Scholarship Opportunities for Pre-Law Students

Are you familiar with the National and International Scholarships Program on campus? They work with high achieving students to help them apply for (and receive!) a variety of prestigious scholarship opportunities such as the Fulbright, Rhoades, and Truman scholarships. Take a moment to check out their website, as well as these upcoming workshops. Note below that some deadlines are fast approaching.

Do you want to change the world? Our campus is currently looking for exciting juniors* to nominate for the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Are you bothered by an issue and trying to make changes to address a problem? The Truman program is looking for the academically strong student who has a passion for public service. Evaluators look for leadership ability, potential for influencing public policies, community service and extracurricular involvement, strong academic performance, and potential to perform well in a premier graduate school program. It awards $30,000 merit-based scholarships to U.S. citizen college students who wish to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in public service.

Public service includes a wide array of career possibilities, such as public health; local, state, or federal government; educational policy; international relations; conservation; and environmental protection. Candidates should be able to demonstrate leadership experiences in campus and community service activities. Truman Scholars have pursued many fields of study, such as agriculture, engineering, economics, education, government, history, international relations, law, political science, public administration, and public health. Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving funding.

The University of Illinois may nominate up to four students for the Truman Scholarship. The campus deadline is November 15, 2012 to be considered. If you are interested in applying, please plan to attend one of our informational sessions outlining criteria and the application process.

Tuesday, October 16 at 3:00


Friday,  October 19 at 4:00.

Location: 807 South Wright Street, Room 514

Additional information about the award may be found at:

*For the Truman Scholarship, a “Junior” is defined as someone either in their third and final year of undergraduate study, or someone planning to graduate between December 2013 and August 2014.


Are you a high achieving student in a math, science, or engineering discpline?The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship might be in your future! Are you a junior or advanced sophomore?  Do you plan to continue on to graduate school for a PhD? Do you have a strong undergraduate research record? If so, please read on!

The Barry M. Goldwater National Scholarship offers 300 annual awards to undergraduate students (Illinois GPA 3.7 and above) who demonstrate strong evidence of contributing to the technological advances of the United States. The awards cover eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room/board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Current junior or exceptional sophomore students who are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or resident aliens may apply.

Applicants should be committed to a Ph.D. in the research fields of mathematics, sciences, or engineering. Candidates who intend to study medicine are eligible if they plan a career in research rather than a career in private medical practice.

The National and International Scholarships Program will be outlining criteria and the process for students considering competing for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship at the following sessions:

Tuesday, October 16 at 4:00


Friday, October 19 at 3:00.

Location: Campus Center for Advising and Academic Services, 807 S. Wright Street, Room 514

Endorsement by the designated Illinois faculty committee will be required.

The Illinois campus deadline for fullest consideration will be November 27, 2012.

Further information and a link to the online application may be found at:



After the LSAT: What now?

You did it! The LSAT is over! Take a deep breath.

Right about now, most people want to take the next few weeks off before thinking about their applications. Smart applicants will really maximize these next few weeks by focusing on the remaining elements of their application so that they can get those applications out early, qualifying them for the most aid.

Now it’s time to dive in to the rest of your applications. What’s your time frame for completing them? A good time frame to submit your applications is anytime between Halloween and Thanksgiving. But you will need to consider some of these elements:

Deciding whether and where you’re going to apply early decision. You can only apply to one school through a binding early decision program. It’s time to consider whether you want to choose this option, in which case your early decision application will be due (depending on the school) on November 1, November 15, or December 1–in any case, a deadline you need to know. Applicants should carefully consider this option. In the case of binding early decision programs, you need to decide: how committed are you to this school? How important is aid to you? Would you go there even if you had to pay full price? Would you be willing to withdraw all of your other applications if X school admitted you? That is the level of commitment that binding early decision requires. Take some time to research and consider this big decision.

Letters of recommendation. We’ve been talking about these for ages. Hopefully, you’ve already got your letter writers lined up. If not, RUN, don’t walk, to your recommenders and get them lined up. You should expect at least 6-8 weeks for your recommender to write the letter, submit it, and for the LSAC to process it. That means if you want to apply by November 15, you need to get your recommendations lined up NOW!

Personal statement. Yep, it’s time to take that energy and time you were focusing on the LSAT and devote it to your personal statement. In addition to our personal statement workshops (which you can find on our event calendar here), we also have some tips and suggestions for the personal statement on our website. Spend some time thinking about your values, your goals, and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Then write a draft, set it aside for a few days, and revisit it. Don’t worry if you don’t love the first draft–no one does. Start now so that you can spend 3-4 weeks thinking, writing, and editing. When you are ready for some feedback, you can make an appointment for a Pre-Law Advisor to review your personal statement and discuss it with you. (Call 333-9669 to set up a personal statement review appointment. Please email us your statement and resume two business days prior to your appointment so that we have time to review it.)

Transcripts. You’ll want to order a transcript from each undergraduate institution you attended. Visit the LSAC’s page for more information on the transcript ordering process.

Take a look at our earlier post called “What should I be doing now?” for even more application details.


Good Luck and LSAT Day Tips

It’s almost here! This Saturday is the LSAT for many of you. We wish all of you LSAT takers good luck!

Here are some final test day reminders/suggestions:

1. Make sure you eat breakfast (and pack a snack).

2. Give yourself plenty of time to drive to the test site, find parking, and check in.

3. Figure out what you’re going to do with your cell phone because you cannot bring it in with you. The LSAC has adopted a no tolerance policy towards electronics.

4.  Review the LSAC’s Test Day instructions one last time.

5. Don’t pay attention to what the people around you are doing. Bring your focus back to you and giving your best performance.

For some perspective, remember that the LSAT does not define you forever. The LSAT is not a predictor of bar passage, employment, or effectiveness as a lawyer. I don’t remember ever having even one conversation about the LSAT once I started law school, and no employer has ever asked me about it. (They did, however, care a lot about law school grades and class rank.)

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

We posted a fun LSAT video on our Facebook page for you to check out too!

2 more great pre-law events

It’s a busy week on campus! Here are two more upcoming events that may interest pre-law students.

The Pre-Law Club is hosting its next meeting tonight from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Room 319 of Greg Hall. The featured speaker will be Mike Ramian, the Assistant Director of Admissions at Valparaiso University. He will be discussing the application requirements, admissions process, and a basic overview of Valparaiso Law. After his presentation, there will be time for a Q & A session.

Pre-law students are also welcome to attend the Baum Lecture tomorrow from 12:00 noon to 1:00 at the College of Law. The topic is Civil Rights, and the speaker is Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law. This is a free event, and lunch is provided! Find all of the details here:


Free LSAT practice tests

Sophomores and juniors, this post is for you! A great way to get an idea of your “baseline” LSAT score or simply begin the LSAT prep process is to take a full-length practice LSAT. Here are some upcoming opportunities to take a free practice test.

Note: We are not affiliated with any LSAT prep company. We do not receive any compensation from them. We simply provide information to students about upcoming opportunities that you may find beneficial. Students are under no obligation to use any company’s services just by taking a free test.

Princeton Review is offering a free practice LSAT under test conditions on Saturday, October 6 from 1-4 pm at the College of Law (504 W Pennsylvania Ave). Participants can then attend a “Scores Back” session to receive their scores and specific feedback on their performance on Sunday, October 14 from 3-5 pm at the College of Law. Register for these sessions online at or call 800-273-8439.

Kaplan is hosting upcoming LSAT practice tests on October 6 from 12:00-4:00 pm and on October 7 from 2:00 to 6:30 pm. Register online at or call 1-800-KAP-TEST.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) offers a free LSAT online that you can download, print, and take under your own conditions. (Make sure that you time yourself carefully to get a realistic idea of how you perform.) Find it at

PowerScore offers the same free practice LSAT as the LSAC website, along with a “virtual proctor” to keep yourself on track. Their website also has some sample “lessons” about test sections.

These would be great opportunities for sophomores and juniors to get an idea of what the LSAT is all about, or even for students taking the December LSAT to gain more experience taking the test under “testlike” conditions.