The upcoming Fall Break is a welcome change as we head into the final weeks of the semester and year. For students, it’s a time to step away from the day-to-day demands of academic life and for alumni, there is often a bit more time to disconnect from work and the everyday demands. To help make sure you’re maximizing your time before the end of the semester! Read our tips below on way to fully utilize this unique time!
1. Reconnect with your family and include them in your pre-law journey at the Pre-Law for Parents and Families event!
Whether it is your first fall break or last, take this time to reconnect with family and friends. Have a conversation and let them know how you have been doing and include them in your pre-law journey by inviting them to Pre-Law for Parents and Families on November 21 at 6:30 pm! For more information and to register, click here.
2. Relax and Rejuvenate
The end of the semester is always a busy, and often stressful, time. Make time for yourself over break to rest and rejuvenate prior to the end of the semester. UIUC also provides a wide variety of services and resources to help make the end of the semester as manageable as possible!
Here are some upcoming workshops that may interest you:
- December 6 | 6:00 pm: Test Anxiety Workshop with the Counseling Center.
- December 6 | 7:00 pm: Mangoes and Mental Health: Join Campus Recreation while we make delicious mango smoothies, dialogue, and skill-build healthy ways to manage our stress
- December 6 | 7:00 pm: “Motivation…Where Art Thou? Finding Motivation in the Midst of Finals” with the Counseling Center.
Being productive is great, but overworking yourself may not be. Your efforts to be successful are more effective when you’re not exhausted. Many people find mindfulness apps like InsightTimer, Calm, or Headspace useful in bringing the focus back to the present moment.
3. Make a Plan to Finalize Applications
Applying this year? Set a goal date for application submission and stick to it!
We highly recommend trying to apply during the first half of the admissions cycle, if possible. Use Thanksgiving break as an opportunity to finalize your applications and submit them to schools. If you will be applying later than early December, use Thanksgiving break to complete as many of the application components as you can and identify the earliest date you feel you can apply.
Planning to apply in the spring of 2023? Plan and strategize to maximize success!
- TIP: Make an appointment with a pre-law Advisor to discuss your spring 2023 application strategies.
- TIP: Attend the “Strategies for Spring Application Success” workshop on December 1, 2022. To learn more and register, click here.
Regardless of when you apply, here is a brief checklist of essential items you will need to complete. If any of this feels overwhelming, don’t worry! Meet with a pre-law advisor and we’ll walk through it together):
CAS, LOR, Transcripts: Make sure you are familiar with the LSAC Credential Assembly Services (CAS) and stay current on the status of your materials and application components. Request transcripts NOW, these will take several weeks to process. Be sure you have submitted ALL required transcripts. Follow up with recommenders, be sure they are aware of your goal timeline, and be sure to check CAS to confirm when your letters of recommendation are uploaded.
LSAT and LSAT Writing: You will need your final score to apply. If you don’t have your score, confirm when it will be available and plan your goal submission date accordingly. Have you completed the LSAT Writing? You must complete the Writing portion to receive your score (you must only do this once – if you previously completed this step you are done!). Be sure to do that prior to the score release date of November 30, 2022. The LSAT Writing must be completed before your score is released.
Application Documents: Don’t quite have a final draft of your personal statement, resume, or addendums but want to save your spot on our advising calendar? No worries! You can book your appointment with an existing draft and then email your advisor a more complete draft of your document prior to your appointment – documents must be received at least one business day prior to your scheduled meeting time to ensure it is reviewed!
- Personal Statement – Fall break is a great time to draft and hopefully finalize your statement! Make sure to follow your specific schools’ prompts. Don’t forget to edit, edit, edit! Don’t know how to get started? Check out our Personal Statement resource on Canvas.
- Resume – Make sure it is current and ready to apply! Make sure it is well-formatted, free of typos and mistakes, and easy to read. Don’t know how to get started? Check out our Resume resource on Canvas.
- Addendums – Are there addendums required by your schools? Are there optional addendums? Be sure you have confirmed what addendums you will be submitting and begin writing.
School-specific requirements and questions:
Make sure you have reviewed the specific application requirements for the schools you will be applying to, and create a checklist for each school. Questions? If you have questions about an individual school’s application requirements or process ask NOW! Don’t wait until your goal submission date to confirm details. Reach out directly or send emails over Thanksgiving break!
We are here to help! PLAS is here to review documents, discuss strategies, and answer questions. We highly encourage you to book your appointment soon, this time of year gets really busy!
3. Plan the End of Your Semester
Make a strategic plan for the end of the semester to help make things manageable. Think backward from deadlines and due dates to ensure you have enough time to prepare for each end-of-semester item. Take into account:
- Final academic obligations (papers, projects, final exams, and study time). Mark deadlines and dates on your calendar.
- Upcoming deadlines for internships or other special programs.
- Admissions events and programs you may wish to attend (The last LSAC Forum is on February 3rd, 2023!).
- Time for life logistics – plan around busy times and deadlines for things like groceries/bills, exercise, family, and friends.
4. Taking the LSAT in 2023?
Consider using some of your fall break to explore LSAT prep resources and start developing a study plan. Here are some links to get you started:
- Save the Date! February 2023: LSAT Jumpstart hosted by PLAS, is a four-session mini-camp to help you prepare for the LSAT. To learn more and register, click here.
- LSAC’s Khan Academy: explore what LSAT prep looks like through this free program.
- Official LSAT Content Licensees: explore this list of LSAT test prep companies and tutors that are official content licensees.
- LSAT Preparation Resources on Canvas: Head over to the PLAS Canvas page and scroll to the LSAT Preparation module. Here you will find many resources and tips to help you prepare for the LSAT.
5. Finally, start thinking ahead…
Make efforts to finalize important spring plans including course selections, extracurricular involvements, and goals for internships and other opportunities.