Show me the $$$

At this point in the law school admissions cycle most people have been accepted to multiple places and are waiting on a few more. What financial steps should you be taking now?

  • Complete your FAFSA. Most people will be utilizing federal loans for some portion of their law school expenses, and completing the FAFSA is the first step in that process. Many law schools will also ask you to complete the FAFSA to consider you for need-based aid. Speaking of…
  • Read your admission offers/aid packages carefully. Many schools will invite admitted applicants to apply for specific school-based scholarships after admission, so make sure that you are paying attention to those applications and deadlines. Now is a good time to work on those “invited” scholarship applications. In addition…
  • Educate yourself about how law school financial aid works and what you should know about it. AccessLex, a nonprofit, offers excellent free online resources to help you calculate your student loan costs, understand the types of aid offered, and plan your law school budgets. Check out their excellent guide Financing Your Legal Education here. We also have paper versions of this guide in the office if you’d like to stop by and pick one up. They are also offering a free Financing Your Legal Education webinar; click the link to register .
  • Crunch the numbers. Do not compare two scholarships and assume that the bigger scholarship is a better deal! When comparing scholarship offers, you must consider the following
    • Add up tuition over 3 years, and assume a 3-5% increase in tuition each year unless the law school guarantees or “freezes” tuition. (Is this included in your offer?)
    • Subtract the scholarship amount from this tuition estimate.
    • Now look at the living expenses budget provided by the school and add this in, assuming a 3-5% increase each year.
    • What is your actual OUT OF POCKET expense for attending each school to which you’ve been accepted? Add your final tuition costs together with your living expenses to estimate this.
    • These are the numbers you should be considering and presenting to law schools when asking for reconsideration of your scholarship package. Show that you’ve done your research.
  • Apply for other scholarships. In addition to scholarships from the law school, there are many other scholarship opportunities for which incoming law students are eligible. Check out our database of 286 scholarships (many for law students and some for continuing undergrads) over on our Compass page!
  • Learn how to effectively and respectfully negotiate your scholarship offers. Join us for a Negotiating Law School Scholarships workshop in which a panel of law school deans share their expertise on February 26 at 5:00 pm in 1090 Lincoln Hall. What should you ask? What should you avoid saying? What are effective reasons for increasing aid, and what is a nonstarter? Find out from the deans of the University of Illinois College of Law, DePaul University College of Law, and Chicago-Kent Illinois Institute of Technology College of Law. Click here for more details.
Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Admissions Cycle Roundup – February Checklist Items

February is here! Sadly, per the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, we still have to endure several more weeks of winter.  Now is a good time for those of you in the midst of the application cycle to think about a few things.

  1. Admitted Student Days Many of you have been admitted to several law schools and are in the process of deciding where you will go next year.  Most law schools offer “Admitted Students” days or weekends.  We encourage you to try to attend these events for the law schools where you are still considering attending.  Remember: you will be spending the next three years of your life there.  It is important to determine if the school is a good fit, both in terms of your classmates and the school’s location BEFORE you accept an admissions offer.  There is no substitute for a campus visit.
  2. Declining Admissions Offers Those of you who have already accepted an admissions offer should notify the other law schools to which you applied that you will not be attending their law school.  This allows those schools to plan and to offer admission to another applicant so is the right thing to do.
  3. Financial Aid and Housing Once you have accepted an admissions offer, you should touch base with the Financial Aid office to make sure that you have submitted all of the necessary paperwork to secure your scholarship/financial aid package, including your FAFSA. In addition, it is a good idea to reach out to the admissions office to find out the best way to begin researching your housing options.  Some law schools actually maintain lists of housing options with reviews by law students.
  4. Negotiating Scholarships If you are still deciding among multiple law school admissions offers and wondering how to negotiate additional scholarship funds, plan on attending our Negotiating Scholarships Workshop, Monday, February 26, 5pm, Room 1090 Lincoln Hall, featuring: 

Amanda Noascono, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions, DePaul University College of Law

Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law

Nicole Vilches, Assistant Dean for Admissions, Chicago-Kent College of Law

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Interesting, fun, and productive things for everyone pre-law to do over winter break

Make your summer plans!

  • Apply for spring and summer 2018 internships! Check out our 2017 Internship Newsletter over on our Compass page for over 25 pages of internship listings and ideas. (Don’t wait until spring to look for summer internships–many will be filled by then.)
  • Apply for Summer 2018 pre-law programs. In addition to those we listed in our Internship Newsletter, we’ve also posted a spreadsheet of pre-law summer programs over on our Compass page with links and application details. Note: Many scholarships are available to incoming 1Ls even if you don’t know which law school you are attending yet, like this one, so it’s still a good time to apply for them.
  • Apply for Summer 2018 Study Abroad programs. Now is the time, as many summer study abroad program deadlines are in January/February like this Rome trip about Italian healthcare (due Jan. 15) or this ACES in Argentina program. Explore all available summer programs on the Study Abroad website.

REGISTER for the June 2018 LSAT. With LSAT takers up 20% this year, we expect next year to fill even earlier than it typically does (around spring break). Registration is open here: https://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines/2018-2019/us-canada-june

Apply for scholarships!

  • Explore the Top Scholars website here–they offer lots of opportunities like these upcoming scholarships: UK Summer Fulbright, Boren, and Gilman scholarships.
  • Did you know that you can get a scholarship for writing one tweet? Or making a 2 minute video? Or being left-handed? Check out our 275+ Scholarship Spreadsheet–listing ALL kinds of scholarships, not just essays–over on our Compass page.

Update your professional and online presence

  • Draft or update your resume to reflect what you accomplished this semester. These Career Center resources on drafting resumes can be helpful.
  • Create or update your LinkedIn profile
  • Create a professional-sounding email account (such as your full name, not jedimaster97 or hotmama23) if you are getting ready to apply for jobs, internships, scholarships, or graduate school
  • Clean up your social media/online presence. When you apply for jobs, internships, or graduate school, many people will Google you or review your social media sites, so make sure they are appropriate for those audiences. Take down anything questionable, un-tag yourself, and double check your privacy settings.

Informational Interviews. While you have some free time, take the opportunity to reach out to local lawyers and get some insight into legal careers. Ask if you can take them to coffee and chat about their careers.

  • How to find lawyers: Do your parents know any lawyers? Do you have any family members or family friends who are lawyers? They probably know even more lawyers to whom they can refer you for even more interviews. If you don’t know any lawyers and you live in Illinois, use the Illinois Lawyer Finder here, which allows you to search for lawyers by location and practice area around the state
  • For more details on how to conduct the interview use this Career Center resource.

Read up on legal issues and legal careers

  • A great book providing insight into lots of different legal careers is 24 Hours with 24 Lawyers by Jasper Kim. 
  • Legal websites and blogs abound. Here are popular legal sites where you can learn about hot legal issues and about the legal profession.
    • SCOTUSblog for up-to-the-minute analyses of what the Supreme Court is hearing and doing
    • Law.com for a look inside the legal profession from various practice areas
    • LawProfessorBlogs.com Want to get a peek into the world of law professors and the topics they consider important? This site provides a directory of many different blogs by topic area and includes everything from Adoption Law to White Collar Crime and everything in-between.
    • Illinois State Bar Association’s website includes a blog and daily legal news about legal issues around the state. (You can find other state sites by searching, for example, “Texas” and state bar association.)

Listen to podcasts–there are tons of great legal podcasts out there, including these.

  • I Am the Law presents interviews with all different types of lawyers, from environmental lawyers to prosecutors to family law and corporate.
  • Serial provides an in depth view of the nuance and challenges of prosecuting crimes as each season analyzes one criminal case.
  • Women in the Law. This special short-term series explored issues of particular relevance to women in the profession.
  • The Girl’s Guide to Law School–Don’t be fooled by the name; this is not just for girls! This podcast is relevant for everyone interested in law school. With topics ranging from Will Law School Be a Disaster to Which Law School Should I Go To to explaining OCI (an interview process for law students) to Avoiding Disasters in Law School to how to read cases, this podcast truly has something for everyone.

If you are currently applying to law school:

  • Finish those applications. It is time to get them in!
  • Plan your law school visits–many schools will have open houses or visit days in January and February. This may require pre-registration and some travel that you’ll want to plan in advance.
  • Follow your law schools on social media if you’d like to know when they are making decisions or scheduling open house/admitted student events.
  • Make a Pre-Law Advising appointment–If you have application questions or want some feedback on an essay, you can make a phone or Skype appointment if you’re not in the area. Here is our appointment availability over winter break.
    • Appointments with a pre-law advisor are available through December 21.
    • The office will be closed December 25 through January 1, reopening on Jan. 2. (Staff will not be available during this time.)
    • Appointments will be available again January 2 through January 12.
    • Our regular schedule will resume with the Spring Semester on January 16.

 

 

 

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Mark Your Calendars: Week of April 3

April has lots of great programs, workshops, and deadlines, so take a close look at this week’s Mark Your Calendars.

Pre-Law Advising Services (PLAS) events 

 

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — Wednesday, April 5, 4-5pm, Room 504, IUB. Are you an international student considering law school in the United States? Join us for this panel. Two second year law students from the University of Illinois College of Law, one originally from China and one originally from the Ukraine, will be answering your questions about attending law school in the United States. Topics discussed will include: the benefits and long-term value of an American law degree, researching your options, visa processes, skills & experiences that are most helpful for employment after law school, and life at an American law school. No registration necessary.

 

Are you headed to law school this fall? Join us for Transitioning to Law School on Monday, April 10 at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building to learn what you need to know before heading off to law school! From finding living arrangements to what to buy/get or get rid of, hear from current law students what they wish they’d known before starting law school!

Join the Pre-Law Honors Society TONIGHT at 6 pm in Lincoln Hall Room 1028 where Professor William Ford from John Marshall Law School will be talking about the application process and about The Use of Trademarks in Video Games. All are welcome!

Summer & Fall Classes

Thinking of taking summer classes?  Enroll now!  There are lots of options for both class based and online courses.  One class that might be of interest to pre-law students is Law 199: The Best of American Case Law. This is a 10-day summer course designed to introduce students to some of the most important and exciting law school cases. Students will come to understand how the law school classroom works, experience a broad sample of at least eight different areas of the law, and engage with nationally renowned law faculty as they present some of the most important legal cases.  All students will receive a certificate for successful completion of the course. Current University of Illinois students will also receive 3 credit hours.  Go here for more information: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2017/summer.

Interested in ideas for other Fall 2017 classes?  Check out this PLAS blog for suggestions.

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

Illini Career & Internship Fair — Wednesday, April 5, 2017,  Noon – 5:00pm, Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive. The Illini Spring Career & Internship Fair connects you with top-notch talent at just the right time!  Whether you are seeking to fill a newly opened position, have decided to hire a summer intern or have not reached your hiring target, consider participating in this “just-In-time” career fair. This fair brings together students from a variety of majors who have rich diversity, exceptional skills, and a breadth of experiences.

The Office of Volunteer Programs is hiring PAID undergraduate office staff positions School year student employees work regular office hours as well as special events that occur in the mornings, evenings, and on weekends. Applicants must be enrolled in Fall 2017 classes at the start of employment. Starting pay rate is $8.25/hr. To apply: please complete an application at the Illini Union Employment website, and after you have filled out the form, send a cover letter that includes your interest in the position along how you will contribute to the success of the office; a resume; phone and email contact information for two references; and availability for a potential 30-minute phone/Skype/in-person interview during the next three weeks to John Race, Program Advisor, by email at jrrace@illinois.edu.

Apply to be a Women in Leadership Intern. The YWCA of the University of Illinois is seeking Women in Leadership interns for the 2017-18 school year. Women in Leadership is an intensive, two semester leadership and project management internship. Structured as a group consulting project, the program allows interns to work directly with local human services agencies to learn about the nonprofit sector; identify organizational challenges; and research, propose, and implement solutions. Throughout the year, interns receive training focusing on professional development, leadership skills, and building a working team, all of which are applied to their projects. Interns are guided through this process by mentors drawn from Urbana-Champaign’s excellent professional and graduate student pools. Open to all UIUC students. For more information, please contact Amarin Young at amarin@ywcauofi.org. To learn more and apply, visit: www.ywcauofi.org/womeninleadership. Applications are due April 30th.

We hope that you have been keeping up on our blog and Facebook posts about internships and summer pre-law programs.  Time is slipping away – summer will be here before you know it so if you don’t have anything set, now is the time to work on securing something! Another resource you should continue to utilize is our 20 page Internship Newsletter over on our Pre-Law Compass page that we posted in December! (Click here for instructions on how to access our Compass page.) The Internship Newsletter has lots of job and internship listings for spring, summer and long-term opportunities from Champaign to D.C. and beyond.  In addition, you should regularly check iLink to see if summer internships have been posted there.

The Career Center has posted its spring workshop calendar on their website at: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events.  Now is a great time to update your resume, plan your job search or summer internship, and get to know their office and resources.  Scroll down for information about that and other upcoming workshops.

  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — April 3, 4-5 pm, Lincoln Hall 1002
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — April 3, 5-6 pm, Career Center Room 143, April 4, 4-5 pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Making Your Major Decision– April 4, 4-5 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building
  • Employer Spotlight–April 4, 6-7 pm, Illini Union 104
  • Illini Career & Internship Fair–April 5, 12-5 pm, ARC
  • Pizza and Professional: Careers Working With Children — April 7, 12-1pm, Career Center Interview Suite Room 213

Scholarship Opportunities 

NEW–The Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship is accepting applications until May 19. This scholarship awards $40,000 over 3 years to an incoming law student attending any Illinois law school who intends to pursue a career in public interest law. Click here for more details and to apply.

The BARBRI & American Bar Association Scholarship will award $10,000 to an incoming law student and a $5,000 award to a runner up to help pay for the first year of law school. Applications due April 15. Click here to apply.

The Aspiring Attorney scholarship awards $1,000 towards law school. Application due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Earl Warren Scholarship awards $10,000 to entering law students for each year of law school (totalling $30,000). Applications due May 1. Click here to apply.

The Lawson Law Scholarship provides $2,000 towards tuition for young Christian law students. Applications due April 30. Click here to apply.

The Moses & Rooth Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming 1L student. Applications due June 1. Click here to apply.

The O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley LLP Scholarship will award $1,000 to an incoming law student. Must demonstrate proof of acceptance to law school. Applications due July 15. Click here to apply.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email