Mark Your Calendars – Week of November 6

February 2018 LSAT Study Groups

Taking the February 2018 LSAT? The test is only a few months away.

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the February 2018 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Thursday November 9th at 12PM. Study groups will be assigned next week.

Please click the link here to sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/1qDrwNaXzpfopbVn1

Pre-Law Events

Pre-Law 101: Tomorrow Tuesday November 7 at 4:00 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. This workshop is designed for incoming students who are new to pre-law or are interested in learning more about it. We will cover: What it means to be pre-law at Illinois, course selection, majors, and extracurriculars, building a pre-law resume, and what law schools are really looking for. We will outline a four year plan to maximize your undergraduate experiences in order to make a great law school candidate. We’ll also take any questions about law school and legal careers. Incoming students should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. NOTE: THIS IS THE FINAL PRE-LAW 101 OF THE SEMESTER. 

Interested in Patent Law and the Patent Bar? Do not miss this great event!

Patent Bar Exam Session Nov 15, 2017   5:00 – 6:00 pm  335 Grainger Engineering Library

The patent bar exam is the required first step to becoming either a patent agent for the United States Patent & Trademark Office or a patent prosecutor/litigator as a practicing attorney. Students with a background in engineering and the sciences (such as biology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, computer science) are eligible to sit for this exam. (To see all exam requirements, visit the link below).  Join us for this Patent Bar session to learn about the exam from an expert. Mark Dighton, Director of the Practicing Law Institute Patent Office Exam Course, will be here to answer all of your questions about the patent bar, including:

  • What exactly does the patent bar cover?
  • When and how often can you take it?
  • How do people prepare for the exam?
  • What is the format of the exam, and how are results received?
  • What is a passing score for the exam?

He’ll also answer any other questions you have about the patent bar exam. This session is specifically designed for those undergrad and graduate students in engineering, science, or technology disciplines who are eligible to sit for the patent bar.

For a list of eligible majors or backgrounds visit  https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/OED_GRB.pdf This is a free event. Please register at the link here so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

Other Campus Events

Writer’s Workshop–Interpreting & Using Critical Feedback Workshop on 11/7/17 4:00pm-5:00pm, Lincoln Hall, room 1024. Feeling overwhelmed by the critical feedback you’re receiving from your professors, advisers, and/or collaborators? This workshop will help you assess, integrate, and respond to critical feedback in the revision process. The workshop will be most helpful to graduate students or undergraduates working on senior theses or capstone projects.

Making Your Major Decision Presented by the Career Center

Thursday November 9 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Room 143
Struggling with figuring out which major to choose? Then this workshop is for you! Learn about how you can find a major that’s the right fit.

Scheduling Proofreading and Self-editing Strategies Sponsored by the Writers Workshop

Gregory Hall, Room 207
Tuesday November 7, 2017   3:00 – 4:00 pm
Want to learn about editing and proofreading skills? In this workshop, we will define these writing skills and help writers develop and practice effective strategies for both.

Interested in other Writers Workshop Events? Click here for more information. 

Events at the College of Law

“Trade in a Global Age: The Role of the United States” Presented by Grant Aldonas, Principal Managing Director

Wednesday, November 8 12-1 p.m.
Room A
Free and open to the public


The talk will explore how globalization has increased the economic costs of isolationism, and how the United States should engage in a rules-based trading system rather than retreat from it.

“Promises, Mandates, and Social Norms: Title IX at 45” Presented by Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, will present the David C. Baum Lecture on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.

Thursday November 9, 2017  12-1 p.m.
Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Law Building
Free and open to the public

Sidley Scholars Program–Juniors and Seniors planning on attending law school in the Fall of 2019: consider applying for the Sidley Austin LLP Summer Pre-Law Scholars Program. This program helps to subsidize the cost of LSAT Prep and offers possible additional scholarships.

Scholars will receive up to $2,500 in benefits to fund the LSAT, CAS credentialing, pay tuition in a commercial LSAT preparation course, as well as reimbursement for application and CAS fees for up to seven law schools.

Scholars further may be eligible to receive an additional $2,500 scholarship award, in two installments. Scholars will receive $1,250 when they have (1) successfully completed an approved LSAT preparatory course, (2) taken the LSAT, and (3) applied to at least five accredited law schools. Finally, each Scholar will receive a final $1,250 scholarship distribution once the Scholar has informed Sidley that he or she has been accepted to, and is committed to start law school at, an accredited law school and has attended the entire Sidley Scholars Summer Seminar in the summer immediately preceding the Scholar’s matriculation at that law school.

Click here for more information. Application materials are due Friday January 12!

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Best of the Pre-Law Blog

Whether you’re looking for scholarships, internships, recommendations, LSAT tips or spring courses, we’ve posted about it on the blog! Here is a handy roundup of the Best of the Pre-Law Blog in case you’ve missed some of our most helpful posts.

Did you know…that you can search the blog using the search box in the upper right?

Planning your Spring 2018 schedule? Visit this blog post for course suggestions, then visit this blog post for other considerations in planning your schedule.

Looking for scholarships? Check out this post with details about our Scholarship Spreadsheet listing over 250 scholarship opportunities.

Trying to find an internship? Explore this post and GET GOING! A Spring/Summer 2018 Internship Plan–Starting NOW! You should also join our Facebook page, where we post internship and job opportunities for pre-law students.

Currently applying to law school? Whether you’re taking the December LSAT or you’re done with the LSAT and wondering what to do now  or you’re looking for letters of recommendation (see Tips on getting recommendations from someone who writes them), we have those and many other posts to help you through the application process.

Planning ahead for taking the LSAT in 2018? Great! Go immediately to this post on Big LSAT changes: What should you know?  Also take a look at Timelines for 2018 LSAT Takers.

Thinking about summer 2018 plans? Planning ahead is smart. Explore this Summer Pre-Law Programs post, and head over to our Compass page to see the Summer Pre-Law Programs tab, containing a spreadsheet with 46 pre-law summer programs. Also consult our internship resources mentioned above.

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February 2018 LSAT Study Groups

February 2018 LSAT Study Groups

Taking the February 2018 LSAT? The test is only a few months away.

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the February 2018 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Thursday November 9th at 12PM. Study groups will be assigned next week.

Please click the link here to sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/1qDrwNaXzpfopbVn1

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Mark Your Calendars: Week of October 30

Pre-Law Events

Pre-Law 101: TODAY at 4:00 pm in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. This workshop is designed for incoming students who are new to pre-law or are interested in learning more about it. We will cover: What it means to be pre-law at Illinois, course selection, majors, and extracurriculars, building a pre-law resume, and what law schools are really looking for. We will outline a four year plan to maximize your undergraduate experiences in order to make a great law school candidate. We’ll also take any questions about law school and legal careers. Incoming students should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. NOTE: THE FINAL PRE-LAW 101 OF THE SEMESTER WILL BE HELD NEXT MONDAY, NOV. 7 REGISTER HERE FOR THAT SESSION.

Interested in Patent Law and the Patent Bar? Do not miss this great event!

Patent Bar Exam Session Nov 15, 2017   5:00 – 6:00 pm  335 Grainger Engineering Library

The patent bar exam is the required first step to becoming either a patent agent for the United States Patent & Trademark Office or a patent prosecutor/litigator as a practicing attorney. Students with a background in engineering and the sciences (such as biology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, computer science) are eligible to sit for this exam. (To see all exam requirements, visit the link below).  Join us for this Patent Bar session to learn about the exam from an expert. Mark Dighton, Director of the Practicing Law Institute Patent Office Exam Course, will be here to answer all of your questions about the patent bar, including:

  • What exactly does the patent bar cover?
  • When and how often can you take it?
  • How do people prepare for the exam?
  • What is the format of the exam, and how are results received?
  • What is a passing score for the exam?

He’ll also answer any other questions you have about the patent bar exam. This session is specifically designed for those undergrad and graduate students in engineering, science, or technology disciplines who are eligible to sit for the patent bar.

For a list of eligible majors or backgrounds visit  https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/OED_GRB.pdf This is a free event. Please register at the link here so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

 Register Now to attend the FREE Midwest Law School Virtual Fair on Nov. 7th
Meet Admissions Representatives & Faculty from Law Schools in the Midwestern U.S. Live Online!

Chat with admissions pros from over 30 midwestern law schools including Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Michigan State, DePaul, Valparaiso, and more! This is a free and easy way to learn about programs and to interact with law school representatives with no travel necessary. For more information and to register, click here.

Other Campus Events

Political Science hosts Careers in Political Science on Friday, Nov. 3 from 1:00-4:30 in the Illini Union Room 314B. They’ll have a panel followed by breakout sessions with political science alumni with work experience in law, business, government, insurance, data science, and journalism! For more details visit their website here.

Writer’s Workshop will host Writing Effective Thesis Statements & Essay Organization Workshop on 11/2/17 4:00pm-5:00pm, Gregory Hall, room 207
Are you writing an argumentative or analytical essay? This presentation will review the basic principles for creating effective thesis statements. It will also help students review common essay structures and strategies. You will have the opportunity to put this principles into practice, so bring a current assignment to work on. This workshop will be most useful to undergraduate students.

Writer’s Workshop–Interpreting & Using Critical Feedback Workshop on 11/7/17 4:00pm-5:00pm, Lincoln Hall, room 1024. Feeling overwhelmed by the critical feedback you’re receiving from your professors, advisers, and/or collaborators? This workshop will help you assess, integrate, and respond to critical feedback in the revision process. The workshop will be most helpful to graduate students or undergraduates working on senior theses or capstone projects.

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Course Selection for Pre-Law Students: Part 2

We previously shared a list of possible Spring 2018 courses of interest to pre-law students (click here to see that post). What else should you know about building your semester schedule? Here are several tips and suggestions to help pre-law students make the most of your upcoming semesters.

Students really can major in ANYTHING and be successful in law school, but you must be a strong student in whatever you choose. 

What academic skills should you build? Pre-law students must demonstrate strong research, writing, reading, and speaking skills, which can be accomplished both in and out of the classroom. These are the core skills that law schools truly care about, so take a look at your DARS and ask yourself: How many courses have you taken that develop and reflect these skills? Take courses that demonstrate those skills–they can be in any discipline. Popular options include English, History, Political Science, Philosophy, or Communication courses, but don’t feel limited to only those.

Balance academic challenge with success. Law schools want to see students who demonstrate academic success while taking a challenging courseload. Ideally, pre-law students would take an academic course load that is challenging both in terms of rigor and credits while still doing performing well. What does this mean, and how can you achieve it?

  • A challenging but not overwhelming course load suggestion is 15-17 credit hours. (This can vary due to individual factors, and is only a general guideline, not a mandate. Think carefully about the right course load for you.)
  • Be strategic in your course selection. Don’t take your 5 hardest classes in the same semester to get them out of the way. Work with your major advisor to determine how you can distribute those courses throughout your remaining semesters. Likewise, don’t take your 5 easiest classes at the same time–use those to give you some relief from the harder classes each semester.
  • For juniors and seniors–Move up from 1 and 200 level courses to 3 and 400 levels in order to demonstrate an appropriate level of challenge. A good general rule is no more than one 1 or 200 level course per semester for juniors and seniors (unless you must do so to graduate on time). Taking easy classes to pad a GPA is obvious to law school admissions, who know what a challenging semester looks like.

Use your major(s) and minor(s) to complement each other. If you have a major that does not necessarily demonstrate lots of writing or research skills, then selecting a minor or secondary major that does is a smart balance. Unusual combinations of majors/minors can also show a law school someone who is intellectually curious and able to succeed in a wide variety of coursework.

Consider changing majors, especially if you are not able to achieve mostly As and some Bs in your coursework.

Do not make course selections for these reasons:

  • A friend/roommate/sibling/parent said the class was easy;
  • I only wanted classes on Tues/Thurs so I just picked what I could get into on those days;
  • I only wanted afternoon classes so I didn’t even consider anything in the morning;
  • I wanted to hurry up and graduate so I took a very demanding overload each semester.

What, then, are good reasons to take a course?

  • It demonstrates the skills that law schools prefer to see;
  • I like the topic and find it interesting or it is required for my major/minor;
  • It fits in well with my remaining coursework in terms of balancing rigor and the ability to do well; and
  • I talked with my academic advisor who agreed it is a good fit for me.

You must prioritize academics if law school is your goal. Don’t get distracted from your goal of law school admission. If being president of a social organization or volunteering too much affects your grades, it’s time to dial back your extracurriculars and rededicate yourself to your role as a student. Law schools will not care that the reason your grades suffered is because you were planning a big fundraiser…that shows them a lack of prioritizing and time management skills.

Build important academic skills. Right now you are building academic skills and habits which you will rely on when you transition to law school, where the work is much harder and infinitely more time consuming than your undergraduate studies. Now is the time to master discipline (not procrastinating), effective note taking, reading comprehension and speed, attention to detail in your writing, citing your work appropriately, giving an effective speech, and managing your time. All of these are skills that you will be expected to bring with you into your law school classroom.

Remember that grade replacement will not help for law school (click here for a refresher), so take the time to carefully consider your best course options and seek help when you need it.

 

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Timelines for 2018 LSAT Takers

2018 LSAT Takers: it’s time to pick a test date and plan your schedules for 2018! You have four LSAT options to choose from next year: February, June, September, and November.

The first LSAT in 2018 is in February. For more information, visit the LSAC’s website here

FEBRUARY 10th, 2018 TEST DEADLINES (you should sign up soon!):

Regular Registration: December 27, 2017
Regular Registration Accommodation Request: December 27, 2017
Nonpublished Test Center Registration (additional fees apply): December 13, 2017
Late Registration—Published Test Centers only (additional fees apply): January 3, 2018
Late Registration Accommodation Request—Published Test Centers only (additional fees apply): January 3, 2018

 

UPCOMING LSAT DATES FOR 2018:

Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:30 AM
Monday, February 12, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM

Monday, June 11, 2018 12:30 PM

Saturday, September 8, 2018 8:30 AM
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM

Saturday, November 17, 2018 8:30 AM
Monday, November 19, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM

COSTS FOR THE LSAT:

Basic Fees
LSAT $180
Credential Assembly Service (CAS) $185
Auxiliary Fees
Late Registration $100
Test Center Change $100
Test Date Change $100
Nonpublished Test Center Domestic: $285
International: $380

Other Important Things to Consider for the 2018 LSAT: (1) Spring Schedules and (2) Study Abroad

(1) Now that the courses for Spring 2018 are available, try to plan your spring schedule so you give yourself enough time to study for your respective exam. If you can take a lighter load of classes and free up your schedule to study for the LSAT, it is highly recommended.

(2) Studying Abroad in 2018? Think ahead for which test you want to take!  A note about the LSAT and Study Abroad: Many students choose to study abroad in the
spring of their Junior year. This can impact your planning and preparation for the LSAT,
especially if you plan to take the exam in June. You should factor in your study abroad timing when deciding which LSAT to take. The LSAT is offered in many other countries (which you can investigate at www.lsac.org), but you should carefully consider whether you will have the time and focus necessary for preparing for the exam while abroad.

See our handbook for more information about the application process.

Also, keep an eye out for updates about our 2018 LSAT Prep Fair that will be on February 6, 2018! If you are thinking about attending law school, come and learn what the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is all about, find the perfect prep course, and learn more about how to prepare for the LSAT.

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of October 23

DECEMBER LSAT STUDY GROUPS! Taking the December 2017 LSAT? The test is only 5 weeks away!

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the December 2017 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Wednesday October 25th at 9AM. Study groups will be assigned next week.

Please click the link here to sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/QAJqodO8Js5i5BlB3

TODAY! Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume for law School Workshop – Monday October 23 at 4:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. The personal statement is one of the most difficult yet powerful elements of the law school application. Join us for this workshop, which will cover what the personal statement is, how to prepare for writing it, and some tips and suggestions for making it reflect an applicant’s strengths. We will also discuss how the personal statement and resume can complement each other to create a stronger law school application. Each session is the same, so select the one that best suits your schedule. Click here to register!

TOMORROW! Get to Know Northwestern Law

Hosted by: Pre-Law Honors Society and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Location: TBA

Oct 24, 2017   6:00 – 8:00 pm

Speaker: Sarah Rewerts, Assistant Director of Admissions

Interested in Northwestern Pritzker School of Law?  Join us as Assistant Director of Admissions Sarah Rewerts discusses The Northwestern Law Difference.  Sarah will also share her inside perspective on Northwestern Law’s admission process, including:  the Early Decision program; the interview process; the recent decision to begin accepting the GRE (for the Fall 2019 entering class), and more!  This is a great opportunity to get to know Northwestern Law and to have your questions answered! This event is open to all interested students. 

 

Interested in Patent Law and the Patent Bar? Do not miss this great event!

Patent Bar Exam Session Nov 15, 2017   5:00 – 6:00 pm  335 Grainger Engineering Library

The patent bar exam is the required first step to becoming either a patent agent for the United States Patent & Trademark Office or a patent prosecutor/litigator as a practicing attorney. Students with a background in engineering and the sciences (such as biology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, computer science) are eligible to sit for this exam. (To see all exam requirements, visit the link below).  Join us for this Patent Bar session to learn about the exam from an expert. Mark Dighton, Director of the Practicing Law Institute Patent Office Exam Course, will be here to answer all of your questions about the patent bar, including:

  • What exactly does the patent bar cover?
  • When and how often can you take it?
  • How do people prepare for the exam?
  • What is the format of the exam, and how are results received?
  • What is a passing score for the exam?

He’ll also answer any other questions you have about the patent bar exam. This session is specifically designed for those undergrad and graduate students in engineering, science, or technology disciplines who are eligible to sit for the patent bar.

For a list of eligible majors or backgrounds visit  https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/OED_GRB.pdf

This is a free event. Please register at the link here so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.

Register Now to attend the FREE Midwest Law School Virtual Fair on Nov. 7th
Meet Admissions Representatives & Faculty from Law Schools in the Midwestern U.S. Live Online!

This event is a convenient way to interact with law school representatives. For more information, click here.

College of Law Events–Pre-Law students are invited to attend!

Governor Jim Edgar to present 2017 Vacketta-DLA Piper Lecture on the Role of Government and the Law

Location: Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Law Building

Date: Oct 27, 2017   12:00 – 1:00 pmLecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Peer and Sarah Pedersen Pavilion.

 

Other Campus Events

Psychology Major/Minor Information Meeting

Oct 24, 2017   10:00 – 10:50 am, PSYC 21

For UIUC students interested in learning more about the Psychology major and/or minor. A Psychology advisor will facilitate the 45 minute meeting.

Spanish Major/Minor Informational Session

Oct 24, 2017   4:00 – 5:00 pm, 1080 Foreign Language Building (Lucy Ellis Lounge)

Learn more about what you can do with a Spanish major or minor and how you can earn Spanish credit while studying abroad.
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December 2017 LSAT Study Groups

Taking the December 2017 LSAT? The test is only 5 weeks away!

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the December 2017 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Wednesday October 25th at 9AM. Study groups will be assigned next week.

Please click the link here to sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/QAJqodO8Js5i5BlB3

 

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December LSAT Update: What to know and do for December takers

The December 2 LSAT is only 6 weeks away, and the deadline to register is tomorrow! Based on the increase in September LSAT takers and last year’s December LSAT data, we predict that there will be a lot of December takers, so register now to get your preferred location. Register here: https://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines/2017-2018/us-canada-dec

Are you still trying to decide whether to retake? You’ll want to ask yourself some careful questions. Revisit this blog post for data on retakers, advice on deciding to retake, and next steps: http://publish.illinois.edu/…/what-to-do-now-that-the-lsat…/.

The timing of the December LSAT is challenging for current students, since it is so close to finals. How can you maximize your performance?

  • Clear your schedule as much as possible. With upcoming papers, projects, and assignments, November is going to be busy. You want to devote at least 10-15 hours per week to LSAT prep. (It’s only temporary.)
  • Make sure that you are taking TIMED, FULL LENGTH exams as part of your prep. Timing is a key issue for most LSAT takers.
  • Follow up with your recommendation writers and order your transcripts (click on “hold for fall grades” when ordering) so that your applications can be complete as soon as December LSAT scores are reported in January.
  • Take advantage of fall break to really crank up your LSAT prep.
  • If you are retaking:
    • Be realistic about how much improvement and progress you can make in 6 weeks. The average retaker scores within 2.5 points of where they scored last–which can be significant, in LSAT terms, but does not suggest that a jump of 10 points is likely.
    • Use your score report to carefully assess what questions you missed. Was what you missed consistent with your LSAT prep? Or did you find some surprises?
    • Consider: What can you do differently to prepare this time? Using a different book, teacher, or resource can help you progress. (You can use our LSAT Resources handout on our Compass page to find new study tools.)

 

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Spring 2018 Course Options for Pre-Law Students: Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on course selections for pre-law students. This post will present many different course options to consider. 

As you know, 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, here are some spring courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. 

Some of these courses have prerequisites;  check Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning. Understanding financial instruments, records, and tax implications is critical for nearly all lawyers.

BTW 263: Writing in the Disciplines teaches very practical writing skills for aspiring professionals.

Community Health 101: Introduction to Public Health is a good option for those interested in pursuing healthcare law. (See posted restrictions.)

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills. Here are some examples of helpful courses:

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 220: Communicating Public Policy
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

ENGL 310: Unprotected Speech. Description from the instructor:

This semester, we will study the workings of our language through the lens of protected and unprotected speech and writing: what we can say without fear of legal consequences, and what we can’t. Starting with the murderous attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and the recent clash between the First and Second Amendments in Charlottesville, and free-speech issues at Yale, Berkeley, Missouri, and the U of I, as well as other campuses, we’ll look at the history of censorship, speech bans, and government surveillance of speech. We’ll see how the boundaries between permitted and banned speech shift over time and with context; how advances in technology change the border between public speech and private speech; whether speech codes are desirable or indefensible; and how the concept of intellectual property informs and limits what we can do with our words, and with the words of others.

All readings will be available on line. Students will be asked to write several short papers on the topics covered, and to participate in a moot court on a current free-speech court case.

ENGL 360: Environmental Writing for students interested in environmental law.

HDFS 120: Intro to Family Studies and SW 200: Intro to Social Work. Both of these courses may be of interest to students who want to be advocates for families and juveniles.

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

LAW 199:The Judicial System. Enrollment in this class, which meets on Fridays from   1-4 pm, is limited to 12 students. Here are course details and application procedures directly from the course instructor:

The purpose of the class is to take a deep dive into the criminal justice system.  Every other week we go off campus to visit state and federal judges, prosecutors, public defenders, legal aid lawyers, and other legal professionals.   We learn what they do, how they do it, and what is both challenging and rewarding about their jobs.  We also observe court proceedings, and see what happens in state and federal courts.

On the alternate weeks, we gather in the College of Law classroom to review the textbook content, take short quizzes, discuss prior visits, and prepare for upcoming visits.  We also ponder the social and legal inequalities that pervade the justice system through movie clips describing cases of particular noteworthiness.  In short, we work to become familiar with the justice system and the people who support it, and we think about the many challenges it must address.

If you are interested in applying, please prepare a document with the following information:

1) Your name and email address;
2) Why this course interests you;
3) What you hope to learn during the semester; and
4) How you will manage your schedule so that you will be available Friday afternoons for our class meetings and field trips.

Please bring a paper copy of your application document–by October 27–to the College of Law, Room 338  (for our Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, Ellen Rund).  If no one is in the office, you may slip the application under the door.  (Documents often come to us that way.) Students will be contacted the following week with offers of admission. 

NRES 102: Intro to Natural Resources and Environmental Science would be a helpful course for students interested in pursuing environmental law.

Philosophy options include:

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning. Especially helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics.  Basic exploration of ethics, including the relationship between social morality and the law.
  • PHIL 436: Philosophy of Law and the State. Explores broad philosophical legal issues.

Political Science options to gain a foundational understanding of our legal system and its role within broader political structures include:

  • PS 220/321: Intro to Public Policy/Principles of Public Policy
  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II are both helpful primers for law school
  • PS 303/313: The US Congress/Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 280: Intro to International Relations

PSYC 341: Advanced Community Projects. Gaining experience with clients in a human services context can build client-related skills as well as introducing students to the legal needs of a community or a specific population.

Sociology has introduced its Criminology, Law and Society minor. These courses may be helpful for students exploring criminal legal issues and crime in society, such as:

  • SOC 226: Political Sociology
  • SOC 275: Criminology
  • SOC 378: Law and Society

Other courses to explore different areas of law include the following. Some have restrictions; check Course Explorer.

  • ACE 403: Agricultural Law
  • JOUR 311: Media Law
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport
  • SE 400 Engineering Law
  • GEOG 210: Social & Environmental Issues
  • UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law

Business classes can provide a helpful foundation for those interested in corporate careers, however, most are restricted to College of Business majors or minors. Some courses will release any leftover seats after a restricted period; check Course Explorer for more details.

  • BADM 300 Legal Environment of Business
  • BADM 303 Principles of Public Policy–also cross-listed as PS 321.
  • BADM 314 Leading Negotiations

Remember that these are only suggestions.  Further, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify other good options.

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