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. 

NEW for Spring 2023: Internship Opportunity! Law 199 – Tolerance Means Dialogue Internship | For more information, view the flyer here or visit the website here. For questions, please email Prof. Wilson (wils@illinois.edu) and CC Roxana Madani (rmadan3@illinois.edu).

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.

Pre-Law Registered Student Organizations at UIUC

Looking to get involved?  Want to connect with other pre-law students? Check out details and highlights for the University of Illinois pre-law student organizations!

Click on the button below to view a PowerPoint with information on all the student organizations or scroll down to learn more!

Illinois Trial Team

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “We are a pre-law organization that focuses on creating legal arguments, public speaking, and teamwork. Teams work together to analyze a case, create a theme and theory, and make arguments. We also offer fun social events, networking opportunities, and amazing academic resources.”

Undergraduate Law Review

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “The Review aims to shine a light on legal issues that affect the broader Champaign-Urbana community. We’re comprised of two organizational bodies – the executive board and the editorial board – and spend the year researching, developing, and ultimately writing articles on legal topics.”

Kappa Alpha Pi (KAP)

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “Kappa Alpha Pi is a co-ed professional pre-law fraternity. We strive for excellence in professionalism and with our academics, while also creating a welcoming organization.”

Minority Association for Future Attorneys (MAFA)

Email

Instagram

About: “Founded to assist, support, and advance pre-law students on their journey to law school and becoming successful attorneys.”

Phi Alpha Delta (PAD)

Email

Instagram

About: “Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International is the largest professional law fraternity in the United States. Founded in 1902, P.A.D. has since grown to 717 established pre-law, law, and alumni chapters and over 330,000 initiated members.”

Phi Delta Phi (PDP)

Email

Instagram

About: “Phi Delta Phi is the nation’s oldest legal honor society in continual existence. Phi Delta Phi boasts one of the most impressive lists of alumni out there, offering some of the best membership benefits available, and creating a space for like-minded individuals to gather. Whether you are looking for a place to network, a place to learn, or simply a community of accepting individuals, this organization has something to offer.”

UIUC Pre-Law Club

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “The UI Pre-Law club gives students the opportunity to learn more about their pre-law journey. We host informational events with law school professors and also host LSAT information sessions. Most importantly, we allow students to network with other pre-law students.”

UIUC Pre-Law Honors Society

Email

Website

Instagram

About: “The Pre-Law Honors Society is an organization that brings high-achieving undergraduate students closer to a future in the legal field. We educate members on the requirements and preparation needed to enter law school and a career in law through LSAT prep workshops, law school trips, networking opportunities, guest speakers, social events, and more.”

Women in Law (WIL)

Instagram

About: “Women in Law provides prelaw students insight into the legal world in regard to lobbying, legal review of the law, and gender inequality within the career field itself. We perform legal research, discuss the limitations of women under the law, and make meaningful change/awareness through a variety of methods.”

Women’s Undergraduate Law Society (WULS)

Email

Instagram

About: “WULS creates safe and productive work environments for aspiring law students, provides prelaw resources for all class levels, and creates a network of women who are interested in the legal field.”

Back to School Checklist!

Welcome home to ILLINOIS!  Whether you are a returning student or joining campus for the very first time, we hope you are prepared for a wonderful start to the academic year!  As you say good-bye to the summer and look forward to classes beginning next week, we wanted to share a few beginning of semester check-list items for a successful start to the academic year!

Update Your Resume…

For returning students, this is an ideal time to review your resume and make sure it is current and ready to go for the academic year.  As you review and update, be sure to include:

  • any experiences from the summer – get these items locked in while it is fresh in your mind!
  • upcoming and new leadership positions or campus involvement, and
  • updated academic status or information including GPA, scholarships, awards, and honors.

For individuals applying this application cycle, be sure to set up a time with the PLAS Office to have your resume reviewed.  You can schedule an appointment online at any time!

For new students to campus, be sure to add your new status as an Illinois student to your resume and make room for anticipated activities and experiences this fall!

TIP! If you don’t currently have a resume or feel your resume needs improvement, the Career Center offers a number of resources and advising opportunities to help you get started!

Set Goals…

Being proactive and setting goals is an excellent way to help you prioritize throughout the semester and bring you closer to your overall long-term goals.  Pursuing a path to a legal education takes many years of preparation and development.  Consider setting three goals in areas related to academic, personal, and professional development for this semester.  Whether it be improving your writing through a successful grade in a writing course, creating a consistent exercise plan, or taking on a leadership role, determine a few ways in which you can enhance your skills and experiences this semester.  Keep in mind that whatever goals you set, it is important to be realistic and set expectations that are proportional to the time you have to accomplish them.  

  • Not sure what to do? Feeling overwhelmed?  Don’t hesitate to set up a time to speak to a Pre-Law Advisor – we are happy to help you think through important priorities and goals for this semester. 
  • Tip!  Don’t forget to utilize your department advisor(s) and talk to your professors!  These individuals are exceptional resources to help you manage your academic progress, learn about new opportunities, and plan your future goals!

Mark Your Calendars…

The semester is always full of unexpected opportunities and experiences but creating a strong semester calendar now with important anticipated events, academic work, and obligations can be extremely helpful to your overall goals and success.  Be sure to start the semester off with the following items on your semester calendar:

  • Review your syllabus for each of your classes and mark your calendar now with due dates for big projects and assignments.  Be sure to schedule upcoming reminders several weeks prior to the deadlines to help you manage your various workloads. If you are applying this application cycle, be sure to include goal dates and important LSAT and admission deadlines!
  • Connect with student organizations and be sure to review their schedule of events and programs for those groups you belong to or are interested in. Put event dates on your calendar.  If dates are tentative, but you know the month – mark a reminder for the first day of the month and be sure to update details as they become available.

Join Us! If you are looking to learn more about pre-law organizations, join us on Monday, August 29 at 6 pm for our Pre-Law Student Organization Panel.

  • Participate in Activities on Campus!  One of the most exciting parts of being a student at UIUC is the incredible opportunity to participate in a wide spectrum of activities and events!  Check out the following links to plan ahead for things you would like to participate in!
  • Plan the Personal Stuff:  You will inevitably have important commitments to friends and family throughout the semester.  Be sure to mark important dates on your calendar now so you can plan around these important commitments later.  It is also important to take care of yourself through the semester and make time for things that will contribute to your overall well-being and success.  Be sure to research the many campus resources to help you stay well and be sure to schedule the time to invest in yourself!

Connect with Pre-Law Advising Services! 

Whether you are a freshman student or senior completing your last semester of classes, the PLAS Office is here to help and has something to offer to support you on your pathway to a legal career.  Don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities upcoming the Fall!

  • Want to get involved?  Join us on Monday, August 29 for the Pre-Law Student Organization Panel and learn more about pre-law organizations on campus, how to join, and engage with some of our pre-law student organization leaders.
  • In your freshman or sophomore year?  Check out the Pre-Law 101 Workshop series offered through the fall and spring semesters specifically designed for freshman and sophomore students!
  • Looking for a unique opportunity?  Consider applying for the inaugural Pre-Law Advisory Council.  Applications are due September 1, learn more online!
  • Stop by for a chat!  We are anxious to meet with you and discuss your plans and goals.  Be sure to set up an individual advising session!
  • Save the Date!  Be sure to mark your calendar and plan to join us for the Illinois Law School Fair on September 28.  Join us as we host law schools from across the country here at the Illini Union!

Be sure to check out the Pre-Law website to learn more about the many resources and services available for students and alumni!

Have a Fantastic Start to the Semester!

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.

SUSAN ZIELKE

ManaginG Attorney of the Eastern Regional Office of Land of Lincoln Legal Aid

Learn more about Land of Lincoln by clicking here.

Quick Facts about Susan Zielke
  • Law School: University of Illinois College of Law
  • UIUC Undergraduate Major: English Language and Literature
  • Susan’s Three Words to Describe an Attorney:

Service | Access |  Justice

CHECK OUT THIS INSIGHTFUL INTERVIEW BELOW!  

Q and A with Law School Admission Experts

Meet the Law Admission Experts:

Nicole Vilches

Assistant Dean for Admissions
Chicago-Kent College of Law

Janet L. Hein

Director of Admissions
Indiana University – Maurer School of Law

Rebecca Ray

Assistant Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid
University of Illinois College of Law

Katherine Scannell

Vice Dean for Institutional Success
Washington University School of Law

Read the Q & A:

Q: What do you wish more applicants would do (or not do) in the application process?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “You should create a timeline for applying since advance planning is key in the application process. You should plan to devote about six to eight months to the process, including time to study for the LSAT, prepare your personal statement and resume, request letters of recommendation, research schools, attend law school information sessions, and visit schools in person. It is also important to allocate sufficient time to prepare for the LSAT. You should plan to take the test once and only retake the test if you are fairly certain that your score will improve. You should also take the test early enough in the application cycle that you have time to register for a later exam without significantly delaying your applications. As you complete your applications, you should carefully proofread all of your application materials and make sure that you have fully answered all of the questions. You should also anticipate questions the Admissions Committee might have (for example, a period of weak undergraduate grades) and address those in an addendum. We would much prefer to hear directly from you rather than be left wondering about something in your application.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “DO: Plan ahead and create an “applying to law school” timeline. DO: Speak with a variety of people involved in legal education from a variety of perspectives (pre-law advisors, admissions professionals/counselors, current law students, faculty, alumni, and lawyers) DO: your own self-assessment about your ultimate goals, and is law school the path to achieve them DON’T: use social media for law school research – seek out the experts including your pre-law advisors and law school admissions professionals DON’T: ignore the non-statistical pieces of the application, particularly the personal statement. This is your opportunity to make your “case” for admission by expertly communicating your passion for this path. DON’T: wait late in the cycle to apply! Don’t rush either, but make sure you have a well-planned application timeline so that you apply well before law school priority deadlines.”

  • UIUC:

    “I wish more applicants would take advantage of the resources available to them. UIUC students are very lucky to have a robust and expert Pre-Law Advising department. The flip side of this is that I wish students wouldn’t put so much stock in what they read on the internet about the law school application process. In short, I wish students would rely on the bona fide experts, i.e., Pre-Law advisors, and less on anonymous message boards.”

  • WashU:

    “Apply early! Like most law schools, our application opens on September 1, and our admissions committee makes decisions on a rolling basis. Although we review applications in the same way throughout the cycle – quite frankly, schools have more capacity – and more seats to fill – early on. Confirm whether the schools you are applying to make admissions decisions on a rolling basis, or wait to review applications until later in the cycle. We encourage candidates to supplement their application throughout the cycle with updates to their resume, letters of recommendation, accomplishments, LSAT score, etc. Supplementing also gives candidates an extra touchpoint with an admissions team, and a way to express continued interest. While there are certain pieces of the application that do need to be in final form before submitting – I encourage candidates to view their application as a living document – apply early and supplement, rather than waiting to apply when every piece is complete. WashULaw appreciates knowing about your interest early, even if we need to hold your decision until your application is complete. Be sure to check the preferences of other schools on your list.”

Q: What do you think is the most important thing for freshman and sophomore students to focus on if they have ambitions toward law school?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “It is very important to confirm that the legal profession is the right career path for you before you reach the point of applying to law school. You should look for opportunities to learn about the legal profession. This can be done through joining prelaw groups, attending presentations, conducting informational interviews with attorneys, and through internships and work experience. In addition, many law schools allow prospective students to visit first-year classes. This is a great opportunity to learn what the law school academic experience is like. It is also very important to take classes that will develop the skills that you will use in law school and legal practice. You should take classes that will develop your writing skills as well as your research and analysis skills. Finally, there are costs associated with applying to law school and visiting schools, so it is never too early to start saving funds for this purpose.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL SUCCESS. Grades are extremely important in the application process of course. But take advantage of everything your college has to offer both in and out of the classroom.”

  • UIUC:

    “We are looking for students who make the most of the opportunities in front of them. Your first two years of undergrad are a great time to start doing that! Keeping undergraduate grades as high as possible should be a focus, but not to the exclusion of other activities. Students should be well-rounded. That will look different for every student, but it could be a part-time job, extra-curriculars, or volunteering. None of this needs to be law-focused unless the student wants it to be.”

  • WashU:

    “Pursue curiosities and try different things! Your freshman and sophomore years are opportune times to try your hand at a variety of subjects, and see what fits best. This advice is two-fold: first, if you are interested in the subject area, you will be more motivated to study it; and second, if you study hard, you will (usually) do well in the subject, which translates in your performance….. (do you see the connection here?!) You do not need a political science or history degree to go to law school. WashULaw is looking for students with unique backgrounds who will bring a dynamic perspective to the classroom and broader community. It is not unusual for us to have an entering class with 50 plus different undergraduate majors!”

Q: What is one of the simplest ways an applicant can stand out in a positive way?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “Put together a thoughtful and compelling application package. Everything you include should enhance our understanding of you as a candidate for admission. You should also be strategic about your extracurricular, internship, and work experiences. Think about why you are pursuing those activities and how you are developing as a result of the experiences you are gaining.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “We are not looking for applicants to stand out. We are looking for the best fit for our law school and applicants are also looking at the best law school fit for them. Applicants need to be honest, open, and detailed in all aspects of the application. This can take the form of many things, depending on the context of the applicant’s situation, experiences, and life. This will be apparent in letters of recommendation, resume, and personal statement.”

  • UIUC:

    “Applicants stand out positively for lots of different reasons. The best way to do that is to be authentic to who you are and not try to fit any kind of mold of who you think we’re looking for. Be yourself, and you’ll end up at a law school that is the right fit for you.”

  • WashU:

    “The little things matter! It sounds obvious, but make sure your written materials are typo-free. If you are offered an interview or visit a law school, make sure you put your best foot forward and show that you are happy to be there. Positive energy spreads!”

Q: What is one of the simplest ways an applicant can stand out in a negative way?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “Submitting an application without giving it the proper time and attention. This includes things like typing the entire application in lowercase letters, poor proofreading (especially in supplemental statements), failure to follow the application instructions, and failure to provide full and complete information in response to the application questions. You should take each aspect of the admissions process seriously.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “A poorly communicated application. There are many ways this can go negative such as descending grades (with no explanation), negative letters of recommendation, and/or a poorly written personal statement.”

  • UIUC:

    “The easiest way to stand out in a negative way is to not follow the application directions.”

  • WashU:

    “Project confidence, not arrogance. Also, admissions offices understand candidates are typically applying to more than one school – make sure your written materials include the name of the school you are applying to (and not the name of another school where you are applying…believe me, it happens!).”

Q: What is an example of a good experience or activity to engage in as an undergraduate student to prepare for law school and why?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “As I mentioned earlier, it is important to make sure that the legal profession is the right career path for you before you apply to law school, so anything that will give you insight into the day-to-day practice of law will be helpful. In terms of the admissions process, we don’t have specific activities and experiences that we are looking for since our applicants come from a wide variety of backgrounds. You should pursue activities that are meaningful to you and that align with your interests and career goals.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “An experience that is outside of an applicant’s comfort zone, and communicating that expertly to an admissions committee. This can also take the form of a leadership or leading role in the activity. If the experience was tried and ended up not being a desirable one, that is a lesson as well.”

  • UIUC:

    “Students should be intentional about getting to know their faculty. I’m not a fan of doing things just because you think it will help you get into law school, but this will help you no matter what you decide to do post-undergrad! Go to office hours. Take a second (or third!) class with a professor you enjoyed. From a practical standpoint, this will lay the groundwork for letters of recommendation down the road; however, I suspect most students will value these relationships for reasons beyond a positive letter of recommendation. Being intentional about this process is especially important for students at larger universities, such as UIUC.”

  • WashU:

    “Any opportunities that require extra writing or public speaking experience. Research or TA positions are great. Try out moot court or mock trial. Speech and debate organizations, any publishing opportunities, writing competitions – really any activities that allow you to hone research, writing, analytical, and communication skills. Substantive internships and work experience will also be beneficial. Work experience doesn’t have to be legal.”

Q: What is one thing that many applicants may not know about your school, but you wish they did?

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “Chicago-Kent has outstanding faculty members who excel in teaching and involve students in their research. Our faculty is ranked 40th in the nation based on scholarly impact and we are one of only three law schools in Chicago to be recognized on this assessment of faculty scholarship. As a student at Chicago-Kent, you will have the opportunity to study with professors who are recognized thought leaders and who are dedicated to training the next generation of lawyers. Read more here.

  • IU Maurer:

    “The high level of intellectual engagement coupled with the overwhelmingly strong bonds between students as well as students bonds with faculty, staff, and alumni. Our students are extremely engaged in activities outside the classroom including projects (within the first month of their 1L year), involvement in student organizations, and community involvement. And all in one of the best college towns in the country.”

  • UIUC:

    “Despite being in Champaign-Urbana, we have strong ties to the Chicago legal market. Most of our students work in Chicago post-graduation. That’s not to say that they don’t end up in other markets around the U.S., but Chicago is the third-largest legal market in the country, it is our largest alumni base, and we have a lot of positive brand recognition there. Our students can spend their last semester in Chicago through our Chicago Program.”

  • WashU:

    “WashULaw is adept at helping each individual student find their best path, and being flexible as that path changes. A part of that is our Career Center, which starts working with the incoming class as soon as the applicant is fully committed to WashULaw. This is important because legal recruiting starts very early, and our students go all over the country – typically to over 30 states and several countries each year, including Washington, DC, New York, Texas, California, and Illinois. Because students go everywhere, it is critical that students have an individualized career plan. Speaking of individualized strategy – if you have any questions about WashULaw, the dynamic city of St. Louis and what makes it great, or the law school application process generally, schedule a pop-in or a consultation. No question is too small!”

Final Thoughts

Click on the arrow to see the responses:
  • Chicago-Kent:

    “Founded in 1888, Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology is the second-oldest law school in Illinois. Chicago-Kent’s forward-thinking approach to legal education combines academic rigor with practical training, readying graduates for a rapidly changing legal industry. Our students receive a comprehensive and practice-focused legal writing foundation that empowers them to be successful at every step of their careers. With faculty who are both scholars and practitioners, a dynamic legal externship program, pioneering legal clinics, and award-winning moot court and trial advocacy teams, Chicago-Kent provides students with skills-based learning opportunities that prepare them to practice law in one of the largest legal markets in the U.S. and beyond.”

  • IU Maurer:

    “As a top 20 public law school, we have earned national acclaim for our programs in business, criminal, environmental, intellectual property, tax, and international law. Our unique Legal Professions course is one reason we are considered a top innovative law program. The collegial community fosters an environment in which our students learn about the roles law plays in structuring society. From day-to-day transactions to the most controversial topics of the moment, our remarkable students come together to learn from our faculty and from one another. We have 10,000+ alumni, located across the country and around the world, and include the first African American to serve on any state supreme court, the first Japanese American admitted to the bar in the US, the first woman chief justice of Wisconsin, and the first woman chief justice of Indiana. IU is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful college campuses and college towns in the country!”

  • UIUC:

    “Students are welcome to make an appointment to meet with a member of the admissions team, take a tour with a current student, and/or sit in on a first-year class. Email law-admissions@illinois.edu to schedule an appointment!”

August Snapshot


WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU BACK TO CAMPUS later this month! as you prepare for the semester, be sure to Take advantage of the various pre-law events happening in AUGUST!

August 1: NEW! Application open for the Pre-Law Advisory Council for more information and to apply, please click here.

August 3: Seton Hall Law School: Virtual Social Justice Summer Workshop Series – Networking plus Meet and Greet Session – In-Person (3:00-5:00 p.m. CST) To learn more and register, please click here.

August 6: DEADLINE! Legally BLK Fund Scholarship – Click here to learn more.

August 9: PLAS Workshop: Application Roadmap at 12:00 pm. Click here for additional information. 

August 10:  JD Advising – Free Law Prep Course for Students – The course is designed to support pre-law students in achieving greater academic success in law school. The course is offered on-demand. It is recommended for individuals beginning law school in an upcoming academic year but can be taken by students in any class year.  To learn more, click here.

August 12: Luce Scholars Information Session online at 9:00 am. To learn more, click here.

August 12: August LSAT Begins – Best wishes to all of our students taking the LSAT this weekend!

August 16: PLAS Workshop: Drafting Your Application at 5:30 pm. Click here for additional information. 

August 16: Kaplan Campus Brand Ambassador Hiring Event – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm CT. To learn more and apply, click hereThis position is also posted on the UIUC Handshake page.

August 17: Kaplan Campus Brand Ambassador Hiring Event – 11:00 am – 1:00 pm CT. To learn more and apply, click hereThis position is also posted on the UIUC Handshake page.

August 19: New Student Convocation – Welcome to Illinois!

August 21: QUAD DAY on the Main Quad from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  Quad Day is a great opportunity to meet with current student leaders from registered student organizations (RSOs) here on campus. To learn more, click here.

August 22: First day of class! Welcome!

August 22: Application Deadline! Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell Scholarships Campus Deadline. To learn more, click here.

August 23: Illinois Trial Team Info Night | DKH Room 119 at 6:30 pm. To learn more, view the flyer.

August 24: Illinois Trial Team Info Night | DKH Room 119 at 6:30 pm. To learn more, view the flyer.

August 25: Application Deadline! Schwarzman Scholarship Priority Deadline. To learn more, click here.

August 26: 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.

August 28: Save the Date! 2022 Law School Fair will be on September 28 at the Illini Union. For more information, click here.

August 29: Application Deadline! Fulbright Campus Deadline. To learn more, click here.

August 29: Pre-Law RSO Panel | In-Person | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Everitt Lab 1306. To learn more, click here.

August 30: 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.

August 31: October LSAT Registration Deadline is tomorrow, September 1! To learn more, click here.

August 31: PLAS Workshop: Application Roadmap at 4:00 pm. Click here for additional information. 

Be sure to check back soon…

The Monthly Snapshot is updated weekly throughout the month, be sure to check the Snapshot regularly for new events and programs!