Alumni Attorney Talks

Alumni Attorney Talks is a virtual series that aims to provide prospective law students with helpful insights about attending law school and pursuing a legal career. This series features interviews with University of Illinois alumni working in a variety of diverse settings within the legal profession.

JANICE FARRELL PEA

Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law

QUICK FACTS ABOUT PROFESSOR PEA

  • Law School: University of Illinois College of Law
  • Undergraduate Major: Health Information Management
  • Professor Pea’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Serendipitous | Varied | Satisfying  

Professor Pea pursued a successful career in the health industry, including earning an MBA, prior to attending law school. Following graduation, she became a law clerk with the Illinois Supreme Court while also beginning her teaching career at the University of Illinois College of Law. Learn more about Professor Pea online, click the link below to view our interview with Professor Pea!

Tips for Fall Break

The upcoming Fall Break is a welcome change as we head into the final weeks of the semester and year. For students, it’s a time to step away from the day-to-day demands of academic life and for alumni, there is often a bit more time to disconnect from work and the everyday demands. To help make sure you’re maximizing your time before the end of the semester! Read our tips below on way to fully utilize this unique time!

1.  Reconnect with your family and include them in your pre-law journey at the Pre-Law for Parents and Families event!

Whether it is your first fall break or last, take this time to reconnect with family and friends. Have a conversation and let them know how you have been doing and include them in your pre-law journey by inviting them to Pre-Law for Parents and Families on November 21 at 6:30 pm! For more information and to register, click here.

2. Relax and Rejuvenate

The end of the semester is always a busy, and often stressful, time.  Make time for yourself over break to rest and rejuvenate prior to the end of the semester.  UIUC also provides a wide variety of services and resources to help make the end of the semester as manageable as possible!

Here are some upcoming workshops that may interest you:

  • December 6 | 7:00 pm: Mangoes and Mental Health: Join Campus Recreation while we make delicious mango smoothies, dialogue, and skill-build healthy ways to manage our stress

Being productive is great, but overworking yourself may not be. Your efforts to be successful are more effective when you’re not exhausted. Many people find mindfulness apps like InsightTimerCalm, or Headspace useful in bringing the focus back to the present moment.

3.  Make a Plan to Finalize Applications

Applying this year? Set a goal date for application submission and stick to it! 

We highly recommend trying to apply during the first half of the admissions cycle, if possible.  Use Thanksgiving break as an opportunity to finalize your applications and submit them to schools.  If you will be applying later than early December, use Thanksgiving break to complete as many of the application components as you can and identify the earliest date you feel you can apply. 

Planning to apply in the spring of 2023? Plan and strategize to maximize success!

  • TIP: Make an appointment with a pre-law Advisor to discuss your spring 2023 application strategies.
  • TIP: Attend the “Strategies for Spring Application Success” workshop on December 1, 2022. To learn more and register, click here.

Regardless of when you apply, here is a brief checklist of essential items you will need to complete. If any of this feels overwhelming, don’t worry! Meet with a pre-law advisor and we’ll walk through it together):

CAS, LOR, Transcripts: Make sure you are familiar with the LSAC Credential Assembly Services (CAS) and stay current on the status of your materials and application components.  Request transcripts NOW, these will take several weeks to process.  Be sure you have submitted ALL required transcripts.  Follow up with recommenders, be sure they are aware of your goal timeline, and be sure to check CAS to confirm when your letters of recommendation are uploaded.

LSAT and LSAT Writing: You will need your final score to apply.  If you don’t have your score, confirm when it will be available and plan your goal submission date accordingly.  Have you completed the LSAT Writing? You must complete the Writing portion to receive your score (you must only do this once – if you previously completed this step you are done!).  Be sure to do that prior to the score release date of November 30, 2022. The LSAT Writing must be completed before your score is released.

Application Documents: Don’t quite have a final draft of your personal statement, resume, or addendums but want to save your spot on our advising calendar? No worries! You can book your appointment with an existing draft and then email your advisor a more complete draft of your document prior to your appointment – documents must be received at least one business day prior to your scheduled meeting time to ensure it is reviewed!

  • Personal Statement – Fall break is a great time to draft and hopefully finalize your statement! Make sure to follow your specific schools’ prompts. Don’t forget to edit, edit, edit! Don’t know how to get started? Check out our Personal Statement resource on Canvas.
  • Resume – Make sure it is current and ready to apply! Make sure it is well-formatted, free of typos and mistakes, and easy to read. Don’t know how to get started? Check out our Resume resource on Canvas.
  • Addendums – Are there addendums required by your schools?  Are there optional addendums?  Be sure you have confirmed what addendums you will be submitting and begin writing.

School-specific requirements and questions:
Make sure you have reviewed the specific application requirements for the schools you will be applying to, and create a checklist for each school. Questions? If you have questions about an individual school’s application requirements or process ask NOW! Don’t wait until your goal submission date to confirm details.  Reach out directly or send emails over Thanksgiving break!

Remember…

We are here to help! PLAS is here to review documents, discuss strategies, and answer questions. We highly encourage you to book your appointment soon, this time of year gets really busy!

3. Plan the End of Your Semester

Make a strategic plan for the end of the semester to help make things manageable. Think backward from deadlines and due dates to ensure you have enough time to prepare for each end-of-semester item.  Take into account:

  • Final academic obligations (papers, projects, final exams, and study time). Mark deadlines and dates on your calendar.
  • Upcoming deadlines for internships or other special programs.
  • Admissions events and programs you may wish to attend (The last LSAC Forum is on February 3rd, 2023!).
  • Time for life logistics – plan around busy times and deadlines for things like groceries/bills, exercise, family, and friends.

4. Taking the LSAT in 2023?

Consider using some of your fall break to explore LSAT prep resources and start developing a study plan. Here are some links to get you started:

  • Save the Date! February 2023: LSAT Jumpstart hosted by PLAS, is a four-session mini-camp to help you prepare for the LSAT. To learn more and register, click here.
  • LSAC’s Khan Academy: explore what LSAT prep looks like through this free program.
  • Official LSAT Content Licensees: explore this list of LSAT test prep companies and tutors that are official content licensees.
  • LSAT Preparation Resources on Canvas: Head over to the PLAS Canvas page and scroll to the LSAT Preparation module. Here you will find many resources and tips to help you prepare for the LSAT.

5. Finally, start thinking ahead…

Make efforts to finalize important spring plans including course selections, extracurricular involvements, and goals for internships and other opportunities. 

And, don’t forget to check out our annual Internship Newsletter which is also available on our Canvas page!


UPCOMING EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

Taking Your Time – Gap Years


Unfortunately, the time between graduation and law school is often referred to as “gap years”. This term often invites an impression that this time lacks substance, is unintentional or is void of value. Perhaps, as a result, many students have an inaccurate impression that taking time prior to law school is inherently negative or a disadvantage to their ultimate goal of attending law school. The reality is that taking time to pursue opportunities prior to law school can contribute significantly to an applicant’s success, and can ultimately offer an individual tremendous benefits personally, academically, and professionally.

Whether you ultimately decide to pursue an opportunity prior to law or go “straight through”, every future applicant should consider how a timeline that includes a “gap year(s)” might enhance their application and contribute to their ultimate success as a law student!

Below is a collection of resources to assist in your decision-making!

View this brief virtual workshop discussing Gap Years!

Learn more about the many benefits of taking a gap year and possible opportunities to pursue!

Watch! Gap Year Perspectives Panel

PLAS welcomed a panel of UIUC pre-law alumni to share perspectives and insights about their experiences taking time to pursue opportunities prior to law school. The Gap Year Perspectives Panel was hosted on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 5:30 pm via Zoom. To register for this event, please click here. Learn more about our accomplished groups of panelists below!

Meet the Panelists

Chandler Cathey ’16

“By taking these gap years and finding what makes me happy in life, I was able to figure out how to intertwine that with my passion for the law, (hopefully) setting me up to have a career after law school that I can be proud and happy with.”

Haydn Lambert ’19

“I wanted to get a better sense of what the world was like outside of school so that my time in law school would be more informed by experience.”

Skylar Rolle ’20

“I wanted to make sure that law school was the right choice for me. In addition, I wanted to take the chance to work in politics so that I could go into law school with some real-world experiences.”

Matthew Krauter ’22

“I wanted to have the opportunity to make a real impact with my undergraduate education and be able to navigate law school admissions better and position myself for success.”

November Snapshot

November 1: Drafting Your Application | 4:00 pm Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 1: APPtitude Pre-Law Program Applications Now Open! For students with anticipated graduation dates of December 2024, May 2025, or August 2025. To learn more and apply, click here.

November 1: NYU Law Online Information Session | 3:00 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

November 1: AccessLex Webinar: Applying to Law School | 5:00 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

November 1: Mental Playground: Coping with Childhood Trauma | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 1: DEADLINE! Lavent Law Immigrant Scholarship | For more information, click here.

November 1: DEADLINE! Hallie Gay Walden Bagley Scholarship | For more information, click here.

November 1: DEADLINE! Neal Davis Law Scholarship | For more information, click here.

November 1: DEADLINE! Good Lawyers/Good People Scholarship | For more information, click here.

November 2: LSAT score release date via LSAC account.

November 2: APPtitude Pre-law Program Information Session | 4:00 pm via Zoom. Pre-registration is not required, click here for additional information.  For students with anticipated graduation dates of December 2024, May 2025, or August 2025. 

November 2: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series | 6:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 3: Pre-Law 101 Session One | 4:00 pm – In Person – Everitt Lab #2310. For more information and to register, click here.

November 3: Law Student Panel: If I Knew Then What I Know Now, presented by Kaplan | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm. For more information, click here.

November 4: DEADLINE! Apply to become a Mock Interview Coach with The Career Center | Mock Interview Coaches have flexible hours (up to 10 hours/week) and are compensated $15/hour | To learn more and apply, click here.

November 4: UChicago Law Admissions On-Campus Visit | 9:15 am – 1:00 pm – To learn more, click here.

November 4: Northwestern Law First-Generation Prelaw Conference: Navigating Law School Admissions for First-Generation and Underrepresented Students | 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. For more information, click here.

November 4: Counseling Center’s Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 5: Fall Open House: Experiential Learning at Chicago-Kent College of Law | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Virtual and In-Person. To learn more and register, click here.

November 7: DEADLINE! Truman Scholarship Campus Deadline | 12:00 pm. For more information, click here.

November 7: Creating a Powerful Resume | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm in Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

November 8: U.S. LL.M. Legal Education Conference: A Day in the Life – Current Students | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. For more information, click here.

November 8: Feeling the Burn? Let’s Talk about Burnout | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 9: Creating a Powerful Cover Letter | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm in Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

November 9: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series | 6:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 9: St. Louis University School of Law | Virtual Sample Class with Professor Christine Rollins and Admissions Q & A | 6:00 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

November 9: U.S. LL.M. Legal Education Conference: A Day in the Life – Current Students | 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. For more information, click here.

November 10: APPtitude Pre-Law Program Information Session | 12:00 pm via Zoom. Pre-registration is not required, click here for additional information.  For students with anticipated graduation dates of December 2024, May 2025, or August 2025. 

November 10: Pre-Law 101 Session Two | 4:00 pm – In Person – Everitt Lab #2310. For more information and to register, click here.

November 10: Northwestern Law’s “Ask me Anything” with Dean Lee |12:00 pm – 1:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 10: Udall Scholarship Info Session | 3:30 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

November 10: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 11: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for the Internship with the Office of Congressman Sean Casten in Washington D.C. and Glen Ellyn, IL | For more information and to apply, click here

November 11: ONLINE Udall Scholarship Info Session | 9:00 am on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 11: UChicago Law Admissions On-Campus Visit | 9:15 am – 1:00 pm. For more information and to register, click here.

November 11: University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Program | 12:00 pm on Zoom. To attend, click here.

November 11: Counseling Center’s Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 11: Udall Scholarship Workshop | 3:00 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

November 12: Northwestern Law First-Generation Prelaw Conference: Navigating Law School Admissions for First-Generation and Underrepresented Students | 9:30 am – 4:00 pm at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Engagement. Click here to register.

November 11-12: November LSATBest wishes to everyone taking the LSAT this weekend!

November 13: DEADLINE! Last day to sign-up for LSAT study groups! | Click here for additional details and to sign-up.

November 14: St. Louis University School of Law #MotivationalMondays Virtual Series: Intellectual Property | 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm. For more information, click here.

November 14: UChicago Law Admissions Monthly Webinar | 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

November 15: Gap Year Presentation and Panel | 5:30 pm via Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

November 15: Test Anxiety Program | 1:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 15: Loyola Chicago JD Information Session | 3:30 pm on Zoom. For more details and to attend, click here.

November 15: You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Supporting a Friend Who’s Struggling | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 15: AccessLex Webinar: Law Student Panel: The Inside Scoop | 7:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

November 16: Behind the Scenes: The B1G Law School Experience | 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm ONLINE. Join the Big Ten Law Schools for a virtual admissions panel. For more information and to attend, click here.

November 16: AccessLex Webinar: Choosing a Law School | 4:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to attend, click here.

November 16: Mythbusting the LSAT with Kaplan | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. For more information, click here.

November 16: Test Masters – Logic Games Workshop (FREE) | 7:30 pm ONLINE – Register online to attend!

November 17: DEADLINE! Last day to register for the LSAC Digital Law School Forum | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. For more information, click here.

November 17: Special Event! University of Illinois College of Law: Meet the Admissions Team | 4pm at Peer and Sarah Pedersen Pavilion. For more information, click here.

November 17: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 18: DEADLINE! Last day to apply to the APPtitude Pre-Law Program | For students with anticipated graduation dates of December 2024, May 2025, or August 2025. For more information and to apply, click here.

November 18: In-Person St. Louis University School of Law Pre-Law Day | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. For more information, click here.

November 19: CLEO CONNECTION: Juniors Jumpstart the LSAT | Time provided upon registration. For more information, click here.

November 19: CLEO CONNECTION: Road to Law School Workshop | 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. For more information and to register, click here.

November 19: CLEO CONNECTION: Sophomore Super Saturdays | 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. For more information and to register, click here.

November 19: DePaul College of Law Open House | 9:00 am – 1:00 pm in-person. For more information and to register, click here.

November 19: LSAC Digital Law School Forum | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to attend, click here. Deadline to register is November 17!

November 19: Counseling Center’s Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 21: Pre-Law for Parents and Families | 6:30 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

November 21: Georgetown Law Virtual JD Information Session | 10:30 am ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

November 22: AccessLex Webinar: Paying for Law School | 3:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

November 28: DEADLINE! Goldwater Campus Deadline | 12:00 pm. For more information, click here.

November 28: St. Louis University School of Law #MotivationalMondays Virtual Series: Health Law | 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm. For more information, click here.

November 28: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 29: Got the Blues? Slaying Seasonal Depression | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

November 30: DEADLINE! Value of Mentorship Scholarship | For more information, and to apply, click here.

November 30: LSAT score release date via LSAC account.

November 30: AccessLex Webinar: Your Law School Investment | 2:00 pm ONLINE | For more information and to register, click here.

Application Dos and Don’ts…

We are reaching that point in the cycle where many applicants are moving into the final stages of preparing their applications. Whether you are looking to apply in a few weeks, or later this application cycle, below are some helpful tips based on actual applicant experiences to assist in your final preparations!

DO:

1. Follow all directions closely! When asked for their best advice, we routinely hear law admissions deans say “follow the application directions” as their #1 tip. Follow the application directions as written and provided – full stop!

  • Example: if the personal statement page limit is 2, don’t submit a 2.5 page document and assume they won’t mind – even if it is well written.
  • Each application may have slightly different criteria or directions, it is important to confirm specifics for each school.

2. Triple-check mentioned school names in essays to match the school you’re submitting the individual application to. If you choose/are required to individualize documents for each individual school based on their directions (see above) – be sure to confirm you have submitted the right draft to the right school. This mistake really happens…every year.

3. Choose recommenders wisely. Those with whom you have a strong relationship and will write about specific experiences and qualities will be most effective.

4. Use your resources! There are many resources to help you succeed in this process. Be sure to utilize the PLAS Office! Whether we help you directly or connect you with the necessary resources – we are here to help!

5. Explore a wide variety of schools. You may be surprised at what you find! Be sure to check out the Researching Law Schools blog post for tips on identifying schools!

  • Be sure to attend a law fair and meetings with schools – there is an LSAC Digital Forum occurring on November 19!

6. Get Organized! Create a spreadsheet, google doc, or other means to organize your information and track your application tasks. PLAS has put together an Excel spreadsheet that you can use to get started. To see the example, click here.

  • Don’t forget about your email! Set up folders to organize communications as you receive them!

7. Apply to a range of schools where you feel your LSAT/GPA are very competitive, competitive, and less competitive (some may refer to this as safety, target, and reach schools). This will open up the most opportunities for admission and potential scholarships, it will also help provide as much choice in the admission process as possible.

DON’T:

1. Forget to proofread all your application materials. Be sure to plan time to give every application a comprehensive and thorough review before submitting.

2. Skip directions. Yes – it’s so important we’ve included it on our list twice!

3. Submit applications to law schools that you do not see yourself attending. Every school you apply to will not necessarily satisfy your goals/wish list to equal measure as another. However, don’t waste your energy or time with options that you know you will not pursue. Instead, look for a better-fitting option that meets at least some of your most important goals and that you could see yourself attending.

4. Write optional statements/addendums that 1. don’t apply to your personal situation; or, 2. that you feel compelled to write simply to “add more” to your application. Only include addendums where required, relevant, and that add new, substantive information.  Doing “more” can take away from your application if it doesn’t contribute something relevant, meaningful, or helpful!

5. Apply late without a strategy. Most law schools admit students on a rolling basis with final deadlines in the spring semester. You should balance carefully having a strong application with the submission timing of your application. Sometimes applying a bit later in the cycle can result in submitting a superior application overall, however, if you will be submitting after December you do want to take timing into account and adjust your strategy.

6. Put all your eggs in one, super competitive, basket! In other words, don’t apply only to schools where acceptance rates are low or where you are at the low end of their GPA and LSAT ranges.

7. Lose touch! You should be making connections with schools throughout the application process, both before and after you apply. This will help you gather important information and perspectives to assist you with final decisions and also in creating more opportunities for you to leave a positive impression with schools. Be sure to make time for programs, events, and visits (virtual and in-person) at the schools you are applying to!

  • Stay Tuned! We will have great programming upcoming this winter and spring to help you navigate the post-application process!

Meet with a pre-law advisor…

The Pre-Law Advising Office is designed to help you achieve success in your goal of attending law school (seriously – it’s kind of the reason for our existence…). Whether you are a senior Illini or an alum planning to continue your education in law school, we are anxious to meet with you!

Schedule an appointment online to meet with an advisor or attend an upcoming workshop or event. We hope to see you soon!

Spring 2023 Course Recommendations

It’s time to get excited for Spring courses! Each semester we receive many questions from pre-law students regarding courses helpful in preparation for law school in advance of course registration.  To assist in this process, Pre-Law Advising has made a helpful chart with suggested classes pre-law students might find useful and interesting in planning and exploring a legal education.

In general, students interested in going to law school should take classes that focus on analytical and critical thinking, communication, research and writing, and when possible – legal topics of interest. The recommended course list includes classes from many different disciplines that might serve one, or more, of these goals.  Take a look at the chart to find courses that are both interesting to you and will help build the necessary skills for law school.

Click Here for the list of Spring 2023 Recommended courses!

Please keep in mind that this list should not be viewed as exhaustive as there are many beneficial courses offered each semester.  This list should be used to highlight courses of particular interest and give a broad overview of options. 

Want to learn more?

See what fellow Class of 2023 Illini say are some of their favorite pre-law related courses at Illinois…

Justin Davis

Justin is currently the Class of 2023 Representative of the PLAS Advisory Council and president of UIUC Accounting Club. He shared the following perspectives on his favorite pre-law related courses…

  • PHIL 102 – Logic and Reasoning – It was a great introduction to applying critical thinking to a text and then writing down your analysis.
  • BADM 300 – The Legal Environment of Business This was my first perspective on what laws apply to corporations. It also provided a glimpse into liability, constitutional law, and the hierarchy of federal vs state laws.

Jack McNabb

Jack is currently a pre-law student of the Class of 2023, studying Sociology and Business & Informatics. Here are his perspectives on his list of favorite pre-law related courses…

  • SOC 364 – Impacts of Globalization – Professor Dill is my other favorite professor at Illinois and his globalization class combined economic and sociology theory to explain globalization trends throughout the world. This course was also reading and discussion intensive.
  • BADM 340 – Ethical Dilemmas of Business – I am currently taking this course and I have enjoyed it thus far. As the name states, this course explores some at large ethical issues facing the current business world and could be valuable to students interested in business law.

Sruthi Navneetha

Sruthi is currently the At-large Representative of the PLAS Advisory Council, president of Phi Alpha Delta, and president and founder of Women In Law Pre-Law Society. She shared the following perspective on her favorite pre-law related course…

  • ECON 437 – Game Theory This can really help with other pre-law-related classes as topics in this class reappear in almost even Political Science class. It also helps people think critically, which is essential to scoring well on the LSAT.

Alex Nevarez

Alex is currently the Class of 2023 Representative of the PLAS Advisory Council, president of Pre-Law Honors Society, and vice-president of Kappa Alpha Pi. These are her favorite pre-law related courses…

  • PHIL 103 – Logic and Reasoning QR 2 – This is the most important course I have taken because it is directly applicable to the LSAT. In this course, you learn logic, symbolic logic, and essentially a new way of thinking. This new way of thinking is directly applicable on the LSAT as there are two logic sections. Because I had already taken this course when I started LSAT studying the logic sections came easy to me because my brain already had logic thinking background.
  • PHIL 104 – Intro to Ethics – In this course it is logic, ethics and writing combined. You cover three hot topics and read from philosophers coming from both sides and then you will write a paper on who you believe is right for each topic. The material is extremely in-depth and eye-opening and it aided me in helping me create good and sound arguments. I grew as a thinker and a writer.

James Weigel

James is currently the At-large Representative of the PLAS Advisory Council studying Aerospace Engineering with a Political Science minor. He shared the following perspective on his favorite pre-law related course…

  • PS 370 – Justice in the Law – In this class, students work through supreme court cases and brief them. The brief style has a heavy emphasis on legal reasoning and other skills important for prospective lawyers. The professor (Ben Miller) is one of the best professors that I have ever had and cares deeply about the educational development of his students.

Considering a minor?

Check out this informative video about the Legal Studies Minor, including Q&A with Professor Jennifer Pahre: 

Visit the Legal Studies Minor website to learn more or email:  

law-undergrad@illinois.edu!

Still not sure what to take? 

Schedule a pre-law advising meeting to discuss course options!

Alumni Attorney Talks

Alumni Attorney Talks is a virtual series which aims to provide prospective law students with helpful insights about attending law school and pursuing a legal career. This series features interviews with University of Illinois alumni working in a variety of diverse settings within the legal profession.

BONITA B. HWANG CHO

OWNER & PARTNER, LAW OFFICES OF CHENG, CHO & YEE

SPECIALIZING IN IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY LAW

Learn more about the Law Offices of Cheng, Cho & Yee here.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT bonita b. hwang cho
  • Law School: Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • UIUC Undergraduate Major: Business Administration
  • Ms. Cho’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Meaningful | Worthwhile Impactful

CHECK OUT THIS INSIGHTFUL INTERVIEW BELOW! 

October Snapshot

October is officially here and the busy application season is in full swing!  Below is a list of important dates, upcoming events, and reminders for this month. Be sure to check back regularly. The Snapshot is updated weekly with new events and deadlines.

October 1: DEADLINE! Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Scholarship | For more information, click here.

October 1: DEADLINE! Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. Law School Disability Scholarship | For more information, click here.

October 2: DEADLINE! Last day to apply to become an I STAR Ambassador | For additional information and to apply, click here.

October 3: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for Fulbright scholarship | For additional information and to apply, click here.

October 3: DEADLINE! Campus deadline for Churchill scholarship |For more additional information and to apply, click here.

October 3: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 4:00 pm Wholers Hall. For more information, click here.

October 4: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for the Gilman scholarship | For more information and to apply, click here.

October 4: AccessLex Webinar – Applying to Law School |3:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 4: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 4:00 pm Lincoln Hall. For more information, click here.

October 4: The Suite Life on Campus: Managing Healthy Relationships and Conflict | 7:00 pm in 1041 BIF. For more information, click here.

October 5: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 7:00 pm ISR 94AB. For more information, click here.

October 6: In Focus Workshop | 1:00 pm at Psychology Building Room 11. For more information, click here.

October 6: Critical Language Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm at 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 6: PLAS Workshop – Drafting Your Application | 5:30 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 7: Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm in Lincoln Hall 1092. For more information and to register, click here.

October 7: Alumni Talk: The Peace Corps and the State Department: Great Career Moves | 2:00 pm in Coble Hall room 306. For more information, click here.

October 10: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 4:00 pm Wholers Hall. For more information, click here.

October 10: PLAS Workshop – Pre-Law 101 Session One | 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 11: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 4:00 pm Lincoln Hall. For more information, click here.

October 11: Acing your Interview | 5:00 pm in Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 12: AccessLex Webinar – Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach For Underrepresented Students |11:00 am ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 12: “Paying for Law School” Workshop (in Spanish) from AccessLex | 6:00 pm on Zoom. To register, click here.

October 12: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 7:00 pm ISR 94AB. For more information, click here.

October 13: AccessLex Webinar – Paying for Law School | 1:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 13: Goldwater Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 13: Creating a Powerful Resume | 5:00 pm Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 13: “Reporting on Politics and Elections” Panel from The Frank Center for Leadership & Innovation in Media | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum or join via Zoom. For more information and Zoom registration, click here.

October 14 – 15: October LSAT Best wishes to everyone taking the LSAT this weekend!

October 14: ONLINE Goldwater Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am on Zoom. For more information, click here.

October 14: Special Event! College of Law Vacketta-DLA Piper Lecture on the Role of Government and the Law featuring Micheal Strautmanis, ’94 | 12:00 pm in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Law Building. For more information, click here.

October 14: UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program Info Session | 12:00 pm on Zoom | For more information, and to attend, click here.

October 14: Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm in Lincoln Hall 1092. For more information and to register, click here.

October 14: Goldwater Scholarship Workshop | 3:00 pm at 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 14: DEADLINE! Champaign County Public Defender Internship | To apply, click here.

October 14: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for the Castillo Scholars Mentorship Program through Loyola Chicago Law School. For additional information and to apply, click here.

October 15: DEADLINE! Enjuris Scholarship Essay Contest | For more information, click here.

October 15: DEADLINE! Illinois Club Scholarships | For more information, click here.

October 17: PLAS Workshop – Pre-Law 101 Session Two | 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 17: Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter | 5:00 pm in Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 17: IU Maurer: Law and Technology: Intellectual Property (including NIL Initiative)| 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 18: PLAS Workshop – Legal Studies Minor Info Session | 2:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 18: Don’t Stop Believing in Yourself: Learning Self-Compassion | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 19: Graduate and Professional School Fair | 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Illini Union. For more information, click here.

October 19: AccessLex Webinar – Your Law School Investment |4:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 19: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 5:00 pm BIF 1041. For more information, click here.

October 19: Finding an Internship | 5:00 pm Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 20: Dean’s Public Engagement Lecture: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Carter | 12:00 pm in Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Law Building. For more information, click here.

October 20: Boren Scholarship Information Session |3:30 pm at 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 20: AccessLex Webinar – Choosing a Law School | 5:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 20: IU Maurer: International Law| 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 21: ONLINE Boren Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 21: Perfectionism Series | 1:00 pm in Lincoln Hall 1092. For more information and to register, click here.

October 21: Boren Scholarship Undergraduate Workshop | 3:00 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 22: October LSAC Digital Law School Forum | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm ONLINE. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 24: Spring course recommendations out on the blog!

October 24: Spring LSAT Study Groups!  Interested students planning to sit for an upcoming 2023 LSAT exam (January-June) are invited to sign-up for a peer study group!  Click here for additional details and to sign-up!  Sign-ups end November 13.

October 24: IU Maurer: Name, Image Likeness Initiative | 6:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 25: A Fireside Chat with Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lisa Holder White | 12:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 25: Test Anxiety Program | 1:00 pm Lincoln Hall 1027. For more information, click here.

October 25: Mental Health Fair | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm in Illini Union. For more information, click here.

October 25: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

October 25: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Addressing Body Image | 7:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 26: Business Majors Only: Pre-Law Advising Information Session at the GIES Undergraduate Success Lab | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm In Person – Business Instructional Facility 1401. For more information and to register, click here.

October 26: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 5:00 pm BIF 1041. For more information, click here.

October 27: DEADLINE! Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans | For more information, click here.

October 27: Beinecke Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 27: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO) series“Feeling Overwhelmed and Looking to Get ‘Unstuck?'” | 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information, click here.

October 27: IU Maurer: Family Office Program| 5:00 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 27: Roosevelt University Paralegal Studies Program Information Session | 6 pm ONLINE. For more information, click here.

October 27: Atlanta’s John Marshall Virtual Open House | 6 pm on Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

October 27: The World of Patent Law: A Panel Presentation | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Online. Sponsors: Council on Intellectual Property, NYC Bar Association and the Office of Preprofessional Advising, Berick Center for Student Advising, Columbia University. To learn more and register, click here.

October 27: APPtitude certificate program Information Session | 12:00 pm via Zoom. Pre-registration is not required, click here for additional information.  For students with anticipated graduation dates of December 2024, May 2025, or August 2025. 

October 28: Application for TRIALS 2023, hosted by NYU School of Law opens | for more details, click here.

October 28: APPtitude certificate program Information Session (ENCORE) | 10:00 am via Zoom. Pre-registration is not required, click here for additional information. For students with anticipated graduation dates of December 2024, May 2025, or August 2025. 

October 28: ONLINE Beinecke Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am on Zoom. For more information and to attend, click here.

October 28: AccessLex Webinar – Building Your Law School Budget | 11:00 am ONLINE. For more information and to register, click here.

October 28: Beinecke Scholarship Workshop | 3:00 pm in 514 IUB. For more information, click here.

October 29: Sophomore Super Saturdays | Hosted by CLEO and co-hosted by the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and DePaul University College of Law. For more information and to register, click here.

October 29: Road to Law School | Hosted by CLEO and co-hosted by the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and DePaul University College of Law. For more information and to register, click here.

October 29: Juniors Jumpstart the LSAT | Hosted by CLEO and co-hosted by the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and DePaul University College of Law. For more information and to register, click here.

October 31: DEADLINE! Good Works Scholarship | For more information. click here.

October 31: Acing Your Interview | 5:00 pm in Career Center Conference Room 143. For more information, click here.

October 31: Internship with the Office of Congressman Sean Casten in Washington D.C. and Glen Ellyn, IL | Applications are due November 11, 2022. For more information and to apply, click here

October 31: UChicago Law Admissions On-Campus Visit | 12:15 pm – 4:00 pm – To learn more, click here.

Researching Law Schools

Whether you are planning to apply during the current application cycle or are beginning to prepare for a future year, determining what is important to you in a law school and assessing what individual law schools can offer is an important step in your admissions process. 

What to look for…

Deciding what to look for in a potential law school requires an assessment of your goals and priorities.  As you consider your choice in law school you should include the following in your list of potential goals:

  • Academic Opportunities
  • Geographic Location Present & Future
  • Affordability
  • Career Goals
  • School Size

Learn more about each of these goals and more at our prior blog post “Where to Apply”.

Getting started…

In setting your ultimate goals for your law admission process, the first step is often getting familiar with law schools to more fully understand what legal education has to offer.  Every school has its own unique strengths and characteristics.  Learning about different law schools is an excellent place to start in developing a list of goals that are important to you. Here are a list of resources and tips for getting started in your research.

Connect at a law fair!

Law fairs can provide one of the best ways to begin your exploration and research into law schools.  It provides you the opportunity to gather information and insights from a large number of diverse schools, from across the country, in a short amount of time!

There are many options to attend law fairs each year in both in-person and virtual format!  UIUC students can attend the Illinois Law Fair on September 28 at the Illini Union!

Not on campus?  Not a problem!  LSAC hosts both in-person and virtual forums each year at locations around the country. Check out the list of 2022-2023 dates online.

LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools:

The LSAC Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools is a wonderful database that allows you to search for law schools based on a number of criteria including location, your GPA/LSAT, and program.  LSAC also offers a few specifically targeted resources to help students in their research:

ABA 509 Disclosure Reports

Law schools must report data to the American Bar Association (ABA) each year which is then compiled into what are known as “509 Reports”.  This data includes information regarding career placement, bar passage, admissions, scholarship and financial aid, academics, and student body profile information.  These are one of the best resources for reaching schools.  We encourage you to look up 509 Reports on any school you are interested in.  Please note profile data for students beginning in Fall 2022 will be reported by October 5 and published publicly in the following weeks.

Access Lex – Xplore JD

Access Lex provides many resources to assist aspiring law students, including Xplore JD! Xplore JD is a free, online database that allows users to search for potential law schools based on five primary factors/goals including Location, Cost, Academic and Student Experience, Diversity, and Outcomes. Your answers to questions on these five criteria will be assessed and you will be matched with potential law schools that match your goals! This is an excellent tool to discover new law schools and assess how suited certain schools are to your goals and needs.

Law School Transparency

Law School Transparency (LST) has long compiled and made available important data and information on law schools to assist law school applicants in navigating the law admissions process. Recently acquired by LSAC, LST continues to provide extremely helpful data and information to applicants. Through LST you can build a customized list of schools by providing details and information about your goals. Your personal report will provide suggestions on law schools and also allow you to do quick comparisons amongst your top choice institutions on data related to cost, job placement, bar passage and more! Please note you will be required to log-in to your LSAC account to utilize the personal search options.

Ranking Lists

Choosing a school based on ranking alone can result in a very unbalanced decision that leaves you attending a school that ultimately does not best support your individual needs and goals.  However, organizations that provide such rankings do gather a large amount of information about individual schools which can be researched quickly including specialized programs, average starting salaries, and average debt for graduates.  Ranking lists can be a good way to get a broad perspective on schools or quickly find more specific details about programs.  Use these resources with caution and be sure to understanding the basis for the conclusions that ranking lists make – researching the details further to make your own conclusions. Always keep in mind that many schools can support your success amongst the nearly 200 ABA-approved schools in the U.S. and ranking should not lead your analysis of whether a law school is a good fit for you!

TIP:  Research a few schools you know nothing about, never heard of, or that are located in a completely different region than you think you would like to be.  Even if you may not ultimately apply to these school, challenging yourself to explore something different is an excellent way to discover different options and possibilities that law schools may offer!

September Snapshot

September 1: Application Deadline! Applications for the Pre-Law Advisory Council are due today! For more information and to apply, please click here.

September 1: DEADLINE! Last day to register for the October LSAT – please visit LSAC for more information.

September 1: Gilman Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm at 1065 Lincoln Hall. For more information, click here.

September 1: We CU Community-Engaged Scholars Information Session | 4pm on Zoom. To register, click here.

September 2: ONLINE Gilman Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am – 10:00 am via Zoom. For more information, click here.

September 2: Gilman Scholarship Workshop Session | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. For more information, click here.

September 6: Career Preparation Workshop at the Career Center715 S. Wright Street from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. For additional information about this opportunity, click here.

September 6: Luce Scholarship Priority Deadline – For more information on this scholarship opportunity, click here.

September 7: Political Science & Economics Fall Kickoff | David Kinley Hall South Lawn, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. For more information, please contact the Economics or Political Science departments.

September 7: IU Maurer School of Law Admissions Info Session | Virtual | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm CT. For more information and to register, click here.

September 7: Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Informational Meeting | Virtual |3:00pm – 4:00pm. Click here for more information and for the Zoom link.

September 8: Gates Scholarship Priority Deadline – For more information about this scholarship opportunity, click here.

September 9: Application Deadline! 2022-2023 Provost’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Board. For additional information about this opportunity, click here.

September 9: Churchill Scholarship Information Session | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. For more information, click here.

September 9: UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program Info Session | Virtual | 12:00pm CST. Click here to attend the session.

September 9 – 10: September LSAT Best wishes to everyone taking the LSAT this weekend!

September 12: Knight Hennessy Scholarship Priority Deadline – For more information about this scholarship opportunity, click here.

September 12: PLAS Workshop – Drafting Your Application at 4:00 pm. To learn more and register, click here.

September 12: Marquette Law Diversity Information Session | 3:30pm – 4:30pm in Eckstein Hall. To learn more and register, click here.

September 12: Application Deadline! Peer Advocate Program. For more information click here.

September 13: FREE LSAT Workshop | 6:00pm – 7:30pm. To register, click here.

September 13: Career Preparation Workshop at the Career Center715 S. Wright Street from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. For additional information about this opportunity, click here.

September 13: Reproductive Justice Collaborative Panel Discussion |4:00pm – 5:30pm at 300 Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois, Champaign. For more information, click here.

September 14: PLAS Workshop – Pre-Law 101| Session One at 5:00 pm. To learn more and register, click here.

September 15: Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Informational Meeting | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at 123 David Kinley Hall.

September 16: Apply for Illinois Club Scholarships! | Applications are due by October 15th. For more information click here.

September 16: Constitution Day 2022: Interpreting the Constitution | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm at the Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Illinois College of Law. Also available to view via Livestream. For more information, click here.

September 16: Conversation Café & Friday Forum |12:00pm – 1:00pm at University YMCA. For more information, click here.

September 18: DEADLINE! Last day to sign up to volunteer at the 2022 Law School Fair – Sign up to volunteer at the Law School Fair! Various shifts are available. To sign up, click here.

September 20: Schwarzman Scholarship Deadline for US/Global Applicants | For more information about this scholarship opportunity, click here.

September 21: PLAS Workshop – Pre-Law 101| Session Two at 5:00 pm. To learn more and register, click here.

September 22: IU Maurer School of Law Admissions Info Session | In-Person|12:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT. For more information and to register, click here.

September 23: Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Informational Meeting | 3:00 – 4:00 pm at 1002 Lincoln Hall.

September 24: Chicago LSAC Law School Forum | 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. To learn more, click here.

September 28: LAW SCHOOL FAIR – Illini Union – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. To learn more click here. No pre-registration is required. Free and open to all!

September 29: DEADLINE! Last day to register for the November LSAT– please visit LSAC for more information.

September 29: Truman Scholarship Information Session | 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm at 514 Illini Union Bookstore. For more information, click here.

September 30: ONLINE Truman Scholarship Information Session | 9:00 am – 10:00 am via Zoom. For more information, click here

September 30: Truman Scholarship Workshop Session | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. For more information, click here.

September 30: DEADLINE! Last day to apply for the Internship with Office of University Counsel | For more information, click here.