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!

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!

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!


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.


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.

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!


Scholarships, Scholarships, and More Scholarships!

There are hundreds of internal and external scholarship opportunities available to support individuals interested in graduate and law school each year. Check out our Spring 2021 Scholarship Newsletter for a highlight of over 100 of these incredible opportunities!

*You may also access the Scholarship Newsletter on our Compass page.

Explore all your options!

Scholarship opportunities are available from many different sources including – professional organizations, business entities, educational institutions, leadership and social organizations (ex: national sororities/fraternities), and local organizations and businesses.  Think about what makes you unique, your interests, and what connections you currently have.  Investigate on the internet and through contacts with organizations and groups you may belong.   To help you get started, below is information about scholarship resources here at UIUC for this semester and for future consideration…

College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences: They have a general scholarship application that will be open from April 1st until May 14th. They also have more specific scholarship opportunities. More information can be found here.

College of Applied Health Sciences: They have a general scholarship application that closed on February 1. For updates, click here.

Gies College of Business: Scholarship Information can be found here.

College of Education has great scholarship opportunities.

      • The Golden Apple Scholarship is due April 1, 2021 and can be found here.
      • The Illinois Club Isabelle Purnell Education Awards are not yet open for 2021, but information will be released here.
      • Undergraduate Education Scholarship information will be updated here no later than March 1.

Office of Minority Student Affairs: They will be releasing information here soon about their scholarships.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: They have scholarship opportunities for current students, incoming students, study abroad, life and career design, honors, and access and achievement program. More information will be coming soon about the various scholarships so continue to check out their website here. The James Scholar Preble Research Award application closes on February 28th!

Illinois National and International Scholarships Program: They have many scholarships available for students to apply for. These are merit-based and fall into many categories. Click here to find out about the different opportunities available.

Grainger College of Engineering: They have general scholarship application is due March 8, 2021 and can be found here.

College of Fine and Applied Arts: They have a list of scholarships available. Click here to see the scholarships.

School of Social Work: They have three amazing opportunities that can be found here.

      • DCFC Scholarship Program
      • Social Work Heals-IL
      • James Scholar Honors Program

School of Labor and Employment Relations: They are offering the August E. Burnier Labor Education Award. For more information about the scholarship and the requirements, click here.

March Snapshot

Here’s to a month full of warmer weather and more amazing events and opportunities! Continue to check this post as we will update it throughout the month.

March 1: Deadline to apply for the UIUC HRI Andrew W. Mellon Internship in Legal Humanities. Must apply by 5:00 pm. Click here for more information.

March 1: Academic Skills Workshop: “Student-ing Remotely! Time Management Tools” at 2:00pm. Click here to register.

March 1: Deadline to apply for the UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program. Click here to apply.

March 1: South Asian American Leadership Conference: “From Colorism to Racism to Homophobia” at 7:00pm. Click here to register.

March 2: Pre-Law Advising Services: Selection Strategies: Navigating Post Admissions Workshop at 4:00pm. Click here to register.

March 2: Research Park Internships Panel Discussion at Noon. Register here.

March 2: AccessLex: Choosing a Law School Webinar at 5:00pm. Click here for more information and to register.

March 2: South Asian American Leadership Conference: “Being in a Bi-Racial Relationship and Preserving and Passing Down a Strong South Asian Identity” at noon. Click here to register.

March 2: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In at noon. Click here to attend.

March 3: South Asian American Leadership Conference: “Claiming an Indian American Heritage for a National Museum” at 4:00pm. Click here to register.

March 4: AccessLex: Applying to Law School Webinar at 1:00pm. Click here to register and find more information.

March 4: South Asian American Leadership Conference: “Mentorship, Practice and Servant Leadership” at 6:00pm. Click here to register.

March 4: Women & Gender in Global Perspectives: 40th Anniversary Symposium from 10am-4pm. Register here.

March 5: UIUC Political Science Leadership Conference – Day 1 from 3:00pm-6:30pm. Fill out this form.

March 5: European Center: Performance of Aeschylus’s “The Suppliants” by Out of Chaos Theatre followed by immigration policy discussion. Register here.

March 5: UIUC College of Law “Police Reform – A Discussion Series: Police Misconduct Records and Public Access” at Noon.  For more information, click here.

March 6: UIUC Political Science Leadership Conference – Day 2 from 10am-12:50pm. Fill out this form.

March 6: LSAC: 2021 Illinois Latinx Law Student Association Forum with DePaul University College of Law from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Find more information click here.

March 8: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here to attend.

March 8: Women & Gender in Global Perspectives: International Women’s Day: “13 Women Who Changed the World: Untold Stories” from 3:30-5pm. Register here.

March 9: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In at noon. Click here to attend.

March 9: AccessLex: Paying for Law School Webinar at 4:00pm. Click here for more information and to register.

March 10: Release date for February LSAT Flex exam scores.

March 10: AccessLex: Building Your Law School Budget Webinar at 3:00pm. Click here to register and find more information.

March 10: Career Center hosts “UIUC Social Impact Info Session w/ City Year, Teach for America, and Peace Corps” from 4:00-5:00pm.  Sign-up through Handshake.

March 10:  UIUC College of Law Lecture “Ways of Thinking About Medical Care: Alternative Models and Structures and Their Policy Significance”: For more information click here.

March 12: UIUC College of Law “Police Reform – A Discussion Series: The Wandering Officer” at Noon.  For more information, click here.

March 12: Office for Diversity and Inclusion: Deadline to apply for the 2021 Launching your Career Seminar Series. Click here for more information and to apply.

March 13: Career Center: Womxn’s Career Institute from 10am-3pm. Register for the event here.

March 14: Pre-Law Advising Services: Last day to sign up for LSAT study groups. Fill out this form by 5:00pm.

March 15: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here to attend.

March 16: AccessLex: Choosing a Law School Webinar at 5:00pm. Click here for registration information.

March 16: University of Mississippi School of Law: “Minority Representation in Our Communities” from 5-6pm. Zoom ID: 947 2834 6318.

March 16: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In at noon. Click here to attend.

March 19: UIUC Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations: “The Reluctant Disability Rebel, or What to Do When You Want to Fight Racism When No One Cares About Ableism?” with Dr. Joe Minarik at noon. Click here to register.

March 21: UIUC Office of Government Relations: Fellowship Application deadline. Must apply by 11:59pm. Click here for more information.

March 22: Career Center: Diversity & Inclusion Networking Exchange from 6-7:30pm. Click here to register.

March 22: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Information session from 1-2pm. Find the zoom link here.

March 22: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here to attend.

March 23: UIUC Cooperative Extension Service: “Building Resiliency in Yourself and Your Organization” from 2-3pm. Click here to register.

March 23: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In at noon. Click here to attend.

March 23: Pre-Law Advising Services: Selection Strategies: Navigating Post Admissions Workshop at noon. Click here to register.

March 23: Counseling Center Services: Creating Personal “Spring Break” Practices at 7pm. Zoom Info: ID 844 1537 2453, Password: tue7.

March 24: No Classes – Spring Break Day

March 24: Environmental Leadership Program Pilot Workshop from 9:30am-2:00pm. Click here for more details and to register.

March 25: Pre-Law Advising Services: Application Roadmap Workshop at 4:00pm. Click here to register.

March 25: McGeorge School of Law: Legal Employer Collaborative Pathway Project. Click here to register.

March 27: Last day to change April LSAT test day for free.

March 29: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In from 3-5pm. Click here to attend.

March 30: UIUC Career Center: Peace Corps Drop-In at noon. Click here to attend.

March 30: Pre-Law Advising Services: Pre-Law 101 Workshop at Noon. Click here to register.