Scholarships, scholarships! Over 200 scholarships for undergrads and incoming law students!

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: Scholarships! Could you use an additional $500, $1000, or even $40,000 towards your undergrad or legal education? Then take a look at this resource. We have compiled over 225 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! The full spreadsheet with 200+ scholarships is the very first item posted on our Compass page.

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.

The American Injury Attorney Group is sponsoring a $1250 scholarship for an undergrad or law student who submits a 500+ word essay on creative marketing strategies for personal injury lawyers. Deadline: April 30.

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

The Baumgartner Law Firm Law Student Scholarship awards $3,000 to an incoming or continuing law student based on need and commitment to helping others. Due August 31.

Burke & Eisner offers two scholarships: One for single mothers who are pursuing undergraduate or graduate education, and a second scholarship for law students. Due July 30.

Coil Law, LLC offers a $500 scholarship for undergrads with a 3.0 GPA who plan to go on to law school. Applications due May 31.

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

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 over 200 more scholarship opportunities!

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Mark Your Calendars: Week of April 3

April has lots of great programs, workshops, and deadlines, so take a close look at this week’s Mark Your Calendars.

Pre-Law Advising Services (PLAS) events 

 

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB. Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

 

Are you headed to law school this fall? Join us for Transitioning to Law School on Monday, April 10 at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building to learn what you need to know before heading off to law school! From finding living arrangements to what to buy/get or get rid of, hear from current law students what they wish they’d known before starting law school!

Join the Pre-Law Honors Society TONIGHT at 6 pm in Lincoln Hall Room 1028 where Professor William Ford from John Marshall Law School will be talking about the application process and about The Use of Trademarks in Video Games. All are welcome!

Summer & Fall Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This 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.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Interested in ideas for other Fall 2017 classes?  Check out this PLAS blog for suggestions.

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive. The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences.

The Office of Volunteer Programs is hiring PAID undergraduate office staff positions School year student employees work regular office hours as well as special events that occur in the mornings, evenings, and on weekends. Applicants must be enrolled in Fall 2017 classes at the start of employment. Starting pay rate is $8.25/hr. To apply: please complete an application at the Illini Union Employment website, and after you have filled out the form, send a cover letter that includes your interest in the position along how you will contribute to the success of the office; a resume; phone and email contact information for two references; and availability for a potential 30-minute phone/Skype/in-person interview during the next three weeks to John Race, Program Advisor, by email at jrrace@illinois.edu.

Apply to be a Women in Leadership Intern. The YWCA of the University of Illinois is seeking Women in Leadership interns for the 2017-18 school year. Women in Leadership is an intensive, two semester leadership and project management internship. Structured as a group consulting project, the program allows interns to work directly with local human services agencies to learn about the nonprofit sector; identify organizational challenges; and research, propose, and implement solutions. Throughout the year, interns receive training focusing on professional development, leadership skills, and building a working team, all of which are applied to their projects. Interns are guided through this process by mentors drawn from Urbana-Champaign’s excellent professional and graduate student pools. Open to all UIUC students. For more information, please contact Amarin Young at amarin@ywcauofi.org. To learn more and apply, visit: www.ywcauofi.org/womeninleadership. Applications are due April 30th.

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — April 3, 4-5 pm, Lincoln Hall 1002
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — April 3, 5-6 pm, Career Center Room 143, April 4, 4-5 pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Making Your Major Decision– April 4, 4-5 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building
  • Employer Spotlight–April 4, 6-7 pm, Illini Union 104
  • Illini Career & Internship Fair–April 5, 12-5 pm, ARC
  • Pizza and Professional: Careers Working With Children — April 7, 12-1pm, Career Center Interview Suite Room 213

Scholarship Opportunities 

NEW–The Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship is accepting applications until May 19. This scholarship awards $40,000 over 3 years to an incoming law student attending any Illinois law school who intends to pursue a career in public interest law. Click here for more details and to apply.

The BARBRI & American Bar Association Scholarship will award $10,000 to an incoming law student and a $5,000 award to a runner up to help pay for the first year of law school. Applications due April 15. Click here to apply.

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Mark Your Calendars – March 27

Welcome back!  We hope you had a restful break. 

Still not sure about whether to go straight to law school from UIUC or work for year or two first? PLAS resumes its programming this Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, 514 IUB, with the “Taking a Gap Year” Workshop! Scroll down for more info on this, other programs, UIUC summer class options, and scholarships with deadlines this week!

PLAS Programs

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School — THIS Wednesday, March 29, 5-6pm, Room 514 IUB

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 and the UIUC Pre-Law Honor Society are co-hosting an event for students to learn more about different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students at the UIUC College of Law–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. We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — NEXT Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB

Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

PLAS has additional programs planned for April, including: Transitioning to Law School; Applying to Law School; and Personal Statement and Resume for Law School Workshop.  Go here for more information on all of our programs: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/2508.

UIUC Summer Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This 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.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Looking for some ideas for Fall 2017 classes?  Watch for for our midweek PLAS blog post!

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Scroll down for info on the Career Center’s “Illini Career & Internship Fair”, set for next Wednesday, April 5 at the ARC! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive

The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences. 

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — March 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — March 28, 6-7pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 28, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 5-6pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — March 30, 5-6pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1002
  • Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop — March 31, 2-3:30pm, Career Center Conference Room

Scholarship Opportunities 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due THIS THURSDAY, April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Casper

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

BARBRI Law Preview and the American Bar Association have partnered to award one incoming law student a $10,000 scholarship and a second runner up a $5,000 scholarship to help offset the cost of first year law school tuition. Application deadline: April 15! Panelists will select and notify 10 finalists by April 25, 2017. Official rules.

  • Complete your online scholarship application on lawpreview.com.
  • Submit a 250-word essay online in response to:
    How you hope to use your law degree to change our world and how would $10,000 towards your 1L tuition change your world?
  • Stay tuned on April 25, 2017, to see if you’re a winner.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards scholarships up to $10,000 for students working for social and economic justice. Applications–including recommendations–due THIS Friday, April 1. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications due THIS Wednesday, March 30. Click here to apply.

The Iranian American Bar Association provides scholarships to law students of Iranian-American heritage. Applications due THIS Thursday, March 31. Click here to apply.

Jewish Vocational Service scholarships are available to Jewish students demonstrating financial need. Applications due THIS Thursday, March 31. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

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Negotiating Scholarships Roundup

Negotiating law school scholarships has become quite common in the last few years. While many students have successfully bargained for additional scholarship dollars, the process of negotiating can be risky and stressful. On February 27, PLAS welcomed Rebecca Ray, Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law who shared her insights on negotiating scholarships with law schools. For those of you who were unable to attend, here are some of the questions addressed.

1. Under what circumstances should students negotiate scholarships?

  • Generally speaking, it is fine to contact schools about your scholarship as long as they do not expressly indicate that they will not reconsider your scholarship.
  • Most law schools are open to renegotiating/reconsidering scholarships under certain circumstances.  Specifically, it is appropriate to request reconsideration of your scholarship if you really want to attend that law school but are facing a financial hurdle that might prohibit you matriculating there.
  • Dean Ray discouraged the use of scholarship reconsideration solely to leverage offers at other law schools.
  • Remember: Most law schools’ initial scholarship offers are offers that they intend view as market competitive so don’t approach the reconsideration process assuming that the law school is using a “low-ball” offer as a starting point.  As such, although it is fine to ask for reconsideration, in most cases the law schools say “No” more often than they say “Yes” to these requests.

2. How can students successfully engage with law schools?

  • Follow the instructions provided by the schools that outline the process and procedure for reconsideration of scholarship offers.  It the school requests a separate email, write the email.  If the school requires the submission of a special form, complete and submit it.  If the school would prefer you call them, then make the phone call.
    • Note – if a school specifically states it will not reconsider scholarship offers then respect that and do not contact the school to attempt to negotiate.
    • Also – some schools set aside a specific time frame for renegotiation.  As such, pestering them for a final decision before their designated time for reviewing scholarships is not a good strategy.
  • Be professional, courteous and prepared. Before you submit anything or make a phone call, consider your demeanor and the quality of your submission.  Professionalism is key!
  • Dean Ray indicated that she was not persuaded simply by arguments that she “should match” another school’s scholarship offer.
  • Manage your expectations — full tuition scholarships are very rarely awarded so do not expect that result.
  • Do not turn the negotiation into something resembling haggling over a purchase of a used car.
  • Visit the law school.  There is no better way to convey your sincere interest in attending a school than to schedule a visit.  Tip – all admitted students should visit any school they are considering attending before submitting a seat deposit. You never know if the atmosphere of the school is going to match how it seems to fit you “on paper.”

3. What would make a law school deny a request to renegotiate/reconsider a scholarship?

  • Lack of additional funding.  This is important to remember — however much a law school might want to provide you with additional scholarship money, there are limits to their financial resources.
  • Lack of professional behavior by the requesting student.  See number 2, above.

4. Why do law schools ask to see other scholarship offers as part of the negotiation process?

  • Schools typically ask for this to verify the conditions and amounts that the student is claiming she has received.
  • Note — there is nothing wrong with such a request.  This is simply good lawyering by the admissions office.  As such, if possible, you should attach the other competing scholarship offers to your reconsideration letter/email.  That equals good lawyering by you!

5. What is a “peer” institution? Why is this relevant?

  • Generally speaking, schools with similar admitted student profiles consider themselves “peer” institutions.
  • A peer institution could be a school with similar GPA and LSAT medians.
  • A peer institution could also be another law school in the same region or grouping of schools, e.g., Big 10 law schools, Chicago-area law schools.  The definition is subject to interpretation by each law school.
  • Note: This designation is important because most law schools consider scholarship offers from peer institutions to be more relevant in the reconsideration process.

Final Thoughts — Dos and Don’ts for Negotiating Scholarships

Do

  • Follow each school’s directions for scholarship reconsideration
  • Decide what you are able and willing to pay for your education before you ask for reconsideration
  • Conduct yourself professionally by being prepared and courteous – your proposal should be a well-crafted and thoughtfully-presented piece of advocacy
  • Show your interest by visiting the school

Don’t

  • Ignore specific instructions for contacting the school about scholarships
  • Become demanding and difficult if the school cannot accommodate your request
  • Expect to get a full ride/free legal education – those situations are extremely rare

Still not sure what to do or have specific questions to discuss?  Please contact our office 333-9669 and make an appointment with an advisor.

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of February 27

U of I kicks off its Sesquicentennial Celebration this week! Also don’t forget — TODAY is the day for our Negotiating Scholarships Workshop, featuring Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, UIUC College of Law, on Monday, February 27 at 5:00pm, Room 514 IUB!  This is a MUST for those of you looking for tips on how to handle a scholarship negotiation! Finally — the end of February/beginning of March is a time of internship and scholarship deadlines.  Scroll down for more information on several opportunities with application deadlines THIS WEEK!

UI Sesquicentennial Kickoff Celebration: Funkadesi

February 28, 2017, marks the 150th anniversary of the passage of the legislative act that created the University of Illinois in 1867. This sesquicentennial milestone provides the opportunity to commemorate our shining accomplishments of the past 150 years and to look forward to the possibilities the future holds. Krannert Center hosts the sesquicentennial kickoff celebration with a keynote address by Chancellor Jones, and a free lobby concert and reception featuring six-time Chicago Music Award winners Funkadesi, who meld musical styles from around the globe and whose one-world sound and positive vibe make the band a unique, compelling, and flat-out fun musical force. Here’s to the past 150 years and to the next! For more information on UIUC’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, go here.

PLAS Opportunities

TODAY Monday February 27th – Negotiating Scholarships Workshop with UIUC College of Law Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid Rebecca Ray, 5:00pm, Room 514 IUB

The hard part of applying to law school is over, and now you’re starting to receive acceptances and financial aid offers. So…what happens next? Now is the time to assess aid offers and discuss options for additional scholarships with your law schools. What information can you provide that will persuade a law school to reconsider your aid? 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 Dean Rebecca Ray, the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law. This session is a must-see for anyone applying to law school, and the information applies whether U of I or another law school is your goal.

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.  Read on for a reminder about the TRIALS Summer Program at Harvard Law School.

TRIALS Summer Program — Application Deadline is TOMORROW, February 28. 

Trials is a unique partnership of NYU School of Law, Harvard Law School, and the Advantage Testing Foundation. It is a fully subsidized summer study program for students of modest means whose backgrounds are currently underrepresented at the nation’s top law schools.

For five weeks in the summer, Trials students take residence at Harvard or New York University. The residency alternates from year to year. In 2017, Trials will be held at Harvard Law School from June 25 to July 30.  For more information and to apply, go here: http://trials.atfoundation.org/program/index.

Campus Events and Opportunities

Subcommittees on Student Conduct — Students Needed — Applications due TOMORROW, February 28, 2017

The Senate Committee and the Office for Student Conflict Resolution are now seeking to fill vacant student and faculty seats on the Subcommittee on Undergraduate Student Conduct and the Subcommittee on Graduate Student Conduct, and vacant faculty, student and staff seats on the Subcommittee on Sexual Misconduct.  Applications are due TOMORROW, February 28, 2017.  For more information and to apply, go here.

UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. More information will be coming soon. Minority Association for Future Attorneys (MAFA) Meeting. Join Director of Pre-Law Advising Services Jamie Thomas-Ward and PLAS Graduate Assistant Lydia Faklis as they discuss “New Perspectives on Choosing a Law School” at MAFA’s. Jamie and Lydia will be talking about bar passage results and why these numbers matter, how to make sure you are getting a good return on your law school investment, exploring law schools, law school scholarships and more! The meeting is open to anyone that would like to attend.

Women’s Career Institute — Saturday, March 4, 9:00am-5:00pm, 616 E. Green Street, Room 213.  The Women’s Resources Center, the Career Center and the YWCA of the University of Illinois are sponsoring the Women’s Career Institute, a day-long women’s leadership and career development institute featuring practical workshops, networking opportunities, and strengths-assessment. This institute is designed for undergraduate students of all genders eager to explore considerations for women in seeking career and leadership opportunities. The Women’s Career Institute will offer meals for attendees and is free of charge. For additional information or if you have any questions, contact Women’s Resources Center Assistant Director, Rachel Lauren Storm, at rstorm2@illinois.edu. To register, fill out an application here: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/7977462. 

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — Feb. 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — Feb. 28, 4-5pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 1, 4-5pm Career Center Room 143
  • Acing Your Interview —  March 1, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Linked In and Job Search Resources for International Students — March 3, 4-5:30pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
New Sociology Minor of Criminology, Law, and Society!

The Department of Sociology is very excited to announced that coming this Fall they are launching a Minor in Criminology, Law, and Society. Pizza will be provided!  For more information about this minor, go here. Interested students should attend one of these info sessions, all held in Room 3057 Lincoln Hall on the following dates:

Wednesday March 1 at 5:00PM
Thursday March 9 at 5:00PM

Scholarship and Grant Opportunities 

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is now accepting applications for the Research Support Grant (RSG). This grant provides students from all disciplines with the funds necessary to conduct research or creative projects during the academic year both on and off campus (including summer terms). Awards will be up to $2,000 and are meant to cover research travel costs, living expenses incurred during academic breaks (i.e., winter break and summer terms, NOT regular semester living expenses), and materials or other ancillary costs.  We hope that this competition will both broaden and deepen the types of research being conducted by undergraduate students on campus, and that the recipients are able to use this opportunity as a way of engaging with their fields. For details and eligibility requirements please visit: http://go.illinois.edu/OUR_RSG. Deadline for applications will be THIS Wednesday, March 1, at 11:59 p.m. Questions may be addressed to ugresearch@illinois.edu

Scholarship opportunity for those entering law school this fall

The ABA Diversity Scholarship is designed for underrepresented students who demonstrate financial need and community involvement. Awards will be $15,000 for entering law students, which is renewable for years 2 and 3 of law school.  Applicants must be entering law school in 2017 and submit an application, personal statement, and statement of financial need by THIS THURSDAY March 2. Find the application and more details here. 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. Our commitment to inclusion is the foundation for a vibrant work environment and unparalleled client service that comes from varied perspectives in developing strategies and solutions to serve our clients’ business goals.  In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Caspers.

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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.  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 27, 5pm, Room 514 IUB, featuring Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, UIUC College of Law.
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Mark Your Calendars — Week of February 6

Pre-Law Advising Services Workshops and Programs

We have updated our Spring Semester calendar of events! Upcoming PLAS programs include the FREE Practice LSAT on Friday, February 24, and the Negotiating Scholarships Workshop, featuring Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, at the UIUC College of Law, on Monday, February 27 at 5pm! For more information and to register for the practice LSAT, go to our website here.

Upcoming Campus Events

Pre-Law Honors Society is taking applications for new members with a minimum 3.3 GPA and sophomore status. Applications are due THIS FRIDAY, Feb. 10 at 5:00pm. Click here for the application: PLHS Application Spring

The Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations has posted its spring events! Check them out here.

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources. This Friday, February 10, the Career Center is hosting a “Pizza & Professionals” lunch (with free pizza) on internships at Research Park.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — Feb. 6, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Career Fairs: Maximizing Your Experience — Feb. 6, 4-5 pm Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — Feb. 6, 5-6 pm Career Center Room 143
  • Career Services Paraprofessional Info Session — Feb 7, 5-6 pm Career Center Room 143; Feb 8, 6-7pm Native American House
  • Finding An Internship — Feb. 8, 5-6pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter — Feb. 9, 5-6 pm Career Center Room 143
  • Linked In and Job Search Resources for International Students — Feb 9, 5-6:30pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Pizza & Professionals Lunch Series: Internships at Research Park, Feb 10, 12-1pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for International Students — Feb 10, 3-4pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) for International Students — Feb 10, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213

Internship and Scholarship Opportunities

Student Affairs internships are now available!  Many internships are available at various sites on campus including: Asian American Cultural Center, Campus Recreation, Illinois Leadership Center, Office of Volunteer Programs, and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Explore these internship opportunities on their website here.

PAID internship opportunity in Chicago – The deadline to apply is TODAY Monday February 6th!  The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has paid internship opportunities for students in the court areas of Judicial Services, Operation Services, Administrative Services, and the Computer Systems Department. For more information and to apply, go here.

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is now accepting applications for the Research Support Grant (RSG). This grant provides students from all disciplines with the funds necessary to conduct research or creative projects during the academic year both on and off campus (including summer terms). Awards will be up to $2,000 and are meant to cover research travel costs, living expenses incurred during academic breaks (i.e., winter break and summer terms, NOT regular semester living expenses), and materials or other ancillary costs.  We hope that this competition will both broaden and deepen the types of research being conducted by undergraduate students on campus, and that the recipients are able to use this opportunity as a way of engaging with their fields. For details and eligibility requirements please visit: http://go.illinois.edu/OUR_RSG. Deadline for applications will be Wednesday, March 1, at 11:59 p.m. Questions may be addressed to ugresearch@illinois.edu

We hope you have been utilizing our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) It’s got lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there

Scholarship opportunity for those entering law school this fall

The ABA Diversity Scholarship is designed for underrepresented students who demonstrate financial need and community involvement. Awards will be $15,000 for entering law students, which is renewable for years 2 and 3 of law school.  Applicants must be entering law school in 2017 and submit an application, personal statement, and statement of financial need by March 2. Find the application and more details here. 

Upcoming Law School Events–OPEN TO ALL PRE-LAW STUDENTS

Indiana University Maurer School of Law Diversity Law Day is Saturday, February 18. You’ll learn about what lawyers do, experience a mock class, meet current law students, and tour the school. For more details and to register visit their website. http://www.law.indiana.edu/what/professional-careers/jd-degree/diversity-day/

The Wisconsin Statewide Pre-Law Diversity Day is set for Friday, February 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. This event is open to all students. For more information and to register, visit their website here. Cosponsored by the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School, this FREE event includes lunch and:

  • an update on law school admissions in Wisconsin featuring the University of Wisconsin and Marquette Law Schools;
  • an overview of the Law School Admission Test with practice questions;
  • breakout workshops featuring a mock class for students ; and
  • law school fair featuring admissions representatives from law schools around the country.  Click here for a list of law schools that are registered for this year’s event.
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LSAC Fee Waivers–Apply now!

Many pre-law students are beginning to think about the Law School Admission Tests coming up in June and September. 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.

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 exams (valued at $180 each)
  • Credential Assembly Service (required for applying to law schools; valued at $175)
  • Four Law School Reports (which are required for applying to law schools; valued at $120); and
  • One copy of the Official LSAT SuperPrep book (valued at $22.75).

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 April 26, and six weeks before that is March 15, which is 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 will typically fill around spring break, 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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Taking a “Gap Year”

A “gap year” is a year (or more) between finishing your undergraduate degree and beginning law school. Typically, students take a gap year for one of a few reasons: financial considerations, retaking the LSAT, or determining whether law school is the correct choice. Beginning law school is a huge commitment so it is understandable that a student may just want some time off as well.

Whatever your reason is for considering taking a gap year, you should not worry that you will be left behind or that you will be the oldest person in school if and when you decide to return. The average age of 1Ls has been increasing across the board. Many schools look at work experience as an asset to an application. The average age of 1Ls at Northwestern Law School is 25. The Harvard Crimson recently wrote an article about Harvard Law School’s preference for students who have gained real world experience after college. Taking a gap year may soon be the new normal.

Some students are worried that taking a gap year will put them at a disadvantage academically. As if taking some time off may inhibit their ability to retain information or to study like they had in the past. This fear is overblown. Working actually makes studying more manageable. Many students who have worked before law school find that the work is not as demanding because they know how to manage their time more effectively.

Obviously, taking a gap year is not for everyone. Students who go straight through have also been very successful. No approach is better, but one may a better fit for some individuals. Transfer students, for example, may be stressed about trying to send in applications after only a couple of semesters under their belts at their new school. Perhaps a gap year would be a great way to spread the work out over a more manageable period of time. For more information on navigating the application cycle for transfer students, check out our video on the topic.

If you think taking a gap year may be right for you, please join us this coming Tuesday, April 12 in 1092 Lincoln Hall from 4:00 – 5:00 pm for “Making the Most of Your Gap Year (or Two).” We will have a current 3L and a 2014 graduate of the College of Law, who each worked 3+ years before attending law school, speaking about the advantages and disadvantages of taking a gap year. Bring your questions and we look forward to seeing you there!

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Negotiating Scholarships Roundup

Negotiating law school scholarships has become quite common in the last few years. While many students have successfully bargained for additional scholarship dollars, the process of negotiating can be risky and stressful. On February 24, PLAS welcomed two Deans of Admission–Rebecca Ray from the University of Illinois College of Law and Ann Perry from University of Chicago Law School– who shared their insights into negotiating scholarships with law schools. For those of you who were unable to attend due to the blizzard, here are some of the questions they addressed.

1. Under what circumstances should students negotiate scholarships?

  • Generally speaking, it is fine to contact schools about your scholarship as long as they do not expressly indicate that they will not reconsider your scholarship.
  • Most law schools are open to renegotiating/reconsidering scholarships under certain circumstances.  Specifically, it is appropriate to request reconsideration of your scholarship if you really want to attend that law school but are facing a financial hurdle that might prohibit you matriculating there.
  • Both deans discouraged the use of scholarship reconsideration solely to leverage offers at other law schools.

2. How can students successfully engage with law schools?

  • Follow the instructions provided by the schools that outline the process and procedure for reconsideration of scholarship offers.  It the school requests a separate email, write the email.  If the school requires the submission of a special form, complete and submit it.  If the school would prefer you call them, then make the phone call.
    • Note – if a school specifically states it will not reconsider scholarship offers then respect that and do not contact the school to attempt to negotiate.
    • Also – some schools, like the University of Chicago Law School, set aside a specific time frame (mid-late April) for renegotiation.  As such, pestering them for a final decision before their designated time for reviewing scholarships is not a good strategy.
  • Be professional, courteous and prepared. Before you submit anything or make a phone call, consider your demeanor and the quality of your submission.  Professionalism is key!
  • Both deans indicated that they were not persuaded simply by arguments that they “should match” another school’s scholarship offer.
  • Manage your expectations — full tuition scholarships are very rarely awarded so do not expect that result.
  • Both deans cautioned against turning the negotiation into something resembling haggling over a purchase of a used car.
  • Visit the law school.  There is no better way to convey your sincere interest in attending a school than to schedule a visit.  Tip – all admitted students should visit any school they are considering attending before submitting a seat deposit. You never know if the atmosphere of the school is going to match how it seems to fit you “on paper.”

3. What would make a law school deny a request to renegotiate/reconsider a scholarship?

  • Lack of additional funding.  This is important to remember — however much a law school might want to provide you with additional scholarship money, there are limits to their financial resources.
  • Lack of professional behavior by the requesting student.  See number 2, above.

4. Why do law schools ask to see other scholarship offers as part of the negotiation process?

  • Schools typically ask for this to verify the conditions and amounts that the student is claiming she has received.
  • Note — there is nothing wrong with such a request.  This is simply good lawyering by the admissions office.

5. What is a “peer” institution? Why is this relevant?

  • Generally speaking, schools with similar admitted student profiles consider themselves “peer” institutions.
  • A peer institution could be a school with similar GPA and LSAT medians.
  • A peer could also be another law school in the same region or grouping of schools, e.g., Big 10 law schools, Chicago-area law schools.  The definition is subject to interpretation by each law school.
  • This designation is important because most law schools consider scholarship offers from peer institutions to be more relevant in the reconsideration process.

Final Thoughts — Dos and Don’ts for Negotiating Scholarships

Do

  • Follow each school’s directions for scholarship reconsideration
  • Decide what you are able and willing to pay for your education before you ask for reconsideration
  • Conduct yourself professionally by being prepared and courteous
  • Show your interest by visiting the school

Don’t

  • Ignore specific instructions for contacting the school about scholarships
  • Become demanding and difficult if the school cannot accommodate your request
  • Expect to get a full ride/free legal education – those situations are extremely rare

Still not sure what to do or have specific questions to discuss?  Please contact our office 333-9669 and make an appointment with an advisor.

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