After Spring Break — PLAS Financial Aid Week!

As you head out for Spring Break, don’t forget that PLAS Financial Aid Week begins March 31, with a very informative workshop on how to navigate the law school financial aid process.  In addition, PLAS will be offering appointment slots for those of you still trying to understand and decide among your various law school offers.  We have designated Tuesday, April 1, for those meetings.  Call 333-9669 to schedule your appointment!
Financing Law School Workshop, Featuring Julie Griffin, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at the College of Law and Donna Davis, 3L and PLAS Grad Assistant
Monday, March 31, 5-6pm,
UIUC College of Law, Room F, 504 East Pennsylvania Avenue
Financial aid at the law school level is quite different than for undergraduates. Join us for this in-depth workshop to learn: What forms of financial aid exist for law school? What should you be looking for in an aid offer? How can you budget for law school expenses in advance? What are common pitfalls for students who don’t understand the aid process? Julie Griffin, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at the College of Law, and Donna Davis, current 3L and Pre-Law Advising Services Graduate Assistant, will share their experience and expertise with financial aid from both the expert and the law student’s perspective. This is a must-see for anyone considering law school! No registration necessary. This event is part of Financial Aid Week.
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Summer Pre-Law Programs

Interested in participating in a summer pre-law program?  Here is some information about opportunities that we have heard about and are passing along to you.  Applications for most of these are up and due in the next few weeks.  In fact, the application for the Chicago Kent PLUS Scholars Program is due next Monday, March 3!  Scroll down for more information!! Also — if you are still looking for summer internships, take another look at our Internship Newsletter, which we first posted in December and have re-posted several times.

Legal Education Access Program (LEAP)

Prelaw Summer Institute (PLSI)


The John Marshall Law School will be offering two summer pipeline programs for prelaw students. Both programs will run from Monday, July 28, 2014 through Friday, August 1, 2014 on The John Marshall Law School campus

Legal Education Access Program (LEAP) is a program for college juniors, seniors, and recent graduates interested in pursuing a legal career. This program will support diversity in the legal profession by inspiring students from groups historically under-represented in the law to become lawyers.

The program will bring together students from diverse backgrounds and provide them with the training necessary to successfully prepare and navigate the road to law school. The program will also introduce students to the law school application process and extinguish any apprehensions about applying and gaining admission.  (Housing and some meals will be provided.)

For more information please visit:

Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) prepares historically under-represented minorities for the legal profession by introducing students to the rigors of law school. PLSI is designed to simulate the academic challenges of the first year of law school. PLSI concentrates on giving students law classes, LSAT preparation, resume preparation, career orientation, and exposure to various areas of the law. Students will learn skills on legal research and study, analysis, legal writing, and trial advocacy. PLSI is essentially a pre-law orientation that is based on teaching sound legal education principles.  (This is a non-residential program.)

For more information please visit:

These programs are designed to be rich in content that will assist students in preparing for the rigors of law school.  Note: admissions are rolling for both programs so interested students are encouraged to apply ASAP!  Your $25 application fee will be credited toward your registration fee if you are accepted and you register before Friday, May 2, 2014. Questions? ContactTroy A. Riddle, Director of Diversity Affairs and Outreach
The John Marshall Law School 312-987-1412

Illinois Institute of Technology, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

PLUS Scholars Program — June 1-20, 2014

Illinois Institute of Technology, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is sponsoring a Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program from June 1 through June 20, 2014.   The “RECEIVED” by deadline to submit the application is this Monday, March 3, 2014. 

The PLUS program is a unique and rigorous three-week experience for current college freshmen, sophomores or juniors interested in the legal profession.  The goal is to provide students with a “taste” of the law school experience and introduce them to the admissions process.  Students will attend classes taught by IIT Chicago-Kent law professors, recognized as some of the most productive and accomplished law professors in the nation.  The program is designed to attract disadvantaged students and those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.  The program will cover the cost of tuition, room in a residence hall, required course materials and other expenses.  Participants are paid a stipend to offset some of their meal and other expenses.  The program does not pay for any transportation expenses.

For more information and to download the application, go here: If you have questions, please contact Theda Mickey at 312-906-5133 or

 Florida State University College of Law — Summer for Undergraduates 2014 Program: May 19 – June 12, 2014

The Florida State University Law School is currently accepting applications for its 2014 Summer for Undergraduates program, which provides students with an inside look at law school and the legal profession. All undergraduate students, except graduating seniors, are eligible to apply. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions around mid-April. 

Approximately 60 students will be selected to participate in this four-week program.  Daily lectures by an Florida State Law professor will familiarize students with the functions of the American legal system.  In addition, participants will also be exposed to LSAT overview workshops and a simulated exam, law school admissions sessions, visits to local state and federal courts and law offices, and guest lectures by prominent attorneys in a variety of practice areas.

The FSU College of Law provides free room and board, course materials and a travel stipend to all participants.  There is no program tuition but participants are responsible for their travel expenses to and from Tallahassee.  To apply, students must complete the online application and submit a resume, one letter of recommendation, a personal statement and a current transcript.  Applications must be submitted by Friday, March 28, 2014.  For more information or to apply, visit  

Achieving Success in the Application Process (ASAP) — July 19 – 20, 2014 

The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois

Preparing talented, motivated, yet under-represented students to successfully gain admission to and succeed in law school.  Sponsored by the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO), the ASAP program curriculum will focus on aspects of the law school application process that are commonly overlooked or undervalued by students when applying to law school.

  • Selecting a law school,
  • Writing an effective personal statement,
  • Choosing sources for letters of recommendations,
  • Preparing strategies for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and understanding the impact of LSAT scores and Grade Point Averages (GPA) in the selection process,
  • Understanding the significance of the early application process offered by many law schools
  • Managing debt and developing credit worthiness
  • Common errors committed by law school applicants

For more information about ASAP go here! Interested in applying? Apply online NOW!

CLEO is a non-profit project of the American Bar Association.  Since 1968, CLEO has helped more than 7,000 low-income and minority students become successful members of the legal profession.  The College Scholars Program seeks to continue this standard of excellence through a collaborative effort between CLEO and colleges and universities throughout the United States.   

Other Summer Programs

Some universities also offer summer pre-law programs that include a wide range of tuition and other fees.  Make sure you carefully research all of the costs associated with these programs before you commit to anything.  

  • The University of Kansas offers its six-credit Legal History Program in Cambridge, England, July 5-August 1. Students will, among other things, take courses that explore the deep connections between the cultural and legal history of England and America, and study and compare the origins, purposes and current controversies of contemporary legal regimes in the United States and Great Britain. The application deadline is THIS FRIDAY, March 1.  Questions? Contact Professor Kim Warren, Program Director and Associate Professor of History,  Go here for more information about the program, the cost and to apply:  
  • Cornell University hosts its Summer Pre-Law Program in New York City, June 2-July 11. The program features a four-credit course, “Introduction to the American Legal System,” taught using the Socratic method used at most U.S. law schools and offers a limited number of selective internship placements. Admission to the program is on a rolling basis. Because enrollment is limited, you’re encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until the program is full. For more information about Cornell’s program, the cost to participate and to apply, go to:
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FREE LSAT Practice Test! Also — don’t forget about tonight’s online chat about law school admissions!

Are you getting geared up for the June LSAT? Taking a practice LSAT is a great way to see where you are in your prep and to get a feel for what the real test administration environment is like. The Illinois Trial Team will be co-hosting a practice LSAT event with Kaplan Test Prep on Saturday, February 15, 2013 at 9:00 am in Lincoln Hall.   This is a FREE event, and all majors and years are welcome to join. Students should come to the front entrance of Lincoln Hall on the first floor and report to the information table to be directed to the practice test room.  Students must register in advance by clicking on this link:   Contact Allen Jones at with any questions.

Free Online Chat About the Law School Admissions Process — TONIGHT, Wednesday, February 5

Pre-law students are cordially invited to participate in a free online chat about the law school admission process tonight, February 5th from 5-6pm Central time, co-hosted by MAPLA (Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors) and MALSA (Midwest Alliance of Law School Admissions).  Pre-law students should take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to gain valuable insight into the law school admissions process! In addition to law school admissions officers, our own Director of Pre-Law Advising Services Jamie Thomas-Ward will be participating in the chat. To join the chat tonight, please click on the following link:

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Summer Programs and Internships Newsletter

Hello Pre-Law Students!

Here is our annual Summer Internships and Programs Newsletter. Summer Internship Newsletter 12 20 13. This is a great resource to get you started on looking for internship opportunities and summer programs for pre-law students.  And seniors —  we have also included information on scholarships and post graduation opportunities.  But don’t ignore the sites and employers listed as internship possibilities — some of these internship opportunities and suggested resources might also lead you to discover permanent job prospects!   

We hope you all have a restful and productive winter break.

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Summer Internships Preview

Yes summer internships — that is not a typo!  It is not too early to start looking.  In December we will publish our annual “Internship Edition” on the PLAS blog, suggesting possible internship opportunities in Illinois and other places.  But no need to wait — Fall Break is a good time for you early birds to get a jump on summer internship applications. Here are some online resources to get you started.

iLINK: For a general job and internship database, in which you can search by category, the UIUC Career Center offers iLINK, the Career Management System housed at the Career Center.

USA Jobs:  USA Jobs is a website where many government opportunities available across America are posted, including many summer internships, some of which are PAID.  To access the website go to:

Simply Hired: This website has an extensive list of summer PAID internships available across the U.S.  Check it out!!

White House Internship Program: One very competitive and popular opportunity, the White House Internship Summer 2014 Program, has an application deadline of January 5, 2014. The White House Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities. This select group of young men and women from across the country dedicate their time, talents, energy, and service to better the White House, the community, and the nation. These committed citizens become a part of the White House team. The assignments given to an intern on any given day could include conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, writing memos, and staffing events.  For more information about this program and to apply, go here:

Enjoy your break!!





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Post LSAT Results Suggestions and Fee Waivers

October LSAT takers should now have their scores.  For those of you applying Early Decision, deadlines are coming up in November and December.  Make sure you have your applications submitted by the stated deadlines!  For those of you applying in the general cycle, Fall Break is a month away, which is a perfect time to submit your applications.  So, one more time, here is your to-do list:

1. Finish your personal statement and optional essays!  Need help? The next PLAS Personal Statement and Resume Workshop is set for Monday, November 11, Noon-1pm, Room 514, IUB. Please go to the PLAS Event Calendar to register for this program,, so we have enough seating and materials for all participants. Do you have a strong draft and feel ready to discuss it? Call the Pre-Law Advising Services office at 333-9669 and schedule an appointment.  Remember to send you personal statement, essay or any other document, such as your resume, 2 business days prior to your appointment.

2. Submit your transcript(s) to LSAC.  For more information on LSAC’s transcript request policies, go here:

3. Check to make sure your Letters of Recommendation have been posted to your Credential Assembly Services account. If not, now is a good time to check in with your recommenders to inquire (respectfully) and see when they will be able to submit them.  If you haven’t requested your LORs, do so ASAP! Check out our October 1 PLAS posting for more information on how to secure good LORs.

4. Check out some of our previous blog posts for more information about staying on track with your applications.

5. For those of you disappointed with your October results, now is the time to consider next steps and to ask yourself if re-taking the LSAT is the right decision. In the alternative, maybe it makes sense for you to consider other non-law school options for next year.  If you want to discuss your concerns, you can always schedule an appointment with a pre-law advisor by calling 333-9669.

Fee Waivers Available at PLAS!

Pre-Law Advising Services has a limited number of fee waivers for the following law schools: (1) University of Maryland; (2) University of Missouri; (3) St. Louis University; and (4) Tulane University. If you are interested in receiving a fee waiver, please contact Judy Argentieri,  These fee waivers will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

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After the LSAT: What do I do now?

You did it! The LSAT is over! Take a deep breath.

Right about now, most people want to take the next few weeks off before thinking about their applications. Smart applicants will really maximize these next few weeks by focusing on the remaining elements of their application so that they can get those applications out early, qualifying them for the most aid.

Now it’s time to dive in to the rest of your applications. What’s your time frame for completing them? A good time frame to submit your applications is anytime between Halloween and Thanksgiving. But you will need to consider some of these elements:

Deciding whether and where you’re going to apply early decision. You can only apply to one school through a binding early decision program. It’s time to consider whether you want to choose this option, in which case your early decision application will be due (depending on the school) on November 1, November 15, or December 1–in any case, a deadline you need to know. Applicants should carefully consider this option. In the case of binding early decision programs, you need to decide: how committed are you to this school? How important is aid to you? Would you go there even if you had to pay full price? Would you be willing to withdraw all of your other applications if X school admitted you? That is the level of commitment that binding early decision requires. Take some time to research and consider this big decision.

Letters of recommendation. We’ve been talking about these for ages. Hopefully, you’ve already got your letter writers lined up. If not, RUN, don’t walk, to your recommenders and get them lined up. You should expect at least 6-8 weeks for your recommender to write the letter, submit it, and for the LSAC to process it. That means if you want to apply by November 15, you need to get your recommendations lined up NOW!

Personal statement. Yep, it’s time to take that energy and time you were focusing on the LSAT and devote it to your personal statement. In addition to our personal statement workshops (which you can find on our event calendar here), we also have some tips and suggestions for the personal statement on our website. Spend some time thinking about your values, your goals, and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Then write a draft, set it aside for a few days, and revisit it. Don’t worry if you don’t love the first draft–no one does. Start now so that you can spend 3-4 weeks thinking, writing, and editing. When you are ready for some feedback, you can make an appointment for a Pre-Law Advisor to review your personal statement and discuss it with you. (Call 333-9669 to set up a personal statement review appointment. Please email us your statement and resume two business days prior to your appointment so that we have time to review them.)

Transcripts. You’ll want to order a transcript from each undergraduate institution you attended. Visit the LSAC here,, for more information on the transcript ordering process.

Take a look at our earlier post called “The Application Process: LSAC Tips”,, for even more application details.


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The Application Process: LSAC Tips

Here is a short list of tips for working with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).  If you have specific concerns about LSAC’s service or your account, contact LSAC directly via telephone (215) 968-1001, or by completing their online help form, accessible at

  • Seniors — if you are applying this fall, set up your LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) account ASAP!

It is important that you begin this process early because you will need certain forms (Letter of Recommendation (LOR) forms, Transcript Request forms) that are only available to applicants with a CAS account.  This is a rolling admissions process so you need to make sure that you have everything completed as early as possible so as not to delay the review of your applications!

  • If you are looking for detailed explanations of LSAC’s processes and helpful hints, check out the tabs on the right hand side of each page in your CAS account.

LSAC has made some very helpful modifications to the LSAC CAS account format to allow you to have many of your questions, particularly about LORs and Evaluations, answered via information now available in your account page.  Therefore, in most cases you no longer need to navigate away from your account to the main section of the LSAC’s website.

  • Most law school applications are now available online. Check them out ASAP!

In fact, applications for all 9 ABA-accredited law schools in Illinois (University of Chicago, Chicago Kent, DePaul, U of I, John Marshall, Loyola, Northern Illinois, Northwestern and Southern Illinois) are already available online through the LSAC CAS.

  • What is the Candidate Referral Service (CRS)?

The CRS is a free service offered by LSAC that makes information about law school candidates available to law schools. Law schools may recruit potential applicants on the basis of specific characteristics; for example, LSAT score, undergraduate grade-point average (UGPA), age, race or ethnicity, and geographic background. Once you establish an account, you may opt to authorize release of your credentials to law schools participating in the CRS. LSAC recommends that you authorize release since this may help you identify a school you might not have discovered through your own research.  In addition, some schools may offer you application fee waivers!

  • Want to learn more about the application process?  Make sure you attend the PLAS Applying to Law School Workshop on Monday, September 23, at 4:00 pm in Lincoln Hall 1027!

Jamie Thomas-Ward will be talking about how to create an effective application strategy and will provide a detailed overview of how to navigate the LSAC’s CAS.  If you are applying this fall, you do not want to miss this event!! No registration required.


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Fall 2013: Important Dates and Deadlines

Below is an abbreviated list of dates, deadlines and events for Fall 2013 that may be of interest to pre-law students. These dates do not include all PLAS programs. Visit our online Event Calendar to view all upcoming workshops at

Date                             Event                                                        

September 3                Deadline to register for the October LSAT.

September 5                Illinois Study Abroad Fair

September 9                Deadline to add a semester course

September 10              Illinois in Washington Information Sessions

September 17              Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Visit

IUB Room 514, 4-5pm

September 17              Michigan State University College of Law Webinar:

                                    Suggestions for Strengthening Your Law School Application

MSU College of Law is offering a series of FREE webinars on a variety of topics relating to law school and a legal career.  MSU kicks off this year with suggestions on how to craft a strong law school application.  If you would like to learn more about this and upcoming webinars, and to register, go here:

September 19              First Pre-Law Orientation workshop

Visit our online calendar, view all workshops and to register

September 26              First Personal Statement & Resume workshop

Visit our online calendar, view all workshops and to register

October 5                     LSAT—Register at by September 3

October 12                   Kaplan Practice LSAT/Princeton Review Practice LSAT

Kaplan Test Prep is offering a FREE practice LSAT test at their 616 East Green Street location. For more information and to register, go to Princeton Review is also offering a FREE practice LSAT at the UIUC College of Law, 504 East Pennsylvania Avenue. For more info and to register, go to Other test prep companies will offer similar opportunities online.  Do your research and take advantage of these opportunities to help evaluate where you are with regard to your LSAT preparation.  

October 18                   Deadline to drop a semester class or to elect credit/no credit

October 22                   Law School Fair

It’s the biggest pre-law event of the year! 10-2 at the ARC. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet reps from 100 law schools! Click on the link to see details of last year’s Law School Fair. Info on 2013 will be posted soon!


October 29                  Harvard Law School Visit

514 IUB 11am-Noon

November 1 -15          Early Decision Applications due

This is also a good target date to complete your law school applications.

November 4                 Deadline to register for December 7th LSAT

                                       Register online at

November 25-29         Fall Break

This is a good time to visit law schools! Call the admissions office to see when they are open; most will be open earlier in the week.

December 11              Last Day of Classes

December 13-20        Final Exams





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Welcome Back Edition

Welcome Class of 2017 and Welcome Back Pre-Law Students!

Hello students!  Our first blog posting of the 2013-2014 school year features a quick overview of a few events happening on campus in the next week and a brief update on PLAS.  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!!

Upcoming Campus Events

The semester kicks off this weekend with Quad Day, Sunday, August 25, Noon-4pm.  Quad Day will introduce you to over 500 organizations! Go and learn more about how you can make the most of your time at the University of Illinois and join an organization! (Hint — law schools like to see applicants who are both good students and who are involved in their community). Following Quad Day, head over to the Taste of Nevada at 4:00 p.m. The event promises great food, entertainment, and tours of the Cultural Centers on Nevada Street.

National Center for Supercomputing Students Pushing Innovation (NCSA SPIN)Program Internships — Open House Tuesday, August 27

The University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing (NCSA) is looking for highly motivated, creative Illinois undergraduate students to participate in hands-on research fellowships during the 2013-2014 academic year. The NCSA SPIN (Students Pushing Innovation) program offers paid internships to Illinois students who can contribute to challenging projects alongside the center’s expert staff, or who would like to pursue their own innovative projects with support from NCSA colleagues and mentors.

To learn more about SPIN and collaborative opportunities at NCSA, attend the SPIN Open House from 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 27 in the first floor atrium of the NCSA Building (1205 W. Clark St., Urbana). Then formulate a project or define an area of exploration and submit your proposal by Sept. 6.

For more information, go to or contact

Luce Scholars Program — Information Sessions August 28, 29 and 30

The National and International Scholarships Program (NISP) is offering a three-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 28th, NISP will offer an informational overview session, followed on August 29th with an informal discussion with a previous Luce scholar, and ending on August 30th with a workshop designed to help students begin to craft their personal statements.   

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

August 28th 2:00-3:00-informational session

August 29th 3:30-5:00-Discussion with former Luce Scholar

August 30th 3:30-5:00-Workshop on how to craft a Personal Statement

More information about the Luce can be found here:

Added 8/26/13  Illinois Trial Team — Informational Meetings August 28 and 29!

Thinking about law school and intrigued by the idea of being a trial attorney? Then this opportunity might be just what you are looking for! The Illinois Trial Team allows undergrads to prepare and perform real trials in real courtrooms in front of real judges and attorneys. This organization serves as a combination for those interested in going to law school, those interested in debate, those interested in theater, and those interested in speech team. No experience is necessary, and all majors are welcome. The Trial Team is holding its informational meetings on Wednesday August 28th and Thursday August 29th at 6:30 at the law school (504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue). Mark your calendars and plan to stop by to see if this is for you!  For more information, go to; Facebook: “Illinois Trial Team”; Twitter:@ILTrialTeam.  Questions? Send your emails to

PLAS Updates for Fall 2013

1. What’s going on at PLAS? All of our events are listed in our Event Calendar here:  You may also look at the right side of this page for info on events coming up in the next few weeks. Note that some of our workshops have limited seating, like the Pre-Law Orientation sessions, 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 next week  for an overview of the semester’s events!

2. Attend an Orientation. If you are a new pre-law student you’ll definitely want to attend a Pre-Law Orientation, 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. These sessions are all listed in our Event Calendar and you can register there.

3. How do we keep in touch? Blog, Facebook group, email
The best way to keep up with pre-law news is to read this blog and join our Facebook group. We send occasional emails but we don’t want to clog your inbox…so instead, we update this blog and our Facebook page every week.

4. Making an appointment….is easy. Call 333-9669. 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.

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