Exploring Law as a Career: Edition 1

A career in law can be very versatile. The juris doctor degree provides the tools for law graduates to pursue one of many careers, whether it is in private practice or the public sector. This three-part series will give an overview of the law as a career, focus in on different types of practice, and highlight specific practice areas.

What Lawyers Do. Lawyers are advocates, advisors, and problem solvers. Though lawyers practice in a vast variety of settings, ultimately, there are core skills that lawyers all practice.


  • Represent clients in courts, before government agencies, and in private legal matters, ensuring their clients have their opportunity to be heard.
  • Communicate with their clients, colleagues, judges, and others involved in the case to work towards a desired outcome.
  • Research and analyze complex legal problems, and apply the law to a client’s case at hand.
  • Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for their clients.
  • Advise and present facts in writing and verbally to their clients, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and the court.
  • Draft, revise, and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds.

The law can be an incredibly rewarding profession which provides vast opportunities to develop, change, and evolve your career.   At its best, legal practice challenges the intellect and provides rewarding opportunities to exercise leadership, judgement, and advocacy skills.  It provides unique avenues to not only assist clients in significant and impactful ways, but to also help shape legal doctrine and processes.  The ethics of the profession require attorneys to promote justice, fairness, and morality; thus, legal employment can also bring satisfaction to those who seek to work, within the law, to rectify social injustice.

As stated, pursuing a career in law offers vast and diverse career choices, from public interest law and government law to private practice in a firm.   As significant as the rewards in a law career can be, it is also a challenging and highly competitive career.  An important step in exploring legal careers is to distinguish between commonly held expectations (especially based on media portrayals of lawyers) and the reality of legal practice.  Hours can be very long and often include weekends. The differences among starting salaries can exceed $100,000 depending on the type of legal practice. Legal work can require spending considerable time in tedious, painstaking research. Legal practice can be stressful and present challenges for individuals who seek well portioned work-life balance.

The good news is the diversity of career choices available through law can provide many options for individuals to select career paths that are best suited for their individual goals.   Not all pre-law students will know the area of law they want to practice, but it is advisable to explore the various career options of a lawyer as part of your decision-making process.  In the upcoming blog series, we will explore different types of practice settings and different fields of law to help you begin determining if a law career is right for you.

Learn More about the Legal Profession and Careers:

Stay tuned for next week’s blog, discussing the different types of practice lawyers have!

MAPLA Law School Caravan


Don’t Miss the 2020 MAPLA CARAVAN!

  • Wednesday, October 28
  • 5:00 – 8:00 pm (CST)
  • Via Handshake
  • Register Today!

Join students from across the Midwest on Wednesday October 28 from 5-8 pm (CST) for the opportunity to meet with more than 100 law schools from around the country!  Admissions representatives from schools in every “tier” will be in attendance to talk about the education their school can offer students, discuss admissions criteria, and answer your questions.

Hosted by the Midwest Association of PreLaw Advisors, this free event is open to all students and alumni from a college or university in the Midwest Region, regardless of major or year in school.

How to Participate:
    1. Use your Handshake account to register up until and including the day of the event (registering in advance is highly recommended).
    2. Sign up for school-specific 30 min group sessions and 10 min 1-to-1 appointments.
      • On the event page, go to the “Available Sessions” tab.  You can also search for a specific law school using the search box.  After you have signed-up for a session, it will be added to the “Your Sessions” tab.
    3. Participate via live video during the event
    4. Log in to Handshake and click on this event under “Your Schedule“.  Go to the “Your Sessions” tab.  To join your Expo sessions, click on the “Join Video” link next to each session.
    5. Once the session has started you will not be able to enter – be sure you are not running late!
How to Prepare:


Dear Current Pre-Law Students,

We hope you’re having a great week and staying healthy. With recent changes of the November LSAT administration to the LSAT-Flex format, we wanted to let you know of a resource available through the Pre-Law Advising Services Office!

The LSAT-Flex exam requires students to take the exam in a quiet, private room with reliable internet access. For students on campus who may be having difficulty in identifying an appropriate space, Pre-Law Advising will make private rooms available for you to reserve for your LSAT-Flex exam.

How it works:  Students can request to reserve a private room to take the LSAT-Flex exam. To help maximize the use of space, reservations are available in three-hour time-blocks, with the expectation that students will have 30 minutes before and after their exam to set up, get comfortable, and sanitize the room after the exam. Rooms will be located in the Armory building. Students will receive a more detailed email prior to their exam date outlining the protocol and expectations.

Reservation blocks are available at the following times:

7am – 10am |  10am – 1pm |  1pm – 4pm |  4pm7pm |  7pm10pm


A few quick notes:

  • Be mindful when signing up to ensure the Armory reservation overlaps your LSAT-Flex testing time. (i.e., if your exam is at 7:30am, you would reserve the 7am-10am time-block).
  • If none of the Armory reservations work with your LSAT-Flex time, please indicate that in the sign-up form. We will do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee there will be an available private room outside of the pre-determined time-blocks.
  • Per campus policy, you will be required to have a current negative COVID-Test to enter the building.
  • We have limited space, all reservations are on a first come, first served basis.


How to Sign Up: To sign up for a space for the October LSAT-Flex, please register at the following link by OCTOBER 30: https://surveys.illinois.edu/sec/409812863


For more information and guidance on where to take the LSAT-Flex, check out our blogpost: http://publish.illinois.edu/prelawadvising/2020/08/22/where-to-take-the-lsat-flex/. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to ccaas-prelaw@illinois.edu.

NOTE: this is only available to CURRENT U of I students, as only current students can have access to the Armory building, as well as other buildings, on campus. For alumni or off-campus students, please check out THIS blog post for more information on productive exam spaces to take your LSAT-Flex!

LSAT Update!

January, February, and April 2021 LSAT Exams will now be LSAT-Flex format…

Below, please see the details released today from LSAC regarding the January, February, and April 2021 LSAT Exams.

Given the continuing COVID-19 emergency, LSAC has made the decision to offer the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex for the last three test administrations in the current testing cycle, instead of the in-person tests previously scheduled. 

This means the January LSAT (U.S./Canada/International), the February LSAT (U.S./Canada only), and the April LSAT (U.S./Canada/International) will now be delivered in the LSAT-Flex format only. 

The LSAT-Flex gives candidates the opportunity to earn an LSAT score and continue their law school journeys despite COVID-19 restrictions on travel or public gatherings. Over the past six months, LSAC has taken an incremental approach to canceling the in-person LSATs one by one and replacing them with LSAT-Flex administrations, based on public health guidance. Given the ongoing disruption and uncertainty over how the COVID-19 situation will evolve, and feedback from candidates, the decision was made to provide clarity for the next six months, so that everyone can plan accordingly.

The January, February, and April LSAT-Flex administrations will begin on the same date as the previously announced in-person tests. Most test takers will test on Saturday or Sunday of that week, with some tests occurring later in the week based on test taker volumes or specific remote proctoring requirements. These LSAT-Flex administrations will count toward the annual, multi-year, and lifetime limits on taking the LSAT, and due to the demands of the LSAT-Flex administration, these will be undisclosed tests.

Learn more about the LSAT-Flex and see answers to frequently asked questions on the LSAC website. You can also learn more about deadlines for requesting formal accommodations, how to request assistance with a loaner device or a quiet place in which to test, deadlines for changing a test date, and score release dates for each of the LSAT-Flex administrations on our “Test Dates, Deadlines, and Score Release Dates” page.

What do test takers need to do?
        • Candidates currently registered for any of the January, February, or April 2021 in-person LSAT administrations may take the corresponding LSAT-Flex, or opt out by Friday, November 13, 2020, and receive a full refund. They should visit their LSAC account and submit the online form with their choice. If we do not hear from a test taker by November 13, they will be registered automatically for the LSAT-Flex corresponding to their current LSAT registration(s).  
        • LSAC is working to help every test taker in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada have the equipment and other resources they need to take the online, remotely proctored exam and do their best work. Any candidate who does not have the necessary equipment or an appropriate place to test should submit an online form in their LSAC account by the deadline for each administration (generally about 3-4 weeks before the onset of testing). For the first five administrations of the LSAT-Flex, LSAC shipped more than 1,500 free loaner devices to candidates who did not have a computer to take the online test, and guaranteed hotel reimbursements to hundreds more who needed reliable internet or a quiet place to test.
        • Because the LSAT-Flex is an online, remotely proctored test, LSAC is able to offer a variety of test start times for test takers to choose from. LSAC will continue to open the scheduling sign-up process about 10 days before the first day of testing for each of the LSAT-Flex administrations, so test takers can select the available time that works best for them. Test takers will receive more information and instructions prior to that time.
        • LSAC has created a new score preview option for first-time test takers who wish to see their score before deciding whether or not to keep it. The score preview option costs $45 for test takers who sign up by 11:59 p.m. ET on the day before the first day of testing for each LSAT-Flex administration, or $75 if test takers sign up after testing has concluded. You can see the exact score preview sign-up periods for the January and April 2021 test administrations at the “Test Dates, Deadlines, and Score Release Dates” page for each administration. First-time test takers who have an approved LSAT fee waiver will receive score preview free of charge. You can learn more about the score preview option here.
        • As a reminder, all test takers must have a completed LSAT Writing sample on file in order to see their score or have their score released to law schools. To help candidates complete the writing portion of their test, LSAC now opens LSAT Writing eight (8) days prior to every test administration. If a candidate already has a writing sample on file from a previous exam, they do not need to complete a new LSAT Writing sample. For more information about LSAT Writing, visit our website.

For more information, please visit LSAC.org

T-Minus ONE DAY!

Hello, Illini! We are 1 DAY away from our Law Fair! We cant to highlight a few reminders before the big day.


Before the Fair:

  1. Register now! Registration is free and easy: https://go.illinois.edu/2020GLPFair
  2. Have questions prepared. Check out our T-Minus 3 Days post for sample questions.
  3. Research the law schools you are interested in beforehand. You can visit the CareerEco site to see the schools’ profile pages or visit the schools’ websites.
  4. Visit CareerEco and pay attention to the chat room schedule so you can plan your day strategically and get a chance to speak with your top schools. The designated law school hours are 10am-2pm, but some schools will have shorter or longer hours.
  5. See our T-Minus 7 Days post to see all the law schools that are attending. There are schools from all over the United States!

During the Fair:

  1. Set Your Schedule, You can Come and Go! Feel free to visit the fair throughout the day as your schedule allows. Remember law schools have set their own chat hours so building your own schedule in advance will be key!
  2. Dress appropriately as some schools will have video chat available. We recommend business casual attire.
  3. Be professional, take initiative, and engage—this is a great way to make a first impression on admissions deans.
  4. Take notes and remember who you speak with. This is a great way to keep organized and will make things easier if you would like to follow up with certain schools.
  5. Questions? If you have any questions throughout the fair, Pre-Law Advising will have a chatroom where you can come speak with us from 9am-3pm! Simple search for “Pre-Law” under the chat room schedule!


T-minus 2 Days: The Illinois Law Fair

Hello Illini…


We are now 2 DAYS away from the Illinois Grad, Law and Professional School Fair!!!

If you have not already done so – REGISTER NOW! Registering in advance allows you to express your interest to attending law schools and provides them the opportunity to reach out to you in advance with special invitations and information!

Law Fairs provide a unique opportunity for students to interact with a variety of law schools in one concise setting.  There are many virtual opportunities this fall – but  Illinois Law Fair provides unique one – on- one opportunities for Illinois students & alumni.  To help you prepare, below are a list of tips, strategies, and goals for Thursday!


Individuals may attend the fair for any number of reasons, be sure to keep in mind what you would like to accomplish. This will help you formulate questions and make the most out of your day! Below are a few goals you might have…

    • Discover more about specific law schools to help you decide where you would like to apply.
    • Ask for perspectives on your candidacy and learn more about what specific law schools are looking for in prospective students.
    • Learn more about the general application process and hear perspectives from admissions deans.
    • Make a connection with law schools you would like to attend, demonstrate your interest.
    • Learn more about what you can do with a legal education.
    • Explore the many diverse law schools and learn more about their unique attributes.
    • Discover new schools and programs that you did not know about!

Strategize – Make A Plan:

    • Determine when you will be able to attend the fair.
    • Do your homework and review general information about schools.
    • Identify your “must visit” schools, plan a questions or two for each.
    • Research school availability and make a personal schedule based on your availability and the schools – remember you can be in multiple chat rooms at the same time!

Note: The generally designated law hours are from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, however, each law school has set their own unique hours. Some will be hosting longer hours, starting earlier, or staying later.

    • Set-aside additional time to visit schools you haven’t considered before!

TIP: Search for law schools on the CareerEco site in advance by utilizing the search filters – we recommend putting “law” in the Areas of Study field.  You can also search by location and school name!

TIP: Pay close attention to the institution you are visiting as some schools may have multiple departments participating.  For example – The University of Illinois College of Law will have a chat room, as will the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

TIP:  Let law schools know you are interested in advance by checking the “interest” box on the school profile page.

T-Minus 3 Days: Illinois Law School Fair!

Hello Illini!  3 days to go and counting…

The Law Fair is a great opportunity to ask informative questions about schools you are interested in, discover new schools to consider, demonstrate your interest, and  make a great first impression on admissions representatives. Here are some potential questions you might find helpful to ask…

    • What are some qualities or characteristics you are looking for in law school applicants?
    • What kinds of experiential learning opportunities do you offer students?
    • What might my path look like at your school if I am interested in (blank) law?
    • What kind of scholarships are available to students?
    • How are your students prepared for the bar exam?
    • Why did you decide to work at the school? (or if you know the admissions rep attended that law school, you may ask why they attended that school)
    • Is there a way to get in touch with current students for informational interviews?
    • How accessible are faculty?
    • What is your school’s policy for evaluating multiple LSAT scores?

For more potential questions, see LSAC’s list of suggested questions for law fair attendees.

TIP: Take notes!  If you are applying this cycle take notes to remember the information you learn, consider asking the same question(s) in each chat room and compare answers later.

TIP: Make sure you note which representative(s) you talked to for future reference and follow-up!

TIP: Make time to review profile pages and chat with 1 or 2 schools you haven’t considered before – you may be surprised what you learn!

To Register!

Go to https://go.illinois.edu/2020GLPFair

T-minus 5 Days: Illinois Law Fair

Hello ILLINI!  We are 5 days away from the annual Illinois Law Fair!

This year’s virtual Fair will look a bit different from prior years, but will still offer the same unique opportunity to interact with law admissions representatitives from across the country!  Below are a few logistical steps and details to assist in your Law Fair prep!

Pre-Fair Preparation
    • Register Now!  Reigstration is online and completely free.  Be sure to register early to not miss out on any pre-fair communications.
    • Attend one of the Pre-Fair Workshops on Monday, October 12 (12:00 pm or 4:30 pm)!
    • Explore law schools in advance and let schools know you are interested in advance! Details below…
Exploring Schools & Expressing Interest
    • Each law school has a profile page which provides important details about the school and availablity during the upcoming Fair.  Be sure you have reviewed details about each of your schools as chat room times and topics may vary slightly by school.
    • TIP: Search for schools on the CareerEco site in advance by listing “JD” in the degree search field, and “law” under area of study.  You can also search by location and school name!
    • TIP: Be sure to filter and pay close attention to the institution you are visiting as some schools may have multiple departments participating.  For example – The University of Illinois College of Law will be present, as will the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
    • TIP:  Let law schools know you are interested in advance by checking the “interest” box on the school profile page.  Schools may wish to reach out to you in advance about special opportunities or scheduling private chats.
Additional Logistics
    • Format & Instructions: Schools may host presentations, chat rooms, and individual chat sessions during the fair.  Learn more about navigating the CareerEco platform through the online tutorials.
    • Dress Code:  Chat rooms may have video enabled for either the chat room or for individual chat sessions.   We encourage business casual dress for the fair – no PJs!
    • Chat Room Schedule:  Be sure to review the chat room schedule in advance and plan your day!

T-minus 7 Days: The Illinois Law Fair

We are 1 week away from the 2020 Illinois Law Fair!

Not sure which law school to apply to?  Wondering how to decide between the many options? Not sure what law schools have to offer?

West Coast?  East Coast?  South?  Midwest? Illinois? 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity for one-on-one interactions and direct perspectives from law schools! This year’s Graduate, Law, and Professional School Fair will host diverse law schools from across the country.   There is no better opportunity for University of Illinois students and alumni to learn more about individual schools and to demonstrate your interest in specific law programs!

Visit the CareerEco event page and register today! Be sure to take a look at the law school profiles to learn more about schools in advance!

Check out our current list of attending law schools!

    • Albany Law School
    • American University Washington College of Law
    • Ave Maria School of Law
    • Baylor Law
    • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
    • Boston College Law School
    • Boston University School of Law
    • Brooklyn Law School
    • Capital University Law School
    • Case Western Reserve University School of Law
    • Chapman University Fowler School of Law
    • Charleston School of Law
    • Chicago-Kent College of Law
    • Creighton University School of Law
    • CUNY School of Law
    • DePaul University College of Law
    • Drake Law School
    • Drexel University School of Law
    • Duke Law School
    • Elon University School of Law
    • Emory University School of Law
    • Fordham University School of Law
    • Indiana University Maurer School of Law
    • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
    • Lewis & Clark Law School
    • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
    • Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
    • Marquette University Law School
    • Michigan State University College of Law
    • Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Chase College of Law
    • Northeastern University School of Law
    • Northern Illinois University College of Law
    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
    • Notre Dame Law School
    • Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
    • Penn State Law
    • Pepperdine Caruso School of Law
    • Seattle University School of Law
    • Seton Hall Law
    • St. John’s University School of Law
    • St. Thomas University School of Law
    • Stetson University College of Law
    • Tulane University Law School
    • UC Irvine (UCI) School of Law
    • UCLA School of Law
    • UIC John Marshall Law School
    • University of Akron School of Law
    • University of Alabama School of Law
    • University of Chicago Law School
    • University of Glasgow
    • University of Illinois College of Law
    • University of Iowa College of Law
    • University of Kansas School of Law
    • University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
    • University of Miami School of Law
    • University of Minnesota Law School
    • University of Missouri School of Law
    • University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
    • University of San Diego (USD) School of Law
    • University of San Francisco School of Law
    • University of St. Thomas School of Law-Minneapolis
    • University of Texas School of Law
    • University of Toledo College of Law
    • University of Washington School of Law
    • University of Wisconsin Law School
    • Wayne State University Law School

T-minus 10 days: The Illinois Law School Fair

Happy Monday, Illini! 

We are just 10 DAYS away from the annual Illinois Law School Fair…

  • What: The Law School Fair will feature over 100 law schools from across the country. Illinois students & alumni will be able to interact with law school deans one-on-one to learn more about the law school and ask any questions they have! Law Schools will also host various chat room sessions to interact with interested students. The Law School Fair this year is being held in conjunction with the annual Graduate & Professional School Fair for a combined Graduate, Law & Professional School Fair.
  • When: October 15, 10 AM – 2PM
  • Where: Virtual!
  • Registration: Register Online Today!

Why Should I Attend a Law School Fair?

  • Learn more about law schools. This is a great opportunity to learn more about law schools that you are interested in applying to, as well as explore new law schools that were not on your radar.
  • InteractYou will be able to speak directly with representatives and admissions deans from the law school, as well as have a chance to make a great first impression! This is prime face time with admissions representatives and an opportunity to make a positive impact as a candidate, as well as network. Also a great opportunity to express interest about the law school.
  • Answers. Get your questions about the law school and law school programs answered first hand.
  • Careers. The Law School Fair is a great way to learn more about a career in the law.
  • Fee Waivers. This even might be an opportunity for law schools to grant application fee waivers to interested applicants.

Check back in the upcoming days for more Pre-Law Advising Services Law School Fair countdown highlights!