Mark Your Calendars – Law Fair Edition!

THE LAW SCHOOL FAIR IS THIS WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 10:00AM – 2:00PM AT THE ARC! SCROLL DOWN FOR LOTS OF INFORMATION AND TIPS!

Law School Admission Panel – Tuesday, September 25, 7pm, 1002 Lincoln Hall

Join us for this panel as we hear from experts in law school admissions. What happens after you submit an application? What do they really look for in a candidate? What do they love and hate to see in a personal statement? What can applicants expect during an interview? How can applicants build effective relationships with admissions staff? Get all of your questions answered from this panel of admissions professionals with a vast array of experience. Panelists include admissions deans and professionals from the following law schools:

  • Columbia Law School
  • Indiana University–Maurer School of Law
  • Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • University of Illinois College of Law
  • University of Wisconsin Law School

No registration necessary. Bring your questions!

The Law School Fair is THIS Wednesday, September 26, 10am-2pm at the ARC, 201 E. Peabody. We are looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Join us as over 100 law schools visit campus to meet with prospective students. Gather information about law schools, talk with admissions professionals about their schools, collect some fun freebies and law school application fee waivers. This event is FREE and open to the public. Dress is business casual. For more information, including a list of law schools attending the fair, visit our website. You can also scroll down for some tips and suggestions to get the most out of this opportunity. See you at the fair! No registration is required.

Emory Law Interviews – Wednesday, September 26, 3-5pm – After the Law School Fair

Emory Law will be conducting individual interviews on Wednesday, September 26th from 3:00 to 5:00pm. These are not formal interviews, but an opportunity for you to learn more about the programs offered at Emory Law, to discuss the law school admissions process in general, and to get all of your questions answered.  If you would like to schedule an appointment, sign up for a time slot here: Emory Law Sign Up. Please be sure to bring a copy of your resume during your time slot. Click here to learn more about Emory Law. 

Four Things to Do Before the Law School Fair

Here are a few things to do before to get the most of out of the Law School Fair.

  1. Look at the Schools’ Websites and Do Some Background Research
    1. Have specific questions for the admissions representatives that are coming to campus. Most basic questions can be answered by simply looking at the website (GPAs, LSAT scores, where their graduates work, professors, etc).
    2. Example questions to ask: where do students typically work after their first year summer? What is the school environment like? Are there study groups or other academic resources available? What do students do in their free time? How many students are involved in clubs and activities? What is the most popular class at the law school?
  2. Have an Elevator Pitch Ready
    1. What’s an elevator pitch? It is a 30 second introductory speech about yourself.
    2. The elevator pitch should start out by telling the representative your name, your hometown, your major, when you are applying to law school, and why you are interested in that specific law school. The law schools want to get to know you, so you should tell them a little about yourself.
    3. Don’t read off the speech, consider it the beginning of a conversation.
  3. Get Your Outfit Ready
    1. Dress is business causal for the event.
    2. Men – A dress shirt, dress pants, and a tie are appropriate. No suit coat is needed.
    3. Women – A dress shirt, blouse, or sweater, and dress pants or a skirt are appropriate.
  4. Things to Bring With to the Event
    1. A list of schools you want to talk to and why you are interested in those law schools.
    2. A notebook and pencil. If you are impressed with a school or want to remember a specific detail about a conversation, it is best to write it down right away.
    3. No need to bring a resume – most law schools will not accept resumes at this event.

Opportunities at the College of Law

Volunteer/Mock Jurors Needed!

The Fundamentals of Trial Advocacy Course students at the UIUC College of Law will be doing their openings October 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10.  The College of Law needs volunteers to serve as mock jurors for this class.  This is a great opportunity for pre-law students to observe a law school class and learn something about our trial system.  Opening statements would begin at 6pm so all participants are asked to arrive no later than 5:45pm. Volunteers can expect each session to last approximately 2.5 hours. Refreshments/snacks will be served to participants. Interested mock jurors should contact Thanin Stewart, UIUC College of Law, Visiting Law Associate at tostewa2@illinois.edu.

Campus Events

Career Center EventsClick here to visit the Career Center’s website for more information or to register for these sessions.

  • Finding an Internship–Sept. 25, 5-6 pm, TCC Conference Room
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Sept. 24, 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Sept. 25, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept 26, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept. 27, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
  • Making Your Major Decision–Sept. 25, 5-6 pm, SDRP 2005
  • Global Careers: Japan — Sept. 28, 4-5:30pm, TCC Interview Suite, Room 213, 616 East Green Street

Scholarships

THE ILLINOIS CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS: Application Deadline October 13!

Diverse and welcoming, The Illinois Club draws its membership from all areas of the University as well as the surrounding community. Since 1915, The Illinois Club has provided financial support to worthy undergraduate students. This year, we will be giving out the following scholarships:

  • Make-A-Difference Awards of $3,000
  • A Global Focus Award of $3,000
  • A Humanities Award of $3,000
  • Isabelle Purnell Education Awards of $3,000 • The Judith Life Ikenberry Fine Arts Award of $5,500

General Eligibility: You must be an undergraduate, have earned at least 60 credit hours by the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester, and graduate no earlier than December 2019 to apply. A minimum GPA of 2.75 at both the time of application and winning of award is also required.

For more information about the individual awards, go to http://go.illinois.edu/TICScholarship.

Interested in more scholarships? PLAS has collected information on over 200 scholarships–for both undergrads and incoming law students–on our Scholarships Spreadsheet over on our Pre-Law Compass page. It’s a wide variety of scholarships based on everything from being left-handed to making a video to tweeting, and deadlines vary, so check it out!

Internships

David F. Prindable Undergraduate PAID Internship at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH): Communications and Undergraduate Outreach: Applications DUE THIS Friday, September 28!

Undergraduate majors in humanities disciplines are invited to apply for a paid internship in communications and undergraduate outreach at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), the campus humanities hub. The successful candidate will assist IPRH with its communications strategy, particularly its email communications and social-media presence, in addition to serving as a IPRH’s undergraduate liaison and chief strategist on undergraduate engagement. This position is funded thanks to a generous gift from David F. Prindable.

To be considered for this internship, candidates must possess strong writing and communications skills, excellent attention to detail, the ability to work independently, and an investigative mind. A broad interest in the humanities is preferred.

 

 

 

 

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of September 10

September is a big month for pre-law students–scroll through to see why.

Pre-Law Events

Our Fall Event Calendar is posted! Here’s a preview of what’s coming up.

Pre-Law 101 – TODAY, Monday, September 10, 4-5pm 514 IUB

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.

Each Pre-Law 101 session is the same, so pick the one that best suits your schedule. Incoming freshmen should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. Registration is closed by we have a few empty spots available on a first come, first served basis.

Letter of Recommendation Webinar – THIS Friday, September 14, 2-3pm

This is part of our Applying to Law School webinar series for Illinois students and alumni. During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • How many letters of recommendation law school applications require
  • Who to ask for recommendations
  • How to approach your request
  • Timelines for getting recommendations
  • How to input your recommenders in your Credential Assembly Service account

Bring your questions! Register for this webinar by September 13 at this link. Webinar link and handouts will be sent to registrants before the session.

Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume for Law School–Tuesday, Sept.17, 4-5pm, 514 IUB

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. Register here for this session.

Law School Admissions Panel–Tuesday, Sept. 25, 7:00 pm in 1002 Lincoln Hall. Are you wondering what law school admissions professionals really look for in an applicant? How do they weigh LSAT scores, grades, or work experience? What gets their attention–and what would make them deny someone? Join us for this expert law school admissions panel to discover this and more. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. This is a must-see event for anyone considering applying to law school!

Panelists include admissions deans and professionals from the following schools:

  • Columbia Law School
  • Indiana University–Maurer School of Law
  • Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • University of Illinois College of Law
  • University of Wisconsin Law School

Law School Fair–Wednesday, Sept. 26, 10:00 am-2:00 pm at the ARC (201 E. Peabody Drive) It’s the biggest pre-law event of the year as 110 law schools visit campus to meet all who are interested in applying to law school. Learn about law schools, scholarships, and the application process while meeting the people who will be reading your law school applications. Application fee waivers and other freebies will be available. Stop by or stay the whole time! This event is free and open to the public. For more information click here to visit our website. No registration required.

Campus Events

ILLINOIS-IN-WASHINGTON – Information Session Tuesday, September 11, 5-6pm, David Kinley Hall, Room 106

Illinois in Washington (IIW) is an academic internship program open to all U of I undergraduates. Participants live and intern in Washington, DC, while taking U of I classes.  IIW offers an exceptional opportunity to gain rewarding work experience while enjoying the political, intellectual, and cultural experiences than only the nation’s capital can offer.  Student internships have included positions with members of Congress, think tanks, consulting groups, social justice organizations, and government agencies.  Come and join us for an unforgettable semester in one of the most exciting cities in the world.  Our information session will provide a brief overview of the program.  The application deadline for the Spring 2019 term is October 1st.  Application instructions are available at http://www.washington.illinois.edu/apply/information/.

Career Center EventsClick here to visit the Career Center’s website for more information or to register for these sessions.

  • CC-I Information Session, Sept. 10, 4:00 pm, Interview Suite Room 213. The actual deadline for the CC-I application is September 11. 
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Review
    • Sept. 10, 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Sept. 11, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept 12, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept. 13, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Sept. 14, 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Sept. 16, 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
  • Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter
    • Sept. 12, 4-5pm, TCC Conference Room
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume
    • Sept. 12, 5-6 pm
  • Translating Your Study Abroad Experience
    • Sept. 11, 5-6pm, Lincoln 1024
    • Sept. 12, 5-6pm, Lincoln 1024
  • Career Fair Prep
    • Sept. 13, 4:00 pm

Pre-Law Honors Society: The Order of Prospective Lawyers

If you have a cumulative GPA of a 3.30/4.00, and have completed 30 hours of campus credit prior to initiation (Sophomore status) you are eligible to apply for membership in the Pre-Law Honors Society.  Click on the link below to access the application and the instructions for how to apply.  Applications are due THIS FRIDAY, September 14, by Midnight! All questions should be directed to prelawhonorssociety@gmail.com.

plhs_application_fall_2018_2019

THE ILLINOIS CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS: Application Deadline October 13!

Diverse and welcoming, The Illinois Club draws its membership from all areas of the University as well as the surrounding community. Since 1915, The Illinois Club has provided financial support to worthy undergraduate students. This year, we will be giving out the following scholarships:

  • Make-A-Difference Awards of $3,000
  • A Global Focus Award of $3,000
  • A Humanities Award of $3,000
  • Isabelle Purnell Education Awards of $3,000 • The Judith Life Ikenberry Fine Arts Award of $5,500

General Eligibility: You must be an undergraduate, have earned at least 60 credit hours by the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester, and graduate no earlier than December 2019 to apply. A minimum GPA of 2.75 at both the time of application and winning of award is also required.

For more information about the individual awards, go to http://go.illinois.edu/TICScholarship.

Interested in more scholarships? PLAS has collected information on over 200 scholarships–for both undergrads and incoming law students–on our Scholarships Spreadsheet over on our Pre-Law Compass page. It’s a wide variety of scholarships based on everything from being left-handed to making a video to tweeting, and deadlines vary, so check it out!

Internships

David F. Prindable Undergraduate PAID Internship at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH): Communications and Undergraduate Outreach: Applications DUE Friday, September 28!

Undergraduate majors in humanities disciplines are invited to apply for a paid internship in communications and undergraduate outreach at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), the campus humanities hub. The successful candidate will assist IPRH with its communications strategy, particularly its email communications and social-media presence, in addition to serving as a IPRH’s undergraduate liaison and chief strategist on undergraduate engagement. This position is funded thanks to a generous gift from David F. Prindable.

To be considered for this internship, candidates must possess strong writing and communications skills, excellent attention to detail, the ability to work independently, and an investigative mind. A broad interest in the humanities is preferred.

The position commences October 15, 2018 and ends May 15, 2019. The Prindable intern will work approximately two to three hours per week, for 24 weeks, at the rate of $15.75 per hour (up to $1,000 per year). There is flexibility regarding the hours to be worked.

To apply, please email a one-page letter of interest, a resume, and a list of three references (academic or non-academic, so long as they can speak to your skills and work ethic; at least one referee should be able to comment on your writing skills) to iprh@illinois.edu by September 28 with “Prindable Internship” in the subject line. Letters may be addressed and questions directed to IPRH Deputy Director, Nancy Castro (ncastro@illinois.edu).

The Office of Undergraduate Research is Hiring a PAID Graphic Design Intern

Graphic Design Intern: The Illinois Office of Undergraduate Research is seeking a motivated and experienced undergraduate student to assist with creating innovative and visually impactful graphics for the office. The graphic design intern will be expected to work from 5 – 10 hours per week (workstation and required software will be provided). This is a PAID internship at $12/hour. Federal Work Study designation is required.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Assist with layout, design, and production of flyers, digital/web graphics, office brochures, and other print/digital resources, consistent with current office branding.
  • Assist with converting digital assets to web-ready formats.
  • Assist with other projects as needed.

For a full description of the position, including the required experiences and qualifications and information on how to apply, please visit: http://go.illinois.edu/OURintern

 

Interested in other internships? It’s NOT too early to start looking for spring/summer internships today! We post internships on our blog and our Facebook page. Check out this blog post for a plan on how to start finding spring and summer internships this fall.

Pre-Law Resources

Now is a great time to check out–or join–all of our pre-law resources! Click the links to explore. You can also search this blog for posts about the LSAT, law school applications, resumes, internships, and more!

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Compass page

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5 Fall Semester Tips for All Pre-Law Students

  • Get to know your professors.  Go to office hours and participate in class. It’s a great way to learn how to network, a critical life skill. Eventually you’ll need letters of recommendation, and building these relationships now will help you later.
  • Create or update your resume and LinkedIn profile.
    If you already have a resume, update it and take it to the Career Center for a review. If you don’t have a resume yet, now is a great time to draft one. The Career Center offers workshops on creating a resume, or you can find some good templates online.
    Now is also a good time to create or update a Linked In profile. While you’re at it, review your social media and clean it up…ask yourself if you would want employers or law schools to view everything that’s posted.
  • Start looking for spring/summer jobs and internships. It’s not too early! Here’s a blog post that we recently wrote about it with tips and suggestions.
  • Explore study abroad, Illinois in Washington, and/or national and international scholarships such as Fulbright, Luce, or Gilman for next summer or next year. These take time and have early application deadlines.
  • Consider your LSAT options for 2019. If you’re planning to graduate in 2019 and take a gap year or two prior to law school, you might want to go ahead and take the LSAT before you graduate. Alumni tell us all the time how challenging it is to balance full-time jobs (plus commutes, family, and personal time) with studying for the LSAT. The scores are good for 5 years so banking the score prior to graduation may save you some time and stress in the future.
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September LSAT Takers – Day of Test Info and Reminders

The September LSAT is next week! Of course you have been studying diligently and are ready for what is coming on the LSAT. But don’t forget — the LSAC has a list of rules and procedures to follow for the day of the test.  Here are a few reminders and tips to help test day go smoothly.

What must you bring? To be eligible to take the LSAT, you will be required to have with you at the test center the printout of your admission ticket that includes the photo that you uploaded through your LSAC online account. Admission tickets that do not display the required uploaded photo will not be accepted on test day. You must also bring a valid, government issued photo ID and 3-4 sharpened sharpened No. 2 or HB wooden pencils with good erasers. Remember that mechanical pencils are prohibited.

What can’t you bring? The LSAC has a list of LSAT test day prohibited items that includes cellphones, backpacks/handbags, digital watches, fitness tracking devices, headphones, hats, sunglasses, and many others.  NOTE: LSAC has adopted a no-tolerance policy with regard to the use or possession of electronic devices (including cell phones) during the administration of the LSAT.   Consequently, test takers discovered in possession of (or using) any electronic device, will be issued a Violation of Law School Admission Test Center Regulations form and will be dismissed from the test. Such violations will be grounds for score cancellation, and you may be subject to an LSAC investigation. This policy will be enforced from the time test takers arrive at the test center until they leave at the conclusion of the test—including the break. Remember to review the LSAC’s Day of Test reminders to avoid making a critical mistake! http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/day-of-test.

Test day tips and reminders
In addition to LSAC’s rules, here are some tips and reminders to help your test day go smoothly!

  1. Get several nights of good sleep. It’s normal to be anxious the night before, and having a few good nights of sleep before test day will help.
  2. Eat breakfast and bring a snack and drink even if you don’t think you’ll need it. The test is long, and your brain will want that fuel.
  3. Make sure you print out your test ticket, locate your government ID, get some non-mechanical pencils, and pack your plastic bag of allowed test items the night before.
  4. Scope out the location before test day. Drive there or take your public transportation route if you can. This way you will know where to find parking or you can estimate how long it will take to walk from a train station.
  5. Figure out what you’ll do with your backpack, handbag, and your cell phone because you cannot bring these items in with you.
  6. Dress comfortably, and in layers. Your test site may be warm or cold, and you want to limit distractions as much as possible. (Note that test takers are not allowed to wear hoods, except as religious apparel.)
  7. ARRIVE EARLY. Give yourself plenty of time to check in, use the restroom, and get settled before the test begins. Test sites do not allow late arrivals.
  8. Expect some distractions…no test site will be perfectly silent. Practice bringing your attention back to your exam after each distraction. (Law school exams and the bar exam contain plenty of distractions too, so this will be a constant.)

For more info on LSAT options, including cancelling your score after the LSAT or retaking, check out this post from earlier this summer.

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Welcome Back Pre-Law Students – Fall of 2018

Welcome Class of 2022 and Welcome Back Pre-Law Students!

Hello students!  Our first blog post of the 2018-2019 school year features an overview of many of the events happening on campus in the next week. We have also included a brief update on Pre-Law Advising Services (PLAS), including information about our FREE practice LSAT being offered on Friday, October 5, as well as our first Pre-Law 101 Workshop set for Monday, September 10, 4-5pm.  Scroll down for more on that.  We will resume our regular blogging schedule next week.  Our postings will include updates on PLAS programs, campus events, internships and information on a variety of pre-law topics and items of interest so keep checking in!!

Upcoming Campus Events

Welcome Days/Welcome Week 2018 — August 25 – September 1, 2018

Quad Day: Sunday, August 26

The fall semester kicks off this weekend with Quad Day, Sunday, August 26, Noon-4pm! Come out for a day of learning about any and every Registered Student Organization on the Illinois campus. Campus offices and local organizations will also be lining the Main Quad for you to get a taste of how diverse the university is and what it has to offer. The Illini Union vendors will be there, along with the Rec Room, so you can see what we are all about! Special performances by the Marching Illini and other RSOs will take place. With over 600 RSOs present, you are bound to find something you are interested in. Remember — law schools like to see applicants who are both good students and who are involved in their community.

And speaking of RSOs… Are you interested in joining the soon to be launched Pre-Law Club?  Keep checking the blog for information about the planned September organizational meeting!

For more info about Quad Day and other Welcome Week Events, check out the Illini Union webpage: https://union.illinois.edu/see-and-do/events/welcomeweek

 

Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations

Wake Up Call – Saturday, August 25, 4–6 pm
Foellinger Auditorium
Sponsored by the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center

Women’s Resources Center Open House | Aug 27, 2018   4:30 – 6:30 pm  

Check out the Women’s Resources Center and meet the staff while playing games and sipping “mocktails”! Join us in celebrating the beginning of a new year. The Women’s Resources Center is located at 616 E Green St, Suite 202 in Champaign. The front door is located next to the McDonalds on Green St. The office is on the second floor.

Any questions or requests for accommodation can be sent to Sylwia Dutka at dutka2@illinois.edu

Paleta Social – Monday August 27th, 5:30–8:30pm
La Casa Cultural Latina, 1203 W. Nevada St., Urbana

After the first day of classes, La Casa holds a social for new students to come and meet other new and returning students, while returning students can catch up with fellow classmates, all while enjoying a paleta/ice cream. It is also an introduction of La Casa to new students in an informal manner.

LGBT Resource Center Welcome Back Event – Tuesday August 28th, 4:00–6:00pm
Illini Union 314

Celebrate the start of a new year with food, music, and opportunities to meet LGBT Resource Center staff, LGBT RSOs, campus partners, and more! Come find out how to get involved with and stay connected to LGBTQ life at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! All students, staff, faculty, and community members including partners are invited.

Asiantation – Tuesday, September 4, 3–8 pm
SDRP Multipurpose Rooms
301 E. Gregory Dr., Champaign

Feminism Al Fresco – Tuesday, September 4, 4–6 pm
Engineering Hall Patio
next to Bardeen Quad
Sponsored by the Women’s Resources Center

Asian American Cultural Center and International Education Open House —Thursday, September 6, 3:30–6:30 pm
1210 W. Nevada St., Urbana

Native American House and American Indian Studies Open House – Thursday, September 6, 4–7 pm
1206 W. Nevada St., Urbana

For more information on these and other OIIR happenings, go here for the full OIIR calendar of events.https://oiir.illinois.edu/events. To access the UIUC calendar for campus-wide events and holidays, go here: https://calendars.illinois.edu/list/7 For information about add/drop deadlines for classes and other information, check out the calendar for the Office of the Registrar here: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/4175.

Other Campus Events and Opportunities

Illinois Trial Team — Info Nights August 30 and 31, 6pm and 7pm, College of Law, Room A, 504 E Pennsylvania Ave, Champaign

Are you thinking about law school? Want to learn about the judicial system or improve your public speaking skills? Then this might be the opportunity for you!

The Illinois Trial Team represents the University of Illinois in intercollegiate mock trial tournaments which span the country — competing at schools like Yale, Duke, UMichigan, and many more. Through preparing and competing in these tournaments, you will build your knowledge of the law, trial advocacy, and general presentation skills. As a member of the team, you will be a part of a tight-knit, highly motivated group of pre-law students. The team provides various pre-law opportunities to its members, such as internships, campus visits, and LSAT resources.

We highly recommend that prospective members attend one of our information sessions. If you are unable to attend, please e-mail  illinoistrialteam.vpe@gmail.com as soon as possible. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please see the following google form: https://goo.gl/forms/MWVMsSdH7ZMq8qu12

Information Sessions will be held at the College of Law Room A at the following times:

6:00 p.m. August 30th

7:00 p.m. August 30th

6:00 p.m. August 31st

7:00 p.m. August 31st

Career Center

The Career Center offers a variety of programs to help you identify career paths through workshops, career fairs and individual meetings. They will have a table at Quad Day, Sunday, August 26 from 12-4pm, as well as an Open House on Quad Day from 1-3pm at their office at 715 S. Wright Street.  The Career Center schedule resumes next week.  Here are some of their upcoming events:

Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Reviews: August 27, 28, 29, 30 & 31

2:00-4:30pm, Career Center Resource Center, 715 S. Wright Street

CC-I Info Sessions – Monday, August 27, 4-5pm; Tuesday August 28, 4-5pm; Tuesday, September 4, 4-5pm; Monday, September 10, 4-5pm.

If you want to join the Career Certificate – International Students(CC-I) program, it is mandatory to attend one of the four CC-I information sessions. CC-I is the signature program of the Career Center for international undergraduate and masters students who want to be more competitive in the internship/full-time job market. The actual deadline for the CC-I application is September 11. CC-I runs for 9 weeks.

All CC-I info sessions will be held at the Career Center Interview Suite, 616 E. Green Street, Room 213

Illinois Part-time Job Fair 2018 – Tuesday, September 4, 10am-2pm, Illini Union Room B

Looking for a part-time job on campus or in the Champaign-Urbana community? This is the event for you! The Illinois Part-Time Job Fair is open to all students on campus seeking opportunities to make some extra money while completing their academics. Opportunities at this fair are paid positions. Check out the event in Handshake to view a full list of employers attending!

To learn more about the Career Center’s schedule of events, go here: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events

Luce Scholars Program — Information Sessions August 30 and 31

The National and International Scholarships Program (NISP) is offering a two-day informational event about the Luce Scholars Program.  The Luce is a one-year internship in East or Southeast-Asia, and designed specifically for students who do not have much prior experience in that region.  Starting August 30th, NISP will offer an informational overview session, featuring an informal discussion with previous Luce Scholars. On August 31st, NISP will host a workshop designed to help students begin to craft their personal statement.

All events will be held in 514 IUB. The dates and times are as follows.

August 30th, 3:30-4:30pm – Informational session and discussion with a former Luce Scholar.

August 31st 3:00-4:00pm – Workshop on how to craft a Luce personal statement.

More information about the Luce can be found here: http://www.topscholars.illinois.edu/luce.

For more information about other NISP events and scholarship deadlines, go here: https://calendars.illinois.edu/list/1826

PLAS Updates for Fall 2018

1. What’s going on at PLAS? All of our events are listed in our Event Calendar here: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/2508.  You may also look at the right side of this page for info on events coming up in the next few weeks, which include a FREE practice LSAT on Friday, October 5! Note that some of our workshops have limited seating, like the Pre-Law 101 sessions, the first of which is set for Monday, September 10, and the practice LSAT, so you’ll want to register for those in advance. Note: registration for the FREE Practice LSAT will open on Tuesday, September 4.  We will add a few programs as the semester progresses.  Be sure to check our blog September 3  for an overview of the semester’s events!

2. Attend a Pre-Law 101 Workshop. If you are a new pre-law student you’ll definitely want to attend a Pre-Law 101 Workshop, which will answer most of your questions about what it means to be pre-law and how you can maximize your opportunities as an undergrad. Note: the first Pre-Law 101 session is set for Monday, September 10. These sessions are all listed in our Event Calendar and you can register there.

3. How do we keep in touch? Blog, Facebook group, Twitter, email
The best way to keep up with pre-law news is to read this blog and join our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter (@UIUC Pre-Law). We send occasional emails but we don’t want to clog your inbox…so instead, we update this blog, Twitter and our Facebook page at least once a week.

4. Making an appointment….is easy. Call 333-9669. Except please, if you’re sick, stay home in your jammies! You can call us at the appointment time if you really need to talk. Otherwise, please reschedule.

Save the date for the Law School Fair! On Sept. 26 from 10 am – 2 pm at the ARC  Over 100 law school reps will be here to meet YOU! Click here for more details, including a list of who’s coming.

 

 

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Starting law school this fall? What to know, do, and buy this summer!

Congratulations to all Illini who are completing the law school application cycle! It feels like it’s over, but actually, a whole new stage is just beginning. What should you do now and throughout the summer to make sure you are ready to enter the legal profession?

First Things First: Final Application Tasks

  • Seat deposits. Now is the time for making those seat deposits to save your seat. While some people will submit multiple seat deposits, if you’ve done your research and completed your visits, you need to only place one seat deposit at your selected school. Remember that starting May 15, every law school can see each deposit that applicants have made–meaning that they will know if you’ve put down multiple deposits.
  • Follow up on wait lists. It is very common to be on one or more wait lists. Revisit this blog post for tips on what to do.
  • Withdraw your other applications. By this point, applicants have narrowed down their law school to one or two top choices. Contact the schools you know you won’t be attending to formally withdraw. This allows those law schools to offer your seat/scholarship to someone else. Some law schools will have a webform to do this, whereas at others, a simple email like this will do. Dear Dean of Admissions, Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend Your Law School. However, after careful consideration I have decided to attend X Law School (or, I’ve decided to attend law school in the midwest/east coast/elsewhere), so I will not be placing a deposit.  I very much appreciate your time and consideration of my application. Best wishes, Applicant.
  • Send a final transcript. After graduation, you must provide a final transcript to the law school you are attending.

Professional details–You are taking an important step toward beginning your professional life. Start off on the right foot.

  • Get online.
    • Clean up your social media presence like your Facebook and Twitter sites. Would you want an employer or law school representative to see every picture or post of yours? If not, take them down, and set privacy restrictions.
    • Set up a new, professional-sounding gmail account (not cubbies14 or hotty100). Learn how to use google calendar–if you haven’t been much of a planner until now, this is a good time to start getting in the habit of planning your days/weeks. Here’s a good video to learn some starter tips and tricks.
    • Create a Linked In profile or update your profile.
    • Update your resume.
    • Subscribe to online news and legal resources such as the New York Times and the National Law Journal to get into the practice of keeping up to date on legal issues.
  • Follow up with your professors/recommenders. You will continue to need recommendations for scholarships and for applying to jobs at the end of 1L year and beyond. Plus, it is simply good practice to begin developing long term connections.  At minimum you should:
    • Send a thank you note to your law school recommenders and let them know where you’ve decided to attend law school.
    • Provide your gmail or other non-Illinois email so that they can stay in touch with you after you graduate.
    • Ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn.
    • Extra credit for delivering an inexpensive token gift such as a coffee gift card or chocolates. You don’t have to spend a lot of money–and shouldn’t–to express your appreciation.
  • Network. Ask lawyers you or your parents know if you can take them to coffee and learn about their practice area. You can use the Illinois Lawyer Finder here to locate lawyers near you by practice area. Use your networking skills and begin reaching out to any contacts in legal fields that interest you. Remember, everyone needs a lawyer eventually, and most people know or have hired a lawyer. Plus lawyers know lots of other lawyers and can introduce or recommend you. You can already start thinking about what kind of 1L summer job you’d like and build the network for that.
  • Create a Google Doc to help with your bar exam application. List every address you’ve ever had, every landlord you’ve ever had, and every speeding and parking ticket you’ve ever received. Get all the records you can for these and for any academic or disciplinary action against you during your undergraduate years. You’ll be applying during your 2L or 3L year to sit for the bar in your chosen state and you will not remember these old details! If you’d like to know what details you’ll be obligated to report on your Illinois Character & Fitness application, visit the Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar application here–be sure to click on the drop down menu to see all the questions in Sections A through J. Click here to explore other states’ bar application requirements.

Financial considerations

  • Follow up with the financial aid office of your law school to make sure they have all the documents they need, such as your FAFSA, and that you haven’t missed any opportunities to apply for school-specific scholarships.
  • Apply for scholarships this summer! We posted a Scholarships Spreadsheet over on Compass listing over 200 scholarships for incoming law students (and many which are available to undergrads also).
  • Most federal loans will not be disbursed until AFTER classes begin, so you will need to pay security deposits and the first month of rent as well as buy books and necessary items (below) all before getting your loans. Save up this summer!
  • Buy some important items.
    • You will need a suit and dress shoes the very first week of class.
    • You should also bring at least 2-3 business casual outfits that you can wear to networking events.
    • You may need a new or upgraded laptop–check with your law school to see what technology they recommend and what is compatible with their IT systems. Your law school may also offer discounts. A printer is very helpful but you could speak to your roommate(s) to see if they have one before purchasing.
  • Make a budget. Each law school is required to provide a budget in your financial aid package, or you can find it online. You are not required to take the full loan amount; remember that your loans start accruing interest from Day 1 so any amount you do not borrow will save you the interest too. Sit down and carefully consider your living expenses so you can budget accordingly. Remember that your loan disbursement is only designed to pay for tuition/fees and 9 months of living expenses, and it is not designed to cover costs like car payment/insurance, credit card debt, or travel (for example, if you need to fly to your new law school or ship your belongings there).

Personal details

  • Make living arrangements. Whether you are living in an apartment, with parents, or staying in on-campus housing, you should be figuring out where you will live as soon as possible. Additionally, you should be trying to locate a roommate if you plan on renting an apartment with someone else. Join social media groups for your law school class or speak directly with your school to see if they have a roommate matching system.
  • Take care of anything and everything in your personal life that you can. Get your car serviced, change your cell phone plan, go to the dentist, book necessary travel arrangements, open a bank account in your new city…do anything that you can take care of now. You will not want to spend precious free time on these things later.
  • Go to the doctor and update your vaccinations–law schools will require it. Start or maintain good exercise and eating habits–it’s easier to maintain these than to start them during the semester!
  • Embrace starting over. You have been given a clean slate, so use it wisely. Don’t start law school by being the person who brags about their big scholarship/LSAT score/undergrad accomplishments. Conversely, don’t be intimidated by people in your class with a higher LSAT score/scholarship–frequently the people who will end up at the top of the law school class are not who you would have predicted. You have made it here, you deserve to be here, now embrace the opportunity to start with a clean slate!
  • Finally, WORK HARD from Day 1! 1L grades and class rank are VERY important and will determine things like: whether you can write for a law journal, whether you can participate in moot court, and whether you can interview with law firms before your 2L year in On Campus Interviews (OCI). Start developing a consistent study schedule and the discipline to stick to it. 1L year is not the time to sit back and coast while you adjust to a new life. Remember that law school classes are curved, so by design, everyone will NOT get an A. It is critical not to fall behind on your coursework during the first semester.

 

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of April 16

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

Pre-Law Advising Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Campus Events

Career Center

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

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

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

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

National & International Scholarship Program – Fulbright Scholarship Workshops

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

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

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

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

       Webinars for those off campus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook UIUC Fulbright Events page is here.

Alan Dershowitz to Give Public Lecture at University of Illinois

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

 

 

 

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Course Options for Fall 2018

Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, here are some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. Check out Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

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

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

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

ACE 306: Food Law and ACE 406: Environmental Law

ADV 310: Intro to Public Relations: Introduces the student to the practice and profession of public relations. Course material covers topics such as the history of public relations and the role of law and ethics in public relations.

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

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

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

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

ECON 484: Law and Economics Applications of economic theory to problems and issues in both civil and criminal law and the effect of legal rules on the allocation of resources.

EDUC 202: Social Justice, School & Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HIST 395: Topics in Law and Society

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

LAW 301: Introduction to Law

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

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

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

LLS 468: Latinas/os & the Law

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

Philosophy options include:

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning This course is particularly helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics This course includes some basic exploration of ethics, including looking at the relationship between social morality and the law.
  • PHIL 436: Philosophy of Law and of the State

Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:

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

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

PSYC 468: Psych and Law

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

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

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

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

Other courses to explore different areas of law include:

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

Remember that these are only suggestions and that none of these courses is required for law school.  Further, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify courses that are the best fit for you.

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Guide to selecting pre-law coursework for Illinois students

Each semester, we post a list of upcoming courses that will help pre-law students develop relevant skills for law school and get a taste of what studying law is like. What else should you know about building your pre-law schedule? This Guide provides several tips and suggestions to help pre-law students make the most of your upcoming semesters.

Pre-Law students really can major in ANYTHING and be successful in law school, but you must be a strong student in whatever you choose. Therefore, carefully consider what major(s) and minor(s) will challenge you but also allow you to demonstrate your academic strengths. Explore all majors and minors on campus here.

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. This is especially important if you struggle academically for more than one semester–it is very challenging to fix a low GPA once obtained.

We recommend that you avoid making course selections for these reasons:

  • A friend/roommate/sibling/parent said the class was easy;
  • I only wanted classes in the afternoons/on Tu/Th/to complement my work schedule so I just picked what I could get into on those days;
  • I just 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.

Plan far in advance for study abroad, Illinois in Washington, and taking the LSAT. Most students try to lighten their academic load during the spring of Junior year or during the fall of Senior year while they prep for the LSAT. Studying for the LSAT will take about 10-15 hours per week for 4-6 months. Review upcoming LSAT dates and deadlines here. If you are planning to study abroad or do Illinois in Washington, talk to a pre-law advisor about planning your LSAT options around those.

Monitor your academic performance and seek help. Don’t wait until the last week of class to discover that you are actually not earning an A. Seek help when you need it–this University abounds with programs and services to support your academic endeavors! Start by talking to your TA/Professor and your academic advisor about academic support and tutoring options.

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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Make the most of your spring/spring break!

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

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

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

Freshmen and Sophomores:

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

Pre-Law Students and Alumni Applying This Fall:

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

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

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

Seniors and alumni headed to law school this fall:

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