New LSAT Test Taking Limits

Breaking news…the LSAC has just announced new LSAT test taking limits. The LSAC indicates that more details will be announced soon but for now this information is not yet posted on the LSAC website.

Here are details from the bulletin we received from the LSAC:

Starting with the September 2019 test administration, test takers will be permitted to take the LSAT:

  • Three times in a single testing year (the testing year goes from June 1 to May 31).
  • Five times within the current and five past testing years (the period in which LSAC reports scores to law schools).
  • A total of seven times over a lifetime.
  • This policy is forward-looking, not retroactive. Tests taken prior to September 2019 will not count against these numerical limits.

In addition, test takers will not be permitted to retake the LSAT if they have already scored a 180 (perfect score) within the current and five past testing years, the period in which LSAC reports scores to law schools. This policy will be applied retroactively.

There will be an appeals process for test takers who have special circumstances and want to request an exception to this policy.

To summarize:

Starting in Sept 2019, LSAT maximums are: Three times within one year; five times within the current year + past five; seven total times in a lifetime.

–Those who score a 180 (or those who scored a 180 in the current or past five testing years) cannot retake.

The LSAC will be announcing more details and adding this information to their website in the weeks ahead.

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How to select majors, minors, and classes: A Guide for Pre-Law Students

I don't know (Good Luck Charlie) | I DON'T EVEN KNOW | image tagged in i don't know good luck charlie | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

The eternal question for both incoming and continuing pre-law students is: What major/minor/classes should I take? 

Students really can major in ANYTHING and be successful in law school, but you must be a strong student in whatever you choose. Law schools don’t require any particular undergraduate major, and the American Bar Association lists skills and values, rather than particular courses, that law schools are looking for in a candidate.

You really can major in anything–but you must create an academic record of success and you should build the skills recommended for law school. Read on for what that means.

BUILDING AN ACADEMIC RECORD OF SUCCESS

Law schools want to know that applicants have demonstrated success in the classroom so that they can predict your success as you transition to much harder work in law school. A record of academic success in general means that you’ve done well, taken challenging courses, are intellectually curious, and possess certain academic skills (more on that below).

Law schools vary considerably in what they consider a “strong” record of success. Check the median GPA of the law schools that interest you here…you’ll see that the median may be anywhere from a 3.3 to a 4.0 at any particular law school. To be a strong candidate for that school, ideally you would be at the GPA median or higher.

But a GPA isn’t the whole story. Law schools also want to see that you’ve challenged yourself by taking upper level classes when appropriate, taking a rigorous (but not crazy) courseload, and taking a variety of coursework.

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

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

Use your major(s) and minor(s) to complement each other. If you have a major that does not necessarily demonstrate lots of writing or research skills, then selecting a minor or secondary major that does is a smart balance. Unusual combinations of majors/minors can also show a law school someone who is intellectually curious and able to succeed in a wide variety of coursework. (Example: History and Chemistry represent two different skill sets. As long as the overall GPA is still strong.)

Consider changing majors, especially if you are not able to achieve mostly As and some Bs in your coursework. Getting Cs (or below) is a sign of concern that should make a pre-law student carefully consider their choices.

Do not make course selections for these reasons:

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

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

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

You must prioritize academics if law school is your goal. Don’t get distracted from your goal of law school admission. If being president of a social organization or volunteering too much affects your grades, it’s time to dial back your extracurriculars and rededicate yourself to your role as a student. Law schools will not care that the reason your grades suffered is because you were planning a big fundraiser…that shows them a lack of prioritizing and time management skills. If you must work a lot to support your education, then do your absolute best to perfect your time management skills, which will set you up well for law school and practicing law! And definitely tell law schools how much you were working during undergrad in your application so that they appreciate your balancing skills.

BUILDING ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL SKILLS FOR LAW SCHOOL

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

Build important personal and study skills. Right now you are building skills and habits which you will rely on when you transition to law school, where the work is much harder and infinitely more time consuming than your undergraduate studies. Now is the time to master discipline (not procrastinating), effective note taking, reading comprehension and speed, attention to detail in your writing, citing your work appropriately, giving an effective speech, and managing your time. All of these are skills that you will be expected to bring with you into your law school classroom. Utilize campus resources like tutoring, the Writers Workshop, the Counseling Center, and the many workshops and programs about building these skills. Not sure where to look? Ask your academic advisor.

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

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What June LSAT Takers Should Know

Taking the LSAT next week? This blog is for you.

The June 2019 LSAT is just a few days away, and it’s the last paper and pencil exam, which made it extra sought after for some test takers. Here are a few things to know going into the test.

First, it’s important to acknowledge that some anxiety is normal. The LSAT is a difficult test, and it’s perfectly natural to feel some anxiety about performing well on it. Understanding all of your options can help you feel more in control of the situation.

Know that you have options as you head into the June LSAT. Let’s take a look at each.

Option 1: Withdraw from the June LSAT through June 2. You can withdraw from the June LSAT as late as the day before the test (June 2). Withdrawals are not seen by law schools–you will only lose your test registration fee. In the long run, this is a small price to pay to avoid having a low LSAT score. This might be a good option if you know you weren’t able to spend enough time on your LSAT prep this spring. This option can take the pressure off, allowing you to refocus your game plan for July or September.

  • If you’re considering July: Many test sites will be full, but registration is still open through June 4. Advice for those who make this choice: Keep in mind that this LSAT is 6 weeks away, so you’ll need to realistically assess whether that is enough time to be fully prepared. You’ll also want to make sure that you use the Digital LSAT resources here to familiarize yourself with that format, since you won’t get to choose digital or paper format for the July exam. Because you may not be able to snag a seat at a nearby test site, you may also need to make travel arrangements such as a hotel, train, or parking, and you’ll want to take care of all of those logistics ASAP.
  • If you’re considering September: You can withdraw and register for the September LSAT now (click here to do so). Advice for those who make this choice: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Once the pressure of the June LSAT is off, you will be very tempted to put your LSAT materials away all summer. DO NOT DO THIS. Use this summer wisely, and take the time you need to be fully prepared for September.

Option 2: You can cancel your LSAT score within six days after the exam. This option is more appealing to those students who have serious test anxiety or whose LSAT prep shows inconsistent results–some days you do great, others are deeply disappointing. How will you feel on test day? It’s very hard to say. Keep in mind that if test day does not go well, you have six days to cancel your score. You won’t know what score you received, which means you’ll need to retake, but there is some benefit in taking an actual LSAT to make you feel more confident the next time around. Advice to those who choose this option: Follow the LSAC instructions carefully, as you only have 6 calendar days to cancel. (Click here for instructions.) Since you know you will be retaking, get back to your LSAT study prep right away–use your summer wisely if you’re planning to retake in September.

Option 3: Keep June scores and possibly retake. Most LSAT takers will continue LSAT prep diligently, take the June LSAT, see what happens, and let this dictate whether you retake. Advice for those who choose this option: June LSAT scores are projected to be released June 27. Given that the September exam is Sept. 21, if you want to retake, you’ll need to use the rest of the summer well.  Don’t waste weeks bouncing around the idea of retaking once your score is released. You should consider under what circumstance you’ll want to retake before your score even comes out. This way you can be prepared to make a quick decision when your score is released, and you can maximize your remaining study time.

Consider all of your options and be prepared to make a decision about cancellations and retakes quickly after test day so that you can get back to prepping if you need to do so.

Overall: Keep the big picture in mind. Do your absolute best to prepare and perform on this test. But don’t get sucked into tunnel vision about the LSAT and what it means. What the LSAT does is predict first-year law school performance. The LSAT does not measure intelligence or how successful you’ll be as a lawyer. A high LSAT score doesn’t mean you’ll be the best lawyer in the courtroom, just as a low LSAT score doesn’t exclude you from becoming a very effective and successful lawyer. Keeping some perspective can be helpful.

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Digital LSAT Update

So you all know that 2019 is the year the LSAT changes from a paper-and-pencil test to a digital exam administered on a tablet.  In fact, the June 2019 is the final all paper version of the LSAT. The July 2019 LSAT is the transition test – half of the registrants will be taking the paper version and half will be taking the digital version.  Registrants will not know prior to entering their test centers which LSAT version they will be given. In consideration of all this, the LSAC is allowing students to actually see their scores and then decide whether to cancel.  Note: the July 2019 LSAT is the first, last and ONLY time LSAC will permit test takers to see their results before deciding whether to cancel their scores.  If all of this news is catching you by surprise, here are links to previous blog posts explaining the changes. http://publish.illinois.edu/prelawadvising/2019/01/16/digital-lsat-updates-resources-and-lsat-bootcamp/http://publish.illinois.edu/prelawadvising/2018/12/10/consider-your-2019-lsat-options-carefully/.

Since the conversion to digital format was announced last fall, the LSAC and several commercial LSAT prep companies have been working to convert practice LSAT materials from paper to digital to help prepare test takers for this change.  You can find the FREE LSAC digital practice information and practice tests here. https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsat-prep/how-prepare-digital-lsat. And don’t forget about the FREE LSAT prep course offered by Khan Academy.  Go here for more information. https://www.khanacademy.org/prep/lsat

Our office has also been contacted by some of the commercial LSAT test prep companies about their efforts in this arena.  Each of those companies listed below offer some FREE LSAT prep materials, as well as their LSAT prep materials at various prices.  We encourage you to review all of this information before making any purchasing decisions.  These companies have provided the following links to allow varying degrees of access to their digital LSAT prep materials.

LSATMax: https://testmaxprep.com/lsat

LSATMax is offering a FREE sampling of their test prep courses for all students.  Click on the link above and follow the instructions on their website to learn more. LSATMax has a large inventory of LSAT prep materials, including actual previously administered LSATs, in the digital format that has been adopted by the LSAC for its upcoming digital conversion.  In addition to its comprehensive courses, beginning at $749 (with payment plans available), LSATMax also offers individual previously administered LSATs in digital format, with prices ranging from $2.99 to $9.99 per test.  So for those of you who do not want to purchase an entire class from LSATMax, you can simply purchase any or all of the the previously administered tests in the new digital format. And the latest course offering from LSATMax includes a brand new iPad.  Go here for more info:  https://testmaxprep.com/lsat/select-prep-package?utm_source=users&utm_medium=email&utm_content=lsatmaxtablet

TestMasters

TestMasters offers LSAT digital practice materials, some of which can be accessed for FREE.  For the access code, go here https://www.testmasters.net/mocklsat.  Follow the prompts to set up your account.  TestMasters is giving UIUC students free access to up to three digital practice LSATs.  After completing a digital test, students will receive a week of online access to personalized score reports, comprehensive written and video explanations for the questions on the exam and 24/7 academic support from their instructors.

Blueprint

All students can access Blueprint’s proprietary Law School Compass and other  FREE LSAT resources with a FREE MyBlueprint account. Click on this link to create a free account: https://blueprintlsat.com/lsat/free-help/free-accounts

Blueprint also offers FREE webinars to students, as well as on-campus events. Pre-Law Students can learn more and register for sessions here:
https://blueprintlsat.com/free-events

Note: PLAS does not endorse any commercial test prep companies.  However, in the interest of helping students access as much digital LSAT prep material as possible, we have posted information from the above test prep companies to ease test takers’ transition to the new digital format. We would welcome and post information from other commercial test prep companies not listed here about their digital materials.  Interested companies should email Jamie Thomas-Ward at thomas99@illinois.edu with information about your digital LSAT offerings.

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End of Semester Edition – May 6, 2019

Well – finals are here and graduation is this weekend.  Congratulations and best of luck to the Class of 2019!  We would love to know your post graduation plans, whether they include law school, another grad school program or a job.  Please drop your advisor a quick email with an update!  You can also send an email to our PLAS address: ccaas-prelaw@illinois.edu.

As for you freshmen, sophomore, juniors and seniors still contemplating applying to law school – while the blog won’t be a regular weekly event, we will be beginning our “Applying to Law School” series in June.   So please keep checking back for this informative series and any LSAT updates, including an update on the digital LSAT THIS WEDNESDAY!  We will post information as we hear about it so don’t forget about the PLAS Blog, Facebook page and Twitter while you are on summer break!

Finally, one-on-one appointments with an advisor are available now until May 16.  We will be taking a short two-week break in mid-May, with advisor appointments resuming on June 3.  Please call our office at (217) 333-9669 if you would like to schedule an appointment.  Have a great summer!

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Starting law school this fall? What to know, do, and buy this summer!

Congratulations to all Illini who are completing the law school application cycle! It feels like it’s over, but actually, a whole new stage is just beginning. What should you do now and throughout the summer to make sure you are ready to enter the legal profession?

First Things First: Final Application Tasks

  • Seat deposits. Now is the time for making those final seat deposits to save your seat. While some people will submit multiple seat deposits, if you’ve done your research and completed your visits, you need to only place one seat deposit at your selected school. Remember that starting May 15, every law school can see each deposit that applicants have made–meaning that they will know if you’ve put down multiple deposits.
  • Follow up on wait lists. It is very common to be on one (or more) wait lists. Revisit this blog post for tips on what to do.
  • Withdraw your other applications. By this point, applicants have narrowed down their law school to one or two top choices. Contact the schools you know you won’t be attending to formally withdraw. This allows those law schools to offer your seat/scholarship to someone else. Some law schools will have a webform to do this, whereas at others, a simple email like this will do. Dear Dean of Admissions, Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend Your Law School. However, after careful consideration I have decided to attend X Law School (or, I’ve decided to attend law school in the midwest/east coast/elsewhere), so I will not be placing a deposit.  I very much appreciate your time and consideration of my application. Best wishes, Applicant.
  • Send a final transcript. After graduation, you must provide a final transcript to the law school you are attending.

Professional details–You are taking an important step toward beginning your professional life. Start off on the right foot.

  • Get online.
    • Clean up your social media presence like your Facebook and Twitter sites. Would you want an employer or law school representative to see every picture or post of yours? If not, take them down, and set privacy restrictions.
    • Set up a new, professional-sounding gmail account (not cubbies14 or hotty100). Learn how to use google calendar–if you haven’t been much of a planner until now, this is a good time to start getting in the habit of planning your days/weeks. Here’s a good video to learn some starter tips and tricks.
    • Create a Linked In profile or update your profile.
    • Update your resume. Keep it simple and classic–legal employers tend toward the traditional, so focus artistic creativity elsewhere and make this resume succinct and clear.
    • Subscribe to online news and legal resources such as the New York Times and the National Law Journal to get into the practice of keeping up to date on legal issues.
  • Follow up with your professors/recommenders. You will continue to need recommendations for scholarships and for applying to jobs at the end of 1L year and beyond. Plus, it is simply good practice to begin developing long term connections.  At minimum you should:
    • Send a thank you note to your law school recommenders and let them know where you’ve decided to attend law school.
    • Provide your gmail or other non-Illinois email so that they can stay in touch with you after you graduate.
    • Ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn.
    • Extra credit for delivering an inexpensive token gift such as a coffee gift card or chocolates. You don’t have to spend a lot of money–and shouldn’t–to express your appreciation.
  • Network. Ask lawyers you or your parents know if you can take them to coffee and learn about their practice area. You can use the Illinois Lawyer Finder here to locate lawyers near you (if you live in Illinois) by practice area. Use your networking skills and begin reaching out to any contacts in legal fields that interest you. Remember, everyone needs a lawyer eventually, and most people know or have hired a lawyer. Plus lawyers know lots of other lawyers and can introduce or recommend you. You can already start thinking about what kind of 1L summer job you’d like and start building your network for that.
  • Create a Google Doc to help with your bar exam application. List every address you’ve ever had, every landlord you’ve ever had, and every speeding and parking ticket you’ve ever received. Get all the records you can for these and for any academic or disciplinary action against you during your undergraduate years. You’ll be applying during your 2L or 3L year to sit for the bar in your chosen state and you will not remember these old details! If you’d like to know what details you’ll be obligated to report on your Illinois Character & Fitness application, visit the Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar application here–be sure to click on the drop down menu to see all the questions in Sections A through J. Click here to explore other states’ bar application requirements.

Financial considerations

  • Follow up with the financial aid office of your law school to make sure they have all the documents they need, such as your FAFSA, and that you haven’t missed any opportunities to apply for school-specific scholarships.
  • Apply for scholarships this summer! We posted a Scholarships Spreadsheet over on Compass listing over 200 scholarships for incoming law students (and many which are available to undergrads also).
  • Most federal loans will not be disbursed until AFTER classes begin, so you will need to pay security deposits and the first month of rent as well as buy books and necessary items (below) all before getting your loans. Save up this summer!
  • Buy some important items if you do not already own them.
    • You will need a suit and dress shoes the very first week of class. To get the most bang for your buck, your suit should be classic business formal: gray, black, or navy blue in a conservative cut and year-round fabric.
    • You should also bring at least 2-3 business casual outfits that you can wear to networking events.
    • You may need a new or upgraded laptop–check with your law school to see what technology they recommend and what is compatible with their IT systems. Your law school may also offer discounts. A printer is very helpful but you could speak to your roommate(s) to see if they have one before purchasing.
  • Make a budget. Each law school is required to provide a budget in your financial aid package, or you can find it online. You are not required to take the full loan amount; remember that your loans start accruing interest from Day 1 so any amount you do not borrow will save you the interest too. Sit down and carefully consider your living expenses so you can budget accordingly. Remember that your loan disbursement is only designed to pay for tuition/fees and 9 months of living expenses, and it is not designed to cover costs like car payment/insurance, credit card debt, or travel (for example, if you need to fly to your new law school or ship your belongings there).

Personal details

  • Make living arrangements. Whether you are living in an apartment, with parents, or staying in on-campus housing, you should be figuring out where you will live as soon as possible. Additionally, you should be trying to locate a roommate if you plan on renting an apartment with someone else. Join social media groups for your law school class or speak directly with your school to see if they have a roommate matching system.
  • Take care of anything and everything in your personal life that you can. Get your car serviced, change your cell phone plan, go to the dentist, book necessary travel arrangements, open a bank account in your new city…do anything that you can take care of now. You will not want to spend precious free time on these things later.
  • Go to the doctor and update your vaccinations–law schools will require it. Start or maintain good exercise and eating habits–it’s easier to maintain these than to start them during the semester!
  • Embrace starting over. You have been given a clean slate, so use it wisely. Don’t start law school by being the person who brags about their big scholarship/LSAT score/undergrad accomplishments. Conversely, don’t be intimidated by people in your class with a higher LSAT score/scholarship–frequently the people who will end up at the top of the law school class are not who you would have predicted. You have made it here, you deserve to be here, now embrace the opportunity to start with a clean slate!
  • Finally, WORK HARD from Day 1! 1L grades and class rank are VERY important and will determine things like: whether you can write for a law journal, whether you can participate in moot court, and whether you can interview with law firms before your 2L year in On Campus Interviews (OCI). Start developing a consistent study schedule and the discipline to stick to it. 1L year is not the time to sit back and coast while you adjust to a new life. Remember that law school classes are curved, so by design, everyone will NOT get an A. It is critical not to fall behind on your coursework during the first semester.

 

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Mark Your Calendars: Week of April 22

PRE-LAW EVENTS

Our pre-law programming is complete for the semester. We will have appointments available until May 16, so feel free to make an appointment (by calling 333-9669) to discuss how to maximize your summer!

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AND INFO FOR PRE-LAW STUDENTS

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

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

THIS SATURDAY: Law School is for Diverse People Too: How To Prepare for the Law School Admissions Process–Sat, April 27 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at University of Chicago Law School (1111 E  60th St, Chicago IL).

Sessions include:

  • The Secrets to a Successful Law School Application
  • Mastering the Law School Admissions Council’s Website and Other Resources for Diverse Applicants
  • Securing a Solid Letter of Recommendation
  • Strategically Financing Law School
  • How to Write a Persuasive Personal Statement

All students attending this year’s free sessions will receive information on how to obtain feedback on their personal statements from members of the University of Chicago Law School’s BLSA. The link to register is available here: https://www.law.uchicago.edu/lawschooldiversity

Writer’s Workshop is hosting these upcoming workshops. Visit their website here for more details.

  • Developing Arguments and Revising for the Big Picture–Tues, 4/23, 1-2 pm, 1060 Lincoln Hall. This presentation will review the basic principles for creating effective thesis statements. It will also help students review common essay structures and strategies. You will have the opportunity to put these principles into practice, so bring a current assignment to work on.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism: Using Sources Effectively–Wed, 4/24, 12-1 pm, 1057 Lincoln Hall. Worried about accidental plagiarism? This presentation reviews basic techniques for effectively incorporating sources through summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.
  • The Final Check: Proofreading and Editing Strategies–Thur, 4/25, 4:30-5:30 pm, 1057 Lincoln Hall.  Worried about your editing and proofreading skills? In this workshop, we will help writers develop and practice effective strategies for both. Bring a paper to practice with, or use the exercises provided at the workshop.

Still looking for a summer job? Check out the University of Illinois Virtual Job Board for paid summer positions right here on campus.

fulbright scholarship information and workshop sessions

Are you looking for an exciting way to spend a year abroad starting in the Fall of 2020? If so, it’s time to think seriously about submitting an application for a Fulbright Scholarship!  Join us for an informational session and on-campus workshops to learn more.

Fulbright Information Session  Tuesday, April 23rd, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CST. Hosted by the National and International Scholarship Program. This is an informational webinar (open to all, but particularly useful for Illinois alumni and students abroad):

Link to attend the webinar: https://us.bbcollab.com/collab/ui/session/guest/7e732c00eb1f4a0baeada1df96a2083d

Wednesday, May 1st, 8:30-9:30 a.m. CST

Link to attend the webinar on Wednesday, May 1st:

https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/2085a821f124472baf44446a33d22579

On-Campus Fulbright Workshops – All Hosted by the National and International Scholarships Program:

Fulbright Personal Statement Workshop: Friday, April 26th, 3:30-5:00pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

English Teaching Assistant Application Workshop: Thursday, May 2nd, 11:00 am -12:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

Designing a Fulbright Research Proposal Workshop: Thursday, May 2nd, 4:00-5:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

Sessions are targeted to juniors, seniors, and recent alumni who wish to apply for the Fulbright Priority Deadline of June 17, 2019.

PAID SUMMER LEGAL INTERNSHIP IN CHICAGO: Deadline April 30

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

Qualifications:

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

Responsibilities:

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

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

career center events

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

International Student Career Meetup: Enhancing Networking and Communication Skills–April 26, 4-5:30 pm, Career Center Interview Suite Room 213.

Work-It Wednesday: Connect with Representatives from The Children’s Home–April 24 (various times). Are you still looking for an internship or full-time opportunity? Are you interested in social services, counseling, or working with children?

Join the Childrens Home Association of Illinois on Wednesday, April 24th at The Career Center for the last Work-It-Wednesday of the spring semester! The Childrens Home is committed to community-based, family focused programs that provide counseling, education and support to more than 1,700 children and families each month. They are currently hiring for numerous internships and full-time positionsmany which only require a bachelors degree.

Check out the schedule below and attend when and where you can!

1:00 – 2:00 pm Informal Coffee and Cookies Chats with the Childrens Home. Stop in to learn more about the Childrens Home or ask any questions you might have about your internship/job search – how to stand out for social service jobs, application and resume tips, or anything that interests you! Located at The Career Center Resource Center (715 S. Wright Street).

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Resume Reviews with the Childrens Home. Get your resume reviewed by a Childrens Home representative who specifically hires for social service-focused work. Located at The Career Center (715 S. Wright Street).

4:00 – 5:00 pm Childrens Home Information Session. Attend an informal information session to learn more about the numerous internship and full-time opportunities with the Childrens Home and how you can be a good fit for them! Located at The Career Center Interview Suite, 616 E. Green Street, Suite 213.

For questions, please email Tori Spring at vspring@illinois.edu.

Details can also be found on Handshake at: https://illinois.joinhandshake.com/events/240535/share_preview

SCHOLARSHIPS

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

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

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Email Etiquette — “Hey” Doesn’t Cut It!

Note – we originally published a version of this blog in 2014.  Since we continue to experience and hear about email etiquette gaffes (from law school admissions deans – yikes!), we thought we would run an updated post on this topic.

Email etiquette is a critical skill whether you are communicating with law school admissions officers, potential employers, professors or your pre-law advisors! Remember: these contacts are formal and therefore VERY different from emails sent to friends or family members. A lack of professionalism and/or respect can create very negative impressions, which then likely lead to unhappy admissions or employment outcomes.  Want to avoid common email pitfalls? Read on for some practical and easy tips.

1. Salutation: DO NOT begin your email with “Hey” or “Joe”.  You should ALWAYS err on the side of being more formal: “Dear Dean Jones” or “Dear Ms. Smith.”  First names or casual openings are for friends and family only. NEVER address individuals you encounter in a professional setting by their first names until you have been invited to do so!

2. Subject Line:  Never leave this blank.  Instead write a brief but accurate description of the content of the email.  Examples: “Application Status Inquiry” or “Interview Follow Up.”

3. Organization:  Collect your thoughts (what are you trying to say?) and then organize your email into an introduction, body and closing.  The introduction states your reason for contacting the person.  The body details the information you are trying to convey.  The closing wraps up your email, including whether you will be contacting them in the future or if you would like them to contact you.

4. Proofread:  Nothing leaves a bad impression like a careless typo or typos.  Draft your email and reread it, checking it several times for any spelling or grammatical errors.

5. Manners:  Say “please,” “thank you,” and sign your emails with a courteous sign off, such as “sincerely” or “best.”  Remember: anything you put in writing is there forever.  Do you want to be remembered as the polite, interested candidate or the clueless jerk?!  And, by the way, if you receive a reply to your inquiry, always write a quick thank you for that response!

For more info on these suggestions and for other tips about composing professional emails, read “10 Professional Email Tips” by Elizabeth Hoyt, May 8, 2018, at fastweb.com.

https://www.fastweb.com/career-planning/articles/the-10-professional-email-tips

 

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of April 15, 2019

Hello Pre-Law Students!  Scroll down for info on our Personal Statement Workshop, Fulbright Scholarships and more.  Also – the July LSAT will be administered exactly 3 months from today!  There are some unique aspects to the July 2019 LSAT, including the fact that you will be able to see your score BEFORE you decide whether to submit it to the law schools.  For more information about the July 2019 LSAT, click on this link.  You might also want to review our blog post “A Guide to ALL of the 2019 LSAT Options.”

PRE-LAW EVENTS

Personal Statement and Resume Workshop for Fall 2019 Applicants – NEXT Monday, April 22, 4-5pm, Room 514 IUB

Planning to apply to law school in the fall? Not sure what to write in your law school application? Applicants who plan to apply for law school this fall can get a head start by working on your personal statement and resume this summer! This workshop will cover: What the personal statement and law school resume are; how they complement each other; a plan for how to write the personal statement; tips and suggestions for how to maximize the personal statement and the resume as well as how to make them stand out. Bring your questions! For more information and to register please click on this link so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AND INFO FOR PRE-LAW STUDENTS

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

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

fulbright scholarship information and workshop sessions

Are you looking for an exciting way to spend a year abroad starting in the Fall of 2020? If so, it’s time to think seriously about submitting an application for a Fulbright Scholarship!  Join us for an informational session and on-campus workshops to learn more.

Informational Sessions:

Fulbright Information Session: Tuesday, April 16th, 3:30-5:00 pm, 180 Bevier Hall

Hosted by the National and International Scholarship Program with recent Fulbright grantee speakers

Can’t make the on-campus session? Please plan to attend an informational webinar (open to all, but particularly useful for Illinois alumni and students abroad):

Tuesday, April 23rd, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CST

Link to attend the webinar on Tuesday, April 23rd: https://us.bbcollab.com/collab/ui/session/guest/7e732c00eb1f4a0baeada1df96a2083d

Wednesday, May 1st, 8:30-9:30 a.m. CST

Link to attend the webinar on Wednesday, May 1st:

https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/2085a821f124472baf44446a33d22579

On-Campus Fulbright Workshops – All Hosted by the National and International Scholarships Program:

Fulbright Personal Statement Workshop: Friday, April 26th, 3:30-5:00pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

English Teaching Assistant Application Workshop: Thursday, May 2nd, 11:00 am -12:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

Designing a Fulbright Research Proposal Workshop: Thursday, May 2nd, 4:00-5:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

Sessions are targeted to juniors, seniors, and recent alumni who wish to apply for the Fulbright Priority Deadline of June 17, 2019.

PAID SUMMER LEGAL INTERNSHIP IN CHICAGO

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

Qualifications:

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

Responsibilities:

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

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

career center events

Finding and Applying to Federal Government Jobs – Wednesday, April 17, 3-4pm, The Career Center, Conference Room 143

This workshop will give you tips on how to make yourself competitive for federal government opportunities as well as discuss the benefits of working for the government and how to best navigate USAJOBS.gov and other government resources.

You can find information on other upcoming Career Center Events here: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events

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

Resume/Cover Letter/ LinkedIn Review Hours: The Career Center offers resume and cover letter reviews at various places and times throughout the week:
· Monday-Friday, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at The Career Center, 715 S. Wright
· Monday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Ikenberry Commons
· Tuesday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Brewlab
· Wednesday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Brewlab
· Sunday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Ikenberry Commons

SCHOLARSHIPS

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

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

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Job & Internship Roundup

Job & Internship Opportunities for Pre-Law Students

For those of you who have not yet secured a job or internship this summer, do not fret, there are still opportunities available! But now is the time to secure those summer jobs and internship positions.  For some tips on applications, interviews, and other important things to do to make sure you land the perfect summer internship check out our blog post.

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

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

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

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

Utilize campus resources!

  1. The Career Center hosts great events for finding an internship. Click Here!
  2. The Office of Student Financial Aid offers a Virtual Job Board intended to assist you in finding part-time employment. Click Here!
  3. Make sure you are registered to use Handshake@Illinois. This resource helps connect you with employers looking for interns and other full time jobs. To register, Click here. 

  4. Get resume tips and get your resume reviewed. The Career Center offers tips for writing a resume. The Career Center also offers resume reviews.
PAID SUMMER LEGAL INTERNSHIP IN CHICAGO

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

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

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

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