Looking for a summer course?

Pre-Law students come from every major and have a wide variety of interests. Law schools have no specific prerequisites beyond having a Bachelor’s degree and building writing, research, communication, and analytical skills. If you’re a pre-law student looking for a summer course, here are some options that may interest you. NO SPECIFIC CLASSES ARE REQUIRED FOR LAW SCHOOL AND THESE ARE ONLY SUGGESTIONS. Check out Course Explorer for more options.

PHIL 102  Summer Session I
Instructor:  Professor T. McCarthy, tgmccart@illinois.edu
This is the standard introduction to logic and critical thinking taken by both philosophy majors and by students that require a background in basic logic for other fields.  This course will emphasize the concepts, methods and examples that have become increasingly relevant to pre-professional training for law and medicine and for the social sciences.  The LSAT exam has long emphasized problems requiring special sorts of inference (causal inference, statistical inference, truth-functional and analogical inference, in particular) relevant to legal study.

Special stress will be put on substantive examples from recent health, science and environmental policy, including inferences surrounding the issue of climate change and arguments concerning vaccination.  Requirements:  Daily assignments, discussed cooperatively in class, and 4 tests, one at the end of each week.  The homework and exam problems will be taken in part from LSAT and MCAT sample exams.

Psych and Law (Psych 468), Summer Session II 
Prerequisite: Six hours of social science. In this class, we will discuss issues at the interface of psychology and the law. We will cover topics such as age, gender and race discrimination, eyewitness memory, polygraph testing, interrogations and false confessions.

UP335: Cities and Immigrants (online) Summer II
This course introduces students to the experiences of foreign-born residents living in U.S. cities, towns, and rural communities. We examine the local policies that both welcome and integrate immigrants as well as those policies that restrict and exclude immigrants. By the end of the course, students will better understand the reasons for anti-immigrant backlash, the economic opportunities of immigration, and ways in which immigrants claim their right to the city. Students will have the option to participate in several half-day field trips in the Chicago area. Watch the video for more information. https://mediaspace.illinois.edu/media/UP+335+Online+-+Informational+Video/1_ioktgjvn/9425781

Popular Political Science classes for pre-law students offered this summer

  • PS 301: US Constitution I, Summer I
  • PS 280: Intro to International Relations,Summer II
  • PS 303: United States Congress, Summer II
  • PS 305: United States Supreme Court, Summer II

Popular Communication classes for pre-law students offered this summer

  • CMN 211: Business Communication, offered Summer I and Summer II
  • CMN 220: Communicating Public Policy, Summer II
  • CMN 230: Intro to Interpersonal Communication, Summer I

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Check out Course Explorer for more details and to explore all of the Summer I and II course options.


Mark Your Calendars — Week of March 9

Scroll down for info about this week’s visit from Nicole Vilches, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Assistant Dean for Admissions, an update about the June LSAT, the Chicagoland Law Fair on March 26, Illinois in Washington and more!

PLAS Events and Information

Chicago-Kent College of Law presents: Building Relationships with Law Schools this Wednesday, March 11, from 5-6 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building

Whether students are meeting law admissions staff at a fair, visiting during an open house, or working with admissions offices to maximize their aid, building relationships with law admissions professionals is critical before, during, and after admission to law school. Nicole Vilches, Assistant Dean for Admissions at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, will share the secrets to developing strong relationships with admissions professionals. Pre-law students at every level will gain valuable insight at this workshop.

June LSAT Update

Are you planning on taking the LSAT this June?  Registration is open and spots are beginning to fill. LSAC tells us that one Chicago LSAT Test Center, Loyola-Chicago, is already full.  Consequently, if you know you are taking the June LSAT but haven’t registered yet, you should do that ASAP.  For more information and to register, go here.

Campus Events and Information

The Illinois Leadership Center presents Ignite, a workshop to develop skill in leading change and understanding systems thinking, on March 14 from 10:00 am – 5:45 pm. For more information and to register, visit their website here.

Career Center Workshops

Unless otherwise indicated, all Career Center events will be held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street. For more information or to register for any of these programs, go here.

  • Selling Your LAS Degree (Social Sciences) at the All-Campus Career Fair, March 9, 1022 Lincoln Hall, 6-7pm
  • Selling Your LAS Degree (Humanities) at the All-Campus Career Fair, March 10, 1022 Lincoln Hall, 6-7pm
  • Creating Powerful Cover Letters and Resumes, March 10, 5-6pm.
  • Selling Your LAS Degree (Sciences) at the All-Campus Career Fair, March 11, 1022 Lincoln Hall, 6-7pm
  • Utilizing Your Strengths to Plan Your Career, March 11 5:30-7pm, Illini Union 406
  • Finding an Internship, March 12, 6-7 pm.

 Remember — the All Campus Career Fair is next Wednesday, March 18, 12-4pm, at the ARC!

Illinois in Washington – Spend Fall Interning and Taking Classes in Washington, DC!

Fall is the best time to come to Washington – lovely weather and less competition for internships. Plus you can apply for internships over summer instead of during the school year!

Illinois in Washington is an academic internship program open to all Illinois undergraduates. Students live in Washington, DC, for a semester, intern 4 days a week and take U of I classes. Students intern in a range of positions from nonprofits and government agencies to think tanks and consulting firms.

For more information on IIW and our application, see our website and check out our Facebook page. For views from students, visit our blog If you have any questions, please email Susan Halebsky Dimock, PhD, Interim Director, Illinois in Washington, at sdimock@illinois.edu. We look forward to your applications. Fall 2015 Application Deadline: April 1.

Off Campus Event

Chicagoland Law Fair: Thursday, March 26, 6-8:30pm

Harold Washington Library, Multipurpose Rooms A & B

Lower Level, 400 South State Street, Chicago

Hosted by Chicagoland Law Schools:

This event is sponsored by the Chicagoland law schools.  It is designed to help prospective law students assess whether law school is the right choice for them.  The program presenters will provide information about the legal market and the application process.  The structure is similar to large regional law fairs but the intent is that with a smaller group of law schools, participants in the program will enjoy a more intimate setting.

Schedule of Events

6:00 – 6:30 p.m. The Future of the Chicago Legal Market
6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Hot Topics for Law School Applicants
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Law School Fair: Meet with representatives from seven Chicagoland law schools

Registration is required on or before Monday, March 16, 2015.  For more information and to register, go here.


Summer 2015 Pre-Law Programs

Still trying to figure out what to do this summer to either make yourself a better applicant or prepare for law school?  Several law schools have summer pre-law programs with deadlines approaching. We have provided information for some of these below. For more info about other summer pre-law programs, go to the PLAS Compass page and click on “Summer Pre-Law Programs.”

Harvard/NYU Trials Program: Harvard Law School – June 28-August 7, 2015 Applications DUE NEXT FRIDAY, February 27, 2015

Trials is a unique partnership of NYU School of Law, Harvard Law School, and the Advantage Testing Foundation. It is a fully subsidized/full scholarship summer study program for students of modest means whose backgrounds are currently underrepresented at the nation’s top law schools. Students are not responsible for any tuition, fees, or related expenses. In addition, each Trials student also receives a $3,000 stipend to replace or supplement summer employment income.

In addition to the academic curriculum of the program, every Trials student will receive:

  • Transportation to and from the host university campus (Harvard Law School in 2015)
  • Campus housing for the duration of the five-week program
  • Three daily meals at the campus dining hall
  • Access to the host university’s library, computer centers, and gym

Each week, senior instructors from Advantage Testing prepare Trials students for the LSAT by deconstructing the test and presenting a step-by-step approach to each question type. Students maintain a rigorous practice testing schedule, frequently sitting for full-length official LSATs under simulated testing conditions. Working closely with their instructors, students learn to develop an individualized study plan, focus their preparation, and apply the core principles they master.

Trials students also attend lectures presented by prominent lawyers, public figures, and legal scholars, including distinguished faculty from both NYU Law and Harvard Law School. These lectures provide a wide-ranging introduction to the study and practice of the law while giving students the opportunity to ask specific questions related to their particular fields of interest.

Perhaps most important, Trials allows students to experience communities similar to those they will encounter in law school. Students form study groups to challenge, motivate, and inspire one another. In lunches with instructors and speakers, students can take part in informal discussions to learn more about the law, their peers, and themselves.

Finally, Trials is committed to taking full advantage of the resources of its host locations. Students enter the field in Boston and New York City to meet with and observe lawyers at work, garnering practical experience that complements the academic curriculum.  This year’s program will be held at Harvard Law School June 28- August 2, 2015.  Applications are due February 27, 2015. Click here for more information or to apply.


ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law PLUS Program: May 31-June 19, 2015.  Applications due March 2, 2015

The IIT Chicago-Kent Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars program (“PLUS”) offers a unique and unforgettable experience for college students who are interested in the legal profession. This rigorous three-week program is designed to provide students with a “taste” of the law school experience. The program is primarily directed at undergraduate college students from disadvantaged groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession.

The PLUS program is a three-week summer institute which will: (1) introduce participants to law school and the legal profession; (2) provide participants with substantive skills to strengthen their preparation for law school; and (3) educate and prepare participants for the law school application and admission process. Students must attend all classes and participate in all program activities to receive a stipend. Because this is a full-time commitment, students must agree not to have any outside commitments that would prevent them from giving the program their full attention.

The PLUS program targets college students who have just completed either their first, second or third year in college. All students are encouraged to apply who will not have received their bachelor degree by the start of the program, but preference will be given to those who will have completed their first and second years of college by the start of the program. Students who have already completed a bachelor degree are not eligible for the program. For additional information, please download the application packet or contact Theda Mickey, Administrative Director-PLUS Program, at plus@kentlaw.iit.edu if you have any questions. Applicants must submit a $30 application fee.  In addition, accepted applicants will be required to submit a $70 seat deposit.  Both of these fees are non-refundable. Download PLUS Application

Download PLUS Brochure

2014 PLUS Program Schedule


CLEO Achieving Success in the Application Process (ASAP) Prelaw Seminar:

John Marshall Law School, July 11-12, 2015

Applications Due: April 1, 2015

Goal: To prepare talented, motivated, yet under-represented students to successfully gain admission to and succeed in law school.

Overview: The ASAP program curriculum will focus on aspects of the law school application process that are commonly overlooked or undervalued by students when applying to law school.

The ASAP curriculum seminar includes the following sessions:

  • Selecting a law school
  • Drafting an effective personal statement
  • Choosing sources for letters of recommendations
  • Preparation strategies for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • The impact of LSAT scores and Grade Point Averages (GPA) in the selection process
  • The significance of the early application process offered by many law schools
  • Debt management and developing credit worthiness
  • Common errors committed by law school applicants

Advantages of being an ASAP participant include:

  • Provides a head start on the law school admissions process
  • Establishes mentoring relationships with CLEO students in law school
  • Nominal fee
  • Meals provided
  • Opportunity to network with Attitude Is Essential (AIE) participants from around the country
  • An opportunity you don’t want to miss

Targeted Students:

  • ASAP is open to college juniors and seniors, as well as post-graduates.

Click here to Register online for the ASAP program.

CLEO Attitude Is Essential Seminar

John Marshall Law School — July 11 & 12, 2015

The first year of law school is the most important year.  Employers hire second year law students primarily based on their first year GPA. If you want to hear them say “You’re Hired,” and you want to be more than a law school survivor, then you need the right attitude to take control of your legal education.

At the “Attitude is Essential” (AIE) seminar, you will:

  • Develop the skills you need to take control over your own law school learning process
  • Learn how to:
    • Read and brief opinions
    • Prepare for law school exams, including the best practices for memorizing all the law you need for your exams
    • Write exams using the IRAC form
    • Conquer your workload, time, and stress in law school
  • Experience the Socratic Method by participating in a Mock Law School Class
  • Write a contracts essay exam and debrief the experience
  • Discover the benefits of study groups and how to make sure your groups are productive and not dysfunctional
  • Begin to build a network of other successful law students

Who should attend? All students who intend to begin law school in the fall of 2015.

What is required?  Applicants must have been admitted to a law school, submit an online application, and pay a $200 registration fee.

Click here for more information or to register online for the AIE Seminar.


Mark Your Calendars — Week of February 16

Pre-Law Events

Penn State Law Presents: Law School Admissions & Employment Webinar Illinois students and alumni are invited to participate in a free, interactive webinar at 7 p.m. EST (6 p.m. CST) this Wednesday, February 18 to learn more about law school admissions and potential career opportunities that await after graduation. Hosted by  Penn State Law and the University of Illinois’ Pre-Law Advising Services, the live webinar will feature presentations by two Penn State Law deans and an opportunity for participants to ask questions.

Amanda DiPolvere, Penn State Law’s assistant dean for admissions and financial aid, will walk participants through the law school admissions process and discuss some of the new academic programs at Penn State Law.

Neil Sirota, Penn State Law’s assistant dean for career services, will describe how his office works with students and employers to help students secure internships and full-time employment around the country, including in markets like Chicago.

The event is open to anyone who is considering law school. To participate, please register here: https://fap.lsac.org/prospect.aspx?data=MjIwMgEBOA%3d%3d-NCmEJfHhQ7M%3d

The University of Chicago Law School Presents After the Application: Scholarships, Wait Lists and Interviews — NEXT Wednesday, February 25, 5-6pm, 514 IUB

Ann Perry, Associate Dean for Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School, will share the inside view of what happens in law school admissions after you submit your application. What are they looking for in an interview, and how to they decide whom to invite to interview? How does the wait list work? Is there anything applicants can do to improve their wait list chances? Bring your questions for Dean Perry about what’s really going on in the admissions office after your applications are submitted!

Campus Events

Career Center Workshops Unless otherwise indicated, all Career Center events will be held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street. For more information or to register for any of these programs, go here.

  • Careers in the Federal Government: TODAY, Monday, Feb 16, 4-5pm
  • Finding An Internship: Tuesday, Feb 17, 5-6pm
  • Career Fair Prep: Maximize Your Experience: Tuesday, Feb 17, 6-7pm
  • Creating Powerful Resumes & Cover Letters: Wednesday, Feb 18, 5-6pm
  • UIntern Information Session: Monday, Feb 23, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 E Green Street

Gilman Scholarship for Study Abroad: Info Session & Workshop

Are you interested in study abroad but concerned that it is not financially feasible? Are you a recipient of the Federal Pell Grant?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, there is a study abroad scholarship just for you! The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.

Eligibility: U.S. citizen undergraduate students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding

Timeline: The Gilman Scholarship is available for semester-long, year-long, and summer programs (must be at least 4 consecutive weeks in a country). The next deadline is March 3, 2015 for Summer 2015, Fall 2015, and Academic year 2015-2016 study abroad programs.

2-Day Info Event in Room 514 Illini Union Bookstore:
Tuesday, February 17, 2:00-3:00pm – Info session: Get an overview of the scholarship and hear from Illinois Gilman Scholars
Friday, February 20, 3:30-4:30pm– Workshop: How to craft a competitive Gilman application
For more information, please contact the National and International Scholarships Program at topscholars@illinois.edu.

Off Campus Events

Midwest Law School Virtual Fair: February 18, 2015, Co-Sponsored by the Midwest Alliance for Law School Admissions and the Midwest Association for Prelaw Advisors. Attention students! Whether you are looking at attending law school this fall or in a couple of years, this online law fair is a free and convenient way to interact with law school representatives right from your computer. Please click here to register to chat with Midwest law schools on February 18 (available chat times for each school are located on the fair website). Here is a list of the schools attending:

Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Creighton University
Drake Law School
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Marquette University Law School
Michigan State University College of Law
Ohio Northern University College of Law
Saint Louis University School of Law
Southern Illinois University School of Law
University of Dayton School of Law
University of Illinois College of Law
University of Iowa College of Law
University of Kansas School of Law
University of Minnesota Law School
University of Missouri School of Law
University of Nebraska College of Law
University of St. Thomas School of Law – Minneapolis
University of Wisconsin Law School
Valparaiso University Law School
William Mitchell College of Law

Have a great week!

Winter Break Pre-Law Appointments

Still working on your personal statement or law school applications? Pre-Law Advising Services will offer appointments over winter break. We’re booked for next week, but we still have appointments available starting January 5. To schedule, call 217-333-9669. (Note that the office will close Dec. 24-Jan. 1.)

Happy holidays, and have a wonderful winter break!



Take a tour of our new website!

What’s that–what did we do this summer? We’re glad you asked! We just did a little project called an entire website redesign. If you’ve ever designed a website, then you know how happy we are that it’s over that we have a new, fresh look to share!

Our 5 Favorite New Parts of Our Website www.prelaw.illinois.edu

1. “EVENTS” are now centrally located as the FIRST item on the site! Go here to see all of our fall workshops and events.

2. We’ve added a link to our ALL NEW Pre-Law Compass page just for Illinois students! There you will find even more handouts, links to videos, and other goodies that were too big to fit on our website.

3. Links to all of our SOCIAL MEDIA are easy to find on the left navigation bar of each page on our website.

4. We’ve expanded our RESOURCES to include lots of new, updated links to explore.

5. We’ve added our new 2013 Applicant Data to show where UIUC grads who applied to law school last year were accepted. We’ve also included profiles of successful applicants to give you an idea of where you stand.



Summer/Fall Course Updates!

If you’re still considering summer/fall courses, here are some relevant updates we’ve received to help you make your decisions.

1. The PHIL 102 Summer Session I course still has seats. This logic and reasoning course is specifically tailored to LSAT and MCAT logic skills, so it would be an excellent option for pre-law students planning to take the LSAT this September or next June. Meets 9-11:50 M-R. Taught by Timothy McCarthy.

2. Seats are still available in PS 301, U.S. Constitution I. This course analyzes issues related to judicial interpretation of the Constitution; the separation of governmental powers; federalism; checks and balances among the three branches of the national government; and the jurisdiction of federal courts. Taught by Professor Steven Seitz, this course meets 11:30-1:50 M-R.

3. For our veteran students, a new course will be offered this fall: AHS 199, Veterans Leadership Transition. This course is designed for undergraduate veterans to learn about assistive resources, gain practical skills that will support their transition to campus, reflect on their service history, and develop community with other veterans. Restricted to veterans. 2.0 credits, meets TR 11-12:20.


Pre-Law Advising Staff Changes

It is bittersweet for us to announce staffing changes in the Pre-Law Advising Services office. This month, we say goodbye to our Pre-Law Assistant Dimitria Johnson, as she leaves to pursue work elsewhere on campus. We appreciate Dimitria’s warm smile and many contributions to our office! Many congratulations to her on her new position!

We also send a big “congratulations” to our Pre-Law Graduate Assistant, Donna Davis! Donna is graduating from the College of Law in May. Donna has been an integral part of our office for two years. We’re thrilled for her as she starts her legal career nearby!

We wanted to share a farewell note from Donna:

I have enjoyed my entire experience in the Pre-Law Advising Services Office, and want to express my sincere thanks for the support and encouragement I’ve received as the Graduate Assistant these past two years.  I have learned so much from Jamie and Judy and gained a broader perspective on serving students and of the legal profession through service in this position.  I have cherished meeting students and feel encouraged by the smart and thoughtful approaches they take in considering law school and a legal career.  It has been enjoyable to work on the large and small details of providing ongoing, relevant opportunities for Pre-Law students, and I want to thank Dimitria for modeling her beautiful smile while continuing so many of these tasks.

 In this position I have frequently had the opportunity to reflect on my experiences prior to law school, including my professional experiences and the goals and ambitions that drove me to pursue a legal education.  During my time in law school, I founded the Education Law & Policy Society, and maintained a strong interest in education and built a network of peers and professionals also in the field of education or interested in the field.  After graduation and the completion of the Illinois Bar Exam, I will be joining the firm of Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller out of Monticello, IL.  I have spent two summers clerking for the firm and look forward to serving our client school districts and specializing in education law.  I hope that my experiences have provided insight for other future law students, and I am happy to continue to extend myself as a resource for the Pre-Law Advising Services office.  

We will miss Donna and Dimitria, and we wish them the best in their new adventures!

We are pleased to announce that our new Graduate Assistant will be Keith St. Aubin. You will see him around the office starting this fall. Keith is finishing up his 1L year at the College of Law. A native of Oak Lawn, Illinois, Keith completed his undergraduate work at Fordham University in Bronx, NY, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Business Administration. He then worked for three  years as a patent paralegal at Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd., in Chicago.

When you return to campus this fall, say hello to Keith and our new support staff person!


CollegeCONNECT with UIUC Pre-Law

CollegeCONNECT Kick-Off Event – Tuesday, November 19 at 6:00 p.m.

College of Law Auditorium – Free Dinner Provided

CollegeCONNECT is a brand-new experiential learning program starting this Spring semester that helps undergraduates identify and accomplish goals while developing invaluable relationship-building skills.  The program teaches students to be mindful of relationships, helping participants overcome fears about “networking” while laying the groundwork for a lifetime of success.

This Kick-Off Event will feature University of Illinois College of Law student leaders who will share their personal experiences in law school, specifically their networking and goal-setting strategies for both applying to law schools and for the job hunt and ongoing opportunities once in law school.  The panel includes leaders from a diverse variety of student organizations, and will include ample time for Q & A.

Students at any year/level are welcome to attend this event to learn more about the CollegeCONNECT program.  The curriculum includes 7 “Missions” or lessons, that will be carried out with the support of a small group.  These Missions include:  Goals and Accountability, Relationships Action Plan, Generosity, Intimacy, Candor, Mentors, and Financial Awareness.

View the details on our Event Calendar:  http://illinois.edu/calendar/detail/2508?eventId=30586270&calMin=201311&cal=20131111&skinId=2741 or email Donna Davis at dmdavis4@illinois.edu with any specific questions.

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 uiucprelaw@gmail.com.

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:  www.entrepreneur.com/article/224675