What to do over Fall Break

Fall Break is here — now what?

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

If You Are Currently Applying to Law School

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

If You Are Not Yet Applying to Law School

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

Have a great break!

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of November 5

Even though we have passed the midpoint of the semester, there is still a lot going on.  Scroll down for info on law school admissions webinars by Harvard, NYU and Yale, a PAID internship opportunity, Pre-Law 101, law school open houses, the Udall Scholarship Program and more!

PLAS Events

Pre-Law 101 – NEXT Tuesday, November 13, 4-5pm, 514 IUB

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

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

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

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

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

Campus and Off-Campus Events

Access Lex Institute Webinar: Financing Your Legal Education THIS  Wednesday, November 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET

In this session, Access Lex will discuss the costs of pursuing a legal education, describe the financial aid application process, review the available financing options and identify ways students can be financially prepared to achieve their goals.

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

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

  • Global Careers: Peace Corps General Information Meeting — Nov. 7, 5-6pm,  TCC Room 143
  • Making Your Major Decision — Nov. 8, 4-5pm, TCC Conference Room
  • Career In Consulting: Pizza and Professionals Panel Discussion Lunch Series — Nov. 9, 12-1pm, TCC Interview Suite Room 213
  • Global Careers: The United Arab Emirates — Nov. 9, 4-5:30pm, TCC Interview Suite Room 213
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Nov. 5 , 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Nov. 6, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Nov. 7, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center, 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Nov 8, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Nov. 9, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Nov. 11, 5-7:30pm, Ikenberry Commons

Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals – Applications Due December 12

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

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

Law School Admissions Events

NYU Law Admissions Office – Online Information Sessions

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

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

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

Harvard and Yale Law School Online Webinars

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

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

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

Law School Open Houses

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

  • University of Chicago: Monday, November 19 (NOTE: That’s during Fall Break!), from 1-5pm.  Click here for more details.
  • Chicago-Kent: THIS Saturday, November 10, 9:00am-12:30pm. Click here for more details.
  • DePaul University: THIS Saturday, November 10 – 10:00 am-1:00 pm. Click here for more details. 
  • University of Illinois: You can schedule a visit, attend a class, and meet with faculty, students, and senior administrators to discover all that Illinois Law has to offer. If you are on campus, now is a great time to visit! Click here for more details.
  • John Marshall: JMLS had their final Fall 2018 Open House this past Saturday, November 3. For information on scheduling a campus visit, click here.
  • Loyola-Chicago: Information Sessions: Monday, November 19 (Note: That’s during Fall Break!) at 11:15 am; or Friday, November 30 at 12:15 pm. Click here fore more details.
  • Northern Illinois University: NIU Law offers Information Sessions at both their DeKalb location (12:00 pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) and in the Chicago Loop (on Tuesdays at 11:00 am). Click here for more details.
  • Northwestern University: Virtual tour available. In addition, student guided tours are offered Mondays and Fridays at 12:00 pm. In addition, class visits can be scheduled while classes are in session. Click here for more details.
  • Southern Illinois University: Visits can be scheduled Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. Click here to schedule a visit. There are opportunities to sit in on classes throughout the fall.

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

Internships

NCSA PAID Internship – SPIN Open House: THIS Wednesday, November 7, 3-5pm, NCSA Atrium

Are you an Illinois undergraduate looking for your next internship experience?
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is looking for highly motivated, creative students to work on hands-on research projects with guidance from NCSA staff and faculty affiliates. The center will offer a limited number of paid SPIN (Students Pushing INnovation) internships during the the Summer 2019 session. The SPIN projects are open to students in any major and any year of study; international students can apply.
Want to learn more? Come to our SPIN Open House! You’ll get to meet our NCSA staff and faculty affiliates and learn more about the different projects you could be a part of. Refreshments will be provided.

For more info contact spin@illinois.edu or visit spin.ncsa.illinois.edu.

Scholarships

Udall Scholarship Information Sessions: THIS Thursday, November 8 and Friday, November 9

Are you a passionate environmentalist? Do you want to devote your career to addressing environmental concerns?

The University of Illinois seeks to nominate sophomores and juniors for the prestigious Udall Scholarship. The Udall awards $7,000 to sophomores or juniors who are taking action to address environmental concerns and are committed to a career related to the environment.

Please note that there are special awards also for Native American students interested in tribal policy or health care (no need to be related to the environment).

Students must be US citizens, US nationals, or US permanent residents. A successful applicant will have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate leadership and a commitment to service. The University of Illinois may nominate up to six students for the Udall Scholarship. The campus deadline is February 7, 2019 to be considered.

If you are interested in applying, please plan to attend our Udall informational events:  

Udall Scholarship Information Session

Thursday, November 8th, 3:30-4:30 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

Udall Scholarship Writing Workshop

Friday, November 9th, 3:00-4:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

For more information, contact the scholarships office at topscholars@illinois.edu or visit our website at www.topscholars.illinois.edu 

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Campus Deadline: November 26, 2018

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

Interested in other scholarships? PLAS has collected information on over 200 scholarships–for both undergrads and incoming law students–on our Scholarships Spreadsheet over on our Pre-Law Compass page. It’s a wide variety of scholarships based on everything from being left-handed to making a video to tweeting, and deadlines vary, so check it out!

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Top 6 Ways to Get Law School Application Fee Waivers

Law school applications are now open, which means that application season has officially begun! Those of you who are applying to law school now are finding out how expensive law school applications can be. Each school has an application fee and each school must receive a Law School Report ($45 each), which adds up fast.

Here are our Top 6 tips for getting application fee waivers.

  1. Apply for an LSAC fee waiver. The best fee waiver is directly through the Law School Admission Council. This fee waiver will waive the fees for two LSAT exams, your Credential Assembly Service fee, and four Law School Reports. In addition, most law schools will waive your application fee too if you received an LSAC fee waiver. You can apply for an LSAC fee waiver and find out more information here.
  2. Attend the Law Fair. If you are not eligible for an LSAC waiver, there are other ways to reduce your costs. First, come to the Law Fair on Wednesday,September 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). Over 100 law schools will be sending representatives to talk with interested students about their programs and their application process. Many schools at the fair will be giving out fee waivers! (Tip: Make sure you sign in at the law school tables. Many schools will email you a fee waiver afterward.) Click here for more details about the Law Fair, like which law schools are attending.
  3. Register for the Candidate Referral Service (CRS) in your LSAC account. This is basically a survey that asks you lots of questions about yourself–your background, interests, grades, etc.–and then “matches” you with law schools that are looking for students like you. Many law schools use the CRS to offer fee waivers, so it is worth your time to complete the CRS survey here.
  4. Directly inquire with your preferred law schools. Send a polite email to their admissions office asking whether they have a fee waiver program, and how you can apply. Some schools will simply respond with a waiver; other schools will have certain parameters (like GPA or financial need) to meet before waiving your fee. Take 10 minutes to craft a friendly form email and send it to all of the schools you’re applying to–it’s an easy way to collect a few fee waivers. It’s well worth your time.
  5. Attend law school visit or open house days. Sometimes when a school sees that you’ve made the effort to visit, they will reward you with a fee waiver.
  6. Join the Pre-Law Facebook Group. Sometimes law schools send our office fee waivers, and we always post them to our FB group on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to join!
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Scholarships, Scholarships and More Scholarships!

Who doesn’t want or need additional scholarship money to pay for law school?!  There is no time like the present to apply for scholarships.  First up — the Chicago Bar Foundation Marovitz Public Interest Scholarship.

The Chicago Bar Foundation Marovitz Scholarship, made possible by a generous gift from the late Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, is awarded annually to an incoming student attending one of the nine Illinois law schools (Chicago-Kent College of Law, DePaul University College of Law, The John Marshall Law School, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, University of Chicago Law School, Northern Illinois University College of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law and the University of Illinois College of Law). Currently a $40,000 scholarship payable over a three-year period, the CBF Marovitz Scholarship enables an incoming student who intends to pursue a career in public interest law to have a significant portion of his or her tuition covered by scholarship funding.  Applications are due May 10 by 5:00pm! For more information and to apply, click on this link. https://chicagobarfoundation.org/fellowships/marovitz/

What about those of you who are looking for additional funds to support your undergraduate education?  Could you use an additional $500, $1000, or even $40,000 towards your undergrad or legal education? Whether you’re heading off to law school this fall or staying here to continue your pre-law education, you’ll want to see this resource. We have compiled over 200 scholarships available for BOTH incoming law students and pre-law undergraduates.  Below are some examples. Head over to our Compass page to find the full listings–but hurry, because some have upcoming deadlines! 

All UIUC students can access our Compass page. Here’s how:

  • If you are an Illinois student who is designated pre-law: All students who are designated pre-law already have access to our Compass page. Log in to Compass and under “My Courses” look for OPEN LEARNING: Pre-Law Advising Services.
  • If you are an Illinois student who is not designated pre-law: Click here for instructions on how to add yourself to our Compass page.

Here are just a few examples of the scholarships available. Go to the Compass page for more details on how to apply.

American Association for Justice’s Richard D. Hailey Scholarship provides $5,000 to an incoming or continuing minority law student. Applications due May 1.

Dwyer Williams Dretke is offering a $1,000 scholarship for an incoming law student. Deadline to apply is July 1.

The Levin Firm is offering a bi-yearly $1,000 scholarship to individuals currently attending or planning on attending an accredited United States college or graduate school in the near future.  Deadline to apply is August 15.

McNeely Stephenson’s Legal Scholarship Award provides $1,000 to an incoming law student who has written an article that has been published in print or digital media. Deadline to apply is May 1.

Head over to our Compass page to explore more scholarship opportunities!

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Your Law School Short List: Using Standard 509 Information to Narrow Your Choices for Fall 2018

Are you narrowing your list of law schools that you plan on attending for Fall 2018? Unsure of how to tell the difference between some schools? Making a final decision can be stressful. If you feel like you need more information about a law school, consider looking at their Standard 509.

What is a Standard 509? The American Bar Association requires that law schools disclose certain information about their schools. Standard 509 information includes: LSAT/GPA data, tuition and living expenses, diversity of enrollment, grants and scholarships, and more. Most law schools provide a link to the Standard 509 document at the bottom of their law school websites. However, the ABA provides an easy way for you access the documents and compare schools. The website is: http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/

We also more information about how to access Standard 509 reports on our Compass page. 

Using all the Illinois Law Schools Standard 509 documents, here are some ways you can utilize this resource and narrow your choices! The three topics we looked at included: on campus cost of living, conditional versus non-conditional scholarships, and transfer rates.

 

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Mark Your Calendars – February 26

Hello Pre-Law Students!  Don’t forget tonight’s PLAS “Negotiating Scholarships Workshop!”  Also — at least two summer pre-law programs have application deadlines of THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 1.  Scroll down for info on these items as well as other opportunities!

Our next event, “Negotiating Scholarships Workshop” is TODAY, Monday February 26!  The event will be held at 1090 Lincoln Hall from 5PM – 6:15PM.

Now is the time to assess aid offers and discuss options for additional scholarships with your law schools. How can applicants have a respectful yet productive conversation that potentially results in more scholarship dollars being awarded? Join us as we examine exactly how to go about negotiating law school scholarships with the expertise of a panel of law school admissions professionals with a wealth of experience! This session is a must-see for anyone applying to law school, and the information applies to any law school. Panelists include:

  • Amanda Noascono, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions, DePaul University College of Law
  • Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law
  • Nicole Vilches, Assistant Dean for Admissions, Chicago-Kent College of Law

 

Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis is now accepting applications on a rolling basis for its new Pathway to the Law program, featuring online for-credit courses, LSAT assistance, a $2000 scholarship, mentoring, and more for selected applicants. They anticipate that all spots will be filled by the end of March so submit your application now! https://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/admissions/jd/diversity/pathway-to-the-law.html

A preview to our March event . . . the “Taking a Gap Year Before Law School” Workshop will be on Thursday March 29th in Room 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore from 5:00 – 6:00PM.

Are you considering working or taking a gap year before law school? Do you want to know more about going straight through to law school after undergrad? Pre-Law Advising Services is hosting an event for students to learn more about different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students–two with work experience and one who went directly from undergrad to law school–to answer your questions and discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working.

SUMMER PLANS–Still looking for opportunities? Check these out.

Career Fairs. Mark your calendars for spring career fairs, which are open to all Illinois students and present both job and internship opportunities. Find these and other fair opportunities in Handshake.

Summer PLUS programs. We posted a spreadsheet full of pre-law undergraduate summer programs over on our Compass page! For example:

June LSAT Registration–Planning to take the June LSAT? Registration is now open here! We recommend registering early because this one typically fills early AND LSAT takers were up nearly 30% last year! Now is also a good time to apply for a fee waiver. For more on LSAC fee waivers revisit this blog post.

Did you know that you can get a scholarship for working at an unpaid internship this summer? Apply for the Fred S. Bailey scholarship here, which provides a $1000 stipend for part-time internships and a $2500 stipend for full-time summer internships. Applications due April 12.

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

University of Illinois’ Office for Student Conflict and Resolution Subcommittee Applications Now Open!

The University of Illinois’ Office for Student Conflict and Resolution has opened up their applications for their two subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Student Conduct and the Subcommittee on Sexual Misconduct. Student applicants must be:

  1. Enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;
  2. At least two full semesters from graduation; and
  3. In good academic standing with at least a 2.5 grade point average.

It is encouraged that students have Friday afternoon availability for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. For more information and to apply, visit their website here.

Campus Events

OIIR’s Lunch on Us Program – Free Lunch Every Weekday!

The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations is offering their “Lunch on Us” program this semester. Programs take place every weekday from noon to 1pm every day and offer a free lunch for attending. To see their schedule, click here.

“Acing Your Interview” at the Career Center – Wednesday, February 28, 4:00-5:00pm at the Career Center Conference Room 143

During an interview, you only have a short time to convey you are a great fit for a position or organization. Learn the most common types of interviews, how to prepare for an interview, how to structure answers to interview questions, and tips for following up after an interview.

“Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter” at the Career Center – Wednesday February 28 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm at the Career Center Conference Room 143

Cover letters are challenging to write, and yet, are often a critical aspect of an internship or job application. Learn how to write an effective cover letter that showcases your skills and experiences for a specific position.

“Linked In and Job Search Resources for International Students” at the Career Center – Thursday, March 1, 4:00-5:30pm, Career Center Interview Suite, Room 213, 616 E. Green Street

This exciting workshop will teach you how to use helpful job search resources such as LinkedIn, Handshake, and Myvisajobs.com. Learn to create an appealing profile on LinkedIn and use it for career exploration, networking, and information interviews. You will also learn to identify international-friendly companies. Please bring your laptop.

Interested in other Career Center workshops concerning resume reviews, Peace Corps information and more?  Go to the Career Center website to find other programs!

 

 

 

 

 

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Show me the $$$

At this point in the law school admissions cycle most people have been accepted to multiple places and are waiting on a few more. What financial steps should you be taking now?

  • Complete your FAFSA. Most people will be utilizing federal loans for some portion of their law school expenses, and completing the FAFSA is the first step in that process. Many law schools will also ask you to complete the FAFSA to consider you for need-based aid. Speaking of…
  • Read your admission offers/aid packages carefully. Many schools will invite admitted applicants to apply for specific school-based scholarships after admission, so make sure that you are paying attention to those applications and deadlines. Now is a good time to work on those “invited” scholarship applications. In addition…
  • Educate yourself about how law school financial aid works and what you should know about it. AccessLex, a nonprofit, offers excellent free online resources to help you calculate your student loan costs, understand the types of aid offered, and plan your law school budgets. Check out their excellent guide Financing Your Legal Education here. We also have paper versions of this guide in the office if you’d like to stop by and pick one up. They are also offering a free Financing Your Legal Education webinar; click the link to register .
  • Crunch the numbers. Do not compare two scholarships and assume that the bigger scholarship is a better deal! When comparing scholarship offers, you must consider the following
    • Add up tuition over 3 years, and assume a 3-5% increase in tuition each year unless the law school guarantees or “freezes” tuition. (Is this included in your offer?)
    • Subtract the scholarship amount from this tuition estimate.
    • Now look at the living expenses budget provided by the school and add this in, assuming a 3-5% increase each year.
    • What is your actual OUT OF POCKET expense for attending each school to which you’ve been accepted? Add your final tuition costs together with your living expenses to estimate this.
    • These are the numbers you should be considering and presenting to law schools when asking for reconsideration of your scholarship package. Show that you’ve done your research.
  • Apply for other scholarships. In addition to scholarships from the law school, there are many other scholarship opportunities for which incoming law students are eligible. Check out our database of 286 scholarships (many for law students and some for continuing undergrads) over on our Compass page!
  • Learn how to effectively and respectfully negotiate your scholarship offers. Join us for a Negotiating Law School Scholarships workshop in which a panel of law school deans share their expertise on February 26 at 5:00 pm in 1090 Lincoln Hall. What should you ask? What should you avoid saying? What are effective reasons for increasing aid, and what is a nonstarter? Find out from the deans of the University of Illinois College of Law, DePaul University College of Law, and Chicago-Kent Illinois Institute of Technology College of Law. Click here for more details.
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Admissions Cycle Roundup – February Checklist Items

February is here! Sadly, per the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, we still have to endure several more weeks of winter.  Now is a good time for those of you in the midst of the application cycle to think about a few things.

  1. Admitted Student Days Many of you have been admitted to several law schools and are in the process of deciding where you will go next year.  Most law schools offer “Admitted Students” days or weekends.  We encourage you to try to attend these events for the law schools where you are still considering attending.  Remember: you will be spending the next three years of your life there.  It is important to determine if the school is a good fit, both in terms of your classmates and the school’s location BEFORE you accept an admissions offer.  There is no substitute for a campus visit.
  2. Declining Admissions Offers Those of you who have already accepted an admissions offer should notify the other law schools to which you applied that you will not be attending their law school.  This allows those schools to plan and to offer admission to another applicant so is the right thing to do.
  3. Financial Aid and Housing Once you have accepted an admissions offer, you should touch base with the Financial Aid office to make sure that you have submitted all of the necessary paperwork to secure your scholarship/financial aid package, including your FAFSA. In addition, it is a good idea to reach out to the admissions office to find out the best way to begin researching your housing options.  Some law schools actually maintain lists of housing options with reviews by law students.
  4. Negotiating Scholarships If you are still deciding among multiple law school admissions offers and wondering how to negotiate additional scholarship funds, plan on attending our Negotiating Scholarships Workshop, Monday, February 26, 5pm, Room 1090 Lincoln Hall, featuring: 

Amanda Noascono, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions, DePaul University College of Law

Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law

Nicole Vilches, Assistant Dean for Admissions, Chicago-Kent College of Law

 

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LSAT Fee Waivers and How to Get Them

Pre-law students and alumni are starting to think about the Law School Admission Tests coming up in June and September. Note: We expect the June LSAT to fill early, based on the increased number of LSAT takers in 2017. Did you know that you can receive an LSAC fee waiver that will cover the cost of the Law School Admission Test? This blog post will share what it is, why it is important, and  how to get it–as well as why you need to apply for it NOW if you plan to take the June exam.

What is the LSAC fee waiver?

The Law School Admission Council oversees both the LSAT and the law school application process. Applicants can apply for a fee waiver which, if granted, will waive any fees for:

  • Two LSAT exam registrations (valued at $180 each)
  • Credential Assembly Service (required for applying to law schools; valued at $185)
  • Four Law School Reports (one required for each law school application; valued at $140); and
  • One copy of the Official LSAT SuperPrep book (valued at $16.25).

Why is it important?

The LSAC fee waiver is even more valuable than the amounts listed above. Why? Many law schools will waive their application fees (generally $75-100 per school) for applicants who have received an LSAC waiver. Some LSAT prep companies will also offer scholarships to students with an LSAC waiver.

How can you apply?

The application process is entirely online. The LSAC advises applicants to apply at least six weeks prior to the registration deadline of the LSAT you wish to take. For this June’s LSAT, the registration deadline is May 1, and six weeks before that is March 20–the application deadline for a June LSAT waiver. But why wait? Getting your application materials in early will help ensure that you get the waiver in time and it will help you get your preferred June LSAT site. The UIUC June LSAT typically fills around spring break–but we expect it to fill even earlier this year given the increase in LSAT takers–so you’ll want to register ASAP if this test site is your preferred location.

You will need tax documents, so make sure you collect those.

The entire application process is explained here: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/fee-waivers and you can find a helpful checklist here: http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source/jd-docs/usfeewaiverchecklist.pdf.

 

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Mark Your Calendars–Week of January 29

Join us at the 2018 LSAT Prep Fair on Feb. 6 from 4-6 pm in Illini Union Rooms B &C to:

  • learn about what’s on the LSAT and how to prepare for it
  • explore LSAT prep options
  • demo sections of the LSAT through mini-workshops
  • get discounts, win a scholarship or other raffle prize!

For the LSAT Prep Fair workshop schedule and other details visit our website here!

Practice LSAT–Friday, Feb. 16, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. We only have a few seats left, so register soon. This practice LSAT opportunity features an actual, previously administered LSAT in a realistic, timed testing environment. Seating is limited. Test details and location will be emailed to registrants before the exam.  Go here to register. 

Looking for a June LSAT study group? Pre-Law Services will match you with a study partner or group! Click here to complete the form by Feb. 1 to be matched:

Financing Your Legal Education Webinar: Feb. 15 at 6:00 pm. Law school is an important investment. Making informed decisions about how to finance that investment is crucial. This session, provided by Access Lex,  will help you to understand the costs of pursuing legal education and the financial aid application process. We’ll also review the available financing options and identify ways for you to be financially prepared to achieve your educational goals. To register for this free workshop visit http://bit.ly/2ESeyuu

Applications for Chicago-Kent’s Honors Scholars program are due Feb. 12 for current applicants. Honors Scholars receive full tuition scholarships for 3 years. Candidates must have a GPA of at least 3.5 and LSAT score of 160. Visit their website for more details and to apply.

Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis is now accepting applications on a rolling basis for its new Pathway to the Law program, featuring online for-credit courses, LSAT assistance, a $2000 scholarship, mentoring, and more for selected applicants. Click here for more details.

SUMMER PLANS–Still looking for opportunities? Check these out.

Career Fairs. Mark your calendars for spring career fairs, which are open to all Illinois students and present both job and internship opportunities. Find these and other fair opportunities in Handshake.

Summer PLUS programs. We posted a spreadsheet full of pre-law undergraduate summer programs over on our Compass page! For example:

June LSAT Registration–Planning to take the June LSAT? Registration is now open here! We recommend registering early because this one typically fills early AND LSAT takers were up nearly 30% last year! Now is also a good time to apply for a fee waiver. For more on LSAC fee waivers revisit this blog post.

Did you know that you can get a scholarship for working at an unpaid internship this summer? Apply for the Fred S. Bailey scholarship here, which provides a $1000 stipend for part-time internships and a $2500 stipend for full-time summer internships. Applications due April 12.

Career Center Resources
Need to draft or improve your resume? Want to learn interview skills or tips on job/internship searching? Use the Career Center’s resources; find their workshop and resource information on their website here!

Upcoming Law School Opportunities–open to pre-law students!

Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington) is hosting a Diversity Law Day on Saturday, Feb. 17. This free event includes a mock class, lunch, tours of the law school, and sessions about critical thinking and what lawyers do. Visit their website here for more details and to register.

The Wisconsin Statewide Pre-Law Diversity Day will be Friday, Feb. 23 at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee. This free event features sessions with the deans of both Marquette and University of Wisconsin law schools, a law school admissions update, mock law school class, tours, lunch, and a mini law school fair. For more details and to register visit their website here.

Free Speech After Charlottesville–February 16 from 12-1 pm at the University of Illinois College of Law Rowe Auditorium. Speaker Teresa Sullivan will discuss the August 2017 events that involved clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors on the grounds of UVA and in Charlottesville. She will discuss how these events have shaped the debate about free speech, led to discussions about the proper dividing line between free speech and hate speech, and changed the way that universities prepare for public assemblies that can lead to violent clashes between opposing groups. Free and open to the public–lunch will be provided to the first 200 participants. Find more details here.

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