Welcome Back Edition!

Welcome Class of 2018 and Welcome Back Pre-Law Students!

Hello students!  Our first blog posting of the 2014-2015 school year features a quick overview of a few events happening on campus in the next week and a brief update on PLAS.  We will resume our regular blogging schedule next week.  Our postings will include updates on PLAS programs, campus events, internships, and information on a variety of pre-law topics and items of interest so keep checking in!!

Upcoming Campus Events

Quad Day Events: Sunday, August 24!

The semester kicks off this weekend with Quad Day, Sunday, August 24, Noon-4pm.  Quad Day will introduce you to over 500 registered student organizations (RSOs)! Go and learn more about how you can make the most of your time at the University of Illinois and join an organization! Remember — law schools like to see applicants who are both good students and who are involved in their community.  Note: the Illinois Trial Team is one RSO that will have a booth to answer questions and to sign up interested students.  Scroll down for more information about the Illinois Trial Team.

Also on Quad Day….The Career Center will be hosting its annual Quad Day Open House on Sunday, Aug. 24 from 1-3 p.m. Students are encouraged to stop by and learn about Career Center programming and services for the fall semester. The Career Center will be offering ice cream, prizes and a chance to win will an iPad Mini!  The Career Center is located at 715 S. Wright Street, next to Cocomero.

After you have visited the Quad and the Career Center, head to Nevada Street to experience the Taste of Nevada, starting at 4pm after the Quad events are over. The Taste will feature food samples and live cultural music and dancing.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy the music, grab a bite to eat and learn about programs offered at UIUC cultural centers and other departments.

National Center for Supercomputing Students Pushing Innovation (NCSA SPIN) Program Internships — Open House Thursday, August 28

The University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing (NCSA) is looking for highly motivated, creative Illinois undergraduate students to participate in hands-on research fellowships during the 2014-2015 academic year. The NCSA SPIN (Students Pushing Innovation) program offers paid internships to Illinois students who can contribute to challenging projects alongside the center’s expert staff, or who would like to pursue their own innovative projects with support from NCSA colleagues and mentors.

To learn more about SPIN and collaborative opportunities at NCSA, attend the SPIN Open House from 3-5 p.m. Thursday Aug. 28 in the first floor atrium of the NCSA Building (1205 W. Clark St., Urbana). Then formulate a project or define an area of exploration and submit your proposal by Sept. 4.

For more information, go to http://spin.ncsa.illinois.edu/ or contact spin@ncsa.illinois.edu.

Luce Scholars Program — Information Sessions August 28 and 29

The National and International Scholarships Program (NISP) is offering a two-day informational event about the Luce Scholars Program.  The Luce is a one-year internship in East or Southeast-Asia, and designed specifically for students who do not have much prior experience in that region.  Starting August 28th, NISP will offer an informational overview session, featuring an informal discussion with a previous Luce Scholars. On August 29th, NISP will host a workshop designed to help students begin to craft their personal statements.

The dates and times are as follows. All events will be held in 514 IUB.

August 28th, 3:30-4:30pm – Informational session and discussion with former Luce Scholars.

August 29th 3:30-4:30pm – Workshop on how to craft a Personal Statement.

More information about the Luce can be found here: http://www.topscholars.illinois.edu/luce.

Illinois Trial Team

Thinking about law school and intrigued by the idea of being a trial attorney? Then this opportunity might be just what you are looking for! The Illinois Trial Team allows undergrads to prepare and perform real trials in real courtrooms in front of real judges and attorneys. This organization serves as a combination for those interested in going to law school, those interested in debate, those interested in theater, and those interested in speech team. No experience is necessary, and all majors are welcome. The team recruits new members each Fall! Prospective members should make sure to visit the Illinois Trial Team’s booth on Quad Day, Sunday, August 24! In addition, the team will be holding informational meetings on Wednesday August 27th and Thursday August 28th at 6:30pm at the UIUC College of Law (504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue). For more information, go to www.IllinoisTrialTeam.com; Facebook: “Illinois Trial Team”; Twitter:@ILTrialTeam.  Questions? Send your emails to Illinoistrialteam@gmail.com.

Conflict Resolution Training Program — Applications Due September 1

Mediation Services in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution is currently accepting Fall 2014 applications for the Conflict Resolution Training Program, and this year we are offering an additional two-day advanced training opportunity for students in the class!

The program introduces the participants to mediation and other alternative conflict resolution concepts and is focused on developing conflict resolution skills to help them address conflict they may encounter in the future. It can be particularly helpful to students in leadership positions! Practice scenarios include a variety of situations, including roommate, personal, organizational, and work conflict. Students who complete this program will receive a certificate of completion and gain a skill to share on their resume.

Applications are being accepted now and must be in by September 1, 2014 at 1 p.m. for full consideration. Apply online now! Visit http://www.conflictresolution.illinois.edu/crt/default.asp for the application and for more information.

Sessions will be on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. from September 9 to November 4, 2014. The advanced training will be offered on November 11 and November 18.

 PLAS Updates for Fall 2014

1. What’s going on at PLAS? All of our events are listed in our Event Calendar here: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/2508.  You may also look at the right side of this page for info on events coming up in the next few weeks. Note that some of our workshops have limited seating, like the Pre-Law 101 sessions, so you’ll want to register for those in advance. We will add a few programs as the semester progresses.  Be sure to check our blog next week  for an overview of the semester’s events!

2. Attend a Pre-Law 101 Workshop. If you are a new pre-law student you’ll definitely want to attend a Pre-Law 101 Workshop, which will answer most of your questions about what it means to be pre-law and how you can maximize your opportunities as an undergrad. These sessions are all listed in our Event Calendar and you can register there.

3. How do we keep in touch? Blog, Facebook group, Twitter, email
The best way to keep up with pre-law news is to read this blog and join our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter (UIUC Pre-Law). We send occasional emails but we don’t want to clog your inbox…so instead, we update this blog, Twitter and our Facebook page at least once a week.

4. Making an appointment….is easy. Call 333-9669. Except please, if you’re sick, stay home in your jammies! You can call us at the appointment time if you really need to talk. Otherwise, please reschedule.

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Effective Advocacy

I had the privilege of attending a LEAD seminar at the College of Education last week where graduate students hosted disability advocates Sarah Castle and Ann Cody.  These women described effective advocacy and the policy making process.  A crucial component is a lucid legal understanding.  Advocates need legal expertise, and you can build a better understanding of legal and social policy by engaging in these groups in your local community.  Check out their advice for being an effective advocate in the PowerPoint link below, and please email me this summer to let me know how you are advocating in your community – I’d like to spotlight these endeavors by Pre-Law students next Fall.

UIllinois_Advocacy_AC

Ann Cody, MS, CDSS:  As Director of Policy and Global Outreach for BlazeSports America, Ann Cody oversees the Washington, D.C. office, develops relationships with major national and international partners, shapes the organization’s policy efforts, and supports the organization’s sport development initiatives overseas.

As a Washington veteran and Paralympic sport expert of two decades, Ann has extensive knowledge and experience in sports management and governance, community-based sports, policy and advocacy, international development, as well as governmental and international affairs.

Ann is widely known and respected throughout the world as a leader in sport and human rights. She has led a number of national and international advocacy initiatives on sport with a focus on girls and women with disabilities. Through her leadership, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) established a policy on gender equity and several initiatives aimed at increasing participation by women in Paralympic sport and the movement. Ann’s significant international sport network and project experience anchors BlazeSports’ international programs in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Ann serves on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board and is the highest ranking American and highest ranking woman in the IPC worldwide. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee 2018 Evaluation Commission.  Ann holds a bachelor of fine arts and a master of science degree in leisure studies and therapeutic recreation from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. She is a Paralympic Gold Medalist in Athletics and competed on three U.S. Paralympic Teams (Basketball ’84, Athletics ’88, ’92).

Prior to joining BlazeSports Ann served as a Vice President with B&D Consulting where she designed federal affairs strategies for amateur sports, health, and disability-related organizations and provided representation before the United States Congress and the Executive Branch. (from: http://www.blazesports.org/about/our-team/)

 An interview with Ann: http://youtu.be/Vp13KA2PoyU

Sarah Castle, J.D.:  Current Position: Special Assistant, United States Attorney.  Education: Doctor of Law (J.D.) at University of Missouri at Kansas City – 2012.  M.A. in Political Science and Government (emphasis and certification in Civic Leadership) – UIUC 2008.  B.A. in Political Science and Government (emphasis in Disability Studies and Civic Leadership) – UIUC 2008

Sarah Castle is a four-time Paralympian, as well as a recently licensed attorney. Sarah is presently employed by the United States Attorney’s Office as a Special Assistant US Attorney. She also serves as a member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) Board of Directors, and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Athlete Advisory Council. She was recently asked to be a panel speaker at the NCAA National Convention, and spoke on the importance of inclusion of adapted athletic programs in the NCAA.

In 2002, Sarah began college at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. While there she was a member of the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team and won 5 National Championships, in addition to earning her Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Arts in Political Science and Civic Leadership. As a part of the Civic Leadership Graduate program, Sarah interned for United States Senator Ken Salazar (presently Secretary of the Interior) and for B & D Consulting, where she worked on disability issues. In 2008, Sarah joined the Campaign for Real Choice in Illinois as a Community Organizer, and helped organize initiatives around the state of Illinois promoting the rights of people with developmental disabilities.

Sarah is also a four-time Paralympian. She competed in the 2000 Sydney and the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games in swimming, and in the 2008 Beijing and the 2012 London Paralympic Games in wheelchair basketball. While unsure if she will pursue a fifth Games, Sarah is presently spending her free time coaching a junior wheelchair basketball team in Kansas City and working with the University of Missouri Wheelchair Basketball team on development. She is also actively involved in working with children with disabilities and their families, teaching skills and providing guidance about ways to help children with disabilities achieve independent lifestyles.

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Free Stanford Law School Navigator!

Stanford Law School has released a unique online career and curriculum guide to the public! SLS Navigator allows you to learn about different careers in law and choose courses that will help you prepare for those careers. The overall theme is that a comprehensive guide will allow students to make the most of their three years of law school. Access the guide here: http://slsnavigator.law.stanford.edu/

The most helpful aspect is the breakdown between four major “directions” that a law degree may be used for: Academia, Litigation, Regulation and Policy, and Transactional; and the “paths” that explore the specific legal area within each direction. Just reading the introductory pages for these directions and paths is an incredible resource as you begin to refine your career and academic goals!

The level of depth and integration that Stanford put into this three-year development of SLS Navigator becomes evident when you start to select options from within each “path”. Then you are guided to course suggestions, law reviews and journals, and clinics at Standford that students with your interests should pursue.

Perhaps you aren’t interested in attending Stanford, but this resource can service you in two incredible ways. First, having a vocabulary and understanding of the four major “directions” and some of the “paths” that interest you will put you ahead of the ranks of applicants that don’t understand these major directions, and be incredibly helpful to you in the decision-making process for choosing a law school and allow you to know what kinds of options and opportunities you should be asking admissions officers about at your potential schools. Second, once you are in law school, looking back to this guide in preparation for your 2L and 3L years is comprable to an incredible advising session and the type of advice that can guide you to exactly where you need to go!

If you value knowing the opportunities that exist for you and having a model guide that can enlighten your law school experience, this navigator is something you should sit down with and dedicate an hour or two exploring!

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