Spring 2019 Course Options for Pre-Law Students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENGL 310: Introduction to the Study of the English Language

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Your full name and address;

2. Why this course interests you;

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philosophy options include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of October 15, 2018

PLAS Events

GRE v. LSAT for Law School Admissions: TODAY, October 15, 4-5pm, 1002 Lincoln Hall

A hot topic in legal education is the recent decision by several law schools to accept a GRE or LSAT score. What should prospective law students know about the GRE versus the LSAT? Join us as Ms. Jennifer Kott, Director of Admissions at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, shares details about how her office uses the GRE in the law school admission process. This session will cover:

  • Why the GRE is now being accepted by law schools
  • How the GRE differs from the LSAT
  • How law school admissions staff evaluate GRE scores versus LSAT scores
  • Advice on how to decide which exam to take; and
  • Communicating with law school admissions offices.

Click here for more information on the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

Build Your Law School Application Plan: Part of the Applying to Law School Webinar Series – THIS FRIDAY, October 19, 2-3pm

This is part of our Applying to Law School webinar series for Illinois students and alumni.

During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • How to create a law school application strategy
  • Building a list of realistic and dream law schools
  • Assessing your priorities in a legal education
  • Research strategies for finding law schools that are a good fit
  • Budgeting for the application process
  • Creating an effective timeline to maximize admission and scholarship results

Bring your questions!

Register for this webinar by TOMORROW, October 16. Webinar link and handouts will be sent to registrants before the session.

Pre-Law 101 – Next Monday, October 22, 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. Click here to register for this event.

Each Pre-Law 101 session is the same, so pick the one that best suits your schedule. Incoming students should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. Registration will be open until October 19 or until the session is full.  Go here to register.

 

Upcoming: Midwest VIRTUAL Law Fair on 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.

  • Finding and Applying to Federal Government Jobs — Oct. 15, 4-5pm TCC Room 143
  • Graduate and Professional School Fair — Oct. 17, 11am-4pm, Illini Union A, B, C and Pine Lounge
  • International Career Festival — Oct. 20, 1-5:30pm, SDRP, 2nd Floor
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Oct.15 , 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Oct. 16, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Oct. 17, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center, 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Oct. 18, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Oct. 19, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Oct. 21, 5-7:30pm, Ikenberry Commons

Law School Open Houses

Some fall law school open house opportunities, including one this past weekend at Chicago-Kent, have already passed.  Make sure you check the websites of your selected schools for these very helpful events.

  • University of Chicago: Monday, October 29, from 1-5pm or Monday, November 19 (NOTE: That’s during Fall Break!), from 1-5pm.  Click here for more details.
  • Chicago-Kent: Saturday, November 10, 9:00am-12:30pm. Click here for more details.
  • DePaul University: 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: Open House Saturday, November 3, 9am-12pm. Click here for more details.
  • Loyola-Chicago: Information Sessions are offered TODAY Monday, October 15 at 11:15 am; 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.

Scholarships and Other Campus Opportunities

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.

Goldwater Information Session: Oct. 18, 3:30-4:30pm, 514 IUB

Goldwater Scholarship Workshop: Oct. 19, 3:00-4:00pm, 514 IUB

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!

The Social Justice Educators Paraprofessional Program – Final Info Session is Thursday, October 18, 6:30-7:30pm Gregory Hall Room 205
Do you want to…Serve as a peer leader on campus?Expand your knowledge about social identities and inclusivity?Design fun and engaging educational opportunities for your peers?Develop public speaking and interpersonal communication skills?If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this is the leadership opportunity for you! Become a social justice educator paraprofessional! For more information on how to apply, visit https://go.illinois.edu/SJEPapplication or attend the final information session: Gregory Hall Room 205 October 18th 6:30 – 7:30 pm
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Planning For Study Abroad & Illinois in Washington

Important Things to Consider for the Pre-Law Student Studying Abroad in 2019

Studying Abroad in 2019? Think ahead for which test you want to take!

A note about the LSAT and Study Abroad: Many students choose to study abroad in the
spring of their Junior year. This can impact your planning and preparation for the LSAT,
especially if you plan to take the exam in March or June.

You should factor in your study abroad timing when deciding which LSAT to take. The LSAT is offered in many other countries (which you can investigate at www.lsac.org), but you should carefully consider whether you will have the time and focus necessary for preparing for the exam while abroad.

See our handbook for more information about the application process.

Illinois in Washington Program (Summer 2019 Session) 

Illinois in Washington (IIW) is an academic internship program open to all U of I undergraduates. Participants live and intern in Washington, DC, while taking U of I classes.  IIW offers an exceptional opportunity to gain rewarding work experience while enjoying the political, intellectual, and cultural experiences than only the nation’s capital can offer.

Student internships have included positions with members of Congress, think tanks, consulting groups, social justice organizations, and government agencies.  Come and join us for an unforgettable semester in one of the most exciting cities in the world.  Our information session will provide a brief overview of the program.  The application deadline for the Summer 2019 term is February 1st.  Application instructions are available at http://www.washington.illinois.edu/apply/information/.

Pre-Law Events

GRE v. LSAT for Law School Admissions Monday, October 15, 2018 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm Lincoln Hall 1002

A hot topic in legal education is the recent decision by several law schools to accept a GRE or LSAT score. What should prospective law students know about the GRE versus the LSAT? Join us as Ms. Jennifer Kott, Director of Admissions at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, shares details about how her offices uses the GRE in the law school admission process. This session will cover:

  • Why the GRE is now being accepted by law schools
  • How the GRE differs from the LSAT
  • How law school admissions staff evaluate GRE scores versus LSAT scores
  • Advice on how to decide which exam to take; and
  • Communicating with law school admissions offices.

Click here for more information on the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

Build Your Law School Application Plan: Part of the Applying to Law School Webinar Series Friday, October 19, 2018 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm Online Webinar

This is part of our Applying to Law School webinar series for Illinois students and alumni.During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • How to create a law school application strategy
  • Building a list of realistic and dream law schools
  • Assessing your priorities in a legal education
  • Research strategies for finding law schools that are a good fit
  • Budgeting for the application process
  • Creating an effective timeline to maximize admission and scholarship results

Bring your questions!

Register for this webinar by October 16 at this link https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/766132. Webinar link and handouts will be sent to registrants before the session.

Scholarship Opportunity (Graduate Students Only)

The Celia M. Howard Fellowship program was established by the Illinois Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs in 1948.  Its purpose was to give financial assistance to train well-qualified, mature Illinois women for study in the field of Diplomacy.  This Fellowship has since been expanded to include study in International Management, Law, and Administration of Justice. Since 1950, over 150 women have received financial assistance from this fellowship.  The total amount and number of awards varies annually.

To qualify for the scholarship, you must:

  1. Attend one of the eligible programs;
    1. University of Illinois College of Law – Champaign, Illinois (Juris Doctor)
    2. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy – Medford, Massachusetts (Master of Arts and Diplomacy Degree)
    3. Garvin School of International Management – Glendale, Arizona (Master of International Management)
    4.  Paul Simon Public Policy Institute – Carbondale, IL
  2. Have been a resident of Illinois at some time for a period of at least two years;
  3. Have received A.B., B.A., B.S. or equivalent baccalaureate degree;
  4. Have at least 12 undergraduate hours in History, Economics or Political Science;
  5. Have an undergraduate GPA of B or better.

Click this link to fill out an application https://celiamhoward.wildapricot.org/Qualifications. Application deadline is due November 15th and awards are announced by April 1st.

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Mark Your Calendar – Week of October 8

Pre-Law Events

GRE v. LSAT for Law School Admissions Monday, October 15, 2018 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm Lincoln Hall 1002

A hot topic in legal education is the recent decision by several law schools to accept a GRE or LSAT score. What should prospective law students know about the GRE versus the LSAT? Join us as Ms. Jennifer Kott, Director of Admissions at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, shares details about how her offices uses the GRE in the law school admission process. This session will cover:

  • Why the GRE is now being accepted by law schools
  • How the GRE differs from the LSAT
  • How law school admissions staff evaluate GRE scores versus LSAT scores
  • Advice on how to decide which exam to take; and
  • Communicating with law school admissions offices.

Click here for more information on the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

Build Your Law School Application Plan: Part of the Applying to Law School Webinar Series Friday, October 19, 2018 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm Online Webinar

This is part of our Applying to Law School webinar series for Illinois students and alumni.During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • How to create a law school application strategy
  • Building a list of realistic and dream law schools
  • Assessing your priorities in a legal education
  • Research strategies for finding law schools that are a good fit
  • Budgeting for the application process
  • Creating an effective timeline to maximize admission and scholarship results

Bring your questions!

Register for this webinar by October 16 at this link https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/766132. Webinar link and handouts will be sent to registrants before the session.

Upcoming: Midwest VIRTUAL Law Fair on November 14! Were you unable to attned 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. 

Graduate and Professional School Fair Wednesday, October 17, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Illini Union ABC & Pine Lounge

Exploring options after graduation? Speak with admission representatives from 100+ programs about graduate school and health profession programs.
Wednesday

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

Scholarships

THE ILLINOIS CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS: Application Deadline October 13!

Diverse and welcoming, The Illinois Club draws its membership from all areas of the University as well as the surrounding community. Since 1915, The Illinois Club has provided financial support to worthy undergraduate students. This year, we will be giving out the following scholarships:

  • Make-A-Difference Awards of $3,000
  • A Global Focus Award of $3,000
  • A Humanities Award of $3,000
  • Isabelle Purnell Education Awards of $3,000 • The Judith Life Ikenberry Fine Arts Award of $5,500

General Eligibility: You must be an undergraduate, have earned at least 60 credit hours by the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester, and graduate no earlier than December 2019 to apply. A minimum GPA of 2.75 at both the time of application and winning of award is also required.

For more information about the individual awards, go to http://go.illinois.edu/TICScholarship.

Interested in more 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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Breaking news: Digital LSAT and schedule changes in 2019

Breaking news from the LSAC: The LSAT is transitioning to digital in 2019. Today the LSAC issued a press release about their plans to transition from a paper & pencil LSAT format to a tablet-based digital format.

For the July 2019 LSAT, some test takers will be assigned the (current) paper & pencil format while others will be assigned to the tablet-based digital format.

Every subsequent LSAT (September 2019 and beyond) will only be offered on the tablet-based digital platform. 

Remaining paper & pencil LSAT exams are:

Saturday, November 17, 2018 (Registration is open until Monday, Oct. 8 here)
Saturday, January 26, 2019 (Registration is currently open here)
Saturday, March 30, 2019 (Registration will open in December)
Monday, June 3, 2019 (Registration will open in December or later)

If it is important to you to take the paper & pencil format, then we strongly advise registering early for one of these LSATs in order to guarantee your spot.

The LSAT schedule is also changing. The LSAC has announced the following dates for 2019-2020. Registration for these exams will begin in December 2018.

2019 LSAT Dates
Saturday, January 26, 2019 (Registration is already open; see above)
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Monday, June 3, 2019 12:30 p.m.
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 21, 2019 8:30 a.m.
Monday, October 28, 2019 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 23, 2019 8:30 a.m.

These 2020 LSAT Dates have also been announced:
Monday, January 13, 2020 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 22, 2020 8:30 a.m.
Monday, March 3 , 2020 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25, 2020 8:30 a.m.

Stay tuned for additional updates as the LSAC issues further details.

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Law School Open Houses

Now is the time to schedule law school visits and register for open house events!

Open House/Tour Info for Illinois Law Schools–Fall 2018

Some schools schedule formal open houses and others require you to choose a date for a visit. Open houses are a great opportunity to visit the campus, make a strong first impression, sit in on the class, see what the students and professors are like, and a great opportunity to answer all your questions. Here are some options for visits and open houses for Illinois law schools:

  • University of Chicago: Monday, October 29, from 1-5pm or Monday, November 19 (NOTE: That’s during Fall Break!), from 1-5pm.  Click here for more details.
  • Chicago-Kent: October Admissions Workshop Saturday, October 13, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Click here for more details.
  • DePaul University: 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: Open House Saturday, November 3, 9am-12pm. Click here for more details.
  • Loyola-Chicago: Information Sessions are offered Monday, October 15 at 11:15 am, 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.

3 Things To Do for a Law School Visit or Open House

Once you decide to attend a law school open house or tour, here are a few things you should do.

  1. REGISTER! Make you are following the school’s directions and reserve a spot for the open house or tour.
  2. Dress professionally for the event. Likely the open houses will have a business casual dress code. We recommend business formal (such as a suit or shirt and tie) even if the law students are more casual because you want to make a good first impression.
  3. Read the website and be familiar with the time, date, where to park, and what to bring to the event. Write down any questions you have so you can ask them on the tour or during the visit. Do NOT be late–allow for extra time for parking and finding the admissions office.

Also, research schools that you are considering out of state. Most schools offer open houses throughout the year and regular tours. Make use of the week off for Thanksgiving break and the long winter break for farther distance trips. Schedule these events early!

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Mark Your Calendars–Week of October 1

Pre-Law Events–Our Fall Event Calendar is posted! Here’s a preview of what’s coming up.

Pre-Law 101: Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. Click here to register 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. Each Pre-Law 101 session is the same, so pick the one that best suits your schedule. Incoming students should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. Registration will be open until October 1 or the session fills.

Practice LSAT–Friday, Oct. 5, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. Just a few seats left!
Pre-Law Advising Services presents an opportunity to take an actual, previously administered Law School Admission Test under timed, proctored, testlike conditions. For those prepping for the November LSAT this is a great chance to see how you will perform on test day. For those planning to take the LSAT in the next couple of years, this practice LSAT will provide a helpful baseline score. Please register here. Registrants will receive additional details about the exam and its location.

TODAY: Live with Kellye & Ken: Why Now is a Great Time to Go to Law School. We just received an invite for students to attend this webinar TODAY at 4:00 pm. Click here to register. Join hosts Deans Emeritus Kellye Testy (LSAC CEO) and Ken Randall (iLaw President), as they lead a live dialogue about the present and future of legal education.

Joining the discussion this month are:

  • Dean Mark Alexander, Villanova
  • Dean Heather Gerken, Yale
  • Dean Jennifer Mnookin of UCLA
  • Dean Blake Morant, George Washington

This engaging one hour discussion will include a Q&A period at the end. The event will be recorded. If you register but cannot attend, you will receive a link to watch at a later time.

Upcoming: Midwest VIRTUAL Law Fair on November 14! Were you unable to attned 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.

The Illinois ACES + LAS Career Fair is Oct. 4, 1:30-6 pm at the ARC. Over 125 employers and 1500 students attend! For more information on the fair, including which employers will be attending, visit Handshake.

  • Finding an Internship–Oct. 2, 5-6 pm, SDRP 2005
  • Career Fair Prep Workshop–Oct. 3, 4-5 pm in TCC Conference Room
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Oct. 1, 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Oct. 3, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Oct. 4, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Oct. 5, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center

Scholarships

THE ILLINOIS CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS: Application Deadline October 13!

Diverse and welcoming, The Illinois Club draws its membership from all areas of the University as well as the surrounding community. Since 1915, The Illinois Club has provided financial support to worthy undergraduate students. This year, we will be giving out the following scholarships:

  • Make-A-Difference Awards of $3,000
  • A Global Focus Award of $3,000
  • A Humanities Award of $3,000
  • Isabelle Purnell Education Awards of $3,000 • The Judith Life Ikenberry Fine Arts Award of $5,500

General Eligibility: You must be an undergraduate, have earned at least 60 credit hours by the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester, and graduate no earlier than December 2019 to apply. A minimum GPA of 2.75 at both the time of application and winning of award is also required.

For more information about the individual awards, go to http://go.illinois.edu/TICScholarship.

Interested in more 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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Mark Your Calendars – Law Fair Edition!

THE LAW SCHOOL FAIR IS THIS WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 10:00AM – 2:00PM AT THE ARC! SCROLL DOWN FOR LOTS OF INFORMATION AND TIPS!

Law School Admission Panel – Tuesday, September 25, 7pm, 1002 Lincoln Hall

Join us for this panel as we hear from experts in law school admissions. What happens after you submit an application? What do they really look for in a candidate? What do they love and hate to see in a personal statement? What can applicants expect during an interview? How can applicants build effective relationships with admissions staff? Get all of your questions answered from this panel of admissions professionals with a vast array of experience. Panelists include admissions deans and professionals from the following law schools:

  • Columbia Law School
  • Indiana University–Maurer School of Law
  • Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • University of Illinois College of Law
  • University of Wisconsin Law School

No registration necessary. Bring your questions!

The Law School Fair is THIS Wednesday, September 26, 10am-2pm at the ARC, 201 E. Peabody. We are looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Join us as over 100 law schools visit campus to meet with prospective students. Gather information about law schools, talk with admissions professionals about their schools, collect some fun freebies and law school application fee waivers. This event is FREE and open to the public. Dress is business casual. For more information, including a list of law schools attending the fair, visit our website. You can also scroll down for some tips and suggestions to get the most out of this opportunity. See you at the fair! No registration is required.

Emory Law Interviews – Wednesday, September 26, 3-5pm – After the Law School Fair

Emory Law will be conducting individual interviews on Wednesday, September 26th from 3:00 to 5:00pm. These are not formal interviews, but an opportunity for you to learn more about the programs offered at Emory Law, to discuss the law school admissions process in general, and to get all of your questions answered.  If you would like to schedule an appointment, sign up for a time slot here: Emory Law Sign Up. Please be sure to bring a copy of your resume during your time slot. Click here to learn more about Emory Law. 

Four Things to Do Before the Law School Fair

Here are a few things to do before to get the most of out of the Law School Fair.

  1. Look at the Schools’ Websites and Do Some Background Research
    1. Have specific questions for the admissions representatives that are coming to campus. Most basic questions can be answered by simply looking at the website (GPAs, LSAT scores, where their graduates work, professors, etc).
    2. Example questions to ask: where do students typically work after their first year summer? What is the school environment like? Are there study groups or other academic resources available? What do students do in their free time? How many students are involved in clubs and activities? What is the most popular class at the law school?
  2. Have an Elevator Pitch Ready
    1. What’s an elevator pitch? It is a 30 second introductory speech about yourself.
    2. The elevator pitch should start out by telling the representative your name, your hometown, your major, when you are applying to law school, and why you are interested in that specific law school. The law schools want to get to know you, so you should tell them a little about yourself.
    3. Don’t read off the speech, consider it the beginning of a conversation.
  3. Get Your Outfit Ready
    1. Dress is business causal for the event.
    2. Men – A dress shirt, dress pants, and a tie are appropriate. No suit coat is needed.
    3. Women – A dress shirt, blouse, or sweater, and dress pants or a skirt are appropriate.
  4. Things to Bring With to the Event
    1. A list of schools you want to talk to and why you are interested in those law schools.
    2. A notebook and pencil. If you are impressed with a school or want to remember a specific detail about a conversation, it is best to write it down right away.
    3. No need to bring a resume – most law schools will not accept resumes at this event.

Opportunities at the College of Law

Volunteer/Mock Jurors Needed!

The Fundamentals of Trial Advocacy Course students at the UIUC College of Law will be doing their openings October 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10.  The College of Law needs volunteers to serve as mock jurors for this class.  This is a great opportunity for pre-law students to observe a law school class and learn something about our trial system.  Opening statements would begin at 6pm so all participants are asked to arrive no later than 5:45pm. Volunteers can expect each session to last approximately 2.5 hours. Refreshments/snacks will be served to participants. Interested mock jurors should contact Thanin Stewart, UIUC College of Law, Visiting Law Associate at tostewa2@illinois.edu.

Campus Events

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

  • Finding an Internship–Sept. 25, 5-6 pm, TCC Conference Room
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Sept. 24, 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Sept. 25, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept 26, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept. 27, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
  • Making Your Major Decision–Sept. 25, 5-6 pm, SDRP 2005
  • Global Careers: Japan — Sept. 28, 4-5:30pm, TCC Interview Suite, Room 213, 616 East Green Street

Scholarships

THE ILLINOIS CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS: Application Deadline October 13!

Diverse and welcoming, The Illinois Club draws its membership from all areas of the University as well as the surrounding community. Since 1915, The Illinois Club has provided financial support to worthy undergraduate students. This year, we will be giving out the following scholarships:

  • Make-A-Difference Awards of $3,000
  • A Global Focus Award of $3,000
  • A Humanities Award of $3,000
  • Isabelle Purnell Education Awards of $3,000 • The Judith Life Ikenberry Fine Arts Award of $5,500

General Eligibility: You must be an undergraduate, have earned at least 60 credit hours by the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester, and graduate no earlier than December 2019 to apply. A minimum GPA of 2.75 at both the time of application and winning of award is also required.

For more information about the individual awards, go to http://go.illinois.edu/TICScholarship.

Interested in more 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!

Internships

David F. Prindable Undergraduate PAID Internship at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH): Communications and Undergraduate Outreach: Applications DUE THIS Friday, September 28!

Undergraduate majors in humanities disciplines are invited to apply for a paid internship in communications and undergraduate outreach at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), the campus humanities hub. The successful candidate will assist IPRH with its communications strategy, particularly its email communications and social-media presence, in addition to serving as a IPRH’s undergraduate liaison and chief strategist on undergraduate engagement. This position is funded thanks to a generous gift from David F. Prindable.

To be considered for this internship, candidates must possess strong writing and communications skills, excellent attention to detail, the ability to work independently, and an investigative mind. A broad interest in the humanities is preferred.

 

 

 

 

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All About Law School Interviews

Here’s everything you need to know about law school interviews–what they are, how to prepare for them, and what to expect. Note: Registration is already open for many law school interviews!

What is the purpose of the interview? In addition to admission, law schools might use the interview to screen candidates for scholarships, research opportunities, or special programs such as law school ambassadors. It is definitely worth an applicant’s time and effort to take the interview seriously.

Know what kind of interviews your law schools offer

  • Research your law schools’ websites to see whether and what format of interview is offered. We posted a list of known interview types by school over on our Compass page.
  • First come, first served interviews–Some law schools like Northwestern offer interview slots to all applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. (To schedule an interview visit their interview calendar here. Hurry, because they will fill fast. Note that IF you are applying Early Decision then you must interview and it must be complete by the ED deadline.)
  • Group interviews–Some schools like Georgetown will offer group interviews in selected cities. Visit their website here for details and to register.
  • By invitation only–some law schools like University of Chicago choose to interview applicants after applications are submitted and by invitation only.
  • Recorded interviews. Some law schools are now offering applicants the opportunity to record an interview. Usually this is how it works: You are given a prompt, and then 2-3 minutes to think about that prompt. Then the webcam records you for a few minutes while you give your answer to the prompt.
    • TIP: Make sure that you look professional and are in a quiet place without interruptions. Also, take a picture with your webcam before the interview so that you can see what’s behind you…you may be surprised to see that pile of laundry or unmade bed in the background.

Preparing for the interview

  • Do your research. You should expect them to ask you “Why this law school?” and they will want to hear specific answers. Take a careful look at the school’s website, employment data, and social media.
    • Do be prepared with specific talking points about the school that interest you: A particular journal, clinic, moot court, externship, or certificate program is a good example.
    • Avoid general platitudes like “you have a national reputation” or “you’re the best ranked school I can get into.” They want to see that your interest goes beyond their ranking.
  • Carefully review your resume and be prepared to discuss anything on it.
  • Many schools will also ask something like “What are your career goals?” or “Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?,” or even “Why do you want to be a lawyer?” and you should be prepared to discuss your career interests.
  • Decide how you will address the inevitable “What are your strengths and weaknesses” question.
  • Behavioral interviewing. This mode of interviewing will ask you to “Tell me about a time when…” For example, you’ll be asked to tell about a time when you resolved a conflict, managed a team project, made a mistake, or made a big decision.
  • Practice. Sign up for a mock interview with Career Services, or have a lawyer/professor/trusted person sit down with you and ask you mock questions. Think carefully about what you want to say, and how you can best convey it.

At the interview

  • Make eye contact, introduce yourself, and shake hands. (You would be surprised how many people skip this. Seriously.)
  • DO NOT BE LATE under any circumstances. The biggest sign of disrespect to lawyers is wasting their time. Allow yourself plenty of time for parking/traffic/restroom. If you absolutely cannot avoid being late, call the office to let them know.
  • Dress up. This is not a business-casual situation; business formal is best.
  • Engage in small talk. How’s the weather, what a lovely office/view, how is your semester going, etc., is not only socially necessary but also gives the interviewer an idea of how good you are at making people feel comfortable talking with you–a critical skill to be a successful lawyer. This might even be part of the interview itself.
  • Bring questions for the interviewer.  Most interviewers will ask if you have any questions for them. Use the opportunity. Some examples might include:
    • What are the most important qualities in a Law School X student?
    • How would you describe the student body/atmosphere here?
    • What challenges do you see current law students facing?
    • What’s the best advice you have for an aspiring law student?
  • Thank the interviewer for their time. Reiterate your interest.

After the interview

  • Follow up with an email thanking the interviewer for their time.
  • Include something specific that you learned or enjoyed about the interview. Examples:
    • Thank you for your advice about _______________; I found that very insightful.
    • It was so interesting to hear your perspective on the unique qualities of this school.
    • I appreciate your candid advice for prospective law students.
  • Take the opportunity–again–to reiterate your interest in the school.
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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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