Got pre-law questions? Start with the PLAS Pre-Law Handbook!

Although we love meeting students and alumni, we know that these meetings would be more useful and productive for all of you if potential applicants and aspiring lawyers would take the time to review the great information in our PLAS Pre-Law Handbook.  The user-friendly formatted Handbook covers a wide range of issues of interest to pre-law students.  You should take a look at all of them.  This post will highlight 5 really popular topics.

1. Exploring Your Interest in Law – This is for everyone new to pre-law, whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or alum!  This section helps you evaluate your interest in the law and whether it might be a good fit.  Some of the areas covered/links provided include: What is a JD? What do lawyers do? What are some good online resources on the law? We have also included links to podcasts on these topics. Click here  and then select the “Exploring Your Interest in Law” tab for more info.  You should also check out our “Pre-Law Student/Applicant Checklist” tab for a list of “to-dos” that will help you get a general picture of what being pre-law entails. Note-the first suggestion in this section is that you attend a Pre-Law 101 session.

2. Preparing for Law School – So you’ve decided that you are interested in pursuing law school and a legal career.  This section helps you decide what you need to do now to prepare for law school. Some of the topics covered/links provided include: How do I select a major? What skills do the law schools value? What kind of extracurricular activities should you consider? How do law schools consider grade replacement, credit/no credit, or withdrawals?  Click here  and then select the “Preparing for Law School” tab for more info.

3. Financing Law School – Law school is expensive!  In fact, the cost of attendance/COA (tuition plus other expenses) at three well-known law schools recently topped $100,000 per year!  How do you plan to pay for it?  How do you put yourself in the best position to receive scholarships from law schools?  Click here  and then select the “Financing Law School” tab for more info.

4. Understanding Admissions Criteria – So what exactly are law school admissions people looking for in a candidate?  To be sure, a strong GPA coupled with a good LSAT score is important.  But what about: volunteer experiences; internships that expose applicants to the practice of law; letters of recommendation? These are just some of the topics covered in this section of the handbook.  Click here  and then select the “Understanding Admissions Criteria” tab for more info.

5. Applying to Law School – This section covers all topics related to the process of and requirements for applying to law school.  Some of the topics covered/links provided include: What is “rolling admissions”? What is the LSAT and how do I study for it?  What do the law schools require that applicants submit with their applications? How do I put together a law school resume? Click here  and then select the “Applying to Law School” tab for more info. Note: this particular section of the handbook has a LOT of “sub” tabs within the section addressing all aspects of the application process.  Aspiring law school applicants should review all of them!

The point is – the PLAS Pre-Law Handbook is an excellent resource.  It is intended to be a comprehensive overview of what it means to be “pre-law.”  It is also interactive, easy to use, and constantly updated.  As such, it is always a very good place to begin to find answers to your pre-law questions.

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of September 16

Pre-Law Advising Services Events

Pre-Law 101 workshops will introduce you to being pre-law at Illinois. Whether you are a new student or just new to pre-law, this is the best starting point for learning what to do to prepare for law school. We’ll answer all your questions about how to maximize your time at Illinois to become a great law school candidate. This workshop is offered several times throughout the semester.

      • Pre-Law 101 (for all students): Sept. 17 at 4:00. Register here.

Personal Statements & Resumes for Law School Applicants–This workshop is for those who are applying to law school in the next year or so (although all are welcome). We will discuss the personal statement and resume, including: what law schools are looking for, how to get started, what to include and exclude, and a sample plan for drafting them. This workshop is also offered several times throughout the semester.

      • Personal Statement & Resume Workshop–Sept. 23 at 4:00. Register here.

Meet us at the Majors & Minors Fair NEXT MONDAY, Sept. 23 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm in the Illini Union Rooms A, B, C.

WHERE is my workshop? If you look at our Events Calendar you will see that many of our event locations have not yet been identified. Due to construction, locations of these events will be announced about a week before the events.  Please continue to check our PLAS Events Calendar and our posts on Facebook throughout the semester to make sure you know where your workshop is being held!

Coming soon…

Law School Admissions Expert Panel – Wednesday, October 2, 7:00pm, 1002 Lincoln Hall

This panel features the law school admissions deans from the University of Illinois, Indiana University, St. Louis University and the University of Texas-Austin!  Click here for more info!

Law School Fair – Thursday, October 3, 10am-2pm at the Activities and Recreation Center

Close to 100 law schools will be here to answer your questions!  Click here for more info including a list of schools scheduled to attend!

Go here to check out other upcoming PLAS Events!

Campus Internships

ATLAS Internships for all LAS majors. ATLAS internships help students in the College of LAS gain hands-on learning with technology and provide real tech experience. No specific GPA or tech experience required. To apply or for more details visit their website here.

David F. Prindable Undergraduate Internship. This paid internship for undergrads in the Humanities (through the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities) provides the chance to assist with communications strategies, particularly through email and social media. Visit their website here for more details and to apply. Deadline: Sept. 27.

Office of Undergraduate Research

Getting Started in Undergraduate Research workshop–Learn about various forms of undergraduate research on campus and how to get involved. Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website to register for both upcoming workshop options below.

      • Sept. 18, 3:00-4:30 pm
      • Sept. 19, 3:00-4:30 pm
      • Sept. 20, 3:00-4:30 pm

Career Center

Handshake–Looking for internships, jobs, career fairs, networking receptions, or other professional opportunities? Handshake is where it’s at! All students, not just seniors, should set up an account and start checking in on a consistent basis to see what opportunities interest you. Set up your account here.

ALL students should utilize the Career Center’s services! They offer a variety of programs to help you identify career paths through workshops, career fairs and individual meetings. Click on the link above to view all of their offerings.

Here are some of their upcoming events:

      • Gies Business Career Fair – Wednesday, September 18 & Thursday, September 19, Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), 2-7pm
      • Career Drop-Ins (no appointment needed!)–Sept. 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, 11 am-4 pm
      • Are You Career Ready? –Sept. 17, 5-6 pm
      • Global Careers: Peace Corps Informational Session–Sept. 17, 6-7 pm
      • Global Careers: Japan — Sept. 19, 12-1pm, The Career Center Interview Suite, Room 213
      • Global Careers: Canada — Sept. 20, 4-5:30pm, The Career Center Conference Room, 143
      • Resume, Cover Letter, and Linked In Reviews are offered almost every day. Check the website for times and locations.

Law Schools

Harvard Law School

Interested in learning some tips about applying to Harvard Law School?  HLS has begun offering online information sessions.  Some concern the admissions process, others offer insight into campus life, student organizations, and clinical opportunities at HLS. To sign up for this week’s J.D. Application Requirements and Insights session, set for TOMORROW, September 17, at 5:00pm Central Time, go here:  To see the full 2019-2020 HLS Online Information Session Schedule, click on this link:

University of Illinois College of Law – Constitution Day 2019

On September 17, 1787, thirty-nine of the fifty-five delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the final draft of the U.S. Constitution. It then went to the states for ratification. Today, federal law designates September 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Each year, the College of Law hosts a special event on behalf of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to commemorate the occasion.

“The 2020 Presidential Election” – Tuesday, September 17, 2019
12-1 p.m., Room D, Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL

Donald Trump made the Supreme Court a central issue of his 2016 presidential campaign and, as president, he has made two Supreme Court appointments. Candidates for president in 2020 are already announcing the kinds of justices they would appoint and weighing in on proposals to reform the Supreme Court such as by adding seats or imposing term limits. The Supreme Court views itself as above politics even as it decides cases that impact electoral outcomes–and might be called upon to resolve electoral disputes in 2020. Hear from a panel of experts on the significance of the Supreme Court in the 2020 presidential election and how the outcome of the election might impact the Court itself.

Panel Leaders: 

Vikram D. Amar, Dean & Iwan Foundation Professor of Law
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of Law

Jason Mazzone, Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of Law

Alicia B. Uribe-McGuire, Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Department of Political Science

Event is free, and open to the public. Lunch will be provided to attendees.


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Planning on Taking the LSAT in October or November (or even January)? REGISTER NOW!

Fall 2019 Test Takers: As we discussed in our August 14 PLAS blog post, the new format and schedule for the LSAT have significantly reduced the number of available slots for test takers.  Consequently, the stated registration deadlines of September 10 for the October LSAT and October 10 for the November LSAT are almost meaningless. In fact, as of today THERE ARE WAIT LISTS FOR SEVERAL TEST LOCATIONS FOR BOTH THE OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER EXAMS! If you plan to take the LSAT either in October or November (or possibly even January – see below), you need to register ASAP – do NOT wait until the registration deadline!!  Here is a link to the test center search portal to allow you to determine where there are still open spots for the exam. Remember: the next LSAT administration here at UIUC isn’t until February so you need to consider the best time and location for you with that in mind.

July 2019 Test Takers: Scores were released last week.  You have until next Wednesday, September 4, to cancel your score.  After that, it remains in your LSAC/CAS account and all law schools to which you apply will see it. If you opt to cancel your score, you should be able to schedule your free retake through your LSAC/CAS account. As noted above, you should plan to register for your retake ASAP! Registration is now open for all administrations of the exam through April of 2020. If you encounter any issues with scheduling the free retake, contact LSAC directly at (215) 968-1001.

Some final thoughts/reminders:

(1) Given what we are seeing with wait lists for fall registrations, those of you considering the January LSAT should also register as soon as possible to make sure you get a seat! Do not wait until the December 3 deadline!!

(2) Applicants who took the LSAT in either June or July (and all future test takers), do not forget to complete the writing portion of the LSAT.  Your law school applications cannot be processed until the writing section is submitted!

(3) For more information about the latest developments concerning the LSAT, go to the LSAC’s website.  You can also search our blog by using the search tool in the upper left corner of this page as we have covered these topics in several previous posts.

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Welcome Back Edition

Welcome Class of 2023 and Welcome Back Pre-Law Students!

Hello students!  Our first blog post of the 2019-2020 school year features an overview of many of the events happening on campus in the next week. We have also included a brief update on Pre-Law Advising Services (PLAS), including information about our brand new online appointment scheduling system, the Law School Fair on Thursday, October 3 at the ARC, as well as our first two Pre-Law 101 Sessions, set for Monday, September 9 (for Political Science Majors only) and Tuesday, September 17 (open to all students).  Scroll down for more on that.  We will resume our regular blogging schedule next week.  Our postings will include updates on PLAS programs, campus events, internships, and information on a variety of pre-law topics and items of interest so keep checking in!!

Pre-Law Advising Services Updates for Fall 2019

1. What’s going on at PLAS? All of our events are listed in our Event Calendar here:  Note that some of our workshops have limited seating, like the Pre-Law 101 sessions, the first two of which are set for Monday, September 9, for Political Science Majors only, and Tuesday, September 17, open to all students, so you’ll want to register for those in advance.  We will add a few programs as the semester progresses.  Be sure to check our blog September 2  for an overview of the semester’s events!

NOTE: If you look at our Events Calendar you will see that many of our event locations have not yet been identified. Some room locations that have been included could change at any time. This is due to ongoing construction in our building.  Please continue to check our PLAS Events Calendar and our posts on Facebook throughout the semester to make sure you know where your workshop is being held!

2. Attend a Pre-Law 101 Workshop. If you are a new pre-law student you’ll definitely want to attend a Pre-Law 101 Workshop, which will answer most of your questions about what it means to be pre-law and how you can maximize your opportunities as an undergrad. Note: as mentioned above, the first two Pre-Law 101 sessions are set for Monday, September 9 and Tuesday, September 17. These sessions are all listed in our Event Calendar and you can register there.

3. How do we keep in touch? Blog, Facebook group, Twitter, email
The best way to keep up with pre-law news is to read this blog and join our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter (@UIUC Pre-Law). We send occasional emails but we don’t want to clog your inbox…so instead, we update this blog, Twitter and our Facebook page at least once a week.

4. Making an appointmentBIG NEWS! We have just launched our brand new online appointment scheduling system!  Go here to schedule an appointment with an advisor.  And PLEASE be patient if you have any issues with the online process.  It will likely take a while to work out all of the kinks with this new system.  If you do encounter problems, you can always call our office at 333-9669 to schedule an appointment.  Except please, if you’re sick, stay home in your jammies! You can call us at the appointment time if you really need to talk. Otherwise, please reschedule.

5. Want to get our PLAS emails? Just go to, search for “prelaw” and add yourself with your email address.  We typically only send one or two emails per week so that shouldn’t be a concern.  And if you change your mind later, you can always remove yourself from the list.

Coming Soon!! Save the date for the Law School Fair! On Thursday, October 3 from 10 am – 2 pm at the ARC!  Over 100 law school reps will be here to meet YOU! Click here for more details, including a list of who’s coming.

Upcoming Campus Events

Welcome Days/Welcome Week 2019 — August 24 – August 31, 2019

Quad Day: Sunday, August 25

The fall semester kicks off this weekend with Quad Day, Sunday, August 25, Noon-4pm! Come out for a day of learning about any and every Registered Student Organization on the Illinois campus. Campus offices and local organizations will also be lining the Main Quad for you to get a taste of how diverse the university is and what it has to offer. The Illini Union vendors will be there, along with the Rec Room, so you can see what they are all about! Special performances by the Marching Illini and other RSOs will take place. With over 600 RSOs present, you are bound to find something you are interested in. Remember — law schools like to see applicants who are both good students and who are involved in their community. For more information on the benefits of joining an RSO, check out our recent blog post here.

For more details about Quad Day and other Welcome Week Events, check out the Illini Union webpage:

Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations

Wake Up Call – Saturday, August 24, 3-4:30 pm
Foellinger Auditorium
Sponsored by 100 Strong and the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center

Paleta Social – Monday August 26th, 6–8 pm
La Casa Cultural Latina, 1203 W. Nevada St., Urbana

After the first day of classes, La Casa holds a social for new students to come and meet other new and returning students, while returning students can catch up with fellow classmates, all while enjoying a paleta/ice cream. It is also an introduction of La Casa to new students in an informal manner.

Women’s Resources Center Open House | Aug 27, 2018   4-7 pm  
616 E. Green St., Suite 202, Champaign

Come celebrate a brand new semester with the WRC!

LGBT Resource Center Welcome Back Event – Thursday, August 29th, 4:30–6:00pm
Illini Union 314

Celebrate the start of a new year with food, music, and opportunities to meet LGBT Resource Center staff, LGBT RSOs, campus partners, and more! Come find out how to get involved with and stay connected to LGBTQ life at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! All students, staff, faculty, and community members including partners are invited.

Welcome Black BBQ! Wednesday, September 4th, 3-5pm
Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, 1212 W. Nevada St., Urbana

Help us kick off the school year the right way at our annual Welcome Black BBQ! The BBQ is co-sponsored by the Black Faculty and Academic Professional Association. As such, the bbq is an opportunity to connect with old friends, make new ones and to engage with faculty and staff from across the university.

Asiantation – Sunday, September 8th, 4–7pm

SDRP Multipurpose Room (2nd floor) 301 E. Gregory Dr., Champaign

For twenty five years, students have been producing “Asiantation,” a new student-welcoming program and resource handbook to introduce first year students, transfer students, as well as graduate and professional students to the Asian and Asian American campus community and resources. Learn more about AAPI student organizations and see how you can get involved.

Native American House Welcome –  Thursday, September 12, 4:30–7 pm
1206 W. Nevada St., Urbana

For more information about the OIIR and their Welcome Back Days events, go here:

Other Campus Events and Opportunities

Career Center

The Career Center offers a variety of programs to help you identify career paths through workshops, career fairs and individual meetings. They will have an Open House on Quad Day, August 25, from 1-3pm at their office at 715 S. Wright Street with FREE ice cream, games and prizes! The Career Center schedule resumes next week.  Here are some of their upcoming events:

Creating Your Powerful Resume and Cover Letter Workshop – Tuesday, August 27

4-5pm, Career Center Conference Room 143, 715 S. Wright Street

Career Fair Prep Workshop – Wednesday, August 28

5-6pm, Career Center Conference Room 143, 715 S. Wright Street

Information Night for International Students – Friday, August 30

5:30-6:30 pm, Career Center Conference Room 143, 715 S. Wright Street

Illinois Part-time Job Fair 2019 – Tuesday, September 3, 10am-2pm, Illini Union

Looking for a part-time job on campus or in the Champaign-Urbana community? This is the event for you! The Illinois Part-Time Job Fair is open to all students on campus seeking opportunities to make some extra money while completing their academics. Opportunities at this fair are paid positions. Check out the event in Handshake to view a full list of employers attending!

To learn more about resume and cover letter reviews, both online and in person, along with other helpful resources, check out the Career Center’s website here.

Humanities Expo – Thursday, August 29, 11am-1pm, Atrium, Foreign Languages Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave–1st floor and Lucy Ellis Lounge

Sponsored by: Humanities Professional Resource Center, College of LAS

The humanities at Illinois are vibrant. There are many ways to get involved, beyond completing requirements toward your degree. Come to the Humanities Expo and learn about opportunities to build on your academic work, prepare for your future, and grow. This mini-Quad Day for the humanities will take place Thursday, August 29, between 11am and 1pm in the first floor of the Foreign Languages Building.

Luce Scholars Program — Information Sessions August 29 and 30

The National and International Scholarships Program (NISP) is offering a two-day informational event about the Luce Scholars Program.  The Luce is a one-year internship in East or Southeast-Asia, and designed specifically for students who do not have much prior experience in that region.  Starting August 29th, NISP will offer an informational overview session, featuring an informal discussion with previous Luce Scholars. On August 30th, NISP will host a workshop designed to help students begin to craft their personal statement.

All events will be held in 514 IUB. The dates and times are as follows.

August 29th, 3:30-4:30pm – Informational session and discussion with a former Luce Scholar.

August 30th 3:00-4:00pm – Workshop on how to craft a Luce personal statement.

More information about the Luce can be found here:

For more information about other NISP events and scholarship deadlines, go here:

Illinois in Washington – Information Session – Tuesday, September 10, 5-6pm, Wohlers Hall 141

Illinois in Washington (IIW) is an academic internship program open to all U of I undergraduates. Participants live and intern in Washington, DC, while taking U of I classes.  IIW offers an exceptional opportunity to gain rewarding work experience while enjoying the political, intellectual, and cultural experiences that only the nation’s capital can offer.  Student internships have included positions with members of Congress, think tanks, social justice organizations, and government agencies.  Join us for an unforgettable semester in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Learn more about IIW at our information session on September 10th, and apply to IIW by Oct. 1, 2019, at




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Digital LSAT Update

So you all know that 2019 is the year the LSAT changes from a paper-and-pencil test to a digital exam administered on a tablet.  In fact, the June 2019 is the final all paper version of the LSAT. The July 2019 LSAT is the transition test – half of the registrants will be taking the paper version and half will be taking the digital version.  Registrants will not know prior to entering their test centers which LSAT version they will be given. In consideration of all this, the LSAC is allowing students to actually see their scores and then decide whether to cancel.  Note: the July 2019 LSAT is the first, last and ONLY time LSAC will permit test takers to see their results before deciding whether to cancel their scores.  If all of this news is catching you by surprise, here are links to previous blog posts explaining the changes.

Since the conversion to digital format was announced last fall, the LSAC and several commercial LSAT prep companies have been working to convert practice LSAT materials from paper to digital to help prepare test takers for this change.  You can find the FREE LSAC digital practice information and practice tests here. And don’t forget about the FREE LSAT prep course offered by Khan Academy.  Go here for more information.

Our office has also been contacted by some of the commercial LSAT test prep companies about their efforts in this arena.  Each of those companies listed below offer some FREE LSAT prep materials, as well as their LSAT prep materials at various prices.  We encourage you to review all of this information before making any purchasing decisions.  These companies have provided the following links to allow varying degrees of access to their digital LSAT prep materials.


LSATMax is offering a FREE sampling of their test prep courses for all students.  Click on the link above and follow the instructions on their website to learn more. LSATMax has a large inventory of LSAT prep materials, including actual previously administered LSATs, in the digital format that has been adopted by the LSAC for its upcoming digital conversion.  In addition to its comprehensive courses, beginning at $749 (with payment plans available), LSATMax also offers individual previously administered LSATs in digital format, with prices ranging from $2.99 to $9.99 per test.  So for those of you who do not want to purchase an entire class from LSATMax, you can simply purchase any or all of the the previously administered tests in the new digital format. And the latest course offering from LSATMax includes a brand new iPad.  Go here for more info:


TestMasters offers LSAT digital practice materials, some of which can be accessed for FREE.  For the access code, go here  Follow the prompts to set up your account.  TestMasters is giving UIUC students free access to up to three digital practice LSATs.  After completing a digital test, students will receive a week of online access to personalized score reports, comprehensive written and video explanations for the questions on the exam and 24/7 academic support from their instructors.


All students can access Blueprint’s proprietary Law School Compass and other  FREE LSAT resources with a FREE MyBlueprint account. Click on this link to create a free account:

Blueprint also offers FREE webinars to students, as well as on-campus events. Pre-Law Students can learn more and register for sessions here:

Note: PLAS does not endorse any commercial test prep companies.  However, in the interest of helping students access as much digital LSAT prep material as possible, we have posted information from the above test prep companies to ease test takers’ transition to the new digital format. We would welcome and post information from other commercial test prep companies not listed here about their digital materials.  Interested companies should email Jamie Thomas-Ward at with information about your digital LSAT offerings.

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End of Semester Edition – May 6, 2019

Well – finals are here and graduation is this weekend.  Congratulations and best of luck to the Class of 2019!  We would love to know your post graduation plans, whether they include law school, another grad school program or a job.  Please drop your advisor a quick email with an update!  You can also send an email to our PLAS address:

As for you freshmen, sophomore, juniors and seniors still contemplating applying to law school – while the blog won’t be a regular weekly event, we will be beginning our “Applying to Law School” series in June.   So please keep checking back for this informative series and any LSAT updates, including an update on the digital LSAT THIS WEDNESDAY!  We will post information as we hear about it so don’t forget about the PLAS Blog, Facebook page and Twitter while you are on summer break!

Finally, one-on-one appointments with an advisor are available now until May 16.  We will be taking a short two-week break in mid-May, with advisor appointments resuming on June 3.  Please call our office at (217) 333-9669 if you would like to schedule an appointment.  Have a great summer!

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Email Etiquette — “Hey” Doesn’t Cut It!

Note – we originally published a version of this blog in 2014.  Since we continue to experience and hear about email etiquette gaffes (from law school admissions deans – yikes!), we thought we would run an updated post on this topic.

Email etiquette is a critical skill whether you are communicating with law school admissions officers, potential employers, professors or your pre-law advisors! Remember: these contacts are formal and therefore VERY different from emails sent to friends or family members. A lack of professionalism and/or respect can create very negative impressions, which then likely lead to unhappy admissions or employment outcomes.  Want to avoid common email pitfalls? Read on for some practical and easy tips.

1. Salutation: DO NOT begin your email with “Hey” or “Joe”.  You should ALWAYS err on the side of being more formal: “Dear Dean Jones” or “Dear Ms. Smith.”  First names or casual openings are for friends and family only. NEVER address individuals you encounter in a professional setting by their first names until you have been invited to do so!

2. Subject Line:  Never leave this blank.  Instead write a brief but accurate description of the content of the email.  Examples: “Application Status Inquiry” or “Interview Follow Up.”

3. Organization:  Collect your thoughts (what are you trying to say?) and then organize your email into an introduction, body and closing.  The introduction states your reason for contacting the person.  The body details the information you are trying to convey.  The closing wraps up your email, including whether you will be contacting them in the future or if you would like them to contact you.

4. Proofread:  Nothing leaves a bad impression like a careless typo or typos.  Draft your email and reread it, checking it several times for any spelling or grammatical errors.

5. Manners:  Say “please,” “thank you,” and sign your emails with a courteous sign off, such as “sincerely” or “best.”  Remember: anything you put in writing is there forever.  Do you want to be remembered as the polite, interested candidate or the clueless jerk?!  And, by the way, if you receive a reply to your inquiry, always write a quick thank you for that response!

For more info on these suggestions and for other tips about composing professional emails, read “10 Professional Email Tips” by Elizabeth Hoyt, May 8, 2018, at


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Mark Your Calendars – Week of April 15, 2019

Hello Pre-Law Students!  Scroll down for info on our Personal Statement Workshop, Fulbright Scholarships and more.  Also – the July LSAT will be administered exactly 3 months from today!  There are some unique aspects to the July 2019 LSAT, including the fact that you will be able to see your score BEFORE you decide whether to submit it to the law schools.  For more information about the July 2019 LSAT, click on this link.  You might also want to review our blog post “A Guide to ALL of the 2019 LSAT Options.”


Personal Statement and Resume Workshop for Fall 2019 Applicants – NEXT Monday, April 22, 4-5pm, Room 514 IUB

Planning to apply to law school in the fall? Not sure what to write in your law school application? Applicants who plan to apply for law school this fall can get a head start by working on your personal statement and resume this summer! This workshop will cover: What the personal statement and law school resume are; how they complement each other; a plan for how to write the personal statement; tips and suggestions for how to maximize the personal statement and the resume as well as how to make them stand out. Bring your questions! For more information and to register please click on this link so that we can ensure enough seating and materials for everyone.


NOW is the time for July LSAT Registration–Planning to take the July LSAT? Demand is high, so click here to register now to get a seat.

Fall 2019 Course Suggestions: Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, click on the link here for some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting.

fulbright scholarship information and workshop sessions

Are you looking for an exciting way to spend a year abroad starting in the Fall of 2020? If so, it’s time to think seriously about submitting an application for a Fulbright Scholarship!  Join us for an informational session and on-campus workshops to learn more.

Informational Sessions:

Fulbright Information Session: Tuesday, April 16th, 3:30-5:00 pm, 180 Bevier Hall

Hosted by the National and International Scholarship Program with recent Fulbright grantee speakers

Can’t make the on-campus session? Please plan to attend an informational webinar (open to all, but particularly useful for Illinois alumni and students abroad):

Tuesday, April 23rd, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CST

Link to attend the webinar on Tuesday, April 23rd:

Wednesday, May 1st, 8:30-9:30 a.m. CST

Link to attend the webinar on Wednesday, May 1st:

On-Campus Fulbright Workshops – All Hosted by the National and International Scholarships Program:

Fulbright Personal Statement Workshop: Friday, April 26th, 3:30-5:00pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

English Teaching Assistant Application Workshop: Thursday, May 2nd, 11:00 am -12:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

Designing a Fulbright Research Proposal Workshop: Thursday, May 2nd, 4:00-5:00 pm, 514 Illini Union Bookstore

Sessions are targeted to juniors, seniors, and recent alumni who wish to apply for the Fulbright Priority Deadline of June 17, 2019.


Elise Harmening is the Owner and Principal Attorney for Harmening Law, LLC. Elise began Harmening Law, LLC as part of the Justice Entrepreneur’s Project through the Chicago Bar Foundation.  Harmening Law, LLC is committed to providing legal services for clients who do not fit into the traditional legal services model or qualify for legal aid. Throughout her life, Elise has found a real connection with working with families and youth. She has personal experience working through the school system to advocate for accommodations and understands, intensely, what it feels like on both sides of the table. Harmening Law only deals with family and education law. Interns will be able to learn the ins and outs of family and education law. Harmening Law is offering a paid summer internship of $13 an hour for 10-30 hours a week to one intern.


– Currently pursuing an undergraduate degree.
– Preferably majoring in Political Science, International Relations, Criminal Justice, Philosophy and other related fields of study
– Strong writing skills
– Ability to analyze information
– Ability to quickly learn new tasks
– Ability to do projects independently with deadlines
– Passion in law


– Filing and making copies
– Writing responses
– Organizing schedule
– Take notes for meetings
– Go to the courthouse at least once a week
– Organizing evidence
– Assist with fillings
– Assisting with client intakes

To apply, send a cover letter (include availability), resume and sample paper to Deadline is April 30, 2019.

career center events

Finding and Applying to Federal Government Jobs – Wednesday, April 17, 3-4pm, The Career Center, Conference Room 143

This workshop will give you tips on how to make yourself competitive for federal government opportunities as well as discuss the benefits of working for the government and how to best navigate and other government resources.

You can find information on other upcoming Career Center Events here:

Drop-in Career Advising:
The Career Center, 715 S. Wright, offers drop-in service Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for students with quick career-related questions.

Resume/Cover Letter/ LinkedIn Review Hours: The Career Center offers resume and cover letter reviews at various places and times throughout the week:
· Monday-Friday, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at The Career Center, 715 S. Wright
· Monday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Ikenberry Commons
· Tuesday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Brewlab
· Wednesday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Brewlab
· Sunday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Ikenberry Commons


American Bar Association Legal Opportunity Scholarship–Applications due May 1. The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund will award $5,000 of financial assistance annually to each scholarship recipient attending an ABA-accredited law school.  An award made to an entering first-year student may be renewable for two additional years, resulting in financial assistance totaling $15,000 during his or her time in law school. In addition to whether the applicant is a member of a racial and/or ethnic minority that has been underrepresented in the legal profession, the applicant’s financial need; personal, family, and educational background; personal statement; and participation in community service activities will be considered in selecting the recipients. For more information and to apply visit their website here.

And check out the PLAS Facebook page for NEW internship opportunities, summer programs and more!

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Fall 2019 Course Suggestions

Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, here are some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. CLICK ON THIS LINK for a handy chart version of Fall 2019 course options. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. Check out Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

NONE of these classes is REQUIRED for law school. How did we pick them? We’ve simply chosen courses that build skills law schools like to see and/or cover topics of interest to many pre-law studentsPlease be aware that some of these classes listed and other summer classes have prerequisites. Check Course Explorer for details.

For more info on selecting courses that build academic skills for law school, visit this blog post.

AAS 370/LLS 372: Immigration, Law, and Rights. Exploration of the histories, cultures and experiences of immigration to the US by examining cultural production (literary and visual narratives and texts) alongside legal discourses (legislation, federal court cases).

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning–Understanding financial instruments and tax implications is critical for many lawyers

ACE 306: Food Law and ACE 406: Environmental Law

ADV 310: Intro to Public Relations: Introduces the student to the practice and profession of public relations. Course material covers topics such as the history of public relations and the role of law and ethics in public relations.

Community Health courses are helpful for people interested in healthcare law, such as

  • CHLH 100: Contemporary Health
  • CHLH 101: Intro to Public Health

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills.

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

ECON 484: Law and Economics Applications of economic theory to problems and issues in both civil and criminal law and the effect of legal rules on the allocation of resources.

EDUC 202: Social Justice, School & Society

English courses help develop writing, research, and analysis skills.

  • ENGL 199: Career Planning for Humanities Majors
  • ENGL 360: Environmental Writing (same as ESE 360)

ESE 210: Social & Environmental Issues and ESE 466: Environmental Policy for those interested in environmental law

FIN 241: Fundamentals of Real Estate A survey of real estate finance, appraisal, investment, law, brokerage, management, development and economics.

FSHN 101: Intro to Food Science & Nutrition Discusses the evolution of the food system to meet the needs and desires of a complex, heterogeneous society. Provides an overview of food in relation to nutrition and health, composition and chemistry, microbiology, safety, processing, preservation, laws and regulations, quality, and the consumer.

Geography courses may be particularly engaging for students interested in environmental issues, global politics, and/or international legal issues

  • GEOG 101: Global Development & Environment 
  • GEOG 210: Social & Environmental Issues

GLBL 100: Intro to Global Studies; GLBL 260: Global Human Rights; GLBL 340: Policy & Governance

GWS 387/HIST 387: History of Sexuality in the U.S. Explores a wide variety of sources to understand how notions of sexuality have emerged and been contested at key moments in U.S. history. Our guiding questions include: How have “official” or governing discourses of sexuality (in law, medicine, religions, science) been formulated? In turn, how have “ordinary” people understood and practiced their sexuality? How has the meaning of particular sexual practices changed over time?

INFO 303: Writing Across Media, a skill that all careers integrate and value.

LAW 301: Introduction to Law
Serves as a general foundation course for those interested in applying to law school.

Labor & Employment Relations offers multiple courses for undergraduates on labor law and employment law issues, including:

  • LER 100: Introduction to Labor Studies
  • LER 290: Introduction to Employment Law
  • LER 320: Gender, Race, Class, and Work

Philosophy options include:

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning This course is particularly helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics This course includes some basic exploration of ethics, including looking at the relationship between social morality and the law.
  • PHIL 436: Philosophy of Law and of the State

Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:

  • PS 101: Intro to US Government & Politics
  • PS 199: Politics, Power and Protest
  • PS 220: Intro to Public Policy
  • PS 225: Environmental Politics & Policy
  • PS 280: Intro to International Relations
  • PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II are helpful primers for law school
  • PS 306: Judicial Politics
  • PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 329: Immigration & Citizenship
  • PS 491: Internship with the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project completed in conjunction with the internship itself for academic credit, credit in this program is based on class meetings and structured assignments that integrate readings on political systems, the legal system, and constitutional and human rights, with on-the-job experience summarizing case files, witnessing trials and colloquies, and interviewing witnesses and clients. Students are supervised by the Champaign County Public Defender or attorneys in the office. Applications are due Thursday, April 4, by Noon.  To apply, click on this link: .  For more information, go here:

PSYC 468: Psych and Law
Examines relationship of the administrative, civil, and criminal justice systems to educational and mental health institutions; individual rights, social issues, and psychological well being.

  • SOC 275: Criminology
  • SOC 373: Social Inequality
  • SOC 378: Sociology of Law

SOCW 200: Intro to Social Work studies systemic social issues and resources, working with vulnerable populations

Other courses to explore different areas of law include:

  • JOUR 199: Free Speech & the Right to Offend (2nd 8 weeks) What is the law of Hate Speech? Cross Burning? Flag burning? Can you say the F-word? The N-word? Can a judge or the government do anything about it? This course separates the law from the B.S. and informs you in clear terms what you do and do not have a Constitutional right to say and do in America.
  • JOUR 311: Media Law Detailed analysis of the theories of freedom of expression, the legal doctrines of greatest concern to mass communicators, and contemporary issues related to free speech and press, including libel, copyright, and news-gathering in a digital age.
  • REL 214: Introduction to Islam History of Islamic thought from the time of Muhammad to the present, including the prophethood of Muhammad, the Qur’an, theology and law, mysticism and philosophy, sectarian movements, modernism and legal reform, and contemporary resurgence.
  • RST 225: Environmental Politics & Policy (cross listed as PS 225) Examinations of the political, economic, ecological, and cultural trade-offs between the use and the preservation of the environment, with particular emphasis on the preservation of land and water resources in national parks, forests, and other reserved lands.
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport A study of legal principles and their impact on the sport industry; the course examines the application of different areas of law including tort, contract, constitutional, anti-trust, and intellectual property law to professional, amateur and recreational sport.
  • SE 400: Engineering Law – note – only prerequisite is Rhet 105. Course covers: nature and development of the legal system; legal rights and duties important to engineers in their professions; contracts, uniform commercial code and sales of goods, torts, agency, worker’s compensation, labor law, property, environmental law, intellectual property.
  • TE 450: Startups: Incorporate, Fund, Contracts, Intellectual Property Explore legal tools used in constructing and operating companies. Topics include: issues with business formation, intellectual property, NDA, contracts, and other corporate legal issues impacting startups.
  • UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law Provides students with a basic understanding of the governmental structure, legal aspects, and practice of local municipal planning, with special emphasis on case law, constitutional principles, zoning, subdivision regulations and comprehensive planning. Gives an introduction for students interested in pursuing more advanced studies in land use law and local government planning.

Remember that these are only suggestions and that none of these courses is required for law school.  Further, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify courses that are the best fit for you.

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Mark Your Calendars – Week of March 25

Welcome back!  We hope that you had a nice and relaxing Spring Break!  Scroll down for information about a Kaplan LSAT prep scholarship, panels on public interest law and taking a gap year, an opportunity to serve as a juror at the UIUC College of Law, gap year job opportunities for spring grads and more!  And make sure you check the blog this Wednesday, for our post containing suggestions for Fall 2019 courses.

Pre-Law Campus Events:
Public Interest Lawyer Panel

514 Illini Union Bookstore Building (807 S Wright St) April 3, 2019, 5:00 – 6:00 pm. Public interest lawyers serve in a variety of positions providing legal services to the community and serving in governmental roles. Interested in becoming a public interest lawyer? Join us for this panel to learn more about public interest legal careers from multiple public interest lawyers with a variety of backgrounds. From what they do to how they got their current positions and advice for pre-law students, we’ll learn about public interest lawyers and how to prepare for this fulfilling career path

Taking a Gap Year Before Law School

Gregory Hall Room 319 April 10, 20,  6:00 – 7:00 pm. Nationwide, the average law student has taken one or more gap year(s) after undergrad before applying to law school. Whether you are planning to go straight through to law school after undergrad is over or looking at one or more years before law school, this workshop will help you prepare for that next step.  Hear from our panel of current law students from the University of Illinois College of Law and learn more about the pros and cons of both choices.

ATTENTION SPRING 2019 GRADS – Check out our Compass page for a recently-updated listing of job opportunities in Chicago, NYC, DC and more!

LAw SChool Events:
Undergraduate Jurors Wanted!

The Illinois College of Law Trial Advocacy classes are preparing to put on their final trials this April, and are looking for undergraduate students to participate as jurors.

Participants will get to hear either Powell v SuperPulper Inc, a civil suit about a workplace manufacturing death or State v Skywolf, a criminal murder trial. Trials would take place on April 2nd, 8th, 10th, and 11th. Jurors would arrive at the Anderson Courtroom at the College of Law at approximately 4:45, with an expected duration of about 2 and a half hours, and food will be served in an informal post-trial reception with jurors, student attorneys, and guest judges.

If you are interested in participating in one (or more) of these sessions, please e-mail Trial Advocacy’s Visiting Law Associate Thanin Stewart at to sign up.

Other Opportunities and Info for Pre-Law Students:

NOW is the time for June and July LSAT Registration–Planning to take the June or July LSAT? Demand is high, so click here to register now to get a seat. Now is also a good time to apply for a fee waiver. For more on LSAC fee waivers revisit this blog post.

Summer pre-law programs. We posted a spreadsheet full of pre-law undergraduate summer programs over on our Compass page! For example:

summer internship in chicago

Elise Harmening is the Owner and Principal Attorney for Harmening Law, LLC. Elise began Harmening Law, LLC as part of the Justice Entrepreneur’s Project through the Chicago Bar Foundation.  Harmening Law, LLC is committed to providing legal services for clients who do not fit into the traditional legal services model or qualify for legal aid. Throughout her life, Elise has found a real connection with working with families and youth. She has personal experience working through the school system to advocate for accommodations and understands, intensely, what it feels like on both sides of the table. Harmening Law only deals with family and education law. Interns will be able to learn the ins and outs of family and education law. Harmening Law is offering a paid summer internship of $13 an hour for 10-30 hours a week to one intern.


– Currently pursuing an undergraduate degree.
– Preferably majoring in Political Science, International Relations, Criminal Justice, Philosophy and other related fields of study
– Strong writing skills
– Ability to analyze information
– Ability to quickly learn new tasks
– Ability to do projects independently with deadlines
– Passion in law


– Filing and making copies
– Writing responses
– Organizing schedule
– Take notes for meetings
– Go to the courthouse at least once a week
– Organizing evidence
– Assist with fillings
– Assisting with client intakes

To apply, send a cover letter (include availability), resume and sample paper to Deadline is April 30, 2019.

Elise L. Harmening Harmening Law, LLC 208 S Jefferson, Suite 204 Chicago, IL 60661;

career Center

Go here for information on cover letter, resume and LinkedIn reviews and other Career Center programming.  Here are some additional events of interest.

Global Careers – Peace Corps General Information Meeting – Tuesday, March 26, 5-6pm, Career Center Conference Room 143

Interested in serving in the United States Peace Corps? Learn about the details of Peace Corps during this monthly session led by the University of Illinois campus recruiter.

Work-It-Wednesday: Connect with Recruiters – Wednesday, March 27, 9am-5pm, The Career Center

Work-It-Wednesday is your chance to interact directly with employers. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about professional development, get tips and suggestions for your internship/job search, and have your resume reviewed during a full day of events. Check Handshake @ Illinois for updated information.

Suit Up Event – Sunday March 31, 5-9pm, at JCPenney at Market Place Mall

Join us at JCPenney where you will receive an additional 40% off all suits, professional attire, and accessories! Get measured for a suit, and get tips and advice on putting together business professional attire. Transportation provided.

And don’t forget about the Illini Career and Internship Fair, Thursday, April 11, 1pm-5pm, at the ARC!!

This career fair is open to all disciplines and is designed to serve as a “just-in-time” fair for students that have yet to secure a summer internship or full-time job after graduation.


LSAT Test Prep Essay Scholarship Contest – Entries DUE April 1, 2019, at NOON!

Are you taking the LSAT but not sure you can afford a commercial prep course? Pre-Law Advising Services is pleased to announce that Kaplan Test Prep has donated one full scholarship for one complete Kaplan LSAT prep class. Find out more about Kaplan here.

This scholarship is intended to assist a University of Illinois student who is in financial need and who will be taking the LSAT within the next year. (Please note that the Kaplan scholarship expires on September 1, 2019, and you must be enrolled in a course by that time). If you are interested in applying for this scholarship, please submit the following:

1) Your resume, AND
2) A short essay (300-500 words) that addresses each of the following:

  • When do you plan to take the LSAT?
  • Have you taken an LSAT prep class before? If so, which one and when?
  • What is your financial need? (It is not necessary to provide exact numbers, just describe your financial situation and why a scholarship is necessary.)
  • How can this scholarship help you achieve your goals?

Submit your resume and essay to Judy Argentieri via email only at by NEXT MONDAY, April 1, at NOON.

Note: Pre-Law Advising Services does not endorse any commercial LSAT test prep company.

Did you know that you can get a scholarship for working at an unpaid internship this summer? Apply for the Fred S. Bailey scholarship here, which provides a $1000 stipend for part-time internships and a $2500 stipend for full-time summer internships. Applications due April 8.

Leading IP Firm Carlson Caspers offers 1L Law School Scholarships—April 20, 2019 Deadline

Carlson Caspers, a top-ranking intellectual property law firm in Minneapolis, MN, offers scholarships for diverse students with technical backgrounds who are interested in going to law school.

The Carlson Caspers Diversity and Inclusion 1L Law School Scholarships provide up to two $5,000 scholarships and possible internships and clerkships to prospective law students who will be starting their first year of law school in 2019.

We encourage applicants who are pursuing or have obtained a degree in chemistry, physics, life sciences, pharmacy, engineering, or computer science and intend to practice IP law in the Twin Cities upon graduation from law school.

These scholarships exist because of the firm’s recognition that diversity and inclusion require ongoing and active engagement within our firm and the broader community. We encourage future advocates for justice to apply.  Click on the link below to apply.

The application deadline is April 20, 2019.

And check out the PLAS Facebook page for NEW internship opportunities, summer programs and more!


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