Pre-Law Advising Services – Important Updates for Spring and Summer

Hello Pre-Law Students!

As most of you know, there are big changes coming for the PLAS Office.  Alex Gil, our Graduate Assistant, who is a 3L at the UIUC College of Law, will be graduating in May.  Jamie Thomas-Ward, our long-time Director of Pre-Law Advising Services, took a new position in the LAS Department of Economics in January.  Judy Argentieri, Pre-Law Advisor, is retiring on April 30.  There is a search underway for a new Director of Pre-Law Services, but that person will not be “here” on May 1, when we are all gone. So what are you going to do?

Appointments – Alex will be accepting appointments through this Thursday, April 23, then will be focusing on his law school final exams.  Judy will be taking student appointments through next Wednesday, April 29.  Please go to our online scheduling portal to make appointments.

New Team – As mentioned above, the search for a new Director of Pre-Law Services is ongoing.  The hope/plan is to have that person on board soon, possibly by June 1.  In any event, there will be a new director in place before classes resume in the fall.

In the meantime, when you have pre-law questions….

  1. SEARCH THE PLAS BLOG!! Do not forget to search this blog for any topic related to pre-law.  For example, as you all begin Fall 2020 course registration, you can use our March 30 blog post “Suggestions for Fall 2020 Courses” to assist you. Even some of our older posts, covering a wide variety of topics, can be helpful!
  2. USE THE PRE-LAW HANDBOOK!!  As we have mentioned many, many times, the PLAS Handbook, accessible on our webpage, has answers to a lot of your questions with embedded links to help with your research on a host of issues.  Spend some time reading through it.
  3. USE THE PLAS COMPASS PAGE!!  Our Compass page contains a lot of good information, such as: info on UIUC law school applicants; Pre-Law 101 and Personal Statement short videos; the Jobs/Internship Newsletter; and more!  Not sure how to access it?  Go to the Resources tab on our PLAS webpage, and then scroll all the way to the bottom for instructions on how to add the PLAS Compass page.
  4. KEEP CHECKING THE PLAS FACEBOOK PAGE!!  As updates are available concerning the new PLAS team, this will be the best place for up-to-the-minute information.  Haven’t joined our Facebook page yet?  Ask to join Pre-Law Advising Services at Illinois ASAP!
  5. KEEP CHECKING LSAC.ORG!! LSAT registrants and law school applicants – make sure you check for announcements about LSAT cancellations, LSAT Flex (registration OPENS THIS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22 – TEST TO BE ADMINISTERED MONDAY, MAY 18 OR TUESDAY, MAY 19), law school application changes, etc.  And do not forget that you can access the LSAC’s FREE LSAT Test Prep Class, developed in partnership with Khan Academy, on LSAC’s website.
  6. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!! Now is not the time to be passive.  You must be proactive to stay on top of the constant changes happening here and elsewhere.  Put reminders in your mobile phones to check each of the above resources for important updates and changes!!  Here are a few other areas of interest that most pre-law students want/need to learn more about:
    1. Financing Law School: AccessLex ( Law School Transparency ( Our PLAS resources, including our Handbook, list these and other good sources for information on how to manage the cost of a law school education.
    2. Employment Information: ABA’s website You can also check each individual law school website – this data MUST be published on their websites by ALL ABA-accredited law schools. Articles featured in the and publications, as well as data compiled by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) are also helpful.
    3. LSAT and GPA Medians ABA 509 Report data – ABA’s website here You can also check each individual law school website – this data MUST be published on their websites by ALL ABA-accredited law schools.

Refer back to this post or the PLAS Handbook as questions arise during this transition period.  And stay tuned for announcements and updates related to the new Director of Pre-Law Advising Services!


Mark Your Calendars – Week of February 24

Don’t forget about TODAY’s presentation on law school scholarships by Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean of Admissions at the University of Illinois College of Law, 5pm, Room 514 IUB.  Your should also scroll down for information on: internships, scholarships, a summer job opportunity and more!


Law School Scholarships and Negotiating Aid, featuring Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean of Admissions at the University of Illinois College of Law – TODAY Monday, February 24, 5:00 pm, Room 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building

Law school financial aid works differently from undergraduate scholarships. Rebecca Ray, Assistant Dean of Admissions at University of Illinois College of Law, will be here to share insights into how scholarships are allocated and how to request additional scholarship opportunities. You’ll find out what to ask for, how to phrase these conversations, and what strategies are successful to achieving additional scholarships. Bring your questions and learn how to maximize financial aid for law school!

Legal Internship Opportunity — Holder Law Group, LLP

Holder Law Group, LLP, a young law firm in Champaign-Urbana, is looking for interns who want to be involved in a fast paced, high-tech, multi-area, legal environment. Holder Law Group engages in personal injury, medical malpractice, and civil litigation. Attorneys at Holder Law Group have had experience in both public and private sectors of work, including small and large law firms and are happy to share their knowledge and experience. Interns jobs will vary, and be assigned based on capabilities, but may include medical record organization, filing, abstracting depositions, assisting in trial preparations, Court filings, and attending depositions and Court hearings and legal marketing. Work times are flexible and we are willing to work around your academic schedule. Positions are available for fall, spring, and summer semesters as well as during breaks. Please email resumes and cover letters to Ms. Betsy Holder:  

Undergrad PAID Internship at UIUC in Environmental Humanities for 2020 — 2021 Applications due NEXT MONDAY, March 2, 2020!

Environmental Humanities is environmental studies from a humanistic standpoint. Envrionmental Humanities pulls from different movements (environmental philosophy, environmental history, ecocriticism, cultural geography, anthropology, and others) to study the relationship between humans and non-human nature, past and present. The IPRH-Mellon Environmental Humanities Research Group is composed of professors, post-doctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates from different disciplines who are united by their desire to understand the human place in nature, as well as to examine critically the way people make meaning of it.

The research group seeks three undergraduate interns who will work with the group on their seminars, workshops, and programs for the academic year 2020-2021. Interns will also work with the research group director, Professor A. Naomi Paik, to develop their own research projects as well as a research symposium for undergraduates at the end of the spring semester.

Interns will work approximately 10-11 hours per week, paid at the rate of $15.75 per hours, and will have up to $600 to support their research. Applicants must be juniors or seniors the year of the internship. For more information and to apply,  go here.  Remember: The application deadline is 5:00pm on Monday, March 2! Please address questions to: Dr. Nancy Castro, at


The Career Center offers regular opportunities for resume, cover letter and Linked In reviews. In addition, here is one workshop that might be of interest to those of you considering international law.

Global Careers: Internships at UN Agencies – Thursday, February 27, 6-7pm, The Career Center Interview Suite, Room 213, 616 East Green Street

For a complete list of upcoming Career Center events, go here.


The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is now accepting submissions for the 2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS), set for Thursday, April 30Deadline for submitting an application to the URS is THIS Sunday, March 1, 2020, at 11:59 pm. The application can be found here. 

The URS is the signature event of Undergraduate Research Week (April 26-May 2, 2020), and brings together students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, as well as corporate partners and sponsors, to learn more about undergraduate research and its potential to change the world. Students are encouraged to apply even if titles or abstracts have not yet been finalized – they can be edited.  Need help?  Attend the workshop on “Proposal Writing in Undergraduate Research” this Thursday, February 20, 3-4:30pm, Lincoln Hall Room 1002, described above.  Just make sure the application is successfully submitted by March 1!


The Wisconsin Statewide Pre-Law Diversity Day is set for THIS Friday, February 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This event is open to all students. For more information and to register, visit their website here.  Cosponsored by the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School, this FREE event includes lunch and:

  • an update on law school admissions in Wisconsin featuring the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University Law Schools;
  • breakout workshops featuring a mock class for students ; and
  • law school fair featuring admissions representatives from law schools around the country.  Click here for a list of law schools that participated in last year’s event.

Minnesota Pre-Law Scholars Summer Program – Applications Due March 6!

Minnesota Pre-Law Scholars (MPLS) is a program that offers a select number of students a free LSAT prep class each summer at the University of Minnesota Law School. Admission is highly selective and based on a holistic review of the MPLS application material.

College students considering law school, especially rising seniors and those from groups historically underrepresented in law school, are encouraged to apply. The program is open to undergraduate students and recent graduates from any undergraduate institution.

Students will learn about law school admissions preparation from Minnesota Law School staff. The remaining portion of class, taught by an instructor from The Princeton Review, will be dedicated to LSAT preparation and practice exams. Some daytime events such as law firm visits will also be offered. Three (3) excused absences will be allowed during the summer session.

There is no cost to participate in MPLS. However, participants must submit a $100 seat deposit which is fully refundable upon successful completion of the program. All books and study materials will be provided.  The program will run from June to mid-August 2020.

To learn more about MPLS or to apply, click on this link:

Harvard Law School Junior Deferral Program – Webinar THIS Thursday, February 27, 5-6pm CST (6-7pm EST)

As an undergraduate student thinking about what comes after graduation, you may find yourself ready to apply to law school and also excited to explore other professional, educational, or service opportunities. You may know you want to go to law school and also want to teach for a few years, garner business or legal skills in the workforce, pursue a master’s degree, or embark on a mission trip. Harvard Law School’s Junior Deferral Program offers you that flexibility and breadth of opportunity. Apply to HLS when you are a college junior scheduled to complete coursework and graduate in spring 2021, and, if admitted, commit to defer that offer of admission for a minimum of two years after completing your undergraduate degree. You may use the deferral period to explore your broad interests before returning to the classroom.  Join us, as well as students who participated in this program, for a webinar this THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, about this exciting application pathway.

Please register for this online information session at:

Note: This session will be hosted on Zoom. Full instructions on how to access the session will be sent to you after you have registered for the event.

For more information about the HLS Junior Deferral Program, go here.


Fred S. Bailey International Service Travel Scholarship for Cause-Driven Leaders — DUE TODAY!!

This program offers scholarships of $600-1800 dollars to University of Illinois undergraduate and Master’s level graduate students leading international service projects who plan to travel within the specified period.  Recipients will be selected on the basis of their demonstrated commitment to the project/program, long-term career goals in international development or related fields, the trip’s potential impact on the student’s learning and professional development, potential for positive impact on the host community and financial need. If selected, all recipients must participate in a 7-week online pre-departure course.  (For trips that occur between May 1, 2020 – January 17, 2021)

Application Deadline: TODAY, February 24, 2020

To learn more and apply, visit:

Contact: Kasey Umland

Director, Bailey Scholarship Program, University YMCA


Fred S. Bailey Unpaid Internship Scholarship Program – Applications Due April 7

The University YMCA’s Fred S. Bailey Unpaid Internship Scholarship program provides scholarship funding to students who accept unpaid internships with public service agencies and not for profit organizations.  These internships provide an opportunity for students to complement their academic preparation with direct practical experience. The effort to combine a productive work experience with an intentional learning component is a proven method for promoting the academic, personal, and career development of students.

Students will be selected on the basis of their demonstrated commitment to community development, service, and activism and the internship’s potential impact on the student’s learning and professional development as well as financial need.

Award Amount: The University YMCA’s Fred S. Bailey Unpaid Internship Scholarship program provides $1000 scholarships for part-time unpaid internships and $2500 for full-time unpaid internships.  A full-time internship shall be defined as any internship that requires 30 or more work hours/week on average. A part-time internship shall be defined as an internship that requires less than 30 work hours/week on average but a minimum of 125 total work hours over the course of the internship.  The minimum length of both part-time and full-time internships to be funded is 8 weeks.  Awards are made directly to the student, not the organization sponsoring the internship.

Eligibility/Qualifications: The internship must meet certain criteria as listed below.

Internship activities that are eligible for funding: program development; fundraising; projects; generating marketing plans; designing posters; conducting studies and surveys; developing presentations; creating social media sites; preparing budgets and financial reports & more!

Internship activities that are ineligible for funding: primarily administrative responsibilities such as mailings, data entry, etc.; internships at for-profit businesses (except where exemptions are granted by the Bailey Scholarship committee); internships without clear learning opportunities; internships without supervision/mentorship; student teaching, internships, and other activities that are required for graduation.

For more information and to apply, go here.

La Casa Cultural Latina Scholarship – Application Now Open!  All applications due by 5pm on Friday, March 20!


AccessLex Institute – LexScholars Applications Due April 1!

AccessLex Institute is accepting applications for LexScholars by AccessLex, an innovative new diversity pipeline initiative focused on developing sustainable models for improving access to law school.

LexScholars is for prospective law students from underrepresented racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds who possess the potential for law school success but may be unlikely to gain admission due to unfavorable LSAT scores and/or undergraduate grades.

Participants will benefit from access to various resources, including LSAT preparation, law school admissions counseling, financial education, writing skills development and wellness training. And there are no costs associated with the program for participants.

There are eligibility requirements, and students will need two recommender assessments to apply.

Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, April 1Click on this link for more information and to apply!


The 17th Annual Illinois Latino Law Forum – NEXT Saturday, March 7, 2020, DePaul University College of Law

The Illinois Latino Law Student Association (ILLSA) is a coalition of Latinx law students dedicated to increasing diversity in law school. ILLSA takes great pleasure in announcing the 17th Annual Illinois Latino Law Forum that will take place on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at DePaul University College of Law in downtown Chicago.

We cordially invite high school and college students to participate in this pipeline program – offered at no cost – designed to encourage more Latino/as to consider the field of law as a profession by exposing them to the value of a legal education and a career in the field of law.

Guest speakers include: judges; practicing attorneys; law school administrators, including one of only a very small number of Latina law school Deans in the country; government lawyers, and many other inspiring professionals.

This event is free to attend but advanced registration is required!

In conjunction with the Law School Admission Council’s DiscoverLaw Program, we are pleased to offer the following highlights for the ILLSA Forum:

Illinois Latino Law Forum Highlights

·         Breakfast and lunch

·         Introduction to the study of law from the perspective of Latino/a judges and attorneys

·         Mock law school class taught by a DePaul Law professor

·         Tips and advice from law school admission professionals about the law school applicatoin and financial aid process

·         Opportunity to meet with members of the current Illinois Latino/a legal community, from judges and professors, to lawyers and current law students;

·         Law school information fair with various law schools present and the chance to obtain materials and ask further questions about the law school admissions process

·         Opportunity for college students to sign-up for a mentorship program and meet their law student mentor

·         Opportunity for college juniors, senior and recent graduates to apply for scholarships

Register today to meet some of the most influential Latinx attorneys in our country and be encouraged to become a part of the legal profession.

For directions to DePaul College of Law, visit our website.  There is ample parking at a number of public parking lots in the vicinity of the law school and multiple forms of public transportation.

For questions or require additional information, please contact

DGS Summer Peer Advisors – Information Session TOMORROW, Tuesday, February 25, 9-10 am Room 504 Illini Union Bookstore Building

The Division of General Studies (DGS) is seeking undergraduate student leaders interested in serving as DGS Summer Peer Advisors.  Candidates must be available for full day training May 18-21, 2020.  Peer advisors will be responsible for working approximately 20-25 hours per week from June 1-July 9, 2020.  The pay for this position is $10 per hour.

In addition to the information session listed above, there will be another information session on Wednesday, March 4, 3:30pm-4:30pm in IUB 504.

Required qualifications:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with others
  • Knowledge of the Course Explorer website
  • Knowledge of UI Integrate Self Service
  • Successfully pass a background check
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 or above

Preferred qualifications:

  • Former DGS student
  • Familiarity of ICT process
  • Knowledge of Illinois general education requirements
  • Junior or Senior class standing for Fall 2020
  • Demonstrated leadership experience
  • GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Attend a peer advisor informational session

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume and three reference to Jessica Arnold, by 5pm on March 23, 2020.  Applications received after 5pm will not be considered.







Summer Pre-Law Programs

Summer Pre-Law Programs

Summer pre-law programs are an excellent opportunity for undergrads to learn more about law school! Some are free and other programs have fees and a cost for students to attend. These programs are a different way to explore being pre-law during the summer months. These programs are a solid addition to a resume, but are in no way mandatory for a pre-law student.

Some universities offer pre-law programs on their campuses. This is a way for you to learn more about law school, visit a law school and campus, and learn more about law school in a structured setting. If you are considering attending law school at any of the schools below, these summer pre-law programs are an excellent way to get your foot in the door and experience what your life could be like there throughout law school. In addition, some schools (a few are listed in this blog post) partner with LSAC to offer Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) programs.  Click here to learn more!

Here is information about five pre-law summer programs, three of which are FREE or low cost.  There are many other programs in many other locations in addition to these five, which are provided on our Compass page. (Not a member of our Compass page? Follow these easy steps to add yourself.)

IIT Chicago-Kent

Program: Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program

Dates: Sunday, May 31, to Friday, June 19, 2020

Cost: FREE

Location: Chicago, IL

Application Deadline: February 28, 2020 — Click here to access

Program Information:  The PLUS program is a free, three-week summer program that will: provide participants with a deeper understanding of legal education via the program’s rigorous doctrinal and experiential skills-based curriculum; help participants develop essential core competencies needed to succeed in the law school application and admissions process, as well as insight into navigating the process; and expose students to a wide range of career paths within the legal profession.

Students must attend all classes and participate in all program activities in order to be accepted and to receive a stipend. This is a full-time commitment. Therefore, students must be available during the day and some evenings, and have no outside commitments that would prevent them from giving the program their full attention. Students must agree to provide PLUS administrators with education and career updates after completion of the program.

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Program: Robert H. McKinney School of Law Summer Law and Leadership Academy

Dates:  June 1-6, 2020 (Sunday May 31 – Move In Day)


Location: Indiana University – Robert H. McKinney School of Law – Indianapolis

Application Deadline: April 3, 2020 — Click here to access

Program Information: The Robert H. McKinney School of Law Summer Law and Leadership Academy is a one-week experience designed to introduce undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to law school and various careers that they may pursue with a law degree. If you are selected for the Law and Leadership Academy, you will learn about hot topics in the law and strengthen your academic skills.

University of Minnesota Law School

Program: Minnesota Pre Law Scholars Program (MPLS)

Dates:  Early June – Mid August 2020

Cost:  Participants must submit a $100 seat deposit which is fully refundable upon successful completion of the program. All books and study materials will be provided.

Location: University of Minnesota

Application Deadline: March 6th, 2020 — Click here to access

Program Information: College students considering law school, especially rising seniors and those from groups historically underrepresented in law school are encouraged to apply. The program is open to undergraduate students (and recent alums) from any undergraduate institution.

Cornell University Summer Pre-Law Program and Internship

Dates: June 8 – July 17, 2020

Cost: $6,830 (Participants will receive 4 course credits)

Location: New York City

Application Deadline: April 1, 2020

Program Information: During the first three weeks of the program, you’ll be enrolled in the four-credit course The American Legal System, taught by  attorney C. Evan Stewart using the Socratic method practiced at most U.S. law schools.

During the second three weeks of the program, if you’ve received an internship placement*, you’ll devote full days to your internship, which may be at a law firm or in the legal department of a corporation, government agency, or nonprofit organization. A final exam will take place during the week of June 29, 2020, exact date is TBD.

Click here for more information and to apply.

Duke University School of Law

D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy

Dates: July 6-16 or July 20-30, 2020

Cost: $600 for a single course; $400 for each additional course

Enrollment Deadline: Enrollment is now open!

Program Information: Classes will be limited in size in order to facilitate interaction between faculty members and students. Registration and tuition will include weekly special events for program participants and written and other course materials. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will be awarded a certificate endorsed by the Dean of Duke Law School, Kerry Abrams, and Faculty Director of the Institute, Neil Siegel.

The 2020 program will take place over the weeknights of two, two-week sessions: July 6-16, 2020, and July 20-July 30, 2020; classes meet on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, with Wednesday evenings reserved for special programs. D.C. Institute classes will be held at Duke in DC, located at 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Courses will introduce participants to legal reasoning, US constitutional law, with a focus on timely subjects such as the constitutionality of affirmative action programs, current topics in race, elections, and politics. Click here for more information and to enroll.

LSAC Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) at Duke Law School

Dates: May 31-June 26, 2020

Cost: FREE

Application Deadline: March 16, 2020

Program Information: The PLUS Program enrolls 20 to 40 students per year with the ideal candidate being a strong student who is ready to work hard, engage in coursework, and is interested in the access this program provides toward preparing for a legal education.

The PLUS Program is open to students who have completed their freshman or sophomore years at four-year colleges and universities, technical colleges and community colleges. Eligible students will have completed between 24 and 60 credits by the start of the PLUS Program. The program focuses on attracting promising students from groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession, first generation college students and those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as students facing other significant barriers to entering the legal profession. For more information and to apply, click on this link.


Build that Law School Resume – Look for Internships and RSO Opportunities NOW!

Law schools are especially interested in applicants who have some experience in legal related positions.  The sooner you get that experience, the better!  Your campus involvement and leadership are also important factors considered in the review of your applications.  Here are some ideas and opportunities to help you build a strong law school resume.

Local Opportunities. Internships can be really helpful to you and are valued by the law schools as part of your overall applicant profile.  As we posted earlier this week, there are events and opportunities on campus for law-related internships, even some paid ones! Go here and scroll down for more information about current openings on campus in the University Counsel’s Office and Environmental Humanities, as well as one in a local law firm.

Summer Internships. If you would rather look into summer internships, the time for action is now.  We published our PLAS Jobs and Internship Newsletter on Compass in December.  Go here to access it.  Note – many summer internships have deadlines in the next few weeks.

Resume Help. Interested in finding a job or internship but not sure how to craft a strong resume and make yourself competitive?  Then mark your calendars for next week’s PLAS workshop, Get That Law-Related Internship or Job — Wednesday, January 29, 5:00pm, 514 IUB.

Whether you are a sophomore applying for summer internships or a senior applying to post-graduation jobs, this workshop is for you! We will help you draft a resume and learn important skills for effectively finding and landing law-related internships and jobs!

We will cover:

  • Resume tips for applying to law-related jobs/internships, including what to avoid, what to include, how to structure it, and more. Bring your resume!
  • How to find law-related internships and jobs, including what to look for, where to look, and how to enhance your application
  • How to create effective cover letters that lawyers will read
  • What kinds of transferrable skills to highlight

Join us as we provide inside insight into how exactly to land a meaningful internship or job in the legal world.

Student Organizations. Maybe you already have an internship and are looking for a student group to join.  You are in luck!  The RSO Involvement Fair is TOMORROW, Thursday, January 23, 11am-3pm, Illini Union (I-Rooms, South Lounge, Courtyard Cafe).  This is a great opportunity to learn about the hundreds of registered student organizations on campus and possibly find one to join.  You should think in terms of getting involved with 2-3 meaningful extracurriculars while a student at UIUC. Clubs, volunteering, working on campus, mentoring, tutoring, etc., are all great options.

Remember – it is never too early to start building that law school resume so don’t miss out on these great opportunities!