Mark Your Calendars – May 7 – End of Semester Edition – Farewell Class of 2018!

Information for Graduating Seniors and Alumni

Congratulations and best wishes to our UIUC graduating Seniors!  We would love to hear from you so please keep in touch.  In fact, we have created a Linked In Group, entitled “Illini Pre-Law Alumni.”  This is an opportunity for PLAS to stay in touch with all of you and for you to stay in touch with your classmates and other UIUC alums. You never know when you might end up in a new city and need to network to find a new job or information on law school. Please go to LinkedIn to join our group.

Information for Fall Law School Applicants

Our events have concluded for this semester but we do have a public service announcement.  Fall law school applicants — do not forget to identify and meet with people whom you would like to write letters of recommendation on your behalf BEFORE you leave campus!  If you wait until the fall to make the request(s), you will likely find yourself waiting in line behind others who asked first!  For information on how to solicit letters of recommendation and some other application tips, go here on our PLAS websiteYou can also check out some earlier blog posts on this topic.  If you would like a helpful overview on letters of recommendation that you can share with letter writers, go to the PLAS Compass Page and check out our “Guide to Letters of Recommendation” in the “Application Pointers” section.

Information for June and July LSAT Test Takers — Reminder about day of exam!

LSAC provides a list of day of test reminders here. It is absolutely critical that you look at this list well in advance of either the June 11 LSAT or the July 23 LSAT (nondisclosed test) so that you follow the LSAC’s instructions to the letter. Any violation of LSAC rules constitutes grounds for you to be dismissed from the test.  

Career Center – Job Shadowing

Summer is a great time to develop your professional network and explore career opportunities with a one-day company visit over summer break.  To apply, visit Handshake@Illinois and follow these simple steps:

  • Start in the “Job Search” tab
  • Filter by using Keyword: “Job Shadow” and indicate Job Type: “Experiential Learning”
  • Read each job shadow posting to ensure you are interested and a good fit
  • Apply now! Most applications are due ASAP!!

For more information, contact Tori Spring at vspring@illinois.edu. 

PLAS Summer Activities and Office Hours 

Although we will only be posting to our blog a couple of times per month, we will occasionally post information of interest on Facebook (Pre-Law Advising at U of IL) and Twitter (@UIUCPreLaw).  Keep checking in – you never know what interesting opportunities we will hear about and share.  In addition, you should check out our “Pre-Law Handbook.”  This is a great resource whether you are just beginning your research about law school and legal careers or if you have a specific question in mind and just want to find a quick, easy answer.  The recently-launched “live binder” format makes this resource very user friendly so check it out!

If you need to schedule a phone or in-person appointment with a pre-law advisor over the summer, remember that PLAS Summer Hours are in effect and appointments are available in advance.  Just call the PLAS office at (217) 333-9669 to make an appointment. Enjoy your break and look for announcements about our fall calendar of events when you return in August.

Have a great summer!

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Mark Your Calendars: Week of April 30

This week: A few opportunities and important reminders as the semester winds down.

Still looking for summer internship/volunteer opportunities? Join our Facebook page and use the search box to find all kinds of internship and volunteer opportunities that we’ve posted. We also posted lots of opportunities over on our Compass page!

ACADEMIC INTERNSHIPS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE–An INFORMATIONAL MEETING on academic internships in political science will be held on Wednesday, May 2nd, 317 DKH 7-8:50 PM.  The meeting is open to students in all majors.  From down the street to around the world, U of I students can enhance their education by earning academic credit in association with an internship related to politics, government, or non-governmental organization.  Offices and organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area are currently looking for interns for the fall.    Or you can go to Washington, DC through our Illinois in Washington program.   Students who secure a State Department internship can also earn credit long-distance.   Further information will be provided regarding study abroad internships.   For more information, contact Professor Henehan at mhenehan@illinois.edu

TOMORROW is the deadline to register for the June LSAT! Remember that if you are requesting accommodations you must also submit that request and supporting documentation by tomorrow as well.

Test Date: Monday, June 11, 2018


Registration Deadlines

Requests for testing accommodations are due by the receipt deadlines below. All receipt deadlines are by 11:59 pm Eastern Time (ET).

Receipt Deadline
Registration May 1, 2018
Registration Accommodation Request May 1, 2018
Nonpublished Test Center Registration(additional fees apply) April 24, 2018
Photo Upload May 25, 2018

For more information about the June 2018 LSAT, visit the LSAC website.

Career Center–You can still get your resume reviewed, meet with a career advisor, and learn more about applying for Peace Corps this week. Check out the Career Center’s calendar of events here.

Today at 12:00 join the Women’s Resource Center for:

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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 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.
    • 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 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 build the 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.
    • You will need a suit and dress shoes the very first week of class.
    • 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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Scholarships, Scholarships and More Scholarships!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of April 16

Although we have less than a month to go in the semester, Pre-Law Advising Services has two important workshops — TODAY and next Monday — for those of you planning on applying to law school this fall.  Scroll down for information about these programs, study groups for the September LSAT, Fulbright Scholarships and more, including a campus visit by noted attorney and civil rights advocate Alan Dershowitz!

Pre-Law Advising Services

Applying to Law School Workshop – TODAY, Monday April 16, 4-5:15pm, 514 IUB

This workshop is designed for Illini planning to apply to law school this fall (2018) or who are graduating and plan to apply to law school in the next few years.  The workshop will cover:

  • LSAT options–these recently changed!
  • Using the LSAC/Credential Assembly Service
  • How to use the summer to get ahead on law school applications
  • Developing a law school application strategy
  • Sending in transcripts
  • Getting letters of recommendation

And we will allocate time for Q&A. Join us to get a head start on fall applications or to find out what you can do to maximize your applications during a gap year. All students and alumni are welcome!

Personal Statement and Resume Workshop – NEXT Monday, April 23, 4-5pm, 514 IUB

If you’re planning to apply to law school this fall OR if you’re graduating and planning to apply to law school in the next couple of years, then this is a great opportunity to learn about writing a personal statement and resume for law school. The personal statement is a critical part of the law school application in which applicants must show personality, highlight strengths, identify career goals, and address why law school is their next step: a tall order for a 2 page document! Join us as we cover:

  • What the personal statement is (and isn’t) to law schools
  • Creating a realistic timeline 
  • Outlining a plan for how to write the statement
  • How the personal statement and resume work together in the application
  • What is an addendum?
  • Knowing the right resources to help you along the way

We’ll have time for Q&A, so bring your questions!

PLAS also has a couple of additional opportunities for you to consider:

  1. LSAT Study Group – The September LSAT is only a few months away! Pre-Law Advising Services is organizing LSAT study groups for those people taking the September 8, 2018 exam. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by next Thursday April 19 at noon. To sign up, use the google form provided here: https://goo.gl/forms/nNpDBqrvBI510pg12

2. Pre-Law Club – Pre-Law Advising Services is measuring interest for a possible pre-law registered student organization here at the University of Illinois. The RSO would be for the 2018-2019 school year. Please answer our survey to let us know about your interest in this RSO and possibly joining the Pre-Law RSO! The form can be found here: https://goo.gl/forms/MvL1xYyR2cY8Tvss2

Campus Events

Career Center

Resume, Cover Letter, Linked In Reviews – Monday, April 16, 2-4:30pm, Resource Center; 7-9pm, Undergraduate Library, Consultation Corner.  This workshop is offered several other times during the week.  Go here for more information.

Creating Your Powerful Resume – Monday, April 16, 4-5pm, The Career Center Conference Room 143

International Student Career Meet Up – Friday, April 20, 4-5:30pm, The Career Center Interview Suite Room 213.  Join us for an information gathering where international students can talk with alumni, recruiters, or current international students who have successful job search stories. Information on invited speakers will be posted on Handshake. Open to all international students, but RSVP on Handshake is required due to a space limitation.

For more information on these and other Career Center events, check out their website.

National & International Scholarship Program – Fulbright Scholarship Workshops

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.  A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.

During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.  The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

Sound interesting?  The National & International Scholarships Program has several workshops scheduled to help you prepare a strong application.

Friday, April 20: Personal Statement Workshop – 3:30-5:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore. A key part of the Fulbright Application is the Personal Statement, a one-page essay. Come learn how to create this document and tell your unique story.

       Webinars for those off campus:

If you are not currently on campus to take advantage of our Fulbright Information        Session, join us remotely for these webinars!  The same detailed overview will be provided for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, including: eligibility, grant types, and application advice.  There will also be plenty of time for questions and answers.

 Wednesday, April 25: Informational Webinar for Illinois Alumni and Students Abroad – 8:30-9:30 am CST; https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/96a0120ef64d43dc9f7b43d6e77ce197

Thursday, April 26: Informational Webinar for Illinois Alumni and Students Abroad – 12:00-1:00 pm CST; https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/ed88abfed96540c7a4e96da034f46819

Friday, April 27: English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Application Workshop – 2:00-3:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore. The Fulbright ETA application includes a one-page essay on your case for Why the Fulbright program should fund You to Teach English to students in ____________ (insert your host country).  We will discuss how to approach this essay and more during this workshop.

Friday, April 27: Designing a Fulbright Research Proposal Workshop – 3:30-5:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore. If you are interested in applying for a Fulbright research grant, join us for this workshop to learn how to craft this important two-page grant request, how to secure a letter of affiliation, and how to select your reference letter writers.

The US Student Fulbright website is:  https://us.fulbrightonline.org

Facebook UIUC Fulbright Events page is here.

Alan Dershowitz to Give Public Lecture at University of Illinois

Alan Dershowitz, noted attorney and advocate for civil rights and civil liberties, will be on the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign campus next Thursday, April 26, 2018, for a series of events. The day will culminate in a public lecture held in Foelinger Auditorium, at 7:30pm.  This even is FREE and open to the public! This visit is sponsored by Gies College of Business; The Program in Constitutional Theory, History and Law at the College of Law; and the Chabad Center for Jewish Life at the University of Illinois.dershowitz

 

 

 

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PS 491: Public Defender Internship for Fall 18

Applications are now open for PS 491: Public Defender Internship for Fall of 2018 and will be due on April 5. Read on for details about the course and the application process.

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 Fall, 2018.   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.

What, specifically, can you expect to be doing as part of this internship?

  • Watching criminal court proceedings such as arraignments, sentencing hearings, motion hearings, and trials
  • Reviewing criminal case files (such as police reports) with Public Defender clients both at the office and at the Champaign County Jail
  • Reviewing evidence and bodycam footage and organizing materials for case files
  • Discussing case information and strategy with the Public Defender attorneys
  • Contacting potential witnesses to testify at sentencing hearings; and
  • Other research and projects as needed.

The Public Defender’s Office is a fast-paced environment. Ideal students for this program are: interested in criminal law proceedings; willing to take a variety of assignments; able to work independently when given appropriate support; and able to devote 90 hours during the semester to the Public Defender’s Office. Admission is competitive: We expect to have five openings for Fall, 2018.

By Thursday, April 5, students seeking to participate in the Public Defender Internship Program must submit an application online at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/7935624. The application consists of a cover letter, informal transcript, resume and writing sample. The cover letter needs to 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 Fall, 2018 (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 work in the courthouse, students will need to attend a class for one hour per week on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00.  Submit all applications online at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/7935624.

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

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Course Options for Fall 2018

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, here are some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. Check out Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

For more info on building academic skills for law school, visit the March 16 blog post.

AAS 375/LLS 377: Prisons, Race and Terror. Examination of the U.S. prison regime, focusing on three dimensions of U.S. imprisonment — criminal justice, immigrant detention, and martial imprisonment, particularly under the War on Terror. 

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning–Understanding financial instruments and tax implications is critical for many lawyers

ACE 306: Food Law and ACE 406: Environmental Law

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 and the role of law and ethics in public relations.

Community Health courses are helpful for people interested in healthcare law, such as

  • CHLH 100: Contemporary Health
  • CHLH 101: Intro to Public Health

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills.

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
  • 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.

EDUC 202: Social Justice, School & Society

English courses help develop writing, research, and analysis skills.

  • ENGL 199: Career Planning for Humanities Majors
  • ENGL 310: Introduction to the Study of the English Language (Unprotected Speech)
  • ENGL 360: Environmental Writing (same as ESE 360)

ESE 210: Social & Environmental Issues and ESE 466: Environmental Policy for those interested in environmental law

FIN 214: Fundamentals of Real Estate A survey of real estate finance, appraisal, investment, law, brokerage, management, development and economics.

Geography courses may be particularly engaging for students interested in environmental issues, global politics, and/or international legal issues

  • GEOG 101: Global Development & Environment 
  • GEOG 210: Social & Environmental Issues

GLBL 100: Intro to Global Studies, GLBL 220: Governance, and GLBL 260: Global Human Rights

HIST 395: Topics in Law and Society

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

LAW 301: Introduction to Law

  • Serves as a general foundation course for those interested in applying to law school.

Labor & Employment Relations offers multiple courses for undergraduates on labor law and employment law issues, including:

  • LER 100: Introduction to Labor Studies
  • LER 290: Introduction to Employment Law
  • LER 320: Gender, Race, Class, and Work

LLS 468: Latinas/os & the Law

Examines the Latina/Latino experience in the U.S. how and when the law, through the courts, has most often operated as an instrument of subordination and oppression, but has also at times been leveraged for positive social transformation. Students will come to understand that the law is a deeply contested social space that is central to U.S. social hierarchies based upon race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, immigration status, and religion.

Philosophy options include:

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning This course is particularly 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 This course includes some basic exploration of ethics, including looking at the relationship between social morality and the law.
  • PHIL 436: Philosophy of Law and of the State

Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:

  • PS 225: Environmental Politics & Policy
  • PS 280: Intro to International Relations
  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II are helpful primers for law school
  • PS 312: Politics and the Media
  • PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 322: Law and Public Policy or PS 220: Intro to Public Policy
  • PS 323: Law & Representation
  • PS 491: Internship with the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project completed in conjunction with the internship itself for academic credit, credit in this program is based on class meetings and structured assignments that integrate readings on political systems, the legal system, and constitutional and human rights, with on-the-job experience summarizing case files, witnessing trials and colloquies, and interviewing witnesses and clients. Students are supervised by the Champaign County Public Defender or attorneys in the office. Stay tuned for updates regarding the application process for this exciting opportunity. For more information, go here: https://pol.illinois.edu/academics/undergraduate-program/internships.

Note – beginning in the Fall of 2018, the Political Science Department will be introducing a new curriculum, featuring concentrations in the following areas: General Political Science; Citizen Politics; Civic Leadership; International Relations; Law & Power; Public Policy & Democratic Institutions; and World Politics.  For more information on these changes, go here.

PSYC 468: Psych and Law

  • Examines relationship of the administrative, civil, and criminal justice systems to educational and mental health institutions; individual rights, social issues, and psychological well being.

Sociology introduced its Criminology, Law and Society Minor last fall.  Some interesting class offerings there include:

  • SOC 275: Criminology
  • SOC 477/479: Law and Society

SOCW 200: Intro to Social Work studies systemic social issues and resources, working with vulnerable populations

Other courses to explore different areas of law include:

  • JOUR 311: Media Law Detailed analysis of the theories of freedom of expression, the legal doctrines of greatest concern to mass communicators, and contemporary issues related to free speech and press, including libel, copyright, and news-gathering in a digital age. 
  • RST 225: Environmental Politics & Policy (cross listed as PS 225) Examinations of the political, economic, ecological, and cultural trade-offs between the use and the preservation of the environment, with particular emphasis on the preservation of land and water resources in national parks, forests, and other reserved lands.
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport A study of legal principles and their impact on the sport industry; the course examines the application of different areas of law including tort, contract, constitutional, anti-trust, and intellectual property law to professional, amateur and recreational sport.
  • SE 400: Engineering Law – note – only prerequisite is Rhet 105. Course covers: nature and development of the legal system; legal rights and duties important to engineers in their professions; contracts, uniform commercial code and sales of goods, torts, agency, worker’s compensation, labor law, property, environmental law, intellectual property.
  • TE 450: Startups: Incorporate, Fund, Contracts, Intellectual Property Explore legal tools used in constructing and operating companies. Topics include: issues with business formation, intellectual property, NDA, contracts, and other corporate legal issues impacting startups.
  • UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law Provides students with a basic understanding of the governmental structure, legal aspects, and practice of local municipal planning, with special emphasis on case law, constitutional principles, zoning, subdivision regulations and comprehensive planning. Gives an introduction for students interested in pursuing more advanced studies in land use law and local government planning.

Remember that these are only suggestions and that none of these courses is required for law school.  Further, 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 courses that are the best fit for you.

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Mark Your Calendars – March 26, 2018

Welcome back!  We hope you all had a relaxing and fun spring break.  Keep reading to find out about some interesting programs, including PLAS’  “Taking a Gap Year…Or Two” set for THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 5-6:15PM, ROOM 514 ILLINI BOOKSTORE BUILDING. Scroll down for info on this, summer pre-law programs and internships with deadlines approaching (including one TODAY), the Illini Career and Internship Fair and more!

Pre-Law Advising Services

“Taking a Gap Year…Or Two” — Thursday, March 29, 5-6:00pm, Room 514 Illini Bookstore Building

Are you considering working, volunteering, traveling, or doing something else before attending law school? If so, how can you use that time effectively to improve your applicant profile? Do you want to know more about going straight through to law school after undergrad? This event helps students explore different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students–two with work experience and one who went directly from undergrad to law school–to answer your questions and discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking a gap year (or more) and working. We will also discuss our overall applicant data and share more details about other paths our students and alumni have taken to law school. Whether you are planning to take time off or going straight through, this is a great event to clarify what to expect on your path to law school. Go here for more information on this event, as well as our upcoming PLAS workshops for Fall 2018 law school applicants!

Campus Events

UIUC College of Law — Seeking Pre-Law Students to Serve as Mock Jurors!

The College of Law invites pre-law students to serve as mock jurors for law students. Advanced Trial Advocacy trials will be held April 4,10,11, and 19 starting at 5 pm each night and lasting about 3 hours. Refreshments will be served. This is a great way to experience what it’s like to be on a jury, see what law students are doing, and get a taste of what trials are really like! Please email Thanin Stewart at tostewa2@illinois.edu indicating what day(s) you’d like to serve as a mock juror, or if you have any questions.

Career Center

The Career Center is excited to host State Department Midwest Diplomat-in-Residence (DIR) Melissa Martinez on March 26 & 27.  Martinez is a media and communications professional with over 15 years of international and domestic experience in the U.S. diplomatic service. During her visit, she will provide guidance and advice on careers, internships, and fellowships in both the Foreign and Civil Service.  The following events will all take place at The Career Center Interview Suite, Room 213, 616 E. Green St.

Demystifying Diplomacy Information Session: Career and Student Opportunities in Public ServiceMonday, March 26 @ 7pm

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a U.S. Diplomat and represent the United States? Do you have a passion to serve your country? Join U.S. Department of State Diplomat-in-Residence Melissa Martinez to learn what steps you need to take to work on the forefront of diplomacy.

 Coffee with a Diplomat RoundtableTuesday, March 27 @ 9am

Join us for a roundtable discussion with State Department Diplomat-in-Residence Melissa Martinez. Martinez will talk about the amazing experiences she has had with the State Department and offer advice on how students can pursue their own paths in foreign or civil service.  Pastries will be provided!

One-on-One Office Hours/Resume Reviews with the State Department Diplomat-in-ResidenceTuesday, March 27 from 10am – 12pm

Sign up for a 10 minute one-on-one slot with Diplomat-in-Residence Melissa Martinez. These sessions are for students to ask specific questions about their interest in and application to the State Department. Office hours will be on a first-come first-serve basis; any remaining slots will be offered as drop-ins on the day of the event. Please arrive early to ensure your spot. Sign up here.

General Information Session on Careers and Student OpportunitiesTuesday, March 27 @ 1pm

State Department Diplomat-in-Residence Melissa Martinez will conduct a one-hour general information session to discuss internship and career opportunities including the Pathways Program, State Department Internships, and other opportunities to help you reach your foreign and civil service goals.

More offerings by the Career Center

Still trying to find an internship or a job?  Scroll down to find out about some of the opportunities listed on this week’s schedule of events at the Career Center.

Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews – Several times this week, beginning TODAY, March 26, 2-4:30pm, Career Services Center; 7-9pm, Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.

Creating Your Powerful Resume – Tuesday, March 27, 4-5pm, Career Conference Center Room 143

Finding An Internship – Tuesday, March 27, 5-6pm, Career Conference Center Room 143

Finding and Applying to Federal Government Jobs – Wednesday, March 28, 4-5pm, Career Conference Center Room 143

Global Careers: Stay or Return – Wednesday, March 28, 4-5:30pm, The Career Center Interview Suite Room 213

Acing Your Interview – Wednesday, March 28, 5-6pm, Career Conference Center Room 143

International Student Career Meet Up – Thursday, March 29, 4-5:30pm, The Career Center Interview Suite Room 213

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Illini Career and Internship Fair, Tuesday April 10, 1pm-6pm, Illini Union Rooms A, B, and C! 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.

Classes for Fall 2018 – Registration Begins Soon!

This Wednesday’s blog will feature a list of suggested classes for pre-law students.  In the meantime, you might want to consider applying to take…

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

Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project completed in conjunction with the internship itself for academic credit, credit in this program is based on class meetings and structured assignments that integrate readings on political systems, the legal system, and constitutional and human rights, with on-the-job experience summarizing case files, witnessing trials and colloquies, and interviewing witnesses and clients. Students are supervised by the Champaign County Public Defender or attorneys in the office. Stay tuned for updates regarding the application process for this exciting opportunity. For more information, go here: https://pol.illinois.edu/academics/undergraduate-program/internships.

National and International Scholarships Program – Introductory Sessions THIS WEEK!

This week the UIUC National and International Scholarships Program office is holding scholarship meetings for juniors, seniors, and graduates students on campus.  If you are a recent UIUC alumnus, or currently overseas on a semester abroad program and are interested in learning more about one of these scholarships, please visit our website, contact our office, or email Jeff Yockey, yockey@illinois.edu, directly in the next two weeks. (Do not wait until Summer or next Fall, it will be too late.)

http://www.topscholars.illinois.edu/administered-scholarships

These short meetings are introductory sessions focused on how to apply for the national and internationally competitive scholarships listed below and briefly described on the attached handout. The application process for these awards begins over a year ahead of time, most starting this summer. We are offering this session eight times to accommodate your schedule. Come learn what you need to know about how to apply.

Fulbright (130 countries), Rhodes (Oxford), Marshall (any UK University), Gates (Cambridge), Schwarzman (Tsinghua Uni. China), Knight-Hennessy (Stanford), Luce (SE Asia), Mitchell (Ireland), and Churchill (Cambridge).

Tuesday, March 27: 3:30-4:00 & 4:00-4:30. Rm 514, Illini Union Bookstore Building, 5th Floor.

Wednesday, March 28: 1:30-2:00, 2:00-2:30, 3:00-3:30 and 4:00-4:30. Rm 514, Illini Union Bookstore Building, 5th Floor.

Thursday, March 29: 1:30-2:00, 2:00-2:30. Rm 514, Illini Union Bookstore Building, 5th Floor.

https://www.facebook.com/events/167959760529978/

SUMMER INTERNSHIPS
Still looking for summer opportunities? We’ve posted lots of internships and jobs over on our Facebook page, like these.

Summer 2018 LegalTrek Program — Applications due THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 30!

Do you have dreams of being a lawyer? Are you interested in attending law school? If so, consider applying to LegalTrek. LegalTrek is a summer program designed to provide a hands-on, comprehensive overview of the legal profession to diverse college students. LegalTrek meshes traditional legal learning with opportunities to build legal skills.

LegalTrek’s mission is to diversify the legal profession by encouraging and supporting college students from historically underrepresented groups to attend law school. We are seeking diverse applicants from racial/ethnic minority groups, as well as socioeconomically disadvantaged students, LGBT students and disabled students. LegalTrek 2018 is collaboration between the Chicago Committee for Minorities in Law Firms (Chicago Committee) and DePaul University College of Law.  For more information and to apply, go here.

The Division of General Studies is hiring PAID summer peer advisors to assist with summer registration. Visit our Facebook page for the full job description.

The Career Center is hiring PAID summer interns to work 20-25 hrs/week May 14-Aug 3. Great opportunity for a student prepping for the LSAT this summer! Applications due TODAY, March 26. Visit our Facebook page for the full job description.

 

 

 

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Make the most of your spring/spring break!

Here are suggestions for pre-law students and alumni to maximize your spring and/or your spring break.

For all current pre-law students or those entering law school this fall:

  • Complete your FAFSA if you haven’t already. This is how financial aid for federal loans for summer/fall will be determined, whether you are an undergrad or an incoming law student.

Freshmen and Sophomores:

  • Apply for Summer Jobs and Internships. Do you have summer plans locked down? If not, apply for jobs and internships. Check out our internship newsletter over on our Compass page. We’ve also listed LOTS of  internships on our Facebook page and on our blog!  Use the search box on either of these to find internships. You should also be checking Handshake regularly (or set it to email you when new listings appear).
  • Apply to Summer Pre-Law Programs. These are typically 4 week residential programs to teach basics of law and how to prepare for law school, and most are free and come with a stipend for selected students. We have been posting these all spring on our blog and Facebook page. Take a look at the Summer Pre-Law Programs spreadsheet on our Compass page, listing over 40 summer programs, for even more opportunities. Note: Some deadlines have passed and others are April 1, so apply SOON.
  • Take a practice LSAT. Not ready to take the real LSAT yet but wondering what it’s all about? Go to this website to download a free practice test. When you’re done, you can score it and watch videos there with explanations of the answers. Want to take more practice LSATs? You can purchase books of 10 previously administered LSATs like this one at Amazon or another bookseller, or used on ebay.
  • Job shadow, or ask a lawyer to spend 30 minutes doing an informational interview with you. Don’t be intimidated; this is an opportunity for you to buy him/her coffee and ask about their professional life. Here’s a resource for planning your informational interview. 
  • Get caught up. Use this time to catch up on studying and prepare for finals–those grades are very important to law schools!

Pre-Law Students and Alumni Applying This Fall:

  • Make your LSAT plans. 
    • Taking the June LSAT? You should already have selected your prep option and started studying. Spring break is a great time to crank up your LSAT studying.Tip: REGISTER FOR THE JUNE LSAT NOW, because the popular test sites fill up around spring break each year.
    • Taking the September LSAT? Now is the time to research LSAT prep options. Check out the LSAT Preparation folder over on our Compass page for information on free LSAT resources as well as listings of popular LSAT prep companies, including discounts they are offering to Illinois students.
  • Decide who will be your recommendation writers. You will want to approach them by this May/June (at the end of THIS semester) so that they have plenty of time to write the letter and your performance is still fresh in their mind. If you are an alum, reach out ASAP because the longer you wait the more difficult it is to track people down and for them to remember you.
  • Register for the Credential Assembly Service. This is the account you will need to open in order to have your recommendation letters processed. Once you set it up, your account is good for five years. You can read all about it here.
  • Mark your calendars. We have upcoming workshops just for you that you should plan to attend. Find them all on our Event Calendar.

Seniors taking a gap year (or two) prior to law school:

  • It’s still a good idea to decide who on campus can write your recommendations, and approach them by the end of this semester. If you wait a year or more the professor is sometimes gone, on sabbatical, retired, etc., so it’s better to get them now. Register for the Credential Assembly Service as listed above so that you can send the letters in to your account.
  • We will have a special workshop about Taking a Gap Year Before Law School on March 29 at 5 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building.  This workshop will cover how you can maximize your postgraduate time to make yourself an even better law school candidate, and we will share a timeline and game plan for applying to law school as a working professional. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from current law students who worked prior to law school.

Seniors and alumni headed to law school this fall:

  • Complete your FAFSA! Your federal loans will not be disbursed without it.
  • Make final visits to law schools/attend admitted student days. If you’ve decided where to attend, then withdraw from the other schools that have admitted you so that they can offer that seat/scholarship to someone else.
  • Apply for scholarships. We’ve posted lots of scholarships in our blog and over on our Compass page! When you know which law school you are attending, ask your law school financial aid office about scholarship opportunities.
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Waitlisted, or just waiting? What to do now!

We’re hearing from a lot of law school applicants who have submitted their applications and now find themselves either waitlisted or still waiting to hear back. Here are some helpful tips and pointers to help you position yourself in the best manner for admission and aid!

If you’re still waiting for an admission decision…
You are NOT alone!
Many applicants tell us they have been waiting weeks or months. What is going on? It could mean:

  • The school is essentially “wait listing” you, but not calling it that, by waiting to respond to you until they see the rest of the applicant pool.
  • The admissions office is understaffed or inundated with applications. (Many schools are reporting an increase of applications this year, with nationwide applications up about 14% over last year.)
  • You applied later in the cycle and a backlog of applications must be reviewed before yours.

What can you do if you are still waiting on an answer?

  • IF it has been at least 4-6 weeks or whatever time frame the school has indicated for your file to be reviewed, reach out and politely inquire about anticipated time frames for a decision. Reiterate your interest in the school.
  • Review your status checker
  • Follow the law school on Twitter; many deans have taken to updating applicants about expected decisions there.
  • Don’t: Complain about their slowness or criticize the school’s process; tell them you’ve already heard back from everywhere else or from “better” schools; give the school a deadline. Sometimes patience is key.

If you’ve been waitlisted…Understand what this means: that you are an admissible candidate but the school needs to hit its institutional goals before they can admit you. Institutional goals could be LSAT/GPA related but could also be related to balancing the class with regard to gender, diversity, in state/out of state, age, etc. Very few schools can accurately predict how many applicants–and with what qualities–they will be pulling from a wait list. When the school tells you they don’t know your odds, it is very likely true.

What can you do if you are waitlisted?

  • Follow the school’s directions carefully. Do not email to ask them what to do after the school sends very specific instructions. Some law schools will ask you to confirm that you want to be on their wait list–if you don’t do so, you will not be considered. Pay attention to these details and instructions and follow them carefully.
  • Visit the school if you haven’t already. Making a strong impression on an admissions professional can go a long way toward being selected when it’s time for them to pull from the wait list.
  • Update your application by sending an updated resume, a new recommendation, or a letter or email expressing continued interest in that school (sometimes called a LOCI, or letter of continued interest).
  • Stay in touch–no more than once every couple of weeks–to demonstrate your interest in the school. Keep them updated on your plans. IF the school is your top choice, then say so.
  • Continue to make other plans. No one should proceed by “expecting” to be pulled from a wait list…even if this does happen, it can be anytime up to the day classes begin. You need to start making concrete plans in early April. Decide which law school you will attend out of those who accepted you. Make plans for putting down your deposit(s).
  • Don’t demand a decision right now…you may get one but it will not be the one you want.

Be “pleasantly persistent” as we move into April and May, which are prime decision-making times for schools as their deposit deadlines pass. And always remember that professionalism and good manners go a long way in this business!

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