Law School Insider | Law School Myths: True or False?

Welcome to Law School Insider! In this multi-part blog series, you will hear directly from current law students about their favorite courses, law school myths, best pre-law tips, and more!

In this edition of Law School Insider, we asked fellow Illini about myths they heard before attending law school and whether they are true or not. Check out their answers below!

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Law School Insider: Favorite Law School Activities

Welcome to Law School Insider! In this multi-part blog series, you will hear directly from current law students about their favorite courses, law school myths, best pre-law tips, and more!

Law schools offer a myriad of both academic and extracurricular activities designed to help students grow personally and professionally. These are activities that fall outside of the typical seminars and lecture courses students will engage in each semester. Some activities may include credit earning opportunities, while others may simply provide invaluable opportunities to develop skills, community, and knowledge. Below are some favorite activities of our UIUC alumni currently attending law school!

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Law School Insider: Law Students’ Suggested Read + Watch List

Welcome to Law School Insider! In this multi-part blog series, you will hear directly from current law students about their favorite courses, law school myths, best pre-law tips, and more!

The summer is a great time to relax and engage in some entertainment. What better way to be entertained than with some law-related material! In this post, you will hear about all-time favorite legal-related books, movies, and TV shows from current law students – just in time for summer!

Must Read/Watch

A Civil Actionby Jonathan Harr

-Sanjiv S. | University of Illinois College of Law

Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration-and How to Achieve Real Reform by John Pfaff

-Haydn L. | University of Michigan Law School

On Trial: Lessons from a Lifetime in the Courtoom” by Henry G. Miller, Esq.

-Joseph A. | University of Illinois Chicago School of Law

“I’m not a big reader anymore. A Few Good Men and My Cousin Vinny are great films about the law.”

-Nick S. | University of Illinois College of Law

Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers” by Deborah Tuerkheimer

-Tara S. | Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein

-Margaret B. | DePaul University College of Law

“For something timely, I recommend When Abortion Was A Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973 by Leslie J. Reagan (a UIUC professor).”

-Amanda W. | Duke University School of Law

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

-Matthew M. |UNLV William S. Boyd College of Law

Becoming by Michelle Obama

-Ashley T. | George Washington University Law School

Better Call Saul (Television series)

-Khalil R. | University of Chicago Law School

“I don’t tend to read many law-related books in my free time because I like having a clear separation between school and relaxation, but I am currently reading Martha Minow’s When Should Law Forgive? It’s an interesting take on what the focus of our legal system should be, and is easily accessible to folks who don’t yet have a background in law.”

-Ben T. | University of California, Berkley, School of Law

“Michelle Obama’s Becoming! She discusses interesting feelings about law school and the profession in general. If you’re on the fence about law school, I’d read it to get another perspective.”

-Skylar R. | Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street” by Sheelah Kolhatkar

-Sydney S. | Georgetown University Law Center

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

-Maciek C. | University of Wisconsin Law School

Barbarian at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco” by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

-Alberto V. | University of Chicago Law School

Lady Justice: Women, The Law and the Battle to Save America” by Dahlia Lithwick

-Erica H. | George Washington University Law School

Looking for additional suggestions?

Thieves of Book Row, by Travis McDade

Torn from their Bindings, by Travis McDade

The Book Thief, all by Travis McDade 

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

The Trial, by Franz Kafka

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement, by Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey

Know My Name, by Chanel Miller

I’ll Be Gone In the Dark, by Michelle McNamara

Radium Girls, by Kate Moore

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

My Cousin Vinny – movie

Find Me Guilty – movie

Sleepers – movie

A Civil Action – movie

Amistad – movie

On the Basis of Sex – movie

Marshall – movie

Loving – movie

Bridge of Spies – movie

Partner Track – Netflix series

Erin Brokovich – movie

Legally Blonde – movie

Check out this list of 25 Greatest Legal Movies according to the American Bar Association!

Check out this list of suggested law-related TV shows!

And here is a list of the 25 Greatest Law Novels Ever from Goodreads!

2022 – 2023 Year In Review

The 2022 – 2023 academic year was busy and filled with many successes! To our UIUC pre-law students and alumni, congratulations on a successful academic year and application cycle! Our thanks to our UIUC pre-law student & alumni leaders, law expert volunteers, and all those who helped support our over 1500 prelaw Illini this academic year!

Read below for some highlights from this year!

Advising Appointments

PLAS held over 800 advising appointments (and counting) this year! Individual advising appointments are a great way to explore your individual goals and plans including determining if a legal education and career is the right choice for you! Advising sessions afford the opportunity to receive expert guidance on the pre-law undergraduate experience, ways to prepare for law school, internship & post-graduation opportunities, and the law admissions process. We welcome the opportunity to support you in a successful journey to law school. We loved meeting with all of you!

Workshops & Events

This academic year, PLAS hosted over 50 student workshops and events, including Pre-Law 101, Pre-Law for Parents, Drafting Your Application, Application Roadmap, Selecting a Law School, Strategies for Spring Application Success, and more! Workshops & events are a perfect way to gain invaluable expert insights and specialized topics in a very efficient way. For those contemplating applying during the 2023-2024 admission cycle – be sure to check the events calendar for the summer editions of Application Roadmap & Drafting Your Application! Note – PLAS programming is open to all UIUC current students and alumni!

New Programs

This year, PLAS created four new initiatives: the Pre-Law Advisory Council, APPtitude Certificate Program, and LSAT Jumpstart workshop series, and the I Am Ready: Law Admission Readiness Program co-hosted with the University of Illinois College of Law! Each of these initiatives expanding on existing PLAS resources and services, creating more unique support and opportunities for our UIUC pre-law students and alumni! Thanks to all who participated in the inaugural year for these programs!

Law School Fair & Law Dean Panel

This past Fall, admissions representatives from 85 law schools from across the country visited campus to engage with nearly 400 students in central Illinois. The 2023 Law School Fair was held in-person, on campus for the first time since 2019 and was hosted as part of the annual Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors (MAPLA) Caravan. We also featured a law school panel the night before at the Law Building!

Save the Date for the 2023 Law School Fair on October 5!

Pre-Law Pop-Ups

This April, PLAS hosted 4 separate pop-ups to engage with students around campus. We met with students at Grainger Engineering, Gies Success Lab, Ikenberry, and at IUB to answer questions about the pre-law path and share information about our office resources! We look forward to seeing you around campus again next year!

Blog Posts

We uploaded over 40 articles to our blog this year that covered insights from attorneys, helpful tips & resources regarding the pre-law path, monthly events, and more! We will continue to create content for the blog this summer so be sure to stay tuned and check back for updates!

Legal Expert Volunteers

A huge thank you to the attorneys, law professors, and other law experts who volunteered their time to engage with students through programming and 1:1 meetings this year, including our featured panelists and the 10+ alumni featured on the Alumni Attorney Talks blog series!

Thank you to all our pre-law students, alumni, and law expert volunteers for making it a great year!