) so that they have plenty of time to write the letter and your performance is still fresh in their mind. If you are an alum, reach out ASAP because the longer you wait the more difficult it is to track people down and for them to remember you.
  • Register for the Credential Assembly Service. This is the account you will need to open in order to have your recommendation letters processed. Once you set it up, your account is good for five years. You can read all about it here.
  • Mark your calendars. We have upcoming workshops just for you that you should plan to attend. Find them all on our Event Calendar.

Seniors taking a gap year (or two) prior to law school:

  • It’s still a good idea to decide who on campus can write your recommendations, and approach them by the end of this semester. If you wait a year or more the professor is sometimes gone, on sabbatical, retired, etc., so it’s better to get them now. Register for the Credential Assembly Service as listed above so that you can send the letters into your account.
  • We will have a special workshop about Taking a Gap Year Before Law School on April 10th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm at Gregory Hall Room 319.  This workshop will cover how you can maximize your postgraduate time to make yourself an even better law school candidate, and we will share a timeline and game plan for applying to law school as a working professional. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from current law students who worked prior to law school.

Seniors and alumni headed to law school this fall:

  • Complete your FAFSA! Your federal loans will not be disbursed without it.
  • Make final visits to law schools/attend admitted student days. If you’ve decided where to attend, then withdraw from the other schools that have admitted you so that they can offer that seat/scholarship to someone else.
  • Apply for scholarships. We’ve posted lots of scholarships in our blog and over on our Compass page! When you know which law school you are attending, ask your law school financial aid office about scholarship opportunities.
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Summer 2019 Course Options

Many summer classes are offered either in person or online through the University of Illinois. Take a look at Course Explorer (available here) and you’ll see lots of great options for pre-law students, like these that we’ve highlighted below. CLICK THIS LINK for a handy chart version of summer course options: Summer Classes for Pre-Law 2019.

NONE of these classes is REQUIRED for law school. How did we pick them? We’ve simply chosen courses that build skills law schools like to see and/or cover topics of interest to many pre-law studentsPlease be aware that some of these classes listed and other summer classes have prerequisites. Check Course Explorer for details.

Law 199:  The Best of American Case Law (in person)

This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce undergrads to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad range of different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases. Following class, students will have the opportunity to eat lunch with the professor and learn more about the class and/or law school. Afternoons will be spent engaged in a focused study and briefing of the next day’s cases, optional social outings, and informational sessions. All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.

SCHEDULE: July 23 – August 2, 2019; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. daily.

PS 100: Introduction to Political Science (online)

Surveys the major concepts and approaches employed in the study of politics. Note: Credit is not given for both PS 100 and PS 200.

PS 224: Politics of the National Parks (both in person and online)

Credit: 2 or 3 hours. This class surveys the major concepts and approaches employed in the study of politics. Class meets online. Class meets June 11 to August 2. This course takes a two-week field trip to the Greater Yellowstone Area to study the politics of wildlife, wilderness, natural resources, and tourism, among other topics. Students will learn about sustainability in the region, the effect of stakeholders on national parks policies, and the legal and administrative environment of the National Park Service. There is a course fee of $800 to cover all transportation, lodging, and meals. For more information, see https://publish.illinois.edu/pahre/study-in-yellowstone-this-summer/

Political Science 280: Intro to Intl Relations (online)

3 credit hours; Structure and processes of international relations, trends in international politics, and the future of the international system.

CMN 101: Public Speaking (in person)

Credit: 3 hours. Preparation and presentation of short informative and persuasive speeches; emphasis on the selection and organization of material, methods of securing interest and attention, and the elements of delivery.

CMN 210: Public Comm in Everyday Life (online)

Credit: 3 Hours. Introduces concepts useful for the critical analysis of public communication in everyday life. Drawing on communication theory and practice, especially theories of rhetoric, the course investigates techniques of persuasion, offers tools for critical analysis of public discourse, and considers the political and ethical implications of various forms of public communication.

CMN 340: Visual Politics (online)

Credit: 3 hours. Explores the role of visual images in U.S. culture, paying special attention to the ways that images function persuasively as political communication. Provides tools for analyzing historical and contemporary images and artifacts, such as photographs, prints, paintings, advertisements, and memorials. Emphasis on how visual images are used for remembering and memorializing; confronting and resisting; consuming and commodifying; governing and authorizing; and visualizing and informing.
BADM 300: The Legal Environment of Business (online)

Credit: 3 hours. Introduction to law and the legal system, litigation, contracts, business organizations, intellectual property, employment law and governmental regulation of business.

EPS 310/AAS 310/AFRO 310/LLS 310: Race and Cultural Diversity (online)

Credit: 4 hours. Note: This is an Advanced Comp. Study of race and cultural diversity from Colonial era to present; the evolution of racial ideology in an ethnically heterogeneous society; the impact of race on the structures and operations of fundamental social institutions; the role of race in contemporary politics and popular culture.

ESE 360/ENGL 360: Environmental Writing (online)

Credit: 3 hours. Note: This is an Advanced Comp that may be a good choice for students interested in environmental law. Equips students to write about the environment for various audiences, with a focus on specific current efforts to promote sustainability on the Urbana-Champaign campus. We will practice effective techniques for each stage of the writing process-from defining topics, to gathering information, to crafting active, engaging prose. Readings will include models of effective environmental writing and “how to” pieces by experts. Research will include visits to campus sites and student-conducted interviews with subjects.

GEOG 210/ESE 210: Social & Environmental Issues (online)

Credit: 3 hours. Introduction to the complex relationship between people and the natural environment from a social science perspective. Explores different approaches to environmental issues, and examines the role of population change, political economy, technologies, environmental policymaking, and social institutions in causing and resolving contemporary social and environmental global issues.

GWS 100/HDFS 140/SOC 130: Intro Gender & Women’s Studies (online)

Credit: 3 hours. Interdisciplinary introduction to the study of gender, women, and sexuality. Addresses issues such as social experience, representation and popular culture, femininities and masculinities, family structure, education, employment, economics, literature and the arts, religion, history, and technology. Explores interrelationships of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, ability, and age from a transnational perspective.

GLBL 100: Intro to Global Studies (online)

Credit: 3 hours. Foundation course for understanding a range of contemporary issues and learning to analyze them from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students consider globalizing trends within themes of wealth and poverty; population, cultures, and human rights; environment and sustainability; and governance, conflict, and cooperation. Course objectives are to enhance knowledge of human cultures, their interactions and impacts on the world; develop skills for successfully negotiating realities of contemporary societies; and promote values for global learning, diversity, and sustainable futures.

HIST 100: Global History (in person)

Credit: 3 hours. Broad introduction to global history, by exploring the global structures and transnational forces that have shaped human history, from the emergence of agriculture and urban centers to our contemporary global village. Note: Summer Sessions 1 and 2 cover different topics and eras.

INFO 303: Writing Across Media (in person)

Credit: 3 hours. The ability to communicate effectively in multiple types of media is a crucial part of literacy in our society. In this course, students will explore the intersections of various media: print, film, images, sound, etc. Students will consider the ways in which writing–as an object and as a practice–is shaped by multimodal interactions. Also integrates practical activities with broader theoretical issues in order to provide effective strategies for designing multimedia presentations, projects, and texts that integrate photography, video, and sound.

Summer Institute for Languages in the Muslim World – SILMW is an annual intensive language institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that focuses specifically on teaching critical languages spoken in the Muslim World. SILMW is 8 weeks long. It runs during Summer II Session. Students can earn anywhere from 3 to 10 credits for these courses.

SILMW offers the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Swahili
  • Turkish
  • Wolof

Click here for course descriptions and additional details on the Summer Institute.

 

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Spring 2019 Course Options for Pre-Law Students

Spring 2019 Registration Time Tickets – Available to View Starting Monday, October 22!

Registration is almost here.  And every semester around this time, our office hears from students asking for course suggestions.  As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework. However, given an interest in law, here are some spring courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are NOT requirements. For some additional information about course planning, go here to check out an earlier blog post with some good tips about planning your schedule.

Some of these courses have prerequisites;  check Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning. Understanding financial instruments, records, and tax implications is critical for nearly all lawyers.

ADV 310: Intro to Public Relations  Introduces the student to the practice and profession of public relations. Course material covers topics such as the history of public relations, the role of law and ethics in public relations, and theories that guide public relations research and practice. 

BTW 263: Writing in the Disciplines teaches very practical writing skills for aspiring professionals.

Community Health 101: Introduction to Public Health is a good option for those interested in pursuing healthcare law. (See posted restrictions.)

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills. Here are some examples of helpful courses:

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 220: Communicating Public Policy
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

ECON 484: Law and Economics Applications of economic theory to problems and issues in both civil and criminal law and the effect of legal rules on the allocation of resources; includes property rights, liability and negligence assignment, the use of administrative and common law to mitigate market failure, and the logic of private versus public law enforcement. 

ENGL 310: Introduction to the Study of the English Language

Topics include the study of the English language, with emphasis on one or more of the following: the social, political, historical, technological, legal, and economic aspects of language use.

ENGL 360: Environmental Writing for students interested in environmental law.

GWS 475: Queering Legal Cultures  Exploration of the many forms of address that legal language can take, and how these legal forms affect subjects who are barely legible before the law. We will look at state laws, supreme-court decisions, policy publications, literature and social commentaries, fictional texts – as mobbed through social media platforms – to try to understand how queer (as verb, noun, adjective) emerges as a way in and out of legal spaces. Topics will include historical formations, current debates, and landmark cases in both national and transnational contexts. 

HDFS 120: Intro to Family Studies and SOCW 200: Intro to Social Work. Both of these courses may be of interest to students who want to be advocates for families and juveniles.

INFO 303: Writing Across Media, a skill that all legal careers integrate and value.

LAW 199:The Justice System.  This class explores the operation of the United States Criminal Justice System.  In addition, this course reviews the history of the criminal justice system, the people who work in it, the citizens who are processed through it, and the legacy of good and bad outcomes it has delivered through the years. The learning is accomplished by reading an excellent textbook, and more importantly, by observing court and talking with judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.  Thus, students have the opportunity to learn from people who have served the justice system for many years.  Admission is by application only, as there are only twelve spots (this number is dictated by our transportation arrangements).

If you would like to apply, please send an email to Professor Pahre at jpahre@illinois.edu by midnight on October 20th with the following information:

1. Your full name and address;

2. Why this course interests you;

3. What you hope to learn during the spring semester; and

4. How you will manage your schedule so that you will be available Tuesday afternoons for our class meetings and field trips.

Professor Pahre will make decisions by November 1st, and offer spots to twelve students. The remaining students will be on a wait-list.  Any student who accepts the offer of placement will be enrolled.  If any student declines, or later withdraws, she will offer the placement to the next student on the wait-list.

Law 302: Transitional Justice Wrongdoing is part of the history of many, if not most, political communities around the globe. This course examines the moral questions that dealing with past wrongdoing raise. Our focus is specifically on political wrongdoing, that is, wrongdoing inflicted on individuals by the state or groups contesting the state. Such wrongdoing has taken different forms, from slavery, to forced disappearances, to programs of torture and of land appropriation. We also focus on two specific political contexts: the United States and South Africa. In this course, we survey a range of legal measures including criminal punishment, truth commissions, reparations, and apology, that have been, and can be used, to deal with legacies of wrongdoing.

Law 303: Living the Law This course first applies the legal understanding developed in LAW 301 to situations in the real world, and then explores how the law is viewed through different social science lenses. Students interested in deepening their knowledge of how the law operates in today’s world, and how the law is studied in the social sciences will benefit from this class. Prerequisite: Law 301.

NRES 102: Intro to Natural Resources and Environmental Science would be a helpful course for students interested in pursuing environmental law.

Philosophy options include:

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning. Especially helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics.  Basic exploration of ethics, including the relationship between social morality and the law.
  • PHIL 107: Intro to Political Philosophy. Introduction to core ideas in political and legal philosophy, for example, rights, equality, political obligations, legitimacy of states, nationalism, and oppression.

Political Science options to gain a foundational understanding of our legal system and its role within broader political structures include:

  • PS 220/321: Intro to Public Policy/Principles of Public Policy
  • PS 280: Intro to International Relations
  • PS 301: US Constitution I is a helpful primer for law school
  • PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 386: International Law
  • PS 399: Politics of International Treaties

PS 491: Internship with the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office

Are you interested in how criminal courts work?  Would you like to see an arraignment, a motion hearing or a real criminal trial?  Want to meet with Public Defender clients about their cases?  Would you like to help an attorney prepare cases for court?  The Department of Political Science and the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office plan to offer an internship for academic credit in Spring, 2019.   Jamie Thomas-Ward, the Director of Pre-Law Services, will provide academic supervision of these internships. Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project done in conjunction with the internship itself for an award of academic credit, in this internship, students will be awarded credit for their work in the Public Defender’s Office combined with a series of structured academic assignments requiring integration of internship experiences with readings on the political systems, the legal system and constitutional and human rights. This class requires one hour of class time per week, and about six hours per week of work at the internship site. Admission is competitive: We expect to have five openings for Spring, 2019.

By Thursday, November 1, students seeking to participate in the Public Defender Internship Program must submit an application online at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/2726999. The application consists of a cover letter, informal transcript, resume and writing sample. The cover letter should address each of the following elements: 1) explain your interest in and motivation for undertaking this internship, 2) share your experience in working with only a modest level of direct supervision, and 3) discuss your plans for accommodating participation in the internship in your schedule (including how many other credit hours you plan to carry, whether you will be studying for the LSAT, whether you have other significant time commitments).  All of those materials will be reviewed for a decision on acceptance into the program by the departmental internship committee. 

At a minimum, students seeking to participate in this program need (1) to have completed 45 credit hours by Spring, 2019 (2) with at least one year of residence on this campus and (3) to have earned a cumulative UIUC grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  They must (4) have completed PS 101: U.S. Government & Politics and (5) have no arrests or criminal convictions – as an adult or juvenile – or serious campus disciplinary violations involving campus or local law enforcement.  In addition to working in the courthouse, students will need to attend a class for one hour per week on Wednesday afternoons.  Submit all applications online at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/2726999.

Past students have really enjoyed this opportunity.  Questions on this internship?  Contact Jamie Thomas-Ward at thomas99@illinois.edu.

PSYC 341: Advanced Community Projects. Gaining experience with clients in a human services context can build client-related skills as well as introducing students to the legal needs of a community or a specific population.

Sociology has a Criminology, Law and Society minor. These courses may be helpful for students exploring criminal legal issues and crime in society, such as:

  • SOC 378: Sociology of Law
  • SOC 479: Law and Society

Other courses to explore different areas of law include the following. Some have restrictions; check Course Explorer.

  • ACE 403: Agricultural Law
  • GEOG 210: Social & Environmental Issues
  • JOUR 311: Media Law
  • LER 120: Contemporary Labor Problems
  • REL 480: Islamic Law
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport
  • SE 400 Engineering Law (only pre-req is RHET 105)

Business classes can provide a helpful foundation for those interested in corporate careers, however, most are restricted to College of Business majors or minors. Some courses will release any leftover seats after a restricted period; check Course Explorer for more details.

  • BADM 300 Legal Environment of Business
  • BADM 303 Principles of Public Policy–also cross-listed as PS 321.
  • BADM 314 Leading Negotiations
  • BADM 447 Legal Strategies for Entrepreneurial Firms

Remember that these are only suggestionsFurther, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify other good options.

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Summer 2018 Classes and Opportunities for May 2018 Graduates

Summer classes are offered in-person or online through the University of Illinois. There are great options for pre-law students looking to add a class or two in the summertime. We’ve looked at the course catalog (available here) and found some great classes for you this summer!

Please be aware that some of these classes listed and other summer classes have prerequisites.

Law 199:  The Best of American Case Law

Law 199: The Best of American Case Law is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases. All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.

SCHEDULE: July 23 – August 3, 2018; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. daily.

MEALS: Lunch is included in the course fee on days that class is held.

PS 100: Introduction to Political Science

Surveys the major concepts and approaches employed in the study of politics.

Credit is not given for both PS 100 and PS 200.

PS 224: Politics of the National Parks

Credit: 3 hours. This class surveys the major concepts and approaches employed in the study of politics. Class meets online. Class meets June 11 to August 2. This course takes a two-week field trip to the Greater Yellowstone Area to study the politics of wildlife, wilderness, natural resources, and tourism, among other topics. Students will learn about sustainability in the region, the effect of stakeholders on national parks policies, and the legal and administrative environment of the National Park Service. There is a course fee of $800 to cover all transportation, lodging, and meals. For more information, see https://publish.illinois.edu/pahre/study-in-yellowstone-this-summer/

PS 305: The US Supreme Court

Credit: 3 hours. Examines how the modern Supreme Court resolves major issues in American constitutional politics. Prerequisite: PS 101, six hours of Political Science credit, or consent of instructor; PS 301 or PS 302.

CMN 101: Public Speaking

Credit: 3 hours. Preparation and presentation of short informative and persuasive speeches; emphasis on the selection and organization of material, methods of securing interest and attention, and the elements of delivery. Credit is not given for both CMN 101 and either CMN 111 or CMN 112.

CMN 340: Visual Politics

Credit: 3 hours. Explores the role of visual images in U.S. culture, paying special attention to the ways that images function persuasively as political communication. Provides tools for analyzing historical and contemporary images and artifacts, such as photographs, prints, paintings, advertisements, and memorials. Emphasis on how visual images are used for remembering and memorializing; confronting and resisting; consuming and commodifying; governing and authorizing; and visualizing and informing.

GWS 100: Intro Gender & Women’s Studies

Credit: 3 hours. Interdisciplinary introduction to the study of gender, women, and sexuality. Addresses issues such as social experience, representation and popular culture, femininities and masculinities, family structure, education, employment, economics, literature and the arts, religion, history, and technology. Explores interrelationships of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, ability, and age from a transnational perspective. Same as HDFS 140 and SOC 130.

BADM 300: The Legal Environment of Business

Credit: 3 hours. Introduction to law and the legal system, litigation, contracts, business organizations, intellectual property, employment law and governmental regulation of business. This section will be taught online. Students must have broadband access to the internet to participate. Please see http://publish.illinois.edu/onlinestudentorientation/online-business-minor-courses/ for more information. This course will open to Food Science & Human Nutrition majors on Monday, April 16, 2018 and to the campus on Monday, April 23, 2018 at approximately 10:00 a.m. This is an elective course for undergraduate students pursuing the business minor. Restricted to Food Science & Human Nutrition or Curric Unassigned or Accountancy or Finance or Marketing or Business or Information Sys & Info Tech or Supply Chain Management or Business Process Management or Management or Information Systems or Operations Management major(s) or minor(s). Restricted to students with Junior or Senior class standing.
GLBL 100: Intro to Global Studies

Credit: 3 hours. Foundation course for understanding a range of contemporary issues and learning to analyze them from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students consider globalizing trends within themes of wealth and poverty; population, cultures, and human rights; environment and sustainability; and governance, conflict, and cooperation. Course objectives are to enhance knowledge of human cultures, their interactions and impacts on the world; develop skills for successfully negotiating realities of contemporary societies; and promote values for global learning, diversity, and sustainable futures.

HIST 100: Global History

Credit: 3 hours. Broad introduction to global history, by exploring the global structures and transnational forces that have shaped human history, from the emergence of agriculture and urban centers to our contemporary global village.

Summer Institute for Languages in the Muslim World – SILMW

SILMW is 8 weeks long. It runs during Summer II Session.

The Summer Institute for Languages of the Muslim World (SILMW) is an annual intensive language institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that focuses specifically on teaching critical languages spoken in the Muslim World.

At SILMW 2018 we are offering the following languages (click on a language for more info and for the contact information of the instructor).

  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Swahili
  • Turkish
  • Wolof

The class schedule is 9-11 and 12-2, Elementary classes: M-F, Intermediate classes:M-R and half day on Friday, Advanced classes: M-R

IFLIP ANNOUNCES NEW SUMMER CLASSES! Classes are now three weeks! Please register by May 1st, 2018

Open to members of the University community and to the general public.Classes meet Monday through Friday, two hours a day, for three weeks, except holidays. Taught by advanced graduate students or faculty. Courses focus on conversational skills, travel preparation and language survival skills. There is minimal homework, no attendance policy, and no academic credit. Click here for more information: http://www.slcl.illinois.edu/outreach/iflip/

 

May 2018 Graduates: There are great gap year opportunities for you!

Please visit our Compass page for over 20 Gap Year Opportunities.

Here are five full time opportunities at Kirkland & Ellis that would be great for May 2018 Graduates!

Junior Paralegal – Corporate

New York, NY: http://staffjobsus.kirkland.com/jobs/2629335-junior-paralegal-corporate

Junior Paralegal – International Trade & National Security

Washington D.C.: http://staffjobsus.kirkland.com/jobs/2600812-junior-paralegal-international-trade-and-national-security 

Corporate Junior Paralegal

San Francisco, CA: http://staffjobsus.kirkland.com/jobs/2505717-corporate-junior-paralegal

Litigation Junior Paralegal

Chicago, IL: http://staffjobsus.kirkland.com/jobs/2470011-litigation-junior-paralegal

Junior Paralegal – Intellectual Property

New York, NY: http://staffjobsus.kirkland.com/jobs/2422412-junior-paralegal-intellectual-property

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PS 491: Public Defender Internship for Fall 18

Applications are now open for PS 491: Public Defender Internship for Fall of 2018 and will be due on April 5. Read on for details about the course and the application process.

Are you interested in how criminal courts work?  Would you like to see an arraignment, a motion hearing or a real criminal trial?  Want to meet with Public Defender clients about their cases?  Would you like to help an attorney prepare cases for court?  The Department of Political Science and the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office plan to offer an internship for academic credit in Fall, 2018.   Jamie Thomas-Ward, the Director of Pre-Law Services, will provide academic supervision of these internships. Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project done in conjunction with the internship itself for an award of academic credit, in this internship, students will be awarded credit for their work in the Public Defender’s Office combined with a series of structured academic assignments requiring integration of internship experiences with readings on the political systems, the legal system and constitutional and human rights. This class requires one hour of class time per week, and about six hours per week of work at the internship site.

What, specifically, can you expect to be doing as part of this internship?

  • Watching criminal court proceedings such as arraignments, sentencing hearings, motion hearings, and trials
  • Reviewing criminal case files (such as police reports) with Public Defender clients both at the office and at the Champaign County Jail
  • Reviewing evidence and bodycam footage and organizing materials for case files
  • Discussing case information and strategy with the Public Defender attorneys
  • Contacting potential witnesses to testify at sentencing hearings; and
  • Other research and projects as needed.

The Public Defender’s Office is a fast-paced environment. Ideal students for this program are: interested in criminal law proceedings; willing to take a variety of assignments; able to work independently when given appropriate support; and able to devote 90 hours during the semester to the Public Defender’s Office. Admission is competitive: We expect to have five openings for Fall, 2018.

By Thursday, April 5, students seeking to participate in the Public Defender Internship Program must submit an application online at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/7935624. The application consists of a cover letter, informal transcript, resume and writing sample. The cover letter needs to address each of the following elements: 1) explain your interest in and motivation for undertaking this internship, 2) share your experience in working with only a modest level of direct supervision, and 3) discuss your plans for accommodating participation in the internship in your schedule (including how many other credit hours you plan to carry, whether you will be studying for the LSAT, whether you have other significant time commitments).  All of those materials will be reviewed for a decision on acceptance into the program by the departmental internship committee.

At a minimum, students seeking to participate in this program need (1) to have completed 45 credit hours by Fall, 2018 (2) with at least one year of residence on this campus and (3) to have earned a cumulative UIUC grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  They must (4) have completed PS 101: U.S. Government & Politics  and (5) have no arrests or criminal convictions – as an adult or juvenile – or serious campus disciplinary violations involving campus or local law enforcement.  In addition to work in the courthouse, students will need to attend a class for one hour per week on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00.  Submit all applications online at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/7935624.

Past students have really enjoyed this opportunity.  Questions on this internship?  Contact Jamie Thomas-Ward at thomas99@illinois.edu.

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Course Selection for Pre-Law Students: Part 2

We previously shared a list of possible Spring 2018 courses of interest to pre-law students (click here to see that post). What else should you know about building your semester schedule? Here are several tips and suggestions to help pre-law students make the most of your upcoming semesters.

Students really can major in ANYTHING and be successful in law school, but you must be a strong student in whatever you choose. 

What academic skills should you build? Pre-law students must demonstrate strong research, writing, reading, and speaking skills, which can be accomplished both in and out of the classroom. These are the core skills that law schools truly care about, so take a look at your DARS and ask yourself: How many courses have you taken that develop and reflect these skills? Take courses that demonstrate those skills–they can be in any discipline. Popular options include English, History, Political Science, Philosophy, or Communication courses, but don’t feel limited to only those.

Balance academic challenge with success. Law schools want to see students who demonstrate academic success while taking a challenging courseload. Ideally, pre-law students would take an academic course load that is challenging both in terms of rigor and credits while still doing performing well. What does this mean, and how can you achieve it?

  • A challenging but not overwhelming course load suggestion is 15-17 credit hours. (This can vary due to individual factors, and is only a general guideline, not a mandate. Think carefully about the right course load for you.)
  • Be strategic in your course selection. Don’t take your 5 hardest classes in the same semester to get them out of the way. Work with your major advisor to determine how you can distribute those courses throughout your remaining semesters. Likewise, don’t take your 5 easiest classes at the same time–use those to give you some relief from the harder classes each semester.
  • For juniors and seniors–Move up from 1 and 200 level courses to 3 and 400 levels in order to demonstrate an appropriate level of challenge. A good general rule is no more than one 1 or 200 level course per semester for juniors and seniors (unless you must do so to graduate on time). Taking easy classes to pad a GPA is obvious to law school admissions, who know what a challenging semester looks like.

Use your major(s) and minor(s) to complement each other. If you have a major that does not necessarily demonstrate lots of writing or research skills, then selecting a minor or secondary major that does is a smart balance. Unusual combinations of majors/minors can also show a law school someone who is intellectually curious and able to succeed in a wide variety of coursework.

Consider changing majors, especially if you are not able to achieve mostly As and some Bs in your coursework.

Do not make course selections for these reasons:

  • A friend/roommate/sibling/parent said the class was easy;
  • I only wanted classes on Tues/Thurs so I just picked what I could get into on those days;
  • I only wanted afternoon classes so I didn’t even consider anything in the morning;
  • I wanted to hurry up and graduate so I took a very demanding overload each semester.

What, then, are good reasons to take a course?

  • It demonstrates the skills that law schools prefer to see;
  • I like the topic and find it interesting or it is required for my major/minor;
  • It fits in well with my remaining coursework in terms of balancing rigor and the ability to do well; and
  • I talked with my academic advisor who agreed it is a good fit for me.

You must prioritize academics if law school is your goal. Don’t get distracted from your goal of law school admission. If being president of a social organization or volunteering too much affects your grades, it’s time to dial back your extracurriculars and rededicate yourself to your role as a student. Law schools will not care that the reason your grades suffered is because you were planning a big fundraiser…that shows them a lack of prioritizing and time management skills.

Build important academic skills. Right now you are building academic skills and habits which you will rely on when you transition to law school, where the work is much harder and infinitely more time consuming than your undergraduate studies. Now is the time to master discipline (not procrastinating), effective note taking, reading comprehension and speed, attention to detail in your writing, citing your work appropriately, giving an effective speech, and managing your time. All of these are skills that you will be expected to bring with you into your law school classroom.

Remember that grade replacement will not help for law school (click here for a refresher), so take the time to carefully consider your best course options and seek help when you need it.

 

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