Mark Your Calendars: Week of October 30

Pre-Law Events

Pre-Law 101: TODAY at 4:00 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. This workshop is designed for incoming students who are new to pre-law or are interested in learning more about it. We will cover: What it means to be pre-law at Illinois, course selection, majors, and extracurriculars, building a pre-law resume, and what law schools are really looking for. We will outline a four year plan to maximize your undergraduate experiences in order to make a great law school candidate. We’ll also take any questions about law school and legal careers. Incoming students should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. NOTE: THE FINAL PRE-LAW 101 OF THE SEMESTER WILL BE HELD NEXT MONDAY, NOV. 7 REGISTER HERE FOR THAT SESSION.

Interested in Patent Law and the Patent Bar? Do not miss this great event!

Patent Bar Exam Session Nov 15, 2017   5:00 – 6:00 pm  335 Grainger Engineering Library

The patent bar exam is the required first step to becoming either a patent agent for the United States Patent & Trademark Office or a patent prosecutor/litigator as a practicing attorney. Students with a background in engineering and the sciences (such as biology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, computer science) are eligible to sit for this exam. (To see all exam requirements, visit the link below).  Join us for this Patent Bar session to learn about the exam from an expert. Mark Dighton, Director of the Practicing Law Institute Patent Office Exam Course, will be here to answer all of your questions about the patent bar, including:

  • What exactly does the patent bar cover?
  • When and how often can you take it?
  • How do people prepare for the exam?
  • What is the format of the exam, and how are results received?
  • What is a passing score for the exam?

He’ll also answer any other questions you have about the patent bar exam. This session is specifically designed for those undergrad and graduate students in engineering, science, or technology disciplines who are eligible to sit for the patent bar.

For a list of eligible majors or backgrounds visit  https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/OED_GRB.pdf This is a free event. Please register at the link here so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

 Register Now to attend the FREE Midwest Law School Virtual Fair on Nov. 7th
Meet Admissions Representatives & Faculty from Law Schools in the Midwestern U.S. Live Online!

Chat with admissions pros from over 30 midwestern law schools including Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Michigan State, DePaul, Valparaiso, and more! This is a free and easy way to learn about programs and to interact with law school representatives with no travel necessary. For more information and to register, click here.

Other Campus Events

Political Science hosts Careers in Political Science on Friday, Nov. 3 from 1:00-4:30 in the Illini Union Room 314B. They’ll have a panel followed by breakout sessions with political science alumni with work experience in law, business, government, insurance, data science, and journalism! For more details visit their website here.

Writer’s Workshop will host Writing Effective Thesis Statements & Essay Organization Workshop on 11/2/17 4:00pm-5:00pm, Gregory Hall, room 207
Are you writing an argumentative or analytical essay? This presentation will review the basic principles for creating effective thesis statements. It will also help students review common essay structures and strategies. You will have the opportunity to put this principles into practice, so bring a current assignment to work on. This workshop will be most useful to undergraduate students.

Writer’s Workshop–Interpreting & Using Critical Feedback Workshop on 11/7/17 4:00pm-5:00pm, Lincoln Hall, room 1024. Feeling overwhelmed by the critical feedback you’re receiving from your professors, advisers, and/or collaborators? This workshop will help you assess, integrate, and respond to critical feedback in the revision process. The workshop will be most helpful to graduate students or undergraduates working on senior theses or capstone projects.

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Course Selection for Pre-Law Students: Part 2

We previously shared a list of possible Spring 2018 courses of interest to pre-law students (click here to see that post). What else should you know about building your semester schedule? Here are several tips and suggestions to help pre-law students make the most of your upcoming semesters.

Students really can major in ANYTHING and be successful in law school, but you must be a strong student in whatever you choose. 

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

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

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

Use your major(s) and minor(s) to complement each other. If you have a major that does not necessarily demonstrate lots of writing or research skills, then selecting a minor or secondary major that does is a smart balance. Unusual combinations of majors/minors can also show a law school someone who is intellectually curious and able to succeed in a wide variety of coursework.

Consider changing majors, especially if you are not able to achieve mostly As and some Bs in your coursework.

Do not make course selections for these reasons:

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

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

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

You must prioritize academics if law school is your goal. Don’t get distracted from your goal of law school admission. If being president of a social organization or volunteering too much affects your grades, it’s time to dial back your extracurriculars and rededicate yourself to your role as a student. Law schools will not care that the reason your grades suffered is because you were planning a big fundraiser…that shows them a lack of prioritizing and time management skills.

Build important academic skills. Right now you are building academic skills and habits which you will rely on when you transition to law school, where the work is much harder and infinitely more time consuming than your undergraduate studies. Now is the time to master discipline (not procrastinating), effective note taking, reading comprehension and speed, attention to detail in your writing, citing your work appropriately, giving an effective speech, and managing your time. All of these are skills that you will be expected to bring with you into your law school classroom.

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

 

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December 2017 LSAT Study Groups

Taking the December 2017 LSAT? The test is only 5 weeks away!

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the December 2017 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Wednesday October 25th at 9AM. Study groups will be assigned next week.

Please click the link here to sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/QAJqodO8Js5i5BlB3

 

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December LSAT Update: What to know and do for December takers

The December 2 LSAT is only 6 weeks away, and the deadline to register is tomorrow! Based on the increase in September LSAT takers and last year’s December LSAT data, we predict that there will be a lot of December takers, so register now to get your preferred location. Register here: https://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines/2017-2018/us-canada-dec

Are you still trying to decide whether to retake? You’ll want to ask yourself some careful questions. Revisit this blog post for data on retakers, advice on deciding to retake, and next steps: http://publish.illinois.edu/…/what-to-do-now-that-the-lsat…/.

The timing of the December LSAT is challenging for current students, since it is so close to finals. How can you maximize your performance?

  • Clear your schedule as much as possible. With upcoming papers, projects, and assignments, November is going to be busy. You want to devote at least 10-15 hours per week to LSAT prep. (It’s only temporary.)
  • Make sure that you are taking TIMED, FULL LENGTH exams as part of your prep. Timing is a key issue for most LSAT takers.
  • Follow up with your recommendation writers and order your transcripts (click on “hold for fall grades” when ordering) so that your applications can be complete as soon as December LSAT scores are reported in January.
  • Take advantage of fall break to really crank up your LSAT prep.
  • If you are retaking:
    • Be realistic about how much improvement and progress you can make in 6 weeks. The average retaker scores within 2.5 points of where they scored last–which can be significant, in LSAT terms, but does not suggest that a jump of 10 points is likely.
    • Use your score report to carefully assess what questions you missed. Was what you missed consistent with your LSAT prep? Or did you find some surprises?
    • Consider: What can you do differently to prepare this time? Using a different book, teacher, or resource can help you progress. (You can use our LSAT Resources handout on our Compass page to find new study tools.)

 

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Spring 2018 Course Options for Pre-Law Students: Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on course selections for pre-law students. This post will present many different course options to consider. 

As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework. However, given an interest in law, here are some spring courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENGL 310: Unprotected Speech. Description from the instructor:

This semester, we will study the workings of our language through the lens of protected and unprotected speech and writing: what we can say without fear of legal consequences, and what we can’t. Starting with the murderous attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and the recent clash between the First and Second Amendments in Charlottesville, and free-speech issues at Yale, Berkeley, Missouri, and the U of I, as well as other campuses, we’ll look at the history of censorship, speech bans, and government surveillance of speech. We’ll see how the boundaries between permitted and banned speech shift over time and with context; how advances in technology change the border between public speech and private speech; whether speech codes are desirable or indefensible; and how the concept of intellectual property informs and limits what we can do with our words, and with the words of others.

All readings will be available on line. Students will be asked to write several short papers on the topics covered, and to participate in a moot court on a current free-speech court case.

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

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

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

LAW 199:The Judicial System. Enrollment in this class, which meets on Fridays from   1-4 pm, is limited to 12 students. Here are course details and application procedures directly from the course instructor:

The purpose of the class is to take a deep dive into the criminal justice system.  Every other week we go off campus to visit state and federal judges, prosecutors, public defenders, legal aid lawyers, and other legal professionals.   We learn what they do, how they do it, and what is both challenging and rewarding about their jobs.  We also observe court proceedings, and see what happens in state and federal courts.

On the alternate weeks, we gather in the College of Law classroom to review the textbook content, take short quizzes, discuss prior visits, and prepare for upcoming visits.  We also ponder the social and legal inequalities that pervade the justice system through movie clips describing cases of particular noteworthiness.  In short, we work to become familiar with the justice system and the people who support it, and we think about the many challenges it must address.

If you are interested in applying, please prepare a document with the following information:

1) Your name and email address;
2) Why this course interests you;
3) What you hope to learn during the semester; and
4) How you will manage your schedule so that you will be available Friday afternoons for our class meetings and field trips.

Please bring a paper copy of your application document–by October 27–to the College of Law, Room 338  (for our Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, Ellen Rund).  If no one is in the office, you may slip the application under the door.  (Documents often come to us that way.) Students will be contacted the following week with offers of admission. 

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

Philosophy options include:

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning. Especially helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics.  Basic exploration of ethics, including the relationship between social morality and the law.
  • PHIL 436: Philosophy of Law and the State. Explores broad philosophical legal issues.

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

  • PS 220/321: Intro to Public Policy/Principles of Public Policy
  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II are both helpful primers for law school
  • PS 303/313: The US Congress/Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 280: Intro to International Relations

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

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

  • SOC 226: Political Sociology
  • SOC 275: Criminology
  • SOC 378: Law and Society

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

  • ACE 403: Agricultural Law
  • JOUR 311: Media Law
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport
  • SE 400 Engineering Law
  • GEOG 210: Social & Environmental Issues
  • UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law

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

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

Remember that these are only suggestions.  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 other good options.

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Online Tips for Aspiring Law Students

As a pre-law student, it is important to refine your online etiquette skills and online presence before you go to law school. Here are a few tips for aspiring law students and what you can do now to make sure you are following the do’s and dont’s online.

1.Use your ILLINOIS email account (the one that ends with @illinois.edu) when emailing University staff, professors, and other University officials.

  • However, your University of Illinois email account does expire a few months after you graduate.
  • You should have a back up email that is JUST YOUR NAME.
    • Example: If your name is John Doe, you should have a back up email that is not a University of Illinois email. Some appropriate examples are: jdoe@gmail.com, johndoe1@gmail.com, or john.doe@gmail.com

2. Have a clear subject line. If you title an email “Question” or “Inquiry” that is too general and may not get the attention of the person you are emailing.

  • Example: “Scheduling a Law School Tour at the University of Illinois College of Law” or “Meeting to Discuss Possible Letter of Recommendation” are better examples than “Tour” or “Meeting.”

3. Use the correct TITLE for the person you are emailing. When in doubt, be formal. Address emails using people’s titles (ex. Professor X, Dean X, Mrs. X, Mr. X.)

  • Especially when emailing law school professionals, double check the titles.

4. Introduce yourself when emailing new people at the beginning of the email. Introductions will help your email recipient understand the reason for the email and understand who you are, too.

  • Example: My name is John Doe and I am a sophomore in Political Science. I am emailing you about ___________.

5. Use a signature in your email. Email signatures let the recipient know the easiest way to contact you and provide some background information.

  • Example:

John Doe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Class of 2021

email: johndoe@illinois.edu

phone: 217-555-5555

6. Get a LinkedIn Account! LinkedIn is a great way to get connected with employers, connect with professionals, and find job and internship opportunities.

  • The Career Center will review your LinkedIn profile and provide feedback for free. Visit their website for more information.
  • Reviews take place on Mondays and Wednesdays 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Undergraduate Library, Consultation Corner 1402 W Gregory Drive UrbanaIL
  • For more information, click here.

7. Can’t find the University of Illinois employee, professor or advisor you are looking for? Your first step should be to use the University of Illinois Directory.

8. Think carefully about what is publicly available about you–what is your online media presence on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? Many employers and graduate schools will do an online search before hiring or admitting you. What are your privacy settings? What pictures are posted? Would you want everyone in the world to have access to those? Unfortunately, bad online decisions can live forever, so make sure you are proactive about what information you share.

 

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of October 9

Pre-Law Events

Applying to Law School Workshop–Monday, Oct. 16 at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. Designed for students who are currently in the application process, this workshop will provide an in-depth overview, including: Using the Credential Assembly Service, understanding each element of the application, making a timeline for perfecting the application, researching law schools, and creating a strategy for maximizing admissions and aid through the application process. Participants will leave with a detailed application plan, along with tips and suggestions on best application practices. The last 15 minutes will be set aside for Q&A so that individual questions can be addressed.

Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume for law School Workshop – Monday October 23 at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. The personal statement is one of the most difficult yet powerful elements of the law school application. Join us for this workshop, which will cover what the personal statement is, how to prepare for writing it, and some tips and suggestions for making it reflect an applicant’s strengths. We will also discuss how the personal statement and resume can complement each other to create a stronger law school application. Each session is the same, so select the one that best suits your schedule. Click here to register!

Interested in Patent Law and the Patent Bar? Do not miss this great event!

Patent Bar Exam Session Nov 15, 2017   5:00 – 6:00 pm  335 Grainger Engineering Library

The patent bar exam is the required first step to becoming either a patent agent for the United States Patent & Trademark Office or a patent prosecutor/litigator as a practicing attorney. Students with a background in engineering and the sciences (such as biology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, computer science) are eligible to sit for this exam. (To see all exam requirements, visit the link below).  Join us for this Patent Bar session to learn about the exam from an expert. Mark Dighton, Director of the Practicing Law Institute Patent Office Exam Course, will be here to answer all of your questions about the patent bar, including:

  • What exactly does the patent bar cover?
  • When and how often can you take it?
  • How do people prepare for the exam?
  • What is the format of the exam, and how are results received?
  • What is a passing score for the exam?

He’ll also answer any other questions you have about the patent bar exam. This session is specifically designed for those undergrad and graduate students in engineering, science, or technology disciplines who are eligible to sit for the patent bar.

For a list of eligible majors or backgrounds visit  https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/OED_GRB.pdf

This is a free event. Please register at the link here so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

College of Law Events–Pre-Law students are invited to attend!

TOMORROW! Fourth District Appellate Court Oral Arguments–Tuesday, Oct. 10, 10:30-12:30 in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium in the College of Law (504 E Pennsylvania Ave). This is your opportunity to see our Appellate Court in action as they hold oral arguments on two cases: 4-15-0650 People v. Christina Atkins, at 10:30 a.m. and 4-17-0028 Ivancicts v. Griffith, at 11:30 a.m.

The State of Civil Rights Today & The Modern Day Resistance Movement–Thursday, Oct. 17 at 12:00 pm in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium at the College of Law (504 E Pennsylvania Ave). The University of Illinois College of Law presents the 2017 Paul M. Van Arsdell, Jr. Memorial Lecture on Litigation and the Legal Profession, featuring Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided to lecture attendees. Description: Civil rights are under grave attack at the federal, state and local levels. Fragile gains have been lost as a new Administration works to roll back progress. In this lecture, Clarke will provide an overview of some of the unprecedented challenges faced by minority communities and discuss efforts being made to safeguard civil rights in this new environment. The centrality of the courts as a vehicle for protecting rights will be discussed.

Other Campus Events

Save the date for the Illini Career & Internship Fair on Thursday, October 19 from 12:00 noon-4pm in Illini Union A,B,C Rooms! Log into Handshake and click this link for more details. 

 

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Grade Replacement and Law School

It can be confusing how grade replacement works in light of law school applications. This Q&A guide will help to clarify how grade replacement impacts law school applicants. It is critical that pre-law students understand how grade replacement will be viewed by a law school admissions team.

Students: Discuss your particular situation carefully with your academic advisor before making any decisions about re-taking a course!

Q. What is the campus Grade Replacement Policy?

A. You can find the Grade Replacement Policy in the Student Code, §3-309.

Students who meet the qualifications set forth in the Policy may now re-take up to 10 hours of UIUC courses and replace a grade of “C–” or below with the grade received the second time the course was taken. The original grade will no longer be factored in to the UIUC GPA. However, the original grade will still appear on your transcript, and it WILL impact law school applications (more about that below.)

An example to illustrate:

Taylor took Math 220 at UIUC in Fall 2015 and earned a D+. Taylor decides to re-take the course, gets departmental approval for grade replacement, and re-takes Math 220 in Spring 2016. Taylor earns a C in the course this time.

In Taylor’s UIUC GPA, only the C from the Spring 2016 Math 220 will be calculated. However, both grades will appear on the transcript.

Q: How does this impact a law school application?

A: Both Math 220 grades will be factored into the GPA when applying to law schools.

When students apply to law school, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) re-calculates the GPA and submits this calculation to law schools. (You can find more information about how the LSAC re-calculates a GPA here: http://www.lsac.org/aboutlsac/policies/transcript-summarization). Basically, applicants will have two GPAs: A UIUC GPA and an LSAC GPA.

This means that law schools will receive both your UIUC GPA and your re-calculated LSAC GPA. Our office has confirmed with the LSAC that they will continue to factor both the original and the second grade for a repeated course into your LSAC GPA, even if you qualified for Grade Replacement, and even if your UIUC GPA does not include the original grade.

In short: Both Math 220 grades will appear on Taylor’s transcript AND both grades will be factored into Taylor’s law school application GPA.

Takeaway: Law school applicants cannot “hide” or remove the original grade from law school admissions, or from their GPA for law school applications.

An example to illustrate: When Taylor applies to law school, the LSAC GPA will factor in both the original D+ AND the C for both of the Math 220 courses. This GPA will be included in the reports sent to each law school to which Taylor applies. The law school will also receive an official UIUC transcript with UIUC GPA.

Q: Should pre-law students ever consider grade replacement?

A: Maybe. Don’t do grade replacement just to improve your GPA for law school application purposes. If your goal is to improve your GPA, you’d be better off taking a class that suits your strengths that is at least the same number of credits as the class you want to replace. You’d have a better chance of doing well and balancing out that low grade.

However, there may be other reasons to go for grade replacement. Two examples: (1) You need to master the material in that course in order to do well in subsequent courses; or (2) you need credit for that specific course to graduate. Talk to the academic advisor in your major to explore if there are other reasons why you should consider retaking.

Questions to consider before making a decision about re-taking a course:

• Do you need the course? Is it required or necessary to master the material for a required sequence?

• Realistically, how much better will you perform in the course a second time?

• Since you cannot “hide” the low grade from law school admissions, might you be better off taking a different course that interests you and suits your strengths?

If you decide to retake the course, carefully and realistically assess what you can do differently this time. What really caused your performance to suffer? What resources can you use this time to improve your grade? Do not assume that exposure to the material a second time will automatically improve your grade–many students get the same grade or only see slight improvement when retaking.

 

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All About Law School Interviews

Many law schools now incorporate some kind of interview process. Here’s what to know and do to prepare.

Know what kind of interviews your law schools offer

  • Research your law schools’ websites to see whether and what kind of interview is offered. We posted a list of known interview types by school over on our Compass page.
  • By invitation only–some law schools like University of Chicago choose to interview applicants by invitation only.
  • Open interviews–Other law schools like Northwestern offer interview slots to all applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. (To schedule an interview visit their interview calendar here. Hurry, because they will fill fast.)
  • Group interviews–Some schools like Georgetown will offer group interviews in selected cities; at this time Georgetown’s interview is also by invitation only.

Preparing for the interview

  • Do your research. You should expect them to ask you “why this law school?” and they will want to hear specific answers. Take a careful look at the school’s website, employment data, and any marketing materials like pamphlets.
    • Do be prepared with specific bullet points about the school that interest you: A particular journal, clinic, externship, or certificate program is a good example.
    • Don’t say general things like “you have a national reputation” or “you’re the best ranked school I can get into.” They want to see that your interest goes beyond their ranking.
  • Carefully review your resume and be prepared to discuss anything on it. Many schools will also ask something like “Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?,” so be prepared to discuss your career interests.
  • Practice. Sign up for a mock interview with Career Services, or have a lawyer/professor/trusted person sit down with you and ask you questions. Think carefully about what you want to say, and how you can best convey it.

At the interview

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

After the interview

  • Follow up with an email thanking the interviewer for their time.
  • Include something specific that you learned or enjoyed about the interview. Examples:
    • Thank you for your advice about _______________; I found that very insightful.
    • It was reassuring to hear your thoughts on the atmosphere at this school.
    • I appreciate your honesty in addressing the challenges faced by current students.
  • Take the opportunity–again–to reiterate your interest in the school.
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Mark Your Calendars: Week of October 2

Pre-Law Events

Applying to Law School Workshop–Monday, Oct. 16 at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. Designed for students who are currently in the application process, this workshop will provide an in-depth overview, including: Using the Credential Assembly Service, understanding each element of the application, making a timeline for perfecting the application, researching law schools, and creating a strategy for maximizing admissions and aid through the application process. Participants will leave with a detailed application plan, along with tips and suggestions on best application practices. The last 15 minutes will be set aside for Q&A so that individual questions can be addressed.

College of Law Events–Pre-Law students are invited to attend!

Fourth District Appellate Court Oral Arguments–Tuesday, Oct. 10, 10:30-12:30 in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium in the College of Law (504 E Pennsylvania Ave). This is your opportunity to see our Appellate Court in action as they hold oral arguments on two cases: 4-15-0650 People v. Christina Atkins, at 10:30 a.m. and 4-17-0028 Ivancicts v. Griffith, at 11:30 a.m.

The State of Civil Rights Today & The Modern Day Resistance Movement–Thursday, Oct. 17 at 12:00 pm in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium at the College of Law (504 E Pennsylvania Ave). The University of Illinois College of Law presents the 2017 Paul M. Van Arsdell, Jr. Memorial Lecture on Litigation and the Legal Profession, featuring Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided to lecture attendees. Description: Civil rights are under grave attack at the federal, state and local levels. Fragile gains have been lost as a new Administration works to roll back progress. In this lecture, Clarke will provide an overview of some of the unprecedented challenges faced by minority communities and discuss efforts being made to safeguard civil rights in this new environment. The centrality of the courts as a vehicle for protecting rights will be discussed.

Other Campus Events

Embodying Your Authentic Self: Your Key to Success, Monday, Oct. 2 at 12:00 pm at the Women’s Resources Center, 616 E Green St, Suite 202. Join us for a presentation by LaTonya Wilkins, “Embodying Your Authentic Self: Your Key to Success”, presented as a part of the Your Story Matters series. Lunch will be provided.

We’ll see you at the Majors & Minors Fair! Come out to explore majors (or a secondary major), minors, and more–including Pre-Law Advising–on Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 2-4 in Illini Union Rooms A,B,C. 

The Technology and Entrepreneur Center Information Session–Oct. 4 at 4:00 pm in Room 106B1 Engineering Hall to promote certificate programs and their new Innovation, Leadership, & Engineering Entrepreneurship, or ILEE dual degree (offered to Engineering Majors). The Technology and Entrepreneur Center or TEC is a great place for students across campus to gain additional knowledge and expertise to add to their current major. Students do not have to be in an Engineering major to participate in our courses or certificate programs. Students that are innovative, creative, problem solvers, entrepreneurial, collaborative, or passionate about making an impact on the world will find a host of opportunities in TEC. TEC is a great place to begin to team up or collaborate with students, and people from various parts of campus and the community.  Check out the TEC website, and attend one of the three info sessions listed on the attached flyer.

Save the date for the Illini Career & Internship Fair on Thursday, October 19 from 12:00 noon-4pm in Illini Union A,B,C Rooms! Log into Handshake and click this link for more details. 

 

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