Wellness for Pre-Law Students

Wellness. Balance. Meditation. Mindfulness. These are big buzzwords. Everyone is talking about how to feel better, but why does it matter? And why should you, a future lawyer, consider incorporating these tools into your life?

“In its purest form, wellness involves doing whatever you need to do to feel better and be healthier on a day-to-day basis. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving a general sense of well-being and overall health, and anyone who claims otherwise is selling you something.”

Lawyer Mental Health and Wellness: Why It Matters (clio.com)

As this quote shares, wellness is whatever makes you feel better, day-to-day. And it is important to feel as good as you can so that you can really show up for yourself, your studies, and your (future) clients. When you feel good, your mind is clearer, you process information better, communication increases, and your overall sense of purpose and satisfaction rises.

Let’s explore different types of wellness and how you can incorporate those that align with you into your life.

Water: Our bodies absolutely need water to survive. And our bodies need to be properly hydrated to thrive. Consider evaluating your water intake and increasing it if it is not enough.

Movement: Our bodies need to move! Perhaps that is going for a walk or taking a HIIT class, make sure you move your body to keep it (and your mind!) strong and sharp. Consider visiting the ARC on campus Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) – Campus Recreation (illinois.edu) to explore different ways you can move.

Mental Health: Mental health is everything. When you feel better, you do better. Stress and anxiety can impact your ability to focus and work at your best level. There are many wonderful resources on campus such as counselors, group therapy, workshops, and more! Visit the UIUC Counseling Center website for information. Looking to attend a workshop? Explore the Outreach Series here.

Meditation: Meditation has been shown to provide wonderful benefits. Healthline states that meditation may reduce stress, control anxiety, promote emotional health, enhance self-awareness, improve sleep, enhance memory, and more. Consider getting started with daily mindfulness sessions on campus! Here’s a great meditation resource for Test Anxiety from Northwestern: Test Anxiety: Breathe – Northwestern University.

Financial Health: Learning how to manage your finances is very important to your overall wellness! According to the American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans are worried about money. Being stressed about money can lead to poor sleep, decreased mental health, and more. Learning how to work with your finances is going to pay dividends! Explore UIUC’s Financial Wellbeing program to learn how you can enhance your financial wellness!

At PLAS, we are committed to supporting your academic and professional growth and that means supporting your overall wellness, too. Visit our Canvas page for additional Wellness resources!

Tips for Maximizing Spring Break

Spring Break Top Ten Image with Butterfly

Spring Break is right around the corner and is a wonderful opportunity to make some progress towards your law school goals. Here is our “Spring Break Top Ten” list to help you maximize Spring Break!

#10: Complete your FAFSA if you haven’t already

This is how financial aid for federal loans for summer/fall will be determined, whether you are a returning undergrad or planning on being an incoming law student next year, be sure to get this done ASAP!

#9: Think about what classes you want to take

Spring break is a great time to begin researching classes and upcoming academic opportunities. Check out our blog post: Guide to selecting Pre-Law coursework for Illinois students! Also, stay tuned for a future blog post about our suggested courses for the Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 semesters!

#8: Start thinking about your summer plans

Will you be working or completing an internship? Will you be taking summer classes?  Perhaps a Pre-Law Summer program is exactly what you need! Start making a plan for how you will maximize your summer. Check our internship newsletter and Handshake regularly for new opportunities!

#7: Research and Connect

Job shadow, or ask a law student or lawyer to spend 30 minutes doing an informational interview with you. Don’t be intimidated; this is an informal opportunity for you to have coffee with someone new and ask about their educational and/or professional life. Here’s a resource for planning your informational interview. 

#6: Get a head start on LSAT Prep

If you are in the early stages of your application process, consider using this time to take a practice LSAT. Go to this website to download a free practice test. When you’re done, you can score it and watch videos there with explanations of the answers.

#5: Visit Law Schools

Have you started receiving letters of admission to law schools? Consider using this time to visit (virtually or in-person) your top choices! This is also a good time to begin narrowing your list and withdrawing from schools that you know you are not going to attend.

#4: Start Planning

Are you getting ready to apply to the 2022-2023 cycle? Think about when you will take the LSAT. You’ll want to consider how much time you need to study and the possibility that you may choose to take the LSAT twice. June, August, or September are good test dates to consider.  Start building out your overall timeline for law school applications considering when you will submit an application and planning for big events in the fall!  Be sure to mark important deadlines and dates now!

      • Consider registering for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) if you will be applying to law school during the 2022-2023 application cycle.  This is the account you will need to open in order to have your recommendation letters processed, submit transcripts, and compile your application materials. Once you set it up, your account is good for five years. You can read all about it here.  We recommend setting up your account no later than August if you will be applying this cycle.
#3: Decide who will be your recommendation writers

Letters of recommendation will be necessary for many different opportunities throughout college including scholarships, leadership roles, internships, and other positions.  This is particularly true as you enter your upper-level years and prepare for your law applications.  If you are a junior or senior, you will want to consider approaching potential recommenders by the end of THIS semester for upcoming opportunities this summer or fall (including your law application). If you are an alum, reach out ASAP because the longer you wait the more difficult it is to track people down and for them to remember you.


The end of the spring semester is fast approaching. Consider carving out an hour or two a day to work ahead on a project or assignment, internship and/or leadership application, or your resume. By working ahead you are setting yourself up to make your last few weeks go really smoothly! Your future self will thank you.

#1 Recharge!

Returning from spring break not only means the final weeks of the semester are approaching, but the end of the entire academic year – it will be busy! Get some rest, reconnect with friends and family, catch up on your favorite shows, read for fun, get outside! Use this time to reflect, rest, and regroup!

Tips and Tricks on Navigating Any Interview Process

As a pre-law student, you will likely come across many opportunities to interview. Perhaps you are interviewing at the law school of your dreams or for a summer internship. Maybe you have started networking and have a few informational interviews scheduled. Regardless, interviewing is an important aspect to many opportunities you will have as an undergraduate student and will be an essential skill as you look toward a career in law.

No matter what type of interview you have coming up, we are here to help! In this post you will find helpful insights and information you need to know about interviews–what they are, how to prepare for them, and what to expect. Happy Interviewing!


What is the purpose of the interview? Interviews are generally part of an internship application process. This is also true of summer positions, regardless of whether they are paid. Employers and Internship Hosts want to get to know you and evaluate if you are a good fit for the position. Applicants also have an opportunity to get to know the employer/internship host and ask questions.


What is the purpose of the interview? In addition to admission, law schools might use the interview to screen candidates for scholarships, research opportunities, or special programs such as law school ambassadors. It is definitely worth an applicant’s time and effort to take the interview seriously.

TIP: Know what kind of interviews your preferred law schools offer.

Research your law schools’ websites to see whether and what format of interview is offered. Not all law schools offer interviews as part of their admissions process and the format of interviews can vary between different institutions. It is important to know if interviews might be part of your experience.   We’ve provided some examples of interview formats below for reference!

      • First come, first served interviews–Some law schools like Northwestern offer interview slots to all applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.
          • Note – IF you are applying Early Decision then you must interview and it must be complete by the ED deadline.
      • Group interviews–Some schools may offer group interviews in selected cities or virtually.
      • By invitation only – Some law schools like University of Chicago choose to interview applicants after applications are submitted and by invitation only.
      • Recorded interviews – Some law schools are now offering applicants the opportunity to record an interview. Usually this is how it works: You are given a prompt, and then 2-3 minutes to think about that prompt. Then the webcam records you for a few minutes while you give your answer to the prompt.


What is the purpose of the interview? Informational interviews are a wonderful way to network with professionals and to learn about the profession you are interested in. Typically informational interviews are short and rely on you to come prepared with questions for the expert.  While these may be less formal than a job or law school interview, you still need to be prepared, professional, and most importantly, yourself.

Securing an informational interview can be as simply as  reaching out and asking. Don’t be intimidated; this is an opportunity for you to buy them coffee and ask about their professional life. Here’s a resource for planning your informational interview. Check out this additional resource on the topic from the Career Center.


    • Do your research. You should expect them to ask you “Why this law school or this employer or this opportunity?” and they will want to hear specific answers. Take a careful look at the appropriate websites, blogs, videos, and/or news articles. Get to know the place you are interviewing at.
    • Be prepared with specific talking points about the school or employer that interests you. For example, if this is a law school interview, you may want to research a particular journal, clinic, moot court, externship, or certificate program that is interesting to you. If this is an internship or summer position, understand the work they do and how you can contribute.
    • Carefully review your resume and be prepared to discuss anything on it.
    • You may also be asked something like “What are your career goals?” or “Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?,” or even “Why do you want to be a lawyer?” and you should be prepared to discuss your career interests.
    • Decide how you will address the inevitable “What are your strengths and weaknesses” question.
    • Behavioral interviewing – “Tell me about a time when…”. This mode of interviewing will ask you to address a hypothetical or refer back to prior situations and experiences.  For example, you might be asked to tell about a time when you resolved a conflict, managed a team project, made a mistake, or made a big decision.
    • Practice. Sign up for a mock interview with Career Services, or have a lawyer/professor/trusted person sit down with you and ask you mock questions. Think carefully about what you want to say, and how you can best convey it.
    • Know the format – plan accordingly.  Many interviews are now conducted via Zoom/online format.  It is important to know the format and plan accordingly for best success. Make sure you have equipment that is working and select a location that is a quiet place without interruptions. Also, take a picture with your webcam before the interview so that you can see what’s behind you…you may be surprised to see that pile of laundry or unmade bed in the background.
“At” the interview:

Although many schools, companies, and organizations have moved to online formats for interviewing, almost all of the same “rules” that apply for traditional interviews are true for online formats as well.  No matter what type of interview you have, be sure to follow these important tips. Make sure that you look professional and

    • DO NOT BE LATE under any circumstances. Allow yourself plenty of time for parking/traffic/restroom. If you absolutely cannot avoid being late, call the office to let them know. This applies to online interviews as well. Make sure you are online and everything is working properly. Don’t assume that because it is online that you can hop on 30 seconds before.
    • Make eye contact, introduce yourself, and shake hands (if appropriate). (You would be surprised how many people skip this. Seriously.
    • Dress up. This is not a business-casual situation; business formal is best unless the interview parameters explicitly state something else. Even if you are on Zoom or online, treat it just as seriously and professionally as if you were in-person.
    • Engaging in small talk is not only socially necessary but also gives the interviewer an idea of how good you are at making people feel comfortable talking with you–a critical skill to be a successful lawyer. This might even be part of the interview itself.
        • Some interviews may be “recorded” and are conducted by question prompts instead of a traditional back and forth conversation.  Think about ways you can help express your personality if small talk is not part of your interview structure.
    • Bring questions for the interviewer.  Most interviewers will ask if you have any questions for them. Use the opportunity to ask some thoughtful questions. Some examples might include:
            • What are the most important qualities in a Law School X student or, in a Business Y employee or intern?
            • How would you describe the student body/atmosphere here?
            • What challenges do you see current law students facing?
            • What’s the best advice you have for an aspiring law student/lawyer?
    • Thank the interviewer for their time. Reiterate your interest in the law school or position you are applying to.
After the interview
    • Follow up with an email thanking the interviewer for their time.
    • Include something specific that you learned or enjoyed about the interview. Examples:
        • Thank you for your advice about _______________; I found that very insightful.
        • It was so interesting to hear your perspective on the unique qualities of this school or position.
        • I appreciate your candid advice on ____________________.
    • Take the opportunity–again–to reiterate your interest.
    • Reflect on the interview. What went well? What could you improve? What did you learn that was really useful?
    • Celebrate! Congratulations, you completed the interview!

 Finally, check out these tips on interviewing from The Career Center.

Make the most of your spring!

Spring semester is here and this is an important time to look ahead at what you can do to best prepare yourself for your future law school adventures, including planning your spring task-list, finalizing summer plans, and setting fall goals.

Below are some suggested areas to prioritize this spring depending on your point in your journey to law school…

Freshmen and Sophomores:

Apply for Summer Jobs and Internships.  Do you have summer plans locked down? If not, apply for jobs and internships. This is a great way to gain valuable experiences and enhance your resume. Check out our internship newsletter here or browse available opportunities on UIUC’s Handshake page.

Apply to Summer Pre-Law Programs These short summer programs are a wonderful opportunity for students interested in the legal profession. They typically last 3-5 weeks and are usually free for qualified students. Application deadlines vary, but are typically in March and April. If you are interested in these programs check out our newsletter here or hop over to LSAC and start your application process as soon as possible!

Sophomores – Start researching the LSAT. Not ready to take the real LSAT yet but wondering what it’s all about? Then it’s time to make LSAC (Law School Admission Council) your best friend! This is the organization that manages the LSAT. Learn how to prepare for the LSAT and even take a free test here.

Job Shadow/Informational Interviews. Job shadow or ask a lawyer to spend 30 minutes doing an informational interview with you. Don’t be intimidated; this is an opportunity for you to buy them coffee and ask about their professional life. Here’s a resource for planning your informational interview. And here’s anther resource on the topic. For more formal interview tips, check out this resource.

Keep up. Use this time to reassess your study plans and goals and prepare for finals–those grades are very important to law schools! Feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious? Consider these student wellness resources to support you.

Juniors and Alumni Applying during the 2022-2023 cycle:

Make your LSAT plans.  Taking the April or June LSAT? Select your prep option and start studying as soon as possible. You want to give yourself the most time to prepare. Ideally, you will study for 4-6 months prior to taking the LSAT. Keep this in mind when selecting your ideal LSAT examination date. Spring break can be a great time to crank up your LSAT studying.

      • Ready to register for your preferred date? Click here for the April LSAT and here for the June LSAT.

Taking a Summer or Fall LSAT? Now is the time to research LSAT prep options. Visit the LSAC website here to learn about resources available including Kahn Academy (free), LSAT Prep, and LSAT Prep Plus  They also include a list of prep books (hyperlink) available and a list of commercial companies who offer services.

      • Stay Tuned for our LSAT Q&A blog post with recent LSAT takers for first-hand advice later this month!

Decide who will be your recommendation writers.  Applications to law school require letters of recommendation. You will want to approach your recommenders by this May/June (at the end of THIS semester) so they have plenty of time to write the letter and your performance is still fresh in their mind. If you are an alum, reach out ASAP because the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to track people down and for them to remember you.

Plan to Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  This is the account you will need to open to have your recommendation letters processed.  The fee to register is $195 so you will need to budget accordingly.  Be sure to get signed up no later than August if you will be applying in the upcoming cycle.  Once you set it up, your account is good for five years. You can read all about it here.

Mark your calendars.  We have upcoming workshops just for you that you should plan to attend including the Exploring Legal Education and Application Roadmap. Find them all on our Event Calendar.

Seniors taking a gap year (or two) prior to law school:

Decide who will be your recommendation writers.  It’s a good idea to decide who on campus will write your recommendations, and approach them by the end of this semester to make contact. If you are applying during the 2022-2023 cycle, you’ll want to secure those letters soon. If you are planning on applying in a future cycle, it will be important to make contact with your recommender and ask for support. Your recommender will be better prepared to assist you in a year or two if you keep in touch regularly. Plus, regular contact will help with timing. Remember, if you wait too long to make contact,  your preferred professor may be gone, on sabbatical, retired, etc., so it’s better to get them now.

Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  If you plan to apply during the 2022-2023 cycle, register for CAS in the summer or early fall. If you plan to apply in a future cycle, hold off on CAS until you are closer to applying.

Gap Year Workshops. We have upcoming workshops just for you that you should plan to attend, including our Application Roadmap/Gap Years workshop in March. Find them all on our Event Calendar.

      • Internship Newsletter – Be sure to check out the Internship Newsletter which includes post-grad opportunities for ideas and available positions!
Seniors and alumni headed to law school this fall:

Get applications in ASAP! If you are still preparing applications for this cycle,  Touch base with our office ASAP – we are here to help!

Continue Researching!  If your applications are in then you will soon be in the decision making phase.  It is time to make sure that you have all the information needed to make your final decision.  Make final visits to law schools and/or attend admitted student days.

      • HousekeepingOnce you’ve decided where to attend, be sure to withdraw from the other schools that have admitted you so that they can offer that seat and/or scholarship to someone else.

Get organized! Mark important dates on your calendar – including seat deposits, admitted student open house days, and scholarship deadline information…

Stay Connected – Attend Programs! Attend upcoming workshops for guidance on successfully navigating your post-admissions process. Here’s a few we think will be valuable to you:

Apply for additional scholarships. We’ve posted a lot of information about this over on our Resource page!  Also, use your favorite search engine to explore other scholarship opportunities. Here’s a list to get you started. There may be some wonderful local, state and/or national scholarship opportunities with your name on it!


Planning to be enrolled in school next fall?  It’s FAFSA time!

Complete your FAFSA if you haven’t already. This is how financial aid for federal loans for summer/fall will be determined, whether you are an undergrad or an incoming law student.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of where you are on your pre-law journey, remember we are here to support you and you’ve got this!