Spring 2021 Course Options for Pre-Law Students!

Registration for Spring 2021 is here!  Every semester around this time, our office hears from students asking for course suggestions.  Students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework. However, given an interest in law, we have compiled a list of suggested spring courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting.   To review a handy chart version of suggested Spring 2021 course options, please click here

Be sure to keep in mind…

    • This is not an exhaustive list.  How did we pick them? We’ve simply chosen a selection of courses that build skills law schools like to see and/or cover topics of interest to many pre-law students
    • These courses are only suggestions and are NOT requirements.   For some additional information about course planning, check out the “Selecting Pre-Law Courseworkblog post for an overview of pre-law course planning and practical tips about planning your schedule.
    • Some of these courses have prerequisites or may be restricted to students in the same department; check Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best individual courses for you.  We are always here to help as well!
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November Snapshot

Welcome November and Daylight Savings…

November is a busy and critical month for pre-law students and alumni, between the LSAT, Fall Break, Thanksgiving holiday, transition to all online courses, the beginning of course registration, and of course working toward application submission –  there is a lot to keep track of this month! Below please see a list of important dates, upcoming events, and reminders for November 2020…

    • Thursday, November 12 – Sunday, November 15: 16th Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair

    • Saturday, November 21 – Sunday, November 29: Fall Break
    • Monday, November 30: Priority registration for Winter and Spring 2021 begins…

Be sure to check the Pre-Law Advising Calendar and  Facebook page for additional upcoming programs and events!

Need an advising appointment?

Pre-Law Advisors are available for general advising or for document review (personal statement/resume/addendums) appointments. Be sure to schedule an appointment online for individual questions!

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MAPLA Law School Caravan


Don’t Miss the 2020 MAPLA CARAVAN!

  • Wednesday, October 28
  • 5:00 – 8:00 pm (CST)
  • Via Handshake
  • Register Today!

Join students from across the Midwest on Wednesday October 28 from 5-8 pm (CST) for the opportunity to meet with more than 100 law schools from around the country!  Admissions representatives from schools in every “tier” will be in attendance to talk about the education their school can offer students, discuss admissions criteria, and answer your questions.

Hosted by the Midwest Association of PreLaw Advisors, this free event is open to all students and alumni from a college or university in the Midwest Region, regardless of major or year in school.

How to Participate:
    1. Use your Handshake account to register up until and including the day of the event (registering in advance is highly recommended).
    2. Sign up for school-specific 30 min group sessions and 10 min 1-to-1 appointments.
      • On the event page, go to the “Available Sessions” tab.  You can also search for a specific law school using the search box.  After you have signed-up for a session, it will be added to the “Your Sessions” tab.
    3. Participate via live video during the event
    4. Log in to Handshake and click on this event under “Your Schedule“.  Go to the “Your Sessions” tab.  To join your Expo sessions, click on the “Join Video” link next to each session.
    5. Once the session has started you will not be able to enter – be sure you are not running late!
How to Prepare:
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LSAT Update!

January, February, and April 2021 LSAT Exams will now be LSAT-Flex format…

Below, please see the details released today from LSAC regarding the January, February, and April 2021 LSAT Exams.

Given the continuing COVID-19 emergency, LSAC has made the decision to offer the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex for the last three test administrations in the current testing cycle, instead of the in-person tests previously scheduled. 

This means the January LSAT (U.S./Canada/International), the February LSAT (U.S./Canada only), and the April LSAT (U.S./Canada/International) will now be delivered in the LSAT-Flex format only. 

The LSAT-Flex gives candidates the opportunity to earn an LSAT score and continue their law school journeys despite COVID-19 restrictions on travel or public gatherings. Over the past six months, LSAC has taken an incremental approach to canceling the in-person LSATs one by one and replacing them with LSAT-Flex administrations, based on public health guidance. Given the ongoing disruption and uncertainty over how the COVID-19 situation will evolve, and feedback from candidates, the decision was made to provide clarity for the next six months, so that everyone can plan accordingly.

The January, February, and April LSAT-Flex administrations will begin on the same date as the previously announced in-person tests. Most test takers will test on Saturday or Sunday of that week, with some tests occurring later in the week based on test taker volumes or specific remote proctoring requirements. These LSAT-Flex administrations will count toward the annual, multi-year, and lifetime limits on taking the LSAT, and due to the demands of the LSAT-Flex administration, these will be undisclosed tests.

Learn more about the LSAT-Flex and see answers to frequently asked questions on the LSAC website. You can also learn more about deadlines for requesting formal accommodations, how to request assistance with a loaner device or a quiet place in which to test, deadlines for changing a test date, and score release dates for each of the LSAT-Flex administrations on our “Test Dates, Deadlines, and Score Release Dates” page.

What do test takers need to do?
        • Candidates currently registered for any of the January, February, or April 2021 in-person LSAT administrations may take the corresponding LSAT-Flex, or opt out by Friday, November 13, 2020, and receive a full refund. They should visit their LSAC account and submit the online form with their choice. If we do not hear from a test taker by November 13, they will be registered automatically for the LSAT-Flex corresponding to their current LSAT registration(s).  
        • LSAC is working to help every test taker in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada have the equipment and other resources they need to take the online, remotely proctored exam and do their best work. Any candidate who does not have the necessary equipment or an appropriate place to test should submit an online form in their LSAC account by the deadline for each administration (generally about 3-4 weeks before the onset of testing). For the first five administrations of the LSAT-Flex, LSAC shipped more than 1,500 free loaner devices to candidates who did not have a computer to take the online test, and guaranteed hotel reimbursements to hundreds more who needed reliable internet or a quiet place to test.
        • Because the LSAT-Flex is an online, remotely proctored test, LSAC is able to offer a variety of test start times for test takers to choose from. LSAC will continue to open the scheduling sign-up process about 10 days before the first day of testing for each of the LSAT-Flex administrations, so test takers can select the available time that works best for them. Test takers will receive more information and instructions prior to that time.
        • LSAC has created a new score preview option for first-time test takers who wish to see their score before deciding whether or not to keep it. The score preview option costs $45 for test takers who sign up by 11:59 p.m. ET on the day before the first day of testing for each LSAT-Flex administration, or $75 if test takers sign up after testing has concluded. You can see the exact score preview sign-up periods for the January and April 2021 test administrations at the “Test Dates, Deadlines, and Score Release Dates” page for each administration. First-time test takers who have an approved LSAT fee waiver will receive score preview free of charge. You can learn more about the score preview option here.
        • As a reminder, all test takers must have a completed LSAT Writing sample on file in order to see their score or have their score released to law schools. To help candidates complete the writing portion of their test, LSAC now opens LSAT Writing eight (8) days prior to every test administration. If a candidate already has a writing sample on file from a previous exam, they do not need to complete a new LSAT Writing sample. For more information about LSAT Writing, visit our website.

For more information, please visit LSAC.org

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T-minus 2 Days: The Illinois Law Fair

Hello Illini…


We are now 2 DAYS away from the Illinois Grad, Law and Professional School Fair!!!

If you have not already done so – REGISTER NOW! Registering in advance allows you to express your interest to attending law schools and provides them the opportunity to reach out to you in advance with special invitations and information!

Law Fairs provide a unique opportunity for students to interact with a variety of law schools in one concise setting.  There are many virtual opportunities this fall – but  Illinois Law Fair provides unique one – on- one opportunities for Illinois students & alumni.  To help you prepare, below are a list of tips, strategies, and goals for Thursday!


Individuals may attend the fair for any number of reasons, be sure to keep in mind what you would like to accomplish. This will help you formulate questions and make the most out of your day! Below are a few goals you might have…

    • Discover more about specific law schools to help you decide where you would like to apply.
    • Ask for perspectives on your candidacy and learn more about what specific law schools are looking for in prospective students.
    • Learn more about the general application process and hear perspectives from admissions deans.
    • Make a connection with law schools you would like to attend, demonstrate your interest.
    • Learn more about what you can do with a legal education.
    • Explore the many diverse law schools and learn more about their unique attributes.
    • Discover new schools and programs that you did not know about!

Strategize – Make A Plan:

    • Determine when you will be able to attend the fair.
    • Do your homework and review general information about schools.
    • Identify your “must visit” schools, plan a questions or two for each.
    • Research school availability and make a personal schedule based on your availability and the schools – remember you can be in multiple chat rooms at the same time!

Note: The generally designated law hours are from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, however, each law school has set their own unique hours. Some will be hosting longer hours, starting earlier, or staying later.

    • Set-aside additional time to visit schools you haven’t considered before!

TIP: Search for law schools on the CareerEco site in advance by utilizing the search filters – we recommend putting “law” in the Areas of Study field.  You can also search by location and school name!

TIP: Pay close attention to the institution you are visiting as some schools may have multiple departments participating.  For example – The University of Illinois College of Law will have a chat room, as will the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

TIP:  Let law schools know you are interested in advance by checking the “interest” box on the school profile page.

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T-Minus 3 Days: Illinois Law School Fair!

Hello Illini!  3 days to go and counting…

The Law Fair is a great opportunity to ask informative questions about schools you are interested in, discover new schools to consider, demonstrate your interest, and  make a great first impression on admissions representatives. Here are some potential questions you might find helpful to ask…

    • What are some qualities or characteristics you are looking for in law school applicants?
    • What kinds of experiential learning opportunities do you offer students?
    • What might my path look like at your school if I am interested in (blank) law?
    • What kind of scholarships are available to students?
    • How are your students prepared for the bar exam?
    • Why did you decide to work at the school? (or if you know the admissions rep attended that law school, you may ask why they attended that school)
    • Is there a way to get in touch with current students for informational interviews?
    • How accessible are faculty?
    • What is your school’s policy for evaluating multiple LSAT scores?

For more potential questions, see LSAC’s list of suggested questions for law fair attendees.

TIP: Take notes!  If you are applying this cycle take notes to remember the information you learn, consider asking the same question(s) in each chat room and compare answers later.

TIP: Make sure you note which representative(s) you talked to for future reference and follow-up!

TIP: Make time to review profile pages and chat with 1 or 2 schools you haven’t considered before – you may be surprised what you learn!

To Register!

Go to https://go.illinois.edu/2020GLPFair

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T-minus 5 Days: Illinois Law Fair

Hello ILLINI!  We are 5 days away from the annual Illinois Law Fair!

This year’s virtual Fair will look a bit different from prior years, but will still offer the same unique opportunity to interact with law admissions representatitives from across the country!  Below are a few logistical steps and details to assist in your Law Fair prep!

Pre-Fair Preparation
    • Register Now!  Reigstration is online and completely free.  Be sure to register early to not miss out on any pre-fair communications.
    • Attend one of the Pre-Fair Workshops on Monday, October 12 (12:00 pm or 4:30 pm)!
    • Explore law schools in advance and let schools know you are interested in advance! Details below…
Exploring Schools & Expressing Interest
    • Each law school has a profile page which provides important details about the school and availablity during the upcoming Fair.  Be sure you have reviewed details about each of your schools as chat room times and topics may vary slightly by school.
    • TIP: Search for schools on the CareerEco site in advance by listing “JD” in the degree search field, and “law” under area of study.  You can also search by location and school name!
    • TIP: Be sure to filter and pay close attention to the institution you are visiting as some schools may have multiple departments participating.  For example – The University of Illinois College of Law will be present, as will the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
    • TIP:  Let law schools know you are interested in advance by checking the “interest” box on the school profile page.  Schools may wish to reach out to you in advance about special opportunities or scheduling private chats.
Additional Logistics
    • Format & Instructions: Schools may host presentations, chat rooms, and individual chat sessions during the fair.  Learn more about navigating the CareerEco platform through the online tutorials.
    • Dress Code:  Chat rooms may have video enabled for either the chat room or for individual chat sessions.   We encourage business casual dress for the fair – no PJs!
    • Chat Room Schedule:  Be sure to review the chat room schedule in advance and plan your day!
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T-minus 7 Days: The Illinois Law Fair

We are 1 week away from the 2020 Illinois Law Fair!

Not sure which law school to apply to?  Wondering how to decide between the many options? Not sure what law schools have to offer?

West Coast?  East Coast?  South?  Midwest? Illinois? 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity for one-on-one interactions and direct perspectives from law schools! This year’s Graduate, Law, and Professional School Fair will host diverse law schools from across the country.   There is no better opportunity for University of Illinois students and alumni to learn more about individual schools and to demonstrate your interest in specific law programs!

Visit the CareerEco event page and register today! Be sure to take a look at the law school profiles to learn more about schools in advance!

Check out our current list of attending law schools!

    • Albany Law School
    • American University Washington College of Law
    • Ave Maria School of Law
    • Baylor Law
    • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
    • Boston College Law School
    • Boston University School of Law
    • Brooklyn Law School
    • Capital University Law School
    • Case Western Reserve University School of Law
    • Chapman University Fowler School of Law
    • Charleston School of Law
    • Chicago-Kent College of Law
    • Creighton University School of Law
    • CUNY School of Law
    • DePaul University College of Law
    • Drake Law School
    • Drexel University School of Law
    • Duke Law School
    • Elon University School of Law
    • Emory University School of Law
    • Fordham University School of Law
    • Indiana University Maurer School of Law
    • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
    • Lewis & Clark Law School
    • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
    • Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
    • Marquette University Law School
    • Michigan State University College of Law
    • Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Chase College of Law
    • Northeastern University School of Law
    • Northern Illinois University College of Law
    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
    • Notre Dame Law School
    • Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
    • Penn State Law
    • Pepperdine Caruso School of Law
    • Seattle University School of Law
    • Seton Hall Law
    • St. John’s University School of Law
    • St. Thomas University School of Law
    • Stetson University College of Law
    • Tulane University Law School
    • UC Irvine (UCI) School of Law
    • UCLA School of Law
    • UIC John Marshall Law School
    • University of Akron School of Law
    • University of Alabama School of Law
    • University of Chicago Law School
    • University of Glasgow
    • University of Illinois College of Law
    • University of Iowa College of Law
    • University of Kansas School of Law
    • University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
    • University of Miami School of Law
    • University of Minnesota Law School
    • University of Missouri School of Law
    • University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
    • University of San Diego (USD) School of Law
    • University of San Francisco School of Law
    • University of St. Thomas School of Law-Minneapolis
    • University of Texas School of Law
    • University of Toledo College of Law
    • University of Washington School of Law
    • University of Wisconsin Law School
    • Wayne State University Law School

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Is a Gap Year Right for Me?

Let’s talk about taking a gap year, or a few…

More and more law schools are highlighting the value and benefits of time off between undergrad and law school by encouraging students to diverge from the traditional path and consider a gap year.  We understand that a gap year, or time off, is not everyone’s journey; however, we wanted to provide helpful information on gap years for those considering it.



A gap year (or gap years) is the time between graduating from undergrad and starting law school. It’s a time for self-exploration, resume building, networking, and most importantly: gaining experience. Most commonly, students will 1 year off, but many take 2+ years off. It’s a personal decision, so there is no right answer about how much time, if any, one should take off before pursuing law school.


A gap year is NOT a bad thing. Going to law school right after undergrad is not always the best option for students, so taking the time off to recoup and align one’s goals is always a good idea.

Students have lots of reasons for taking a gap year including:

    • Professional Work Experience
    • Completing Post Graduation Training or Degrees (Masters)
    • Financial Wellness
    • Pursuing Passions
    • Clarify Education & Professional Goals
    • Personal Preparedness & Wellness

There can be certain stigmas about not continuing your education immediately upon graduation from undergrad, but we are here to tell you that is not the case. Many law schools indicate that they even prefer students have at least one year of experience before applying. Taking time off between undergrad and law school does not mean you’re a failure. It does not mean that you didn’t have a clear path. And it certainly does not mean that you cannot still attend law school!


Whether that’s accepting a job in a law-related field (such as a paralegal, an aid on the Hill, or a legal assistant) or something completely unrelated – a gap year is whatever you make of it.  Just make sure whatever you choose it is intentional and benefits your goals!

In addition to working, a gap year provides an excellent opportunity for you to expand your network. You’ll meet many people and have the chance to connect with various individuals in the field. Networking will also provide you with one’s firsthand experience and an inside look on the legal market. It can help solidify your decision to pursue a career in law, or can leave you with important information to consider before applying. Setting up these connections early is beneficial, and will benefit you in a few years when you’re competing in the legal job market!


    • Networking…
    • Time (to study for your LSAT, focus on your applications)…
    • An opportunity to boost your GPA with senior year grades…
    • Build a relationship with an employer for a potential letter of recommendation…
    • Improve your financial situation…
    • Do something that you might not have been able to do had you gone straight to law school, or something that you might not be able to do after graduating law school…


Ultimately, whether you take a gap year or go straight through to law school, it is a personal decision. Consider what path is best for YOU and what makes sense for YOU. As always, feel free to make an appointment with Pre-Law Advising Services to discuss the right choice and path for you!

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October Snapshot!

Welcome Fall!

October is officially here and the busy application season is in full swing!  Below please see a list of important dates, upcoming events, and reminders for October 2020…

    • Saturday, October 10: LSAC Digital Forum Registration Deadline (Free)
    • Monday, October 12: Pre-Fair Admissions Panel

    • Sunday, October 18 LSAT Deadline! Assistance Request Deadline for November LSAT
    • Friday, October 30 LSAT Deadline! Test Date Change Request for November exam – No Charge

Be sure to check the Pre-Law Advising Calendar, Facebook page, and the recent Newsletter for additional  upcoming programs and events!

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