Law School Open Houses – Illinois and Beyond

If you haven’t already, NOW is the time to plan your law school visits! Here is a roundup of Open House days or visit opportunities at law schools located outside of Illinois that are popular with Illini.

Illinois Law Schools

Chicago-Kent Law School Open House/Admissions Workshop:  Preparing for a Legal Career. Saturday, November 16, 9am-12:30pm. This will be an in-depth workshop on Preparing for a Legal Career, including a mini law school class, admissions overview, and tour. Click here to register!

University of Chicago Law School Open House – Monday, November 25, 1:00-4:30pm. The programs for the Open House will give you a glimpse into life at the Law School: you will attend a class, meet with students, faculty, and staff, and take a tour of the school. Members of the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid will be available to answer any questions you have about applying for admission to the Law School or about the Law School in general. Click here for more information and to register!

DePaul University College of Law – Saturday, November 23, 10am. The faculty, students and staff of DePaul University College of Law invite you and a guest to our Open House events for prospective students. Our programs provide you with information about admission requirements, areas of concentration and financial aid. Each Open House also includes a student panel discussion, mock class, lunch and a tour of our facilities. Programs begin promptly at 10 a.m.  For more information and to register, go here.

Loyola University School of Law – Friday, November 22, 11:15am We host information sessions to provide an informal opportunity to ask questions of a member of the JD Admission team. Approximately 45 minutes will be allotted for the information sessions. These sessions are offered on select dates during fall and spring semesters. Information sessions are intended for prospective students; admitted students should select from our other visit options. To register, go here and scroll down the page to find the registration for the  November 22 information session.

Northern Illinois University College of Law Open HouseSaturday, November 16, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Includes a student panel, mock class, tour, and lunch with current law students. For more information and to RSVP visit their website here.

Northwestern University School of Law – Super Saturday – November 9.  After requesting an On-Campus Interview within your JD application (so you need to submit your application first), the Admissions Office will send you an invitation and you will be equipped to select from available slots for your interview.  Go here for more info. Note:  Early decision / ED applicants are required to complete an online video interview. Upon submitting your ED application to Northwestern Law, you will receive an invitation to our online video interview portal and guidance for completing this requirement. For additional information on the interview process, visiting the school and other questions you may have, check out the FAQs on Northwestern Law’s website here.

Southern Illinois University School of Law  The best way to really connect with SIU is the see it for yourself.  Visits are scheduled during normal business hours – Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Complete the information here and an admissions representative will be in contact with you to customize your visit. We appreciate 48 hours notice for any campus visit. If you have any questions, please call the Office of Admissions at (618) 453-8858.

University of Illinois College of Law – Nothing will give you a greater sense of the College of Law at Illinois than an in-person visit.  Please reach out to our Office of Admissions to schedule your visit. You may also want to browse our events calendar, in case you’d like to schedule your visit to coincide with one of our upcoming events. For more information, go here.

UIC John Marshall Law School Throughout the academic year, the Office of Admission offers open house programs for prospective students interested in UIC John Marshall. The open house programs provide an overview of curriculum, the classroom experience, and student life, and offer prospects a chance to familiarize themselves with legal education. In addition, the Law School offers guided tours to prospective students at scheduled times throughout the week. To schedule a tour, call the Office of Admission at 800.537.4280. For more information, go here.

(Outside of Illinois) Big 10 Law Schools

Indiana University Maurer School of Law (click here to RSVP)

  • Admissions Information Session–Saturday, Dec. 7, 1-3 pm
  • Virtual Admissions Information Session– January 3, 6-7 pm EASTERN (12 -1 pm Central)
  • Individual visits can also be scheduled if you can’t attend these sessions

University of Iowa College of Law (click here)

  • Iowa Law Open House–Feb. 15, 2020 (register here)
  • Individual tours and class visits, along with self-guided tours, available

University of Michigan Law School offers individual visits here

  • Tours, classes, and appointments with an admissions counselor on most weekdays between 8 and 5; if you want to visit a class, however, we recommend avoiding Fridays because few classes are available.

Michigan State University Law School

University of Minnesota Law School 

  • Only self-guided tours and admissions counselor visits will be available during Finals & Winter Break (December 2 through January 22).

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

  • Fall Open House will be held on November 21, 2019 from 4-7 pm. Please register here.
  • Info sessions and class observations   Visits are conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays . Click here to access the schedule and RSVP

Penn State Law 

University of Wisconsin Law

  • Offers group visits and individual visits, plus an online tour of the law school  (click here)

Other (Outside Illinois) Law Schools Popular with Illini Applicants

Boston University Law School (click here)

  • BU Law Open House– Saturday, November 16 from 9:30 – 12:00 p.m.
  • Offers class visits with a posted schedule of available classes online

Emory Law (click here)

  • Offers information sessions every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am during the fall semester
  • Classroom observations have ended for fall but will be available again during spring semester
  • A campus virtual tour is also available here

Georgetown Law (click here)

  • JD Information Sessions and Guided Tours offered Nov. 22, Dec. 6, and Dec. 16
  • Self-guided tours and class visits (sitting in on a law school class) are offered for those who cannot make the sessions

George Washington Law (click here)

  • Student-led tours and class visits offered through Nov. 20. Contact the school to arrange visits after that date.

Notre Dame Law School (click here)

  • Offers class observations, admission sessions, and tours for prospective students on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Saint Louis University School of Law (click here)

  • Preview Day, Jan. 4 from 9:30 to 2:00

UCLA  Law

  • Tours are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and class visits are available by appointment. Click here to schedule.
  • UCLA Law Liveguide (online sessions with current students) recordings on a variety of topics are available to watch here

Vanderbilt Law School 

Washington University Law School (click here)

  • Open Houses will be held Friday, November 22, January 17, and February 28 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Details on scheduling individual visits, along with sample visitor schedules, can be arranged online
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Got pre-law questions? Start with the PLAS Pre-Law Handbook!

Although we love meeting students and alumni, we know that these meetings would be more useful and productive for all of you if potential applicants and aspiring lawyers would take the time to review the great information in our PLAS Pre-Law Handbook.  The user-friendly formatted Handbook covers a wide range of issues of interest to pre-law students.  You should take a look at all of them.  This post will highlight 5 really popular topics.

1. Exploring Your Interest in Law – This is for everyone new to pre-law, whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or alum!  This section helps you evaluate your interest in the law and whether it might be a good fit.  Some of the areas covered/links provided include: What is a JD? What do lawyers do? What are some good online resources on the law? We have also included links to podcasts on these topics. Click here  and then select the “Exploring Your Interest in Law” tab for more info.  You should also check out our “Pre-Law Student/Applicant Checklist” tab for a list of “to-dos” that will help you get a general picture of what being pre-law entails. Note-the first suggestion in this section is that you attend a Pre-Law 101 session.

2. Preparing for Law School – So you’ve decided that you are interested in pursuing law school and a legal career.  This section helps you decide what you need to do now to prepare for law school. Some of the topics covered/links provided include: How do I select a major? What skills do the law schools value? What kind of extracurricular activities should you consider? How do law schools consider grade replacement, credit/no credit, or withdrawals?  Click here  and then select the “Preparing for Law School” tab for more info.

3. Financing Law School – Law school is expensive!  In fact, the cost of attendance/COA (tuition plus other expenses) at three well-known law schools recently topped $100,000 per year!  How do you plan to pay for it?  How do you put yourself in the best position to receive scholarships from law schools?  Click here  and then select the “Financing Law School” tab for more info.

4. Understanding Admissions Criteria – So what exactly are law school admissions people looking for in a candidate?  To be sure, a strong GPA coupled with a good LSAT score is important.  But what about: volunteer experiences; internships that expose applicants to the practice of law; letters of recommendation? These are just some of the topics covered in this section of the handbook.  Click here  and then select the “Understanding Admissions Criteria” tab for more info.

5. Applying to Law School – This section covers all topics related to the process of and requirements for applying to law school.  Some of the topics covered/links provided include: What is “rolling admissions”? What is the LSAT and how do I study for it?  What do the law schools require that applicants submit with their applications? How do I put together a law school resume? Click here  and then select the “Applying to Law School” tab for more info. Note: this particular section of the handbook has a LOT of “sub” tabs within the section addressing all aspects of the application process.  Aspiring law school applicants should review all of them!

The point is – the PLAS Pre-Law Handbook is an excellent resource.  It is intended to be a comprehensive overview of what it means to be “pre-law.”  It is also interactive, easy to use, and constantly updated.  As such, it is always a very good place to begin to find answers to your pre-law questions.

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Midwest Pre-Law Summer Programs

Midwest Pre-Law Summer Programs

Summer pre-law programs are an excellent opportunity for undergrads to learn more about law school! Some are paid and other programs have fees and a cost for students to attend. These programs are a different way to explore being pre-law during the summer months. These programs are a great addition to a resume, but are in no way mandatory for a pre-law student.

Some universities offer pre-law programs on their campuses. This is a way for you to learn more about law school, visit a law school and campus, and learn more about law school in a structured setting. If you are considering attending law school at any of the schools below, these summer pre-law programs are an excellent way to get your foot in the door and experience what your life could be like there throughout law school.

Here is information about three pre-law summer programs; there are many other programs in many other locations in addition to these three, which are provided on our compass page. (Not a member of our Compass page? Follow these easy steps to add yourself.)

IIT Chicago-Kent

Program: Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program

Dates: Sunday, June 4, to Friday, June 23, 2017

Cost: Free

Location: Chicago, IL

Application Deadline: March 1, 2017 — Click here to access

Program Information:  The PLUS program is a free, three-week summer program that will: provide participants with a deeper understanding of legal education via the program’s rigorous doctrinal and experiential skills-based curriculum; help participants develop essential core competencies needed to succeed in the law school application and admissions process, as well as insight into navigating the process; and expose students to a wide range of career paths within the legal profession.

Students must attend all classes and participate in all program activities in order to be accepted and to receive a stipend. This is a full-time commitment. Therefore, students must be available during the day and some evenings, and have no outside commitments that would prevent them from giving the program their full attention. Students must agree to provide PLUS administrators with education and career updates after completion of the program.

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Program: Robert H. McKinney School of Law Summer Law and Leadership Academy

Dates:  June 16-22, 2019

Location: Indiana University

Application Deadline: April 5th, 2019 — Click here to access

Program Information: The Robert H. McKinney School of Law Summer Law and Leadership Academy is a one-week experience designed to introduce undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to law school and various careers that they may pursue with a law degree. If you are selected for the Law and Leadership Academy, you will learn about hot topics in the law and strengthen your academic skills.

University of Minnesota Law School

Program: Minnesota Pre Law Scholars Program (MPLS)

Dates:  Early June – Mid August 2019

Location: University of Minnesota

Application Deadline: March 1st, 2019 — Click here to access

Program Information: College students considering law school, especially rising seniors and those from groups historically underrepresented in law school are encouraged to apply. The program is open to undergraduate students (and recent alums) from any undergraduate institution.

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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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Heading to law school this fall? Here’s the inside scoop on what to know, buy, and do

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 you’ve posted? If not, take them down, and set privacy restrictions for future posts.
    • Set up a new, professional-sounding gmail account (not lawguy14 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 tips and tricks.
    • Create a Linked In profile.
    • Update your resume.
    • Subscribe to free 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. Here’s the thing: You are going to 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. Use your networking skills and begin reaching out to any contacts in industries 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

  • 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 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 should 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 9 months of living expenses, and it is not designed to cover elements like car payments, credit card debt, or daycare. 

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 the gift of 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 – March 27

Welcome back!  We hope you had a restful break. 

Still not sure about whether to go straight to law school from UIUC or work for year or two first? PLAS resumes its programming this Wednesday, March 29, 5pm, 514 IUB, with the “Taking a Gap Year” Workshop! Scroll down for more info on this, other programs, UIUC summer class options, and scholarships with deadlines this week!

PLAS Programs

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School — THIS Wednesday, March 29, 5-6pm, Room 514 IUB

Are you considering working or taking a gap year before law school? Do you want to know more about going straight through to law school after undergrad? Pre-Law Advising Services and the UIUC Pre-Law Honor Society are co-hosting an event for students to learn more about different paths to law school. The panel will feature three current law students at the UIUC College of Law–two with work experience and one who went directly from undergrad to law school–to answer your questions and discuss the pros and cons of going straight to law school versus taking time off and working. We will also share some tips and suggestions for students to maximize their time and effectively highlight post-undergraduate skills.

International Students’ Paths to U.S. Legal Education — NEXT 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.

PLAS has additional programs planned for April, including: Transitioning to Law School; Applying to Law School; and Personal Statement and Resume for Law School Workshop.  Go here for more information on all of our programs: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/2508.

UIUC Summer 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.

Looking for some ideas for Fall 2017 classes?  Watch for for our midweek PLAS blog post!

Internships and Summer Pre-Law Programs

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! Scroll down for info on the Career Center’s “Illini Career & Internship Fair”, set for next Wednesday, April 5 at the ARC! 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.

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 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.
  • Resume, Cover Letter and Linked In Reviews — March 27, 2-4:30 pm Career Center;  7-9 pm Undergrad Library, Consultation Corner.  There are multiple other dates and times for this workshop.  Go here to see more options.
  • Finding An Internship — March 28, 6-7pm, Career Center Room 143
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume — March 28, 5-6pm Career Center Room 143
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 4-5pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for International Students — March 30, 5-6pm, The Interview Suite, 616 East Green Street, Room 213
  • Selling Your LAS Degree at Career Fairs — March 30, 5-6pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1002
  • Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop — March 31, 2-3:30pm, Career Center Conference Room

Scholarship Opportunities 

Carlton Caspers Diversity & Inclusion ScholarshipCarlson Caspers, a Minneapolis-based IP law firm, fosters a culture that welcomes and embraces differences in people and perspectives. In keeping with the firm’s focus on recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of groups that are under-represented in the field of intellectual property law, Carlson Caspers’ Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program provides up to two $5,000 scholarships each academic year to prospective law students who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and who are interested in practicing intellectual property law in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The scholarship recipients will also participate in Carlson Casper’s 2017 Summer Program. Applications are due THIS THURSDAY, April 1, 2017. Learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program at Carlson Casper

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

BARBRI Law Preview and the American Bar Association have partnered to award one incoming law student a $10,000 scholarship and a second runner up a $5,000 scholarship to help offset the cost of first year law school tuition. Application deadline: April 15! Panelists will select and notify 10 finalists by April 25, 2017. Official rules.

  • Complete your online scholarship application on lawpreview.com.
  • Submit a 250-word essay online in response to:
    How you hope to use your law degree to change our world and how would $10,000 towards your 1L tuition change your world?
  • Stay tuned on April 25, 2017, to see if you’re a winner.

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards scholarships up to $10,000 for students working for social and economic justice. Applications–including recommendations–due THIS Friday, April 1. 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 Hispanic Scholarship Fund awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications due THIS Wednesday, March 30. Click here to apply.

The Iranian American Bar Association provides scholarships to law students of Iranian-American heritage. Applications due THIS Thursday, March 31. Click here to apply.

Jewish Vocational Service scholarships are available to Jewish students demonstrating financial need. Applications due THIS Thursday, March 31. 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.

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Admitted Student Days and Law School Visits

 Admitted Students Days and Law School Visits

Admitted student days are typically day-long events and programs that are held by most law schools for admitted students only. These events allow you to visit and see the school. If you are unsure about your decision, an admitted student day can help make your decision a little easier.

When choosing a law school, it is important to make sure it’s the right fit for you. Admitted student days are the best way to learn about the school(s) you are considering. These events are a preview to what the next three years will be like.

Travel expenses are also reimbursed for many schools if you are traveling a certain distance for the event. Some schools will cover up to $300-$400 in travel expenses. Check with the school for more information.

Here are some tips for admitted student days:

  1. Dress professionally.
    1. Business casual dress is a good idea for an event like this.
    2. If you meet professors, deans, and other important people, you want to look the part.
    3. At the very least, be cognizant that you will be making many first impressions this day, you want to dress appropriately.
    4. Check with the school and see if they have a dress code for the day – some schools will be more formal than others.
  2. Try to write down your thoughts after the admitted students day.
    1. Did you like the way the school was set up?
    2. Is there anything unique about the school that made you more inclined to go there?
    3. Is there anything you didn’t like?
    4. What was your overall impression of the students?
    5. If you go to more than one admitted student day, try to remember how the students interacted with one another – could you see yourself fitting in at this school?
  3. Ask questions!
    1. Talk to the current students about employment, externships/internships, job placements, bar passage rates, and what they think of the school. Current student perspectives can be an asset for the decision process.
    2. What type of extracurricular activities are they involved in? Or what clubs? What programs are best for a first year law student to join?
    3. How often are there networking events at the law school?
    4. If you are concerned about finances, ask students if they work at law firms or are paid research assistants? Are there any ways to off-set the costs early on?
  4. Explore the surrounding area.
    1. What is the average cost for rent? Where do most law students live? What is the month that most leases start?
    2. How close are grocery stores and malls? Are there other libraries nearby besides the library in the law building?
    3. Do you need a car for this school? What does it cost to park near the law school or to take public transportation?
    4. What is it like to travel to this town or city? Some schools are more difficult to get to than others. Keep in mind the trip you will need to take to back for school vacations and breaks.
    5. Are there nearby courthouses and law firms where students can work?
  5. Refrain from bringing guests to an admitted student day.
    1. While it is great to have your parents supporting you, you should be attending this event on your own and the decision you make should be for you.

If you cannot make a formal admitted student day or you get off a wait list after an admitted student day, try to visit the law schools you are seriously considering. Law school is busy enough – the first time you step on campus should not be the first day of school. If you are waitlisted at a school and are highly considering it as an option if you get in, try to visit during spring break or when you have the time now.

Consider joining “Admitted Student” Facebook pages (if the school has one) and/or other social media accounts if you are looking for a roommate, or trying to meet more people before you start school. Some schools have roommate matching programs in place for the incoming classes. If you know any alumni or current students at the law school you are visiting, check in with them to see the advice they have in mind.

If you cannot make the formal event, try to visit over spring break or over a weekend before the next seat deposit is due. Law school is a big investment for both time and money – you want to make sure it’s the right fit for you!

Also, consider attending Pre-Law Advising Services’ “Transitioning to Law School Event” on April 10th to learn more about what you can do to prepare for the start of your law school career!

Here are the dates for some admitted student days for schools in Illinois:

Chicago-Kent: Admitted Students Weekend is: Friday March 31 and Saturday April 1; Other visit days for Admitted Students are: March 10th and 24th, April 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th, and May 5th 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

DePaul: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 (5:30 PM), Saturday, April 8, 2017 (10 AM), Saturday, May 20, 2017 (10 AM)

Loyola Chicago: Saturday March 25 and Friday April 28.

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Mark Your Calendars — Week of April 6

PLAS Events

The Path to Practicing Law in the US: An International Law Student Panel & Discussion: THIS Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 4:30 – 5:30 PM in IUB Room 514. Are you an international student considering attending law school in the U.S.? Join us as we host a panel of international law students from China and Brazil. PLAS welcomes four current College of Law international students, Ning Ning, Andre Reis, Zhiqi Wu and Xi Zhou, to answer questions and discuss their experiences studying law in the U.S. After the panel, students will get to talk to the speakers in small groups. Bring your questions! For more information on the event and the panelists, go here. Food will be served. No registration necessary.

Applying to Law School: A Webinar for Fall Applicants: Next Monday, April 13, 4:00-5:15pm.

If you are planning to apply to law school this fall, this workshop is for you! We will create a plan to help you maximize your law school applications for admission and scholarship purposes by getting them in EARLY. Topics include: First steps to take in the application process; Making the most of summer; Tackling the personal statement; Creating an application strategy; and Financing your law school application cycle. Bring your questions about law school applications! We are piloting this workshop as a WEBINAR and we will be using Compass. Please register at this link and we will send login information prior to the workshop.

For more info about these and other PLAS Events, including our upcoming “Perfecting the Personal Statement and Resume for Law School” workshop, set for Monday, April 20, 4-5pm, IUB 514, go here.

Campus Events

Career Center Workshops and Career Fairs —Unless otherwise indicated, all workshops are held at the Career Center, 715 S. Wright Street. For more information or to register, click here.

  • Hire Big 10 Plus Virtual Career Fair, Tues, April 7 and Wed, April 8, 8:00am – 5:30pm.  To see what employers are participating and for more info on this live, online event, go here.
  • Getting the Job: Interviewing Tips, Tues, April 7, 5-6 pm
  • Research Park Career Fair, Wed, April 8, 4:30-7:00pm, John Deere Bldg, 2021 South First Street, #101. For more info, go here.
  • Creating Powerful Resumes and Cover Letters, Thurs, April 9, 4-5pm
  • Professional Communication for International Students, Thurs, April 9, 4-5:30pm, The Interview Suite, 616 E. Green (enter Kaplan building next to McDonald’s and head to 2nd floor).

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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