Professionally Prioritizing Your Goals

As a third year law student, I should not be surprised that life hasn’t slowed down as I enter the last year of school.  But even with a job offer and the confidence that provides for post-graduation, I still found myself struggling to analyze what opportunities and responsibilities I could feasilby manage this year while continuing to strive for success and the ability to make what I felt was a meaningful difference in my various communities.

After an all-day orientation for an incredible clinic at the law school, I spent the first weekend back on campus asking myself if I could realistically commit myself to these clients seeking legal help, and I found myself feeling bad when I realized that the answer was “no”.  [If you don’t know what clinics are – check out your law schools of interest and see what they offer in terms of these practical classes that typically serve under-represented clients].  So I decided to carry out my “drop” from the course in the most professional way possible.  I sent a brief email to my specific supervisor and the director, explaining my decision and offering my services as a consultant for other law students that may find themselves in the particular area I have extensive knowledge that might of use towards serving these clients.  The next morning I stopped in the office to thank them for the opportunity and take care of any necessary paperwork before the drop deadline passed (there was none – but it is a good “line” in terms of having a task to get you into the office). 

Those steps may sound intuitive or even too simple to type out into text, but it would have been easy just to go onto the university web app and drop the course without taking these steps.  Being honest from the beginning and then professionally carrying out the tasks not only continued to foster the type of professional career that I’d like to always be striving towards, but it also helped me lose the “guilt” of letting go of an opportunity that would have been too much in the mix of all the other activities I have this semester.

I would be lying if I denied that I have also carried out these rather mundane tasks without the appropriate degree of professionalism.  Just recently I let a project run over the deadline and experienced the guilt of delaying before letting my coordinating professor know, when in the end she was incredibly graceful, respectful, and understanding – and everything worked itself out.  When you hold yourself out as consistently professional, opportunities will present themselves, and you will earn a reputation that makes you stand out above the rest.  Challenge yourself to integrate an additional “professional habit” this week – maybe in your attire, or in the way you send emails, or arriving to each class 5-10 minutes early.  If you’d like to share your goal or any interesting outcomes, email us at

If you are weighing all the activities on your plate right now, you might like these practical tips from Robert Pozen, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School whose accomplishments include a partnership at the Washington, D.C. firm of Caplin & Drysdale:


Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Thanks for a Wonderful Year! Looking forward to Fall 2013!!

The Pre-Law Advising Services office would like to thank all of our students for making 2012-2013 a wonderful year!  We hosted our largest Pre-Law Fair ever, welcomed many students for a wide-variety of programming, and had incredible turn-out for advising appointments all the way up until the end of the semester!

To our graduating Seniors — congratulations on a successful undergraduate journey!  We look forward to hearing about your experiences as law students and your advice to undergrads considering a legal career path, so keep in touch!

To our June LSAT-takers – best of luck!  You’ve prepared and will continue to prepare until the test date!  

To those with internships — enjoy your learning experiences! We can’t wait to hear how it shapes your path to a career in (or outside of) the law! 

For students returning in the fall — be sure to check our 2013-2014 Calendar when you get back!  We’ll continue providing programming to help you succeed in the most important aspects of deciding to go to and applying to law schools!  Please save the date for our Tuesday, October 22 Law Fair at the ARC to meet admissions representatives from law schools around the country.  And stay tuned for information about the kick-off of a new initiative that will help you network and create a map to accomplishing a major summer goal!

We can’t wait for another year together!  We’ll touch base periodically over the summer but will be back to our regular schedule in August with more programming, appointments, and helpful blog posts!  If you need to contact us before then please call Dimitria Johnson at 217-333-9669.  We will have some limited advising appointments later in the summer and she can set you up or direct you to the necessary resource.

Until then,

Pre-Law Advising Services Office

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Greenlight Giving CollegeCONNECT – Pilot Program free and exclusively designed for UIUC Pre-Law Students!

PLAS has a very unique opportunity we’ve arranged with a new networking initiative called “Greenlight Giving CollegeCONNECT.  This particular initiative of Greenlight Giving started as a project with Yale Law Students to develop what it means to truly network as an individual and within a committed group of similarly-focused peers.  The feedback that these students provided was unbelievably positive – and many students still report continued success and utilization of skills gained from the experience.

Now some of you may be as connected as Yale Law Students – but many of us are not! – and that’s why Greenlight decided to develop a program that can reap the same benefits of smart networking and build it specifically to a constituency of students at a public university with a more diverse group of students.  They felt that the U of I was the perfect place to develop the program – and have worked for the last year to prepare and develop the program to meet U of I student needs – and want to provide it free this year as a pilot to  a select group of UIUC Pre-Law Students!

We are looking to create 5 or 6 teams of students composed of 5-6 members per team.  Each team will move the program together and complete tasks and approach challenges together.

If you are interested in participating in this free pilot program that could be the entry to a new and major network for you – please visit for sign-up information.  The kick-off event is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Please forward this message to motivated and interested students in your group that you could envision taking the initiative to benefit from such a program!

You can read more about Greenlight Giving’s organization at

Looking forward to your participation and success!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Even Supreme Court Justices have to work on their writing.

NPR’s Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg recently interviewed Justice Sotomayor about her soon-to-be published memoir. In this clip (below) Justice Sotomayor tells a fascinating story about how she learned to improve her writing in college. Even though the Justice was an excellent high school student, in college she quickly found that she had room for improvement. She took it upon herself to work on her writing all summer. It’s refreshing and inspiring to hear someone in such a powerful legal position admit that getting there took a lot of effort!

Writing well is critical to being an effective advocate. Justice Sotomayor’s story is inspiring, and hopefully it motivates prospective law students to be very engaged in your education, both inside and outside of the classroom.

You can listen to or read the interview with Justice Sotomayor here.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Introducing our blog!

WELCOME BACK to campus! And welcome to our new blog!

Farewell to our newsletter, the Pre-Law Informer. For four years we have been sending it out every week. Now, we’re happy to be joining the Blogosphere! Just like our newsletter, our blog will still cover information about the application process, upcoming event information, interesting articles about the legal field, book reviews, and more. Plus, the blog is searchable and archived for easy reference!

This blog will be updated throughout the week. To subscribe to our feed, click on the orange icon in the upper right corner of our page and add our site to your Google Reader or whichever reader you prefer.

Our event calendar is also linked to our blog. Upcoming PLAS events are listed in the upper right corner of the blog, and you can click the link to find out more or to register.

We’ve added some of our favorite helpful links as well–browse through the listings on the right, grouped by topic.

We’ll be adding more links and details to the blog over the coming weeks. We hope you enjoy reading it, and we look forward to hearing your feedback!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Welcome to our new format!

For 4 years now, we’ve been sending our weekly e-newsletter, the Pre-Law Informer, to all UIUC Pre-Law students. Now we’re trying something new.

Starting this fall semester, we will be moving away from the newsletter format into this blog. We’ll still be posting the same kinds of helpful information–articles and reminders about the application process, information about upcoming events, and links to internships and job opportunities. We think this format is a major upgrade because we’ll be able to update it more easily and more frequently. Plus, we’ll be able to add links to interesting articles and websites that readers will find helpful.

We hope you enjoy this new format! Join us as say goodbye to the newsletter to join the Blogosophere.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email