May Snapshot

Congratulations!  May is a transitional month marking the end of the academic year/spring and the beginning of summer.  As you wrap up your end of semester obligations and begin looking to the summer, be sure to check back to the blog regularly for updates and new information – including upcoming deadlines for summer pre-law programs. 

We hope you have a fantastic summer and stay in touch with any questions you may have!

May 1: Deadline! Last day to sign up for CLEO’s ASAP (Achieving Success in the Application Process) Program. Find more information here.

May 3: Deadline! Last day to apply for a UIUC Career Center Internship Position. The application is due by 5pm. Interested candidates will need to email, in one file/document, a resume, cover letter, and a brief 250 word writing sample on “How does this position fit into your personal and professional goals?” to:
James Castree, Assistant Director – The Career Center castree2@illinois.edu.

May 3: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here for more information.

May 3: Women’s Resources Center: Dish It Up-I’m Speaking: Finding a Community of Voices to Create Social Change 12-1pm. Find more information here.

May 4: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 12-1pm. Click here for more information.

May 4: Inner Voices Social Issues Theatre Auditions from 6-7pm. For questions, please contact Lisa Fay at lfay@illinois.edu or 217-244-0212.

May 4: AccessLex: Choosing a Law School Webinar at 5pm. Click here for more information.

May 4: Center for Writing Studies: Writing with Style: Revising Paragraphs and Sentences from 1-2pm. Click here for more information.

May 4: UNC Center for European Studies: European Union Supply Chains and Trade: Improving Worker Rights? from 10am-12pm. Click here for more information.

May 5: Last Day of Spring Instruction

May 5: Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations: Writing for Rest and Restoration 4-5:15pm. Find more information here.

May 5: Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment: Climate Change: Implications for National and Global Energy Policies from 12-1:30pm. Find more information here.

May 6: Reading Day – Looking for Study Spaces?  Click here for a list of campus spaces which have been made available for final exam study!

May 6: FBI Career Webinar from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.  To register, please click here.

May 6: IGB Fellows Symposium from 9am-5pm. Find more information here.

May 6: University Library: Main/Undergraduate Library Integration Project Open Forum from 10:30am-12pm. Click here for more information.

May 6: CS Mental Health Committee: Destress on Reading Day from 12-1pm. Click here for more information.

May 6: University of San Francisco School of Law Finding Success in Your Law Classes webinar from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm PST. Click here to register.

May 7: Final Examination Period Begins – Good Luck to All!

May 7: College of Education and College of Education Advancement: Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. David Stovall, UIC, COE alum from 11am-12pm. Find more information here.

May 7: Belmont College of Law Virtual Preview Day from Noon – 1:00 pm (CST).  Click here to register.

May 10: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here for more information.

May 10: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies: CLACS Lecture Series. Minorities and the Constitutional Process in Chile at 3pm. Find more information here.

May 11: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 12-1pm. Click here for more information.

May 11: University of Illinois Archives: Women in Science-May Lecture with Dr. Ruby Mendenhall from 12-1pm. Find more information here.

May 12: Pre-Law Advising: End of Semester Open Office Hours from 3-5pm. Click here to join.

May 12: SAPLA How to Apply to Law School for Non-Citizens  from 7:30 – 9:30 pm (5:30 -7:30 PT). Click here to register and for additional details.

May 13: Pre-Law Advising: End of Semester Open Office Hours from 3-5pm. Click here to join.

May 15: Deadline! Last day to register for Just the Beginning: Tea Time with Attorneys pipeline program. Click here to register.

May 16: LSAT Deadline – Assistance Request Deadline (for required technology, internet access, or quiet space) for the June LSAT

May 17: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here for more information.

May 18: AccessLex: Your PSLF Action Plan Webinar at 3pm. Click here for more information.

May 18: Elevating Your Virtual Presence Webinar with Elisabeth Hutchison 2:30 pm (12:30 PDT). Click here to learn more and register.

May 19: AccessLex: Applying to Law School Webinar at 1pm. Click here for more information.

May 19: College of Media: Conversation with College Leadership: Lessons Learned and Looking Forward from 12-1pm. Find more information here.

May 20: University of Chicago Law School hosts Bridge across the Midway: Law School and the Law School Admissions Process from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Click here to register.

May 20: AccessLex: The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment Webinar at 1pm. Click here for more information.

May 25: Just the Beginning: Tea Time with Attorneys Pipeline Program from 11am-12:30pm. Click here to register.

May 27: AccessLex: Paying for Law School Webinar at 5pm. Click here for more information.

May 28: School of Social Work: Macro-Level Advocacy through Public Service or Public Administration from 12-2pm. Find more information here.

May 28: Belmont College of Law Virtual Preview Day from Noon – 1:00 pm (CST).  Click here to register.

May 29: LSAT Deadline – Test Date Change Deadline (No Charge) for the June LSAT

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Pre-Law Student Organizations

Looking for ways to connect with fellow peers interested in law school?   

Seeking leadership roles and activities to demonstrate your interest in the legal profession? 

We often hear from students looking for ways to be involved with pre-law activities and connect with fellow students interested in law school.  Extracurricular activities provide excellent opportunities to obtain leadership experience, gain additional insights about law school, and demonstrate your interest in the legal profession.  Recently we asked pre-law organizations at UIUC to share details about their organizations with us.  As you make plans for the upcoming year,  be sure to check out these highlighted organizations!

University of Illinois Pre-Law Club

University of Illinois Pre-Law Club is a professional student organization that helps students explore career paths with their Pre-Law track, learn from legal professionals, prepare the most successful law school applications, and build their law career. Pre-Law Club connects students with resources to assist them in their Pre-Law journey both on-campus and with test prep partners, such as The Princeton Review and LSATMax.

 

  • Illinois Trial Team

The Illinois Trial team is a law based competition program where students can learn the basics of trial advocacy. Members learn how to make legal arguments, think critically, and how to perfect their presentational skills. They simulate the trial experience by imitating attorneys and witnesses as we compete against other teams.

    • How to Join: There is a two round try out process that takes place in late August to early September.
    • Learn More: Check out their website: http://www.illinoistrialteam.com/ and/or their Instagram: Illinois Trial Team
    • Connect via Social Media: Instagram/Twitter: @illinoistrialteam

 

  • Minority Association for Future Attorneys (MAFA)

Founded to assist and forward pre-law students, their journey to law school, and becoming successful attorneys.

    • Learn More: Follow them on social media and join their email list by clicking here.
    • Connect via Social Media: Twitter: @MAFA_UIUC and Instagram: @mafa_uiuc

 

Pre-Law Honors Society

The Pre-Law Honors Society of the University of Illinois seeks to provide activities and opportunities that will facilitate the needs and wants of pre-law students who have achieved high honors at the undergraduate level. Through such activities, they strive to further educate members on the requirements and preparation needed to enter a law school as well as any legal profession. One of their main goals is to create a productive and friendly environment for students who are interested in the study of law and to provide them with various resources regarding the law school application process. In doing so, PLHS offers its members various opportunities to be further explored at their own interest.

 

Kappa Alpha Pi (KAP)

Kappa Alpha Pi fraternity focuses on growing its members’ professional skills while also giving them access to law school related resources such as LSAT prep and advice from law school admissions counselors during our annual KAP Conference. They hosts events all year round that promote a sense of community, teach our members essential career-building skills, expose their members to different legal opportunities, and provide them with the resources to succeed.

    • How to Join: Each semester Kappa Alpha Pi holds a recruitment process that consists of multiple rounds of interviews. An interested student can contact them at any point during the school year and they will add them to their contact list where they will be notified about when the next rush process will be.
    • Learn More: KAP is active on their instagram page, which is @illinoiskap. If a student has questions, they are always welcome to email them at uiuckapprelaw@gmail.com.
    • Connect via Social Media: Instagram: @illinoiskap
Phi Alpha Delta (PAD)

Phi Alpha Delta is a Pre-Law Professional Fraternity. Members have access to a network of thousands of PAD members, both pre-law and law students, as well as events held by both national and local organizations. Some examples of events PAD has done: talks with senators, judge speakers, linkedin and resume workshops, study parties, internship opportunities, and much more.

    • How to Join: Students can join Phi Alpha Delta at any time. Contact the following email for further instruction: uiuc.pad.pl@gmail.com.
    • Learn More: Dm PAD on Instagram or send us an email!
    • Connect via Social Media: Instagram: @uiuc_pad

 

Phi Delta Phi

Founded in 1869 at the University of Michigan, Phi Delta Phi is the nation’s oldest legal honor society in continual existence, predating even the American Bar Association. Throughout its 150 years of existence, Phi Delta Phi has become an international powerhouse, boasting one of the most impressive lists of alumni out there, offering some of the best membership benefits available, and creating a space for like-minded individuals to gather. Regardless of if you are interested in law school or not, this organization has something to offer you, and will bolster your experience as an undergraduate. Whether you are looking for a place to network, a place to learn, or simply a community of accepting individuals, this organization has something to offer.

    • How to Join: Phi Delta Phi has recruitment periods at the beginning of every semester. This entails both an application and interview process prior to acceptance.
    • Learn More: Feel free to connect with Phi Delta Phi on Instagram or via email at pdpuiuc@gmail.com if you have any questions.
    • Connect via Social Media: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pdp_uiuc/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pdp.uiuc.3  Twitter:
      https://twitter.com/pdp_uiuc
Undergraduate Law Review

The undergraduate law review is a group of students with an interest in law and relevant legal/political issues. Each year, in teams of writing blocs, the students research and write articles under an overall theme. These articles (typically numbering 3-4 per year, one per bloc) are all published on the UGLR website in the spring.

    • How to Join: Interested students are welcome to apply at the beginning of each semester (preferably in the fall). The organization does run on a year-long publication timeline, but sometimes openings arise during the middle of the year which an eager student could certainly fill.
    • Learn More: Interested students can visit the UGLR’s website to get a sense of its mission and to read past volumes.

Still looking for activities?

Visit the campus Student Engagement website to learn more about diverse student organizations and activities on campus!

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Fall 2021 Course Recommendations

Fall 2021 Pre-Law Recommended Course List

Registration for Fall 2021 is just around the corner! Every semester around this time our office hears from students asking for course suggestions.  Students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework. However, given an interest in law, we have compiled a list of suggested fall courses that pre-law students may find helpful and interesting.

To review a handy chart version of suggested Fall 2021 course options, please click here.

Be sure to keep in mind…

    • This is not an exhaustive list.  There are hundreds of classes being offered this fall. The highlighted classes may be particularly helpful and interesting for pre-law students, but there are many great options available.
    • Recommended courses include those that examine specific legal topics and classes that provide opportunities to build skills in areas particularly relevant to law school, including writing, research, communication, and critically thinking and analysis!
    • These courses are only suggestions and are NOT requirements. Students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework.
    • Some of these courses have prerequisites or may be restricted to students in the same department; check Course Explorer for additional course details and specific enrollment requirements.
    • Keep checking back and check-in with the experts!  Courses may continue to be added as we approach the fall semester.  Having trouble deciding?  Be sure to meet with your academic advisors for academic and course planning, we are also here to assist with course options!  Professors are also a great resource to discuss goals and course options!
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Alumni Attorney Talks

FEATURING:  Daissy Dominguez

Alumni Attorney Talks is a virtual series which aims to provide prospective law students helpful insights about attending law school and pursuing a legal career. This series will feature interviews with University of Illinois alumni working in a variety of diverse settings within the legal profession.  

Daissy Dominguez

Managing Counsel 

Dominguez Legal Justice Center

          • UIUC Undergraduate Major: Political Science
          • Law School: UIC-John Marshal Law School
          • Daissy’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Compassionate | Hardworking | Advocate

 

Be sure to check out this insightful interview!

 

Ms. Dominguez was also featured in the ABA Women Rainmakers series.  Read more of her helpful insights through this online article!

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April Snapshot…

 

Welcome April!  April is always a busy month of the academic year as you wrap up the final weeks of classes, register for the upcoming semester, and finalize summer plans!  Continue to check this post as we will update it throughout the month with important deadlines and information for the end of the semester…

April 1: Pre-Law Advising Services: Last day to sign up to reserve a test room for the April LSAT. Fill out this form by 5pm.

April 1: UIUC Career Center: Illini Career and Internship Fair from 10am-4pm. Register here.

April 1: UIUC College of Law Special Event: Frederick Green Moot Court Honorary Round at 5pm. Click here for more information.

April 2: Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program: Panel on Gender and Health from 12-1pm. Click here for more information.

April 2: UIUC College of Law: Police Reform – A Discussion Series “Rethinking Disorderly Conduct” with Professors Jason Mazzone (Illinois) and Stephen Rushin (Loyola University Chicago). The event will take place at noon. Click here for more information.

April 5: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here to attend.

April 5: UIUC: Class registration for Fall 2021 is available on Course Explorer.

April 6: Pre-Law Advising Services: Application Roadmap Workshop at noon. Click here to register.

April 6: Women and Gender in Global Perspectives: Women in Science lecture at noon. For more information, click here.

April 6: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 12-1pm. Click here to attend.

April 6: Deadline! Last day to apply for UIUC Facilities and Services internship opportunities. Click here for more information.

April 7: Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Food for the Soul: Inside Scoop with Tyehimba Jess at noon. Click here for more information.

April 7: Department of Gender & Women’s Studies: GWS Black Feminist Theory Lecture Series: Blair Ebony Smith from 2:30-4pm. Click here for more information.

April 7: AccessLex: The Road to Licensure at noon. Register here.

April 7: LSAC: First Day of April LSAT Flex administration. Good luck!

April 7: Pre-Law Advising Services: Drop-In Office Hours from 4:30-5:30pm. Click here for the zoom link.

April 8: LSAT Deadline! Deadline to sign-up for a testing day and time for the April LSAT.  Individuals must by sign-up by 11:59 pm.

April 12: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here to attend.

April 13: Spring Break Day- No Class!

April 13: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 12-1pm. Click here to attend.

April 14: Pre-Law Advising Services: Drop-In Office Hours from 4:30-5:30pm. Click here for the zoom link.

April 14: UIUC Career Center: Acing Your Interview from 5-6pm. Click here to attend.

April 14: AccessLex: Choosing a Law School Webinar at 11am. Click here for more information.

April 16: Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Event: Women at the Frontlines against COVID-19: Leadership from Informal Settlements in South Africa, Iran and Argentina. Click here for more information.

April 16: Pre-Law Advising Services: Application Roadmap at noon. Click here to register.

April 17: West Coast Consortium: Non-Traditional Students and Law Fair at 11am. Click here to register.

April 19: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here to attend.

April 19: Peace Corps Program Highlight: Education at 11am. Click here for the zoom link.

April 20: AccessLex: Applying to Law School Webinar at 3pm. Click here for more information.

April 20: Pre-Law Advising Services: Application Excellence Workshop at 4pm. Click here to register.

April 20: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 12-1pm. Click here to attend.

April 20: Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Event: The Humanities and the State of Illinois: An Hour with Gabrielle Lyon of Illinois Humanities at 4pm. Click here for more information.

April 20: Summer Human Rights Institute: Deadline! Last day to sign up for the Early Registration Cycle III. Click here to register.

April 21: Peace Corps Program Highlight: Youth in Development at 5:30pm. Click here for the zoom link.

April 21: Pre-Law Advising Services: Drop-In Office Hours from 4:30-5:30pm. Click here for the zoom link.

April 21: AccessLex: The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment Webinar at 4pm. Click here for more information.

April 22: AccessLex: Paying for Law School Webinar at 6pm. Click here for more information.

April 23: Peace Corps Application Workshop at 1pm. Click here for the zoom link.

April 23: Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program: President Biden: First 100 Days at noon. Click here for more information.

April 23: College of Education and La Casa Cultural Latina: Dean’s Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Patricia Perez, Cal State Fullerton from 11am-12pm. Click here to register.

April 23: Deadline! Pre-Law Advising: Last day to sign up for LSAT study groups. Fill out this form by 5pm.

April 23: UIUC College of Law: Women Lead with Illinois Law 2021 Summit: Passionate Pathways to Your Success from 8:00am-1:15pm. Click here to find more information and register.

April 23: UIUC College of Law: Police Reform-A Discussion Series: “Legislating Change: The Role of States in Police Reform” at noon. Click here to find more information.

April 26: Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Call to Action Research Program Pre-Proposal Deadline at 5pm. Click here for more information.

April 26: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here to attend.

April 27: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 12-1pm. Click here to attend.

April 28: Pre-Law Advising Services: Drop-In Office Hours from 4:30-5:30pm. Click here for the zoom link.

April 29: AccessLex: Building your Law School Budget Webinar at 3pm. Click here for more information.

April 29: AccessLex: Webinar-The Road to Licensure at 6pm. Click here for more information.

April 29: Inner Voices Social Issues Theatre Auditions from 5-6pm. For questions, please contact Lisa Fay at lfay@illinois.edu or 217-244-0212.

April 29: UIUC College of Law: “Lions, Spiders, and Bears: Better Environmental Regulation Through Psychology” at noon. Click here for more information.

April 30: Legal Humanities Research Group and the Humanities Research Institute: Legal Humanities Undergraduate Launch Event from 3-4:30pm. Find more information here.

April 30: LSAC: Deadline to register for the June LSAT.

April 30: Deadline! Last day to apply for the Barnes and Thornburg Pre-Law Scholars Program. Find more information here.

April 30: Deadline! Last day to apply for the CLEO Pre-Law Summer Institute. Click here for more information.

April 30: Deadline! Last day to apply for Illinois in Washington. Click here for more information.

April 30: Deadline! Last day to apply for Penn State’s Pre-Law Summer Program Explore Law 2021. Click here for more information.

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Updates and News…

Check out important updates regarding the LSAT examination, newly released information on law school rankings, and a highlight of some new resources for students interested in patent law…

Updates for April LSAT!

Test Scheduling Requirements:

Effective with the April administration of the LSAT-Flex, test takers will be required to schedule their testing day and time by 11:59 p.m. ET of the Thursday prior to the exam.

For example, for the April administration of the LSAT-Flex, which begins on Saturday, April 10, scheduling will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 8. After that deadline passes, test takers could opt to request a date change for a future administration, but will not be able to schedule for the current exam.

New Icon For Online Test Format:

Effective with the April 2021 administration of the LSAT-Flex, a new icon for the “eliminate” button (displayed on the right side of each answer option) will be implemented which candidates may use to indicate for themselves which answers they do NOT wish to choose.  As a reminder, only explicitly selected responses (selections made with the bubble on the left side of the answer option) will be counted towards a candidate’s score.

The new “eliminate” icon will be implemented for Test Prep in LawHub this week so that test takers can get familiarize themselves with the new icon in LawHub prior to the April administration of the LSAT-Flex.  Below are samples of the current “elimination” icon in comparison with the new “elimination” button. The behavior is exactly the same, only the icon has changed.

Current Eliminate Icon – not selected:

Current Eliminate Icon – selected:

New Eliminate Icon – not selected:

New Eliminate Icon – selected:

We strongly encourage those sitting for the April LSAT to review the new icon on LawHub prior to the exam.

NEW Law School Rankings and Profile Data!

U.S. News and World Report (US News) recently released their annual updated graduate school rankings and evaluations for 2022, including their law school rankings.

Rankings and program surveys can provide helpful information and insights into the strength of academic programs and specialties,  LSAT/GPA expectations, and information on cost and financial aid.  These surveys are a valuable place to begin researching schools and to potentially discover schools you may not know about or have considered.    These surveys can also help provide useful evaluations on specific criteria that are most important to you in your law school.

UPDATE! This year US News has added additional data on the amount of debt incurred by law graduates at individual institutions.   Be sure to view this data in context to other factors including –  bar passage rates, placement rates, and median salary figures for students upon graduation!

Caveat Emptor! 

Remember rankings should never by the sole factor in your decision-making process and individual data points should be considered in context with additional information.    Be careful not to limit your considerations too narrowly by ranking alone.  There are many substantive factors that should be considered in your ultimate choice of law school as you will have many priorities, wants, and needs of the institution that is right for you!

Interested in the Patent Law?

PLI (Practicing Law Institute), a nonprofit that specializes in educational programs for attorneys and related professionals, has recently posted a series of informative videos online for engineering or science majors who may be considering an alternative career in law.  This is a great resource for those interested in Patent Law and who may be considering taking the Patent Bar in the future.  Don’t miss out on this great resource!

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Maximize your Spring – Plan Ahead for Summer!

Spring is Here!

The weather is finally warming up, spring flowers are beginning to appear, and this week was the second spring break wellness day of the semester.  Here are some suggestions and ideas to maximize the second half of the spring semester and to help with your initial planning for the upcoming summer!

  • Scholarships: This is a great time to apply for scholarships as many have upcoming deadlines. Pre-Law Advising just released an updated scholarship document with over 100 scholarships! This document can be found on our compass page and on a recent blog post.

 

  • Internships: Do you have your summer plans figured out? If not, start applying for jobs and internships. Our compass page has an internship newsletter that contains many unique and interesting opportunities for students. The 2020 Internship Newsletter has new internships being added all the time.

 

  • Plan Ahead: Use this time to look into future events you might wish to attend and get those on your calendar. The Monthly Snapshot on the blog has tons of programs and information for pre-law students.  The Snapshot is posted on the first business day of the month and is continuously being updated. Check out the Pre-Law Advising website for a list of our remaining programs coming up this semester. Schedule an advising appointment with Pre-Law Advising Services to get your questions answered and obtain help with your law school application or stop by virtual Open Office Hours on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:00 pm.

 

  • LSAT Planning: Start thinking about when you want to take the LSAT if you have not already. For Juniors or graduating Seniors, the summer is a great time to take the LSAT but deadlines to sign up are fast approaching. Make sure that whenever you plan to take the LSAT you have allocated sufficient time to study and prepare – recommendations range from 2-6 months. Begin to consider which prep options you plan to use and if a study group is right for you. A great place to start your prep is with a practice LSAT – this will give you a helpful baseline of your performance level prior to starting your prep and helpful insights on how much prep time you may wish to allocate.  Check out Kahn Academy for a free diagnostic test!

 

  • Work on Application Documents: Take some time to begin drafting law school application documents such as your resume.   You will continue to update your resume as you approach the application cycle, however, get a head start now by reviewing your resume, perfecting your formatting, and adding any items to bring it current. Start thinking about who you will ask to write letters of recommendation for you. If you already have someone in mind, reach out to them now and begin sharing your timeline and plans.

 

  • Get Involved: Think about joining pre-law student organizations or pursuing leadership positions in organizations you are already involved in. Consider volunteering in your local community.

 

  • Study: Catch up on schoolwork and study! This has been a uniquely challenging academic year – but you have almost made it through!  Impress law school admissions with your excellent academic performance!  Evaluate where you are at now with your academic progress, make a study plan and schedule for the rest of the semester (keep in mind big projects, papers, and exams), and finish the semester strong.
      • Are you struggling with a course or two? Don’t forget to utilize the many resources on campus to support you – including visiting open office hours with professors and talking to your advisors!

 

  • Watch Attorney Talks Interviews: We have recently interviewed more attorneys for our Attorney Talks Interviews. Obtain insights from UIUC alumni attorneys practicing in many different areas. Learn what you can do with a law degree and hear advice from practicing attorneys!

Summer 2021 Course Recommendations

Considering taking a class or two this summer but not sure which classes to take? This is the perfect time to figure out a summer class schedule. Taking summer classes can help alleviate your course load next semester, raise your GPA if you will be entering the application cycle in the fall, and help you complete general education requirements creating more flexibility for future semesters.  Check out this handy chart for a list of recommended classes for pre-law students! Learn more about the registration and summer course options online!

Be sure to keep in mind…

    • This is not an exhaustive list.  There are 700+ classes being offered this summer. The highlighted classes may be particularly helpful and interesting for pre-law students, but there are many great options available!
    • These courses are only suggestions and are NOT requirements. Students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework.
    • Some of these courses have prerequisites or may be restricted to students in the same department; check Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best individual courses for you.  We are always here to help as well!
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Alumni Attorney Talks

FEATURING:  Benjamin Ford

Alumni Attorney Talks is a virtual series which aims to provide prospective law students helpful insights about attending law school and pursuing a legal career. This series will feature interviews with University of Illinois alumni working in a variety of diverse settings within the legal profession.  

Benjamin Ford 

Assistant University Counsel for the Office of University Counsel

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    • Law School: Southern Illinois University
    • UIUC Undergraduate Major/Minor: Political Science Major with supporting coursework in Psychology
    • Ben’s Words to Describe an Attorney:

Challenging yet Rewarding

Be sure to check out this insightful interview!

 

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Navigating Post-Admissions

 

The arrival of March marks a significant point in the application cycle.  Many schools have final application deadlines, applicants begin receiving admissions decisions, waitlists are populated, and admitted student events begin.  It is an important time for applicants as you are now able to begin making the final decisions in your law school admission journey!

Below we have provided some helpful tips and insights on common aspects on the post-admissions process to assist you as you navigate this next stage.

Making the Final Decision

Tip #1: Get organized!  There is a lot of information to keep track of in the post-admission process from deadlines to details of your admissions offers.  It is important to have this information well organized, not only to keep track of important obligations, but to also assist you in fairly evaluating each school and making your final decision.  We HIGHLY recommend summarizing and organizing information and details into one document.  Consider creating a spreadsheet that includes the follow information for each school you have applied to:

        • Name of School
        • Admission Decision/Status
        • Seat Deposit Deadline
        • Admitted Student Event(s) Dates
        • Admissions Office Contact
        • Scholarship Offer
        • Tuition
        • Cost of Attendance (COA)
        • Any admissions process/steps/deadlines specific to the school.

In addition, you should personalize your spreadsheet to include details about the different aspects of law school that are important to you – distance from home, ranking, placement information, bar passage, clinic and curriculum offerings, class sizes, etc.  Remember to check out the ABA 509 Reports to gain helpful information about each school.

Tip #2: Make connecting with schools a priority. Some students have strong preferences for law schools and making final decisions after being admitted is clear and easy.  For most students, law school preferences may change as you learn more information about the schools, receive scholarship offers, or your personal goals become more defined.  If you are having difficulty making decisions about schools, or there is important information that you feel you are missing, reach out!

      • Participate in a virtual visit – ask about virtually attending a class!
      • Ask about opportunities to speak with current students, professors, career advisors, or alumni!
      • Research the website and other sources to find answers to your questions!
      • Ask how to learn more about the community where the law school is located if you are not familiar!

Tip #3: Create a roadmap for your decision-making process.  If you are juggling multiple offers of admission, or are currently waitlisted, this can be overwhelming.  You do not have to make every decision at the same time.  Break the decision-making process into manageable steps, set a personal timeline, and consider the following:

        • Make easy decisions first. It might be hard to make the final decision on what school you will ultimately attend, particularly if you are still waiting on admissions decisions or have been waitlisted.  However, it can often be easy to eliminate a few schools that you know you will not attend.  If you have an offer of admission that you know you will not accept over another school – eliminate the school you know you will not attend from consideration.  Be sure to inform the schools that you are withdrawing from consideration.  Congratulations your decision-making circle just got smaller!
        • Be mindful of deadlines. You should be sure to calendar any deadlines that might be upcoming – including seat deposits.  The seat deposit is your method of committing to a school and holding your offer of admission/seat.  DO NOT MISS THIS DEADLINE!  Seat deposits typically occur in April meaning you still have several weeks to gather information and make some decisions.  Keep the following in mind:
            • Confirm the amount of your seat deposit and budget accordingly.
            • The Seat Deposit Conundrum: Paying seat deposits at multiple schools is generally not advisable. Although most schools will not prohibit this practice, there are some negative aspects to this strategy.  In addition to being costly, some schools may have specific guidelines and restrictions related to multiple seat deposits. Ask yourself why you would employ this strategy? If there are factors that you feel will make it difficult for you to make a final decision, spend the next several weeks evaluating and gaining more insights.  If this relates to scholarship offers, make inquiries now (more on that below).  Law schools expect you to be negotiating in good faith in all matters, if you know you will not attend a school you should not pay a deposit.  Also, waitlist status is not the same as paying multiple seat deposits. Remaining waitlisted while paying a seat deposit at an alternative school is perfectly acceptable. Visit our prior blog post about seat deposits to learn more insights.
          • Consider how long you will remain waitlisted. Some schools will maintain waitlists up to fall Orientation (and indeed a few students are offered admission during this time each year).  You may remain on a waitlist and pay a seat deposit at another school, however, consider how long you are willing to remain on a waitlist.  For most students, remaining on a waitlist through the summer is impractical and stressful – logistically you may be relocating to a new community across country, the stress of uncertainty may be too great, or financially you may not be able to afford to lose seat deposits at your initial school of choice. Set a personal deadline for yourself on when you will withdrawal from a pending waitlist – keeping in mind your deadline might vary between schools.  If you choose to stay on a waitlist past your initial seat deposit, try to narrow to one waitlisted school.

Cost and Evaluating Scholarships

We hear from many students each year that affordability is one of the most important factors in their choice of law school.  As you consider multiple scholarship offers or costs between differing institutions keep in mind the following:

      • Differences in tuition and fees.  Is tuition fixed for all three years?
      • Cost of living/Cost of Attendance
      • The specifics of scholarship terms: Is it renewable for all three years? Is it conditioned in some way?
      • Consider other factors such as travel cost to see family and friends.

Negotiations: While some schools do have non-negotiation policies, most schools are open to requests for reconsideration of initial scholarship offers.  It is important to approach these conversations in a professional manner, keeping in mind the goals for your request. Consider the following in your efforts…

    • Make sure you know the school’s policy. If a school allows requests, they may have a defined process for submitting requests.  They may ask you to complete a form or that you submit documents to support your request, including proof of alternative offers – be prepared to do so.  If you are uncertain of the process just ask via email or phone.
    • Be reasonable and realistic. Scholarship offers from peer schools, with similar costs will be most comparable. Difference in tuition, COA, reputation, and your comparative credentials should all be considered when evaluating offers.  The value of a $25,000 at one school may cover a much greater portion of your expenses than a $35,000 scholarship at another school.  Focus on your primary goal of affordability, not dollar amounts.
    • Be Positive and Professional. Even if you are disappointed by an offer or feel it is not fair, be professional and positive in your interactions. Keep in mind that schools have spent a great deal of time considering your initial offer and by offering you admission they see you as someone who will be a great addition to their class.  Be positive and avoid framing your request in defined absolutes, accusations, or threats.  Focus on your goals and why the initial offer is concerning to you.
    • Remember your long-term goals. You are making a long-term investment.  Looking at the potential total dollar amount can be very overwhelming, but remember you will pay this debt back over time.  If you are concerned, reach out to financial aid experts to understand better the likely repayment costs per month and loan forgiveness programs, take advantage of resources like AccessLex, ask schools about loan repayment support or future scholarship opportunities once you are a law student.  If a school costs more, but you feel it will better support your goals and long-term success – focus on the long-term benefit.

Waitlisted

Being waitlisted can be very discouraging, particularly if it is at one or more of your preferred schools.  Waitlists can be evaluated similarly to offers of admission – maintain waitlist status only for schools that you would realistically attend if offered admission. Below are a few tips for waitlisted students.

    • Continue interacting with the school to learn more. Set-up a virtual visit and seek additional information that would be helpful in your consideration.
    • If you have new, positive, and substantive information to provide, do so now. This may be new details on your resume or an updated transcript for your fall grades.
    • Consider writing a letter of continued interest if you remain on the waitlist for several weeks.
    • Decide how long you are willing to remain waitlisted at a school.
    • Determine your best choice among the schools you have been offered admission and plan to pay the seat deposit at this school by the deadline.  The waitlist is uncertain, you will want to be sure to have secured your best choice with your seat deposit, even if you remain waitlisted at your top choice.
  • For more tips and insights, visit our prior blog posting.

 

Bonus:  Some schools will conduct spring interviews.  Be sure to check out our prior blog post regarding interviews and reach out to our office for some general insights!

Still Struggling with Questions?

If you are struggling with your final admissions decisions or navigating the process, do not hesitate to set-up an advising appointment.  We are here to help you with advice and insights on any aspect of your final decision-making process.  You can set-up an advising appointment at any time through our online system.

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Alumni Attorney Talks

FEATURING:  Franco Benyamin

Alumni Attorney Talks is a virtual series which aims to provide prospective law students helpful insights about attending law school and pursuing a legal career. This series will feature interviews with University of Illinois alumni working in a variety of diverse settings within the legal profession.  

Franco Benyamin,  Associate at Fish & Richardson P.C.

    • Law School: Washington University School of Law
    • UIUC Undergraduate Major/Minor: Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Spanish and Leadership Studies
    • Franco’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Inquisitive| Driven| Analytical

Be sure to check out this insightful interview!

 

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