Spring 2022 Recommended Courses Chart

It is that time of year again! Each semester we receive many questions from pre-law students regarding courses helpful in preparation for law school in advance of course registration.  To assist in this process, Pre-Law Advising has made a handy chart with suggested classes pre-law students might find useful and interesting in planning and exploring a legal education.

In general, students interested in going to law school should take classes that focus on analytical and critical thinking, communication, research and writing, and when possible – legal topics of interest. The recommended course list includes classes from many different disciplines that might serve one, or more, of these goals.  Take a look at the chart to find courses that are both interesting to you and will help build necessary skills for law school.

Click Here for the list of Spring 2022 Recommended courses!

Please keep in mind that this list should not be viewed as exhaustive as there are many beneficial courses offered each semester.  This list should be used to highlight courses of particular interest and give a broad overview of options. 

Want to learn more?

Join us for two upcoming programs to learn more about courses and curricular offerings at UIUC for pre-law students!

Not sure what to take? 

Schedule a pre-law advising meeting or stop by open office hours to discuss course options!

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Where to Apply?

Deciding which law schools to apply to is an important and complicated decision. Unfortunately, some people let their decision making process be dominated by one or two factors, such as ranking or location, when there are many other important things to be considered. The ultimate goal should be to apply to law schools that will be the right fit for you based on multiple factors that will ultimately contribute to your success.

Let’s look at some strategies to approach this decision and factors you should consider as you decide which law schools might be the right fit for you…

The first cut: General indicators

GPA and LSAT is a good place to start in narrowing your list as these are some of the clearest indicators of credentials common for prior successful applicants.  Your GPA and LSAT scores will help you decide which schools are reasonably likely to take a close look at your application.   Medians are reported in the annual ABA 509 reports for each school and can always be found on the law school websites.

TIP:  There is no secret formula here. Being at or above the median doesn’t mean automatic acceptance and being below it doesn’t mean automatic rejection. However, comparing your LSAT score and GPA against reported medians can help you determine if your application has a reasonable chance of success, understanding that the closer to at or above medians you are – the more attractive application you will be.

Once you have a list of possible schools, think about the factors that are most important to you. What do you want from a legal education? Here are some factors to consider:

    • School Size.  Law school class sizes can vary from around 100 to 400 +.  Do you thrive in larger or smaller environments?  Do you prefer smaller classes or larger ones?  What type of school community do you think you would enjoy?  Does having greater access for one-on-one experiences with your professors, administrators, and other resources appeal to you?
    • Location. Geography can be important. Where would you like to be while in school, and where would you like to end up after graduation? Is being near family important,  what  impact does location have on living expenses? Schools with greater national reputations will traditionally have greater success in placing students at a wider-range of locations.  If you know where you would like to live following law school – perhaps schools more regionally located will position you well for success.
    • Scholarships and Financial Aid. Law school is expensive and affordability is an important factor to consider not only during law school but for your financial future. Research a school’s scholarship history, keeping in mind that most schools are awarding the majority of scholarships based on LSAT and GPA (merit based).  Also consider what type of earning potential a degree from a school would offer you – what are the median starting salaries for recent grads.
    • Career Goals. Do you know what type of career you would like to have – public interest, big law, government?  Schools report very helpful details about post-graduation employment for their law graduates.  Research and ask questions to learn more about how schools have supported prior graduates – keeping in mind questions about geographic placements as well.
    • Academics. Look for schools that have the right academic fit for you and your interests. Some school’s approach law study from a more traditional viewpoint, while others may place more emphasis on practical learning opportunities – most law schools will have a balanced curriculum between the two.  Consider all types of academic opportunities that you might be interested in such as legal clinics, moot court and trial advocacy programs, study abroad, class structure, multi-disciplinary classes, and internships or externships can all be important parts of your legal education.

TIP: Do you know what type of law you are interested in?  While your interests may change as you move thru your legal education, if you are starting law school with a strong area of interest – be sure your schools of choice has academic courses and programs that can help prepare you for this area of law.

    • Reputation. Law school rankings may be relevant in the legal world, but they are not everything. There can be advantages to attending the highest ranked law school that you can, but not if it is at the expense of other factors, such as those discussed above. What you want is the school where you can be most successful.
Do your research!

Once you have decided on the most important qualities of a law school for you – it is time to research to determine if a school is a good fit.  Fortunately there is lots of information available to help you decide where to send your applications. Do your research and really get to know the school you are interested in before applying. Here are some recommendations on resources for your research:

ABA 509 Reports

https://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/Disclosure509.aspx

These annual reports, submitted by each accredited law school, give you lots of information about the admissions process. Things like the number of applications received, percentage admitted, and median LSAT and GPAs of admitted students are included in the reports, along with tuition and scholarships and aid. Another set of reports will tell you about bar passage rates, where graduates were placed geographically, and what kinds of jobs the accepted.  Information is reported to the ABA each year, stay tuned for 2021 data which has been reported and will be available soon.

LSAC Website

https://www.lsac.org/choosing-law-school

The Law School Admission Council website has a wealth of information about choosing law schools. They cover everything from finding schools to evaluating them and financing your education. 

TIP: The Official Guide to Law Schools data search allows you to search geographically or with your GPA/LSAT data comparing your credentials to school medians.  This a great database for doing some early identification of potential schools.

Law schools websites

Once a school is on your radar be sure to check out their website. The admissions pages will have a trove of information about what the school is looking for in applicants, along with profile information about the school and its programs. Other parts of the website can be very informative about faculty, academic programs, and student life at that law school.

US News and World Reports and OthER Rankings

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings

Us News and World Reports ranks colleges and universities, along with undergraduate and graduate programs. Their law school rankings should NOT be considered the authority on what is a “good” law school.  However, US News, and organizations like it, compile helpful information on many different aspects of law programs which are easily searchable, assisting greatly in finding many data points about a school giving you more information to aid in evaluating a school from many different contexts.

Organization is Key!

As you begin compiling a list of schools and researching you will need a place to store and manage this information.  You will need to be able to compare and contrast various information about the schools, including deadlines and other factors.  Keep in mind you will refer to this information not only prior to applying, but once you move into your ultimate decision making process following acceptance. Here is an example* of how that information might be organized:

*Data is for example purposes only, please check current law school websites for current 2021 data and information.

Perspectives from our Graduate Assistant

Courtney Koenig

We spoke to our GA, Courtney Koenig, currently a 3L student at the University of Illinois College of Law, about what the law school application process was like for her. Here are her thoughts on three specific application issues:

Location:At this particular stage, I was focused on where the school was located for assessing whether I wanted to live in that region for the next three years. I looked at job placement location at a later stage, once I had offers of admission.”

Credentials: I looked at schools where I thought I would be a competitive candidate. Schools where my LSAT and GPA were close to the medians. I did have target, safety, and aspirational schools.”

 Financial Consideration: I looked at the price of schools and compared that to the cost of living/cost of attendance (COA) for where the school was located. I also considered what scholarships would be available and if I would be competitive for them. “

Final Thoughts 

Applying to law school is a complicated process with many decisions to make. The most important thing is that you identify schools that will do the most to help you succeed. Careful consideration of the factors that are important to you, combined with careful research about potential schools, will help you make the right application decisions.

Remember, we are here to help! You can schedule an advising appointment with a Pre-Law Advisor.  There are two types of appointments:

      • Pre-Law Advising
      • Document Review (Personal Statement, Resume, and Addendums)

Schedule online at: https://go.oncehub.com/PreLawAdvisingatIllinois

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October Snapshot

October is officially here which calls for the start of a busy application season! Below is a list of important dates, upcoming events, internship deadlines, and reminders for this month!

October 1: LSAT Deadline– Last day to register for the November LSAT!

October 1: Internship Deadline– Intern for Tammy Duckworth for Spring 2022. Click here for more information.

October 4: Internship Deadline– Humanities Gateway Internship in Public Media and Civic Engagement. For more information click here.

October 4: Leadership Deadline– Provost’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Board applications due. Click here for more information.

October 5: PLAS Event: Law Schools Across America- Big 10 Highlights at 5:00 pm. For more information or to register click here.

October 5: UIUC Counseling Center Workshop-“Maintaining Mid-Term Season Self-Care” in Bevier Hall 132 at 7:00 pm.

October 6: AccessLex: Webinar- “Choosing a Law School” at 11:00 am. For more information click here.

October 6: Law Chat Live @ Noon: Where to Apply?

October 6: Loyola University Chicago School of Law: Fall Series- “Road to Loyola, Application Insights” at 3:00 pm via Zoom. Click here for more information.

October 7: Campus Legal Internship Deadline The Office of University Counsel: Legal Administrative Intern.  Click here for more information.

October 7: AccessLex: Webinar- “Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach For Underrepresented Students” at 7:00 pm. Click here for more information.

October 8: LSAC Forum– San Francisco. Click here for more information.

October 8: UIUC College of Law: Virtual CLE- “We Have to Talk: Navigating Challenging Conversations About Diversity” at Noon via Zoom. To register, click here.

October 9-12: October LSAT Administration. Good luck to all of our test takers!

October 12: PLAS Workshop: Pre-Law 101: Session 1 at 5:00 pm. Click here to register.

October 12: Indiana University- Maurer School of Law: Virtual Admissions Information Session at 5:00 pm. Click here to register.

October 12: UIUC Career Center: Workshop- “Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter” (in-person) at 5:00 pm. Click here for more information.

October 12: UIUC Counseling Center: Workshop- “Enhancing Prioritization and Time Management” Gregory Hall room 319 at 7:00 pm.

October 13: UIUC Gies College of Business Undergraduate Success Lab: Pre-Law Information Session 1 at 4:00 pm. Click here to register.

October 13: Siebel Center for Design: Kit Walsh, “A Practical Framework to Combat Automated Injustice” from 12-1pm. Click here for more information.

October 13: UIUC Career Center: Workshop- “Creating Your Powerful Resume” (in-person) at 5:00 pm. Click here for more information.

October 14: PLAS Workshop:  Drafting Your Application Personal Statements | Resumes | Addendums at 4:00 pm. For more information or to register click here.

October 15: University of Houston Law Center: Law in the Lone Star State- Texas Law School Admissions Panel (virtual) at 11:00 am. Click here for more information.

October 16: University of Houston Law Center: 2021 Diversity Pre-Law Symposium & Law School Admissions Fair. Click here for more information and to register.

October 16 & 17: Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center: Books to Prisoners. Click here for more information.

October 18: Internship Deadline– Congressional Black Caucus Foundation: Walmart Emerging Leaders Internship. Click here for more information.

October 18: Internship Deadline– Congressional Black Caucus Foundation: Pathways to C-Suite Internship Program. Click here for more information.

October 19: AccessLex: Webinar- “Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach for Underrepresented Students” at 3:00 pm. Click here for more information.

October 19: PLAS Workshop: Pre-Law 101: Session 2 at 5:00 pm. Click here to register.

October 19: UIUC Counseling Center: Workshop-“Helping Yourself and Others: Mental Health 101” Illini Union 209 at 7:00 pm.

October 20: Law Chat Live @ Noon: Course Highlights from Senior Students

October 20: Peace Corps Application Workshop: Interview Tips at 2:30 pm.  Click here for more information.

October 21: Peace Corps Application Workshop: Resume Tips at 11:00 am.  Click here for more information.

October 21: PLAS Event: Legal Studies Minor Info Session at 1:30 pm. Click here for more information.

October 21: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Journey Workshop- “Enhancing Stereotype Awareness” in Psych 32 at 7:00 pm. Click here for more information.

October 22: LSAC Forum– Atlanta. Click here for more information.

October 23: University of Houston Law Center: 2021 Diversity Pre-Law Symposium & Law School Admissions Fair. Click here for more information and to register.

October 24: Leadership Deadline– The Office of Undergraduate Admissions: Illinois Student Admissions Representative. Click here for more information.

October 24: Goldman Sachs: Goldman Sachs is offering two undergraduate programs in their Legal Division in Dallas, TX starting in summer 2022. Applications are encouraged to be submitted as soon as possible. For more information, click here.

October 25: AccessLex: Webinar- “Building Your Law School Budget” at 2:00 pm. Click here for more information.

October 25: PLAS Event: Law Schools Across America– Midwest Highlights at 5:00 pm. For more information or to register click here.

October 27: UIUC Gies College of Business Undergraduate Success Lab: Pre-Law Information Session 2 at 1:00 pm. Click here to register.

October 31: Internship Deadline– Congressional Black Caucus Foundation: State Farm Communications Internship. Click here for more information.

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Pre-Law Student Organizations at UIUC

Looking to get involved?  Want to connect with other pre-law students? Check out details and highlights for some of the University of Illinois pre-law student organizations!

UI Pre-Law Club

About: “The UI Pre-Law club gives students the opportunity to learn more about their pre-law journey. We host informational events with law school professors, and also host LSAT information sessions. Most importantly, we allow students to network with other pre-law students.”

How to get involved: There is no application deadline, nor GPA requirements. Members must pay dues. Contact the organization about joining.

How to connect:

    • Instagram: Uiprelaw
    • Facebook: UI Pre-Law Club
    • Website: https://illinois.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/uiplc
    • Email: prelawclubuiuc@gmail.com

How to learn more: Email to join the email listserv. Check out the website.

 

Pre-Law Honors Society

About: “The Pre-Law Honors Society is an organization that brings high-achieving undergraduate students closer to a future in the legal field. We educate members on the requirements and preparation needed to enter law school and a career in law through LSAT prep workshops, law school trips, networking opportunities, guest speakers, social events, and more.”

How to get involved: Applications are open in the first couple of weeks in the fall and spring semester. There is a minimum GPA requirement of 3.4 thus, you must have one semester completed. To apply, students must complete an application, attach their unofficial transcript and resume, and provide a 200-word statement on why they want to join. There is a one-time fee.

How to connect:

How to learn more: Visit the Instagram page for information on past events. Check out the website for information on how to apply as well as contact form to ask questions.

Additional: Pre-Law Honor Society is open to any student with even a slight interest in pursuing law – even those who haven’t decided if it’s for them yet. Members include a diverse group of students at every stage of their law school process and we want to welcome even more.

Illinois Trial Team

About: “We are a pre-law organization that focuses on creating legal arguments, public speaking, and teamwork. Teams work together to analyze a case, create a theme and theory, and make arguments. We also offer fun social events, networking opportunities, and amazing academic resources.”

How to get involved: Tryouts take place at the beginning of the academic year, in the first few weeks of the fall semester. Members also must pay dues.

How to connect:

How to learn more: Check the organization website or reach out through website or Instagram.

MAFA (Minority Association for Future Attorneys)

About: “Founded to assist, support, and advance pre-law students on their journey to law school and becoming successful attorneys.”

How to connect:

How to learn more: Follow them on social media and join their email list by clicking here.

Kappa Alpha Pi

About: “Kappa Alpha Pi is a co-ed professional pre-law fraternity. We strive for excellence in professionalism and with our academics, while also creating a welcoming organization.”

How to get involved:  New member recruitment “rush” is a multi-week process and requires payment of dues. The recruitment process typically begins at the beginning of the fall semester and ends in mid September.

How to connect:

How to learn more: Check out the Instagram and/or the KAP website.

Phi Alpha Delta

About: “Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International is the largest professional law fraternity in the United States. Founded in 1902, P.A.D. has since grown to 717 established pre-law, law, and alumni chapters and over 330,000 initiated members.”

How to get involved: There is no application deadline nor requirements besides completing local and national dues. Contact the organization about joining.

How to get connect:

How to learn more: Reach out via email or direct message on Instagram.

Phi Delta Phi

About: “Founded in 1869 at the University of Michigan, Phi Delta Phi is the nation’s oldest legal honor society in continual existence. Phi Delta Phi boasts one of the most impressive lists of alumni out there, offering some of the best membership benefits available, and creating a space for like-minded individuals to gather. Regardless of if you are interested in law school or not, this organization has something to offer you, and will bolster your experience as an undergraduate. Whether you are looking for a place to network, a place to learn, or simply a community of accepting individuals, this organization has something to offer.”

How to get involved: They have recruitment periods at the beginning of every semester. This entails both an application and interview process prior to acceptance.

How to connect:

    • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pdp_uiuc/
    • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pdp.uiuc.3
    • Twitter:  https://twitter.com/pdp_uiuc
    • Email: pdpuiuc@gmail.com

How to learn more: Connect with Phi Delta Phi on Instagram or via email at pdpuiuc@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Undergraduate Law Review

About: “The Review aims to shine a light on legal issues that affect the broader Champaign-Urbana community. We’re comprised of two organizational bodies – the executive board and the editorial board – and spend the year researching, developing, and ultimately writing articles on legal topics.”

How to get involved: The application period generally runs from late August through mid to late September, during which time the application is live on our website. Throughout the year, we consider membership requests depending on the size and progress of our organization (so don’t hesitate to reach out at any time of the year).

How to connect:

How to learn more: Visit our website, contact the president, or reach out via GetInvolved tab.

Additional: No prior experience or particular set of interests is required; we are open to anyone who would like to apply.

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Tips For Re-Applying to Law School

Achieving second round success…

If you’ve previously applied to law school but did not matriculate, you always have the option to re-apply in a subsequent year.  However, if you are re-applying, you want to take a careful strategic approach to the process. The reason or reasons you didn’t enroll previously need to be considered and dealt with if you want to succeed with your new application.

Why did you not ENROLL?

The first, and most important, question is why you didn’t enroll when you applied previously. The reason why you didn’t enroll will determine the right strategies for your new application. There are a number of possibilities:

Did you prepare to apply, but decide not to? If so, why?

Were you unhappy with your LSAT score or GPA?  Did you come across an alternative offer or opportunity that you felt you couldn’t pass up? Were there personal reasons why you didn’t proceed with your application?

Did you apply but withdraw your application? If so, why?

Were you dissatisfied with the schools that offered you admission, or the level of aid that you were offered? As with not applying, there could have been personal reasons for deciding to withdraw your application, or you could have encountered an alternative opportunity. Did something unexpected come up in your life?

Did you apply but not get an offer of admission? Why do you think that happened?

Failing to get an offer of admission from a law school is disappointing, but it certainly does happen.  Last year’s application cycle yielded an unprecedented increase in application volume – meaning it was a very competitive year.

One factor can be timing. Rolling admissions means that those who apply later in the cycle often face a more competitive process – as many offers of admission have already been extended.   Timing could mean you didn’t get an offer even though you might have had you applied earlier in the cycle.

Another factor could be the quality of your application. A rushed personal statement or poorly proofread resume could have led to an unsuccessful outcome. Similarly, the content of your resume could have been problematic.

It is also possible to have had unrealistic expectations about your chances of being admitted to the law schools you applied to, were your LSAT score and GPA competitive at these schools?

Were you waitlisted?

Many law school applicants experience being waitlisted. Keep in mind that being waitlisted is not the same as being rejected or denied an admissions offer. Applicants who are placed on the waitlist are effectively qualified, admissible candidates and students are admitted off waitlists each year. The fact that you were waitlisted should inform your strategy, particularly for schools that you intend to resubmit application to.  Fundamentally your application was good – it does not meant that you should not revisit and strengthen your application, but you do not need to re-invent the wheel.

 

Once you have considered carefully why you didn’t enroll after your previous application, that reason or reasons should inform your strategy for your new application. Let’s consider some strategies.

    • If personal reasons or alternative opportunities interfered with your previous application, have those issues been resolved, or the opportunities fully explored? If not, you should resolve those issues.
    • If your academic profile was an issue, have you taken steps to improve that profile?  Have you re-taken the LSAT,  can you?  Was your GPA at graduation higher than when you applied?  Did you engage in more advanced coursework as a senior that was not represented at the time you applied?
    • Can your application materials be improved?  Do they need to be?

Resume – always update your resume to reflect your most current activities and achievements.  This should be updated and revisited prior to re-applying.

Personal Statement – You may want to update your personal statement, depending on your situation. If your experiences and motivations have changed you should update it. Similarly if it could just be better written, then definitely write it again.

Addendums – Whether or not to update addendums will depend on if there is new information to be added. Otherwise they can be left alone.

LOR – If you have new or better recommenders you will want to update your letters of recommendation. However, this is not necessary if your previous LORs were strong.

Transcripts – Transcripts should be updated if you have done more academic work since your last application.

Whatever your situation, when re-applying remember that the Prelaw Advising Services office is here to help. Our services are available for free to all current Illini and alumni. Learn more at prelaw.illinois.edu!

Bonus Tip:  How did you leave it?

When re-applying to a particular school you should be mindful of how you left things with your previous application.

    • If you withdrew an application to that school, you may want to discuss that fact with the admissions personnel. They may have concerns about why you withdrew.
    • Similarly, if you declined a previous offer of admission, this will be a point of concern.  Why did you decline, what has changed?
    • Finally, if your application was declined previously you should consider carefully what has changed that makes you a better candidate, and how to communicate that in your application.

 

 

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Making the Most of Law Fairs

 

Law Fairs provide a unique opportunity each for applicants, and those with future law school goals, to learn more about some of their top choice programs, connect with admissions officers, and discover new schools you may not have considered!  Attending law fairs can be an extremely beneficial part of your strategy for successful admission to your dream school.

Review a list of tips and suggestions shared at our recent Law Chat Live event for some helpful perspectives to make your law fair experience as successful as possible!

Check out our events page for details on upcoming workshops and stay tuned for details on our new Law School Panels this fall exclusively for Illini students and alumni featuring some of the nation’s leading programs! Learn more about upcoming forums or fairs at lsac.org and on our website.

Appointment with a Pre-Law Advisor:  Click here to sign up for an individual or document review appointment with a Pre-Law Advisor.

Good Luck!

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Back to School Snapshot: August – September

WELCOME BACK!

We hope that your summer was relaxing, restorative, and productive!  We are looking forward to reconnecting with you – whether you are planning to apply to law school during the upcoming cycle, considering whether law school might be right for you in a few years, or beginning your academic journey.

Be sure to visit the blog regularly for information and resources, and the monthly Snapshots which are updated weekly with new events and programs!

August 23:  First Day of Classes – Welcome Back!!!

August 25:  LSAT Deadline Registration for October Exam

August 30:  PLAS Workshop:  Application Roadmap at 4:00 pm.  For more information or to register click here.

August 31: PLAS Workshop:  Drafting Your Application Personal Statements | Resumes | Addendums at 4:00 pm.  For more information or to register click here.

September 1:  Law Chat Live @ Noon:  Maximizing the Law Fair Experience

September 2: PLAS: Last day to sign up for a LSAT study group. Registration ends at 11:59pm. Click here to register. 

September 3:  UIUC Fall 2021 Semester Course Add Deadline

September 6:  Labor Day – No Classes

September 8:  Registration Deadline September LSAC Digital Forum (Law Fair)

September 9: AccessLex: Webinar-Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach For Underrepresented Students at 11am. Click here for more information. 

September 10:  LSAC Digital Forum (Law Fair)

September 11: LSAC: Boston Law Fair from 1-3pm. Click here for more information.

September 13: AccessLex: Webinar-Applying to Law School at 2pm. Click here for more information.

September 15:  Law Chat Live @ Noon: Tips for Re-Applying

September 16: PLAS Workshop:  Drafting Your Application Personal Statements | Resumes | Addendums at 4:00 pm.  For more information or to register click here.

September 16, 17, 18 and 19: 8th Annual National HBCU Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo 2021. Click here to learn more and to register.

September 18: WCC Mock Admissions Committee Workshop and Law School Fair from 10:00-12:00pm PDT. Click here to register.

September 20:  PLAS Workshop: Pre-Law 101: Session 1 at 5:00 pm. Click here to register.

September 20: AccessLex: Webinar-Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach For Underrepresented Students at 8pm. Click here for more information. 

September 21:  PLAS Workshop:  Application Roadmap at 4:00 pm.  For more information or to register click here.

September 21: AccessLex: Webinar-The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment at 11am. Click here for more information.

September 22: AccessLex: Webinar-Paying for Law School at 6pm. Click here for more information. 

September 23:  Registration Deadline LSAC Chicago Forum (Law Fair)

September 23:  PLAS Workshop:  Drafting Your Application Personal Statements | Resumes | Addendums at 4:00 pm.  For more information or to register click here.

September 25:  LSAC Forum – Chicago (in-person).  Register online early to select a time-slot.

September 26: The Office of the Provost is accepting applications for appointment to the 2021-2022 Provost’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Board. Click here to apply.

September 27:  PLAS Workshop: Pre-Law 101: Session 2 at 5:00 pm. Click here to register.

September 28:  Virtual Law Fair for Illinois Students via Handshake (Day 1 MAPLA Caravan): Click here to register.

September 28: AccessLex: Webinar-The Road to Licensure at 2pm. Click here for more information. 

September 29:  LSAT Deadline Registration for November Exam

September 29:  MAPLA Caravan (Law Fair) Day 2:  in-person at University of Iowa

September 29: Student Affairs: In Focus Series: First day of the First Fall Series.  This in person series will be offered every Wednesday from 1:00-2:20pm until October 20. Click here for more information.

September 29: Tucker Ellis: Careers in Intellectual Property Law from 3:30-5:00pm. You can join virtually or in-person. Click here for more information.

September 30:  MAPLA Caravan (Law Fair) Day 3: in-person at University of Minnesota

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July 2021 Snapshot

July 1: Harvard Junior Deferral Program Application Deadline

July 2:  LSAT Deadline – August LSAT Exam Registration Deadline

July 5: Designated University Holiday – Offices Closed

July 6: Access Lex Champions Information Session at 12:00 pm (EST).  Click here for additional information.

July 6: Access Lex The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment at 3:00 pm (EST).  Click here for additional information.

July 12: PLAS 21-22 Application Preview Workshop at 5:00 pm (CST) via Zoom

July 16: MSU Spartan Law Preview Day from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (virtual). Click here for additional information.

July 25: LSAT Deadline – August LSAT Exam Assistance Request Deadline (for required technology, internet access, or quiet space)

July 30-31:  2021 ASAP: Achieving Success in the Law School Admissions Process hosted by CLEO. Click here for registration information.

 

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June 2020 Snapshot

June 1:  Seat Deposit Deadlines!  Starting law school in the fall?  Have you paid your 2nd Deposit? Many schools have second deposits due in the first few weeks of June – be sure you have completed this step by the deadline!

June 2: Registration Open Now for Duke Law School’s D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy (in July).

June 3: Access Lex The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment webinar at 1:00 pm (CT).

June 3: Access Lex Building Your Law School Budget webinar at 8:00 pm (CT)

June 3 – June 10:  LSAT Deadline – June Scheduling Deadline (through ProctorU)

June 4: CLEO – Achieving Success in the Application Process (ASAP) Program registration deadline.

June 4: Application Deadline –  Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Institute summer program.

June 4: Application DeadlineUC Davis School of Law King Hall Outreach Program (KHOP) for pre-law students.

June 8: Access Lex Applying to Law School webinar at 2:00 pm (CT)

June 10: Access Lex Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach For Underrepresented Students webinar at 11:00 am (CT)

June 10: University of San Francisco School of Law Legal Area Information Session: Environmental Law with Professor Kaswan  webinar from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm PST. Click here to register.

June 12:  June LSAT Administration Begins

June 19 – June 20: CLE 1L Prep – Attitude Is Essential (AIE) Seminar for Fall 21 first year students.  Registration/application is on a rolling basis, register early to attend!

June 21: Application Deadline – Latino Justice PRLDEF – LawBound summer program (in August) for pre-law students.

June 22: LSAC – Law School Unmasked for incoming 1Ls – Session 1: Lawyers as Leaders: Mapping Your Own Leadership Journey.  Click here for additional information.

June 23:  LSAC Workshop Utilizing Khan Academy for LSAT Prep Success at 1:00 pm (CT). Register online to attend.

June 23: LSAC – Law School Unmasked for incoming 1Ls – Session 2: Structure of Law School.  Click here for additional information.

June 24: LSAC – Law School Unmasked for incoming 1Ls – Session 3: Dispelling Misconceptions: Biggest Surprises in IL.  Click here for additional information.

June 29: LSAC – Law School Unmasked for incoming 1Ls – Session 4: Skills Needed for Law School: Critical Thinking.  Click here for additional information.

June 30: LSAC – Law School Unmasked for incoming 1Ls – Session 5: Skills Needed for Law School: Briefing a Case.  Click here for additional information.

Check back throughout the month for updates to listed events and programs.

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Summer Series: Networking and Outreach

This summer we will be sharing tips and suggestions for students beginning law school this fall,  those returning students preparing for law school applications,  or students still exploring their interest in law for a future year!  Be sure to check back throughout the summer for additional topics and information featured in our Summer Tips Series!

NETWORKING

Networking is an important skill-set for future law students and attorneys.  As a law student you will have many opportunities to network with school alumni, legal professionals, and potential future employers.  Many students obtain summer employment or permanent positions through networking activities, and individuals you meet through networking may lead to mentors who can provide invaluable advice and insights as you navigate your educational and professional choices over many years.

Developing networking skills as an undergraduate student will not only assist you in developing potential relationships to assist you with internship opportunities and law applications – but will start preparing you to excel at networking as a law student.  Below are some resources and tips to assist you in this process…

    • Be Brave: Networking can be intimidating and uncomfortable, particularly as you begin developing these skills.   Networking, like any new skill, will get easier over time and the best way to move past anxiety or uncertainty is to just do it! Consider setting a goal of 1-3 networking opportunities this summer.  Keep reading below for ideas on how to create these opportunities…
    • Be Realistic – Set Expectations:  Often individuals approach networking experiences with the ultimate goals of future job offers or mentors.  Engaging in networking with only these goals in mind can increase pressure and anxiety.   Networking experiences do not need to result in these ultimate goals to be valuable.  Consider engaging in networking with these additional goals in mind:
        • Acquiring Skills: Practice makes perfect.  If you are new to networking – think of initial experiences as an opportunity to develop your communication and conversational skills.  Use these opportunities to work on asking meaningful questions and conducting conversations in a way that you learn something about the individuals you engage with, and find ways to share information about yourself.
        • Acquiring Information: Given an opportunity to interact with professionals – it is a wonderful chance for you to learn and gain insights about being a lawyer, law school, or different areas of law that might interest you.  Entering networking opportunities with the mindset of gaining knowledge can help drive your conversations, contemplate topics to discuss, and provide invaluable insights to clarify your own goals.
          • Networking in a group? As opportunities for larger in-person events resume, don’t forget to be a good observer as well.  Observing how others navigate networking opportunities can provide great models for how you may wish to approach situations, or how NOT to approach situations.
    • Identify Opportunities: Networking opportunities come in many shapes and sizes.  They may be one-on-one opportunities facilitated through alumni mentor programs, reception events, or employment fairs.  As you move through opportunities consider who will be attending and what knowledge they may have which could benefit your goals.  Here are some tips for identifying opportunities this summer:
        • Pre-Law Programs: There are a number of pre-law programs during the summer months.  These programs may include law professionals, students, faculty, and law admission experts.  Stay current with the Monthly Snapshots on this blog, LSAC Events, and admissions office calendars for schools you are interested in to identify opportunities.
        • Current Connections: Do you have a friend, relative, or family acquaintance that is involved in the legal profession or law school?   Reach out this summer or ask to be introduced.  Request a meeting to chat over zoom, coffee, or lunch.  If you have previously worked or volunteered in a professional setting – consider reaching back out to a former supervisor or member of the organization to maintain your relationship and work on your skills.  
        • Look Local:  Home for the summer?  Contact the local bar association to ask if they run mentor programs for prospective law students.  Be bold and reach out to a law firm or law office to introduce yourself and ask if an attorney would be willing to have an informational interview with you.  If your courthouse permits public attendance at hearings, consider engaging in court watching.  Be sure to check local restrictions related to COVID.
        • University Programs and Events:  Look to your academic department or college for opportunities to network with professionals, alumni, and senior students.  Is there an alumni mentor program available to you?  Is there an upcoming career event or program?  If your not sure – reach out and ask.  Don’t forget to ask about future events – calendar now to engage in programs next fall or spring.
        • Career Events:  Networking events do not need to be specifically law related to benefit your law goals – is there an opportunity this summer that could give you a chance to improve skills.  Check out the Career Center website for possible options.
    • Develop a Plan:  Networking can take place in many different forms and formats.  Some opportunities will be carefully curated, while others may require you to seize the moment.  Regardless of the opportunity you should approach with intention.  Keep the following in mind this summer:
        • Identify Opportunities.  Whether it is facilitating a one-on-one meeting or attending an event,  determine what type of opportunities you would like to engage in and what your goals will be (gaining knowledge, professional connection, future job or internship opportunity).
        • Manage Logistics. If it is an event, sign-up and calendar the program – confirming in advance you have all necessary software/information to participate.  If you will be reaching out for an individual meeting –  plan in advance by giving several weeks to schedule.   Be sure you suggest a time-frame to meet where you have a wide-range of availability.
            • What will you wear?  Make sure you dress appropriately for your event.  Does the event have a recommended dress code (even if the event is virtual), if you don’t know ask. For individual meetings, plan on business or business casual attire depending on the setting and time of day.
        • Research and Prepare.  Whether you are meeting with an individual, participating in a program or attending a large career fair – you will want to research in advance to gain knowledge about the individual/companies that you will interact with.  Use this research to begin formulating questions and topics you might wish to discuss.  Consider your overall goals and benefits you hope to obtain to focus your questions as well.  Being knowledgeable and prepared will not only demonstrate your interest, but also key professional qualities.
        • Think about Yourself.  What do you hope to share about yourself?  Think about your story – including key personal attributes or experiences you might wish to share.  Determine these aspects in advance so that you are prepared to weave them into conversations naturally as the opportunity is presented. 
            • First impressions matter. Practice introducing yourself, handshakes, and eye contact.  Small things can make a big impression!
        • Don’t Forget Small Talk.  Memorable networking opportunities often include interaction not specifically related to careers or professional topics.  Be prepared to talk about a wide variety of topics.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with local/national/world topics in the weeks leading up to your networking event.  Think about your interests and hobbies and what you might share with others.   These “small talk” aspects of networking are often what set-apart those who are exceptionally skilled at networking from those who aren’t.  This is also a great way to make a connection on a personal level.
        • Get Organized.  As your opportunities to network increase determine how you will maintain information about individuals you connect with.  Consider an online address book or spreadsheet for emails/phone/website information.  Consider adding notes about the individual and your conversation for reference later, particularly for individuals you may wish to connect with in the future.
        • Follow-Up. For individual meetings, always follow-up with a thank you email.  Be sure to include a request to stay in touch in the future if you would like to connect again and make a calendar reminder to make a follow-up outreach.  You could also consider connecting through professional social media – such as LinkedIn.  If you interreacted with an individual at an larger event or listened to a presentation at a program, consider reaching out to request an opportunity to speak individually.  Be sure to reference the event or program for context.
Additional Resources:

UIUC Networking Tips

UIUC Networking Success Stories

UIUC Virtual Networking

ABA Networking Tips

Forbes 5 Best Ways to Network

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