Harvard Law School Junior Deferral Program Details

Now in its second year, Harvard Law School (HLS) offers a unique opportunity for JUNIORS to apply to Harvard Law and, if admitted, defer for 2 years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree and then start law school.

For this year’s applicants the timeline would look like this:

Apply Spring 2019
Graduate by Spring 2020
Work/go to graduate school/Fulbright, etc. until Fall 2022
Start Harvard Law School in Fall 2022
Graduate from law school in Spring 2025

Admitted applicants in this program must defer for 2 years after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. However, they can essentially do anything they wish during the 2 year deferral. For example, some will work in the private or public sector, some will secure academic fellowships such as Fulbright opportunities, and others will complete different graduate degree programs. (We’ve included some examples below of what Illini have done prior to entering law school–not necessarily Harvard, although we do have several students/alumni admitted there each year.)

Eligibility: Applicants must be currently enrolled at a college or university and set to graduate in Spring 2020 with a bachelor’s degree. Applicants must be committed to deferring law school for 2 years, as this is a requirement and this program does not allow starting law school sooner.

Application Process: Applications open March 1, 2019 and are due by May 1, 2019.

Steps to apply:

  1. Register for the Law School Admission Council’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) account. Click here to learn more about the CAS.
  2. Applicants must submit EITHER a valid GRE or LSAT score.

    The LSAT
    is offered on March 30, 2019. Registration is open here until February 20, although some sites are already full.Applicants taking the GRE are strongly advised to take it prior to April 15 so that results can arrive by the May 1 deadline. The GRE is offered more often in specialized computer labs; find locations and registration here.
  3. Obtain 2-3 letters of recommendation. Have your recommenders upload their letters to your CAS account.
  4. Order a transcript and submit it to your CAS account.
  5. Draft a personal statement and resume. It’s a good idea to make an appointment with a pre-law advisor to get feedback on your statement and resume.
  6. Complete the application (uploading your personal statement and resume) online through your CAS account, and pay the $85 application fee.

Selected applicants will then be invited to interview. If accepted into this program, you would complete your senior year as usual. Then you would have your 2 years of deferral to work, etc. before starting law school.

Who is a good candidate for this program? According to HLS Admissions, applicants accepted through this program submitted applications demonstrating a clear sense of purpose with internships or other elements supporting their stated path. An example of an applicant admitted last year: An environmental science student with internships and research in that area who wants to practice environmental law.

HLS also says that good candidates answer an emphatic YES to the following 3 questions:

  1. Do I want to attend law school?
  2. Do I want to attend Harvard Law School?
  3. Do I want to do something else prior to law school?

We strongly advise interested applicants to participate in an online info session like the one listed below to learn more about what HLS seeks in its candidates.

Where can you find out more information?

What kinds of things have Illini done after undergrad and prior to entering law school? Almost everything. Some examples include:

  • Any and all kinds of work experience, including:
    • Sales
    • Work for a nonprofit or state or federal government
    • Financial consulting
    • Teach for America
    • Work as a Project Assistant at a law firm
    • Teach English abroad
    • Retail jobs
    • Nanny
    • Work as a bank teller
    • Restaurant or hotel jobs
    • Advertising or marketing
    • Journalism–tv, online, and print formats
  • Travel
  • Complete a fellowship such as a Fulbright or Rhodes scholarship. For more details visit the National & International Scholarships Program.
  • Complete another graduate program, such as an MSW, MFA, MBA, or MS/MA.
  • Make a 1-2 year commitment to AmeriCorps or Peace Corps.
  • Serve the state legislature through the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program
  • Serve the Illinois Governor through the Dunn Fellows program
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Our Favorite Pre-Law Things: Winter Break Edition

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…wait, those are from the Sound of Music. Here are a few of our favorite pre-law things–just in time for you to explore them over winter break.

Taking a break
After a long semester, we all need a break! (Hamilton fans will remember Eliza begging Alexander to take a break…with disastrous results when he did not.) Note that Pre-Law Services will be closed from December 24 until January 2, when we will open again for appointments. We will be available for appointments over winter break again starting on January 2, so if you are working on your law school applications or personal statement over break, you can still schedule a phone appointment by calling 217-333-9669!  On January 14 we will be back to our regular semester schedule.

Reading for fun with Goodreads and NPR’s Book Concierge
Most lawyers enjoy reading, especially when it’s a great novel and not the Tax Code. (Side bonus: Reading widely and often is recommended by the writers of the LSAT to improve performance.) Goodreads makes reading even more fun by allowing its users to document and review the books you’ve read, get book recommendations, and set and track your personal reading goal with its yearly Reading Challenge. Looking for some interesting and recent book recommendations? Check out NPR’s Book Concierge, which lets users search by your favorite genres to find recently published recommendations. And speaking of recent books…

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Regardless of your political affiliation, this book contains a thoughtful and thorough reflection of Mrs. Obama’s entry into and ultimate exit out of the legal profession. A successful Princeton undergrad, upon reflection she concludes that applying to law school for her was more out of expectation than passion. She candidly writes about her legal career, including her lack of fulfillment at a law firm, and about how and why she ultimately left the practice of law. While she is certainly high profile, her experience is not uncommon in the legal world, and reading about her professional path provides excellent food for thought for those considering law school: What are you passionate about? How might law school lead to work in those areas? Is law truly your calling or just “the next logical step” for a smart and successful student? What steps can you take to find out more about the legal profession? What do other legal jobs look like beyond the traditional practice of law?

…And we recommend exploring the following websites

The Making the Most of Your Major Blog
We love the Department of English’s Making the Most of Your Major blog. Covering all kinds of topics, from how to reassure your family that you’ll be gainfully employed, to how to network with professors, to presenting professional paths you may have never considered, this is a great blog to read whether or not you are an English major. Winter break is a great time to catch up on previous entries. (And naturally we recommend catching up on this very Pre-Law blog…did you know that you can search for topics in the search box to the left and read about everything from internships to LSAT to course options?)

The Girl’s Guide to Law School
Many pre-law students are so focused on getting into law school that they don’t consider what it will actually be like once you’re there, or after you’re done. This website presents thoughtful, realistic perspectives on whether law is right for you (including their podcast, the article Should You Go to Law School?, and their series on Law School Myths), how to get through law school (with articles on law school pressures and exploring areas of law), and building a post-law school career (leaving litigation, non-traditional law careers). This is a great resource–not just for girls–for anyone considering law school.

Michigan Law’s Debt Wiz Calculator
While it may not exactly be FUN to calculate future law school debt, what we like about this debt wizard is that it allows future lawyers to consider what KIND of legal employment you’re seeking and in what METRO AREA for a nuanced view of what your debt repayment will look like. If nothing else, users can begin to see the distinctions between expected incomes and the impact of cost of living in a variety of cities (hint: the city where you live makes a huge difference).

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing over this winter break, we wish you a joyful holiday season and some fun and relaxing down time!




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Mark Your Calendars – Week of November 26

Welcome back students!  We hope you had a very relaxing break.  Scroll down for information about the last PLAS event of the semester, law school admissions webinars and more.

PLAS Event

Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume for Law School TOMORROW – Tuesday, November 27, 4-5pm, 514 Illini Bookstore Building

This workshop will discuss how to draft a personal statement and resume for a law school application. We will cover:

  • Ideas for personal statement topics
  • How to get started writing it
  • What to include and exclude
  • Length, structure, and formatting details
  • Law school resume tips
  • How to have the resume and personal statement coordinate; and
  • A 5 step plan for writing the personal statement and resume.

We still have room for workshop participants on a first come, first served basis. So if this is something in which you have an interest, please come by!

Career Center Events

Click here to visit the Career Center’s website for more information or to register for these sessions.

International Student Career Meetup – Nov. 29, 4-5:30pm, TCC Interview Suite 213, 616 East Green Street

Join us for an informal gathering where international students can talk with alumni, recruiters, or current international students who have successful job search stories. Information on invited speakers will be posted on Handshake. Open to all international students. Due to limited space, registration through Handshake is required.

Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews

  • Nov. 26 , 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
  • Nov. 27, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
  • Nov. 28, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center, 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
  • Nov 29, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
  • Nov. 30, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center

Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals – Applications Due December 12

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until December 12th for 2018-2019 Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals! Complete your application here.

The Social Justice Educator Paraprofessional Program is a 3-semester peer education program powered by students for students. The Social Justice Education Paraprofessional Program is designed to promote diversity and student leadership by providing intensive training for students in areas of knowledge, awareness, and skills related to issues of diversity and social justice. Through this program, paraprofessionals serve as a campus leaders in social justice by developing and facilitating educational programs for the campus. Social Justice Education Paraprofessionals receive 11 advanced credit hours in Psychology. For more information, click on this link.

NYU Law Admissions Office – Online Information Sessions

These presentations will be a special broadcast of a live information session with an admissions representative. Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions about NYU’s curriculum, student life, and the admissions process via the online chat tool. The Online Information Sessions will be held at the following times (all times are Eastern Time):

  • Wednesday, December 5 at 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, January 10 at 12:00 pm

Please register for one of the Online Information Sessions. Registrants will receive access instructions the day before the online session. If you have any questions, please let us know at law.moreinfo@nyu.edu.

Harvard and Yale Law School Online Webinars

Harvard and Yale Law School would like to invite to you to participate in their Online Information Sessions. Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions about the universities curriculum, student life, and the admissions process. Follow the link to register for these events.

Harvard: https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/jdadmissions/connect-with-admissions-online-events/

Yale: https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admissions/recruiting-schedule

Scholarships–Now is a great time to apply!

DUE DEC. 8–University of Illinois Latina/Latino Alumni Association Scholarship. Open to Latina/Latino undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the 2018-2019 academic school year. In honor of our ten year anniversary and thanks to a generous donor, IllinoisLLAA is able to grant two $5,000 scholarships to either an undergraduate or graduate student, one of which is reserved for an undocumented student. Click here to apply.

DUE DEC.31–Health and Wellness $2,000 Scholarship. Available to students enrolled at an accredited college or university. You must have at least a 3.4 GPA and submit an essay of 800-1000 words, promoting a practical approach to healthy lifestyle during college years and how these habits can be sustained over a lifetime. Additionally, you must demonstrate detailed knowledge of health and wellness and discuss why healthy living is a lifetime endeavor. Click here to apply.  

DUE JAN. 19–Virginia M. Wagner Educational Award. Open to female students in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin who are attending college/university in pursuit of a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree. Click here to apply.

DUE MARCH 19–Create-a-Greeting-Card $10,000 Scholarship. Open to currently enrolled high school and college students in the United States. To enter, you must design a holiday, get well, or birthday greeting card and submit your work to be judged. Your photo, art, or graphics submitted must be your own original work and you must be at least 14 years of age to be eligible for this award. Click here for more details.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Campus Deadline: TODAY, November 26, 2018

The Goldwater is for juniors or exceptional sophomores who are current U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or resident aliens. The Goldwater awards one- or two-year $7,500 awards to students who demonstrate strong evidence of contributing to the technological advances of the U.S. Applicants should be committed to pursuing a Ph.D in the research fields of mathematics, sciences, or engineering. Go here for more information.

Interested in other scholarships? PLAS has collected information on over 150 scholarships–for both undergrads and incoming law students–on our Scholarships Spreadsheet over on our Pre-Law Compass page. It’s a wide variety of scholarships based on everything from being left-handed to making a video to tweeting, and deadlines vary, so check it out!

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Spring 2019 Course Options for Pre-Law Students

Spring 2019 Registration Time Tickets – Available to View Starting Monday, October 22!

Registration is almost here.  And every semester around this time, our office hears from students asking for course suggestions.  As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. Law schools do not require any particular major or coursework. However, given an interest in law, here are some spring courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. These courses are only suggestions and are NOT requirements. For some additional information about course planning, go here to check out an earlier blog post with some good tips about planning your schedule.

Some of these courses have prerequisites;  check Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.

ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning. Understanding financial instruments, records, and tax implications is critical for nearly all lawyers.

ADV 310: Intro to Public Relations  Introduces the student to the practice and profession of public relations. Course material covers topics such as the history of public relations, the role of law and ethics in public relations, and theories that guide public relations research and practice. 

BTW 263: Writing in the Disciplines teaches very practical writing skills for aspiring professionals.

Community Health 101: Introduction to Public Health is a good option for those interested in pursuing healthcare law. (See posted restrictions.)

Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills. Here are some examples of helpful courses:

  • CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 220: Communicating Public Policy
  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 323: Argumentation

ECON 484: Law and Economics Applications of economic theory to problems and issues in both civil and criminal law and the effect of legal rules on the allocation of resources; includes property rights, liability and negligence assignment, the use of administrative and common law to mitigate market failure, and the logic of private versus public law enforcement. 

ENGL 310: Introduction to the Study of the English Language

Topics include the study of the English language, with emphasis on one or more of the following: the social, political, historical, technological, legal, and economic aspects of language use.

ENGL 360: Environmental Writing for students interested in environmental law.

GWS 475: Queering Legal Cultures  Exploration of the many forms of address that legal language can take, and how these legal forms affect subjects who are barely legible before the law. We will look at state laws, supreme-court decisions, policy publications, literature and social commentaries, fictional texts – as mobbed through social media platforms – to try to understand how queer (as verb, noun, adjective) emerges as a way in and out of legal spaces. Topics will include historical formations, current debates, and landmark cases in both national and transnational contexts. 

HDFS 120: Intro to Family Studies and SOCW 200: Intro to Social Work. Both of these courses may be of interest to students who want to be advocates for families and juveniles.

INFO 303: Writing Across Media, a skill that all legal careers integrate and value.

LAW 199:The Justice System.  This class explores the operation of the United States Criminal Justice System.  In addition, this course reviews the history of the criminal justice system, the people who work in it, the citizens who are processed through it, and the legacy of good and bad outcomes it has delivered through the years. The learning is accomplished by reading an excellent textbook, and more importantly, by observing court and talking with judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.  Thus, students have the opportunity to learn from people who have served the justice system for many years.  Admission is by application only, as there are only twelve spots (this number is dictated by our transportation arrangements).

If you would like to apply, please send an email to Professor Pahre at jpahre@illinois.edu by midnight on October 20th with the following information:

1. Your full name and address;

2. Why this course interests you;

3. What you hope to learn during the spring semester; and

4. How you will manage your schedule so that you will be available Tuesday afternoons for our class meetings and field trips.

Professor Pahre will make decisions by November 1st, and offer spots to twelve students. The remaining students will be on a wait-list.  Any student who accepts the offer of placement will be enrolled.  If any student declines, or later withdraws, she will offer the placement to the next student on the wait-list.

Law 302: Transitional Justice Wrongdoing is part of the history of many, if not most, political communities around the globe. This course examines the moral questions that dealing with past wrongdoing raise. Our focus is specifically on political wrongdoing, that is, wrongdoing inflicted on individuals by the state or groups contesting the state. Such wrongdoing has taken different forms, from slavery, to forced disappearances, to programs of torture and of land appropriation. We also focus on two specific political contexts: the United States and South Africa. In this course, we survey a range of legal measures including criminal punishment, truth commissions, reparations, and apology, that have been, and can be used, to deal with legacies of wrongdoing.

Law 303: Living the Law This course first applies the legal understanding developed in LAW 301 to situations in the real world, and then explores how the law is viewed through different social science lenses. Students interested in deepening their knowledge of how the law operates in today’s world, and how the law is studied in the social sciences will benefit from this class. Prerequisite: Law 301.

NRES 102: Intro to Natural Resources and Environmental Science would be a helpful course for students interested in pursuing environmental law.

Philosophy options include:

  • PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning. Especially helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
  • PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics.  Basic exploration of ethics, including the relationship between social morality and the law.
  • PHIL 107: Intro to Political Philosophy. Introduction to core ideas in political and legal philosophy, for example, rights, equality, political obligations, legitimacy of states, nationalism, and oppression.

Political Science options to gain a foundational understanding of our legal system and its role within broader political structures include:

  • PS 220/321: Intro to Public Policy/Principles of Public Policy
  • PS 280: Intro to International Relations
  • PS 301: US Constitution I is a helpful primer for law school
  • PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
  • PS 386: International Law
  • PS 399: Politics of International Treaties

PS 491: Internship with the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office

Are you interested in how criminal courts work?  Would you like to see an arraignment, a motion hearing or a real criminal trial?  Want to meet with Public Defender clients about their cases?  Would you like to help an attorney prepare cases for court?  The Department of Political Science and the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office plan to offer an internship for academic credit in Spring, 2019.   Jamie Thomas-Ward, the Director of Pre-Law Services, will provide academic supervision of these internships. Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project done in conjunction with the internship itself for an award of academic credit, in this internship, students will be awarded credit for their work in the Public Defender’s Office combined with a series of structured academic assignments requiring integration of internship experiences with readings on the political systems, the legal system and constitutional and human rights. This class requires one hour of class time per week, and about six hours per week of work at the internship site. Admission is competitive: We expect to have five openings for Spring, 2019.

By Thursday, November 1, students seeking to participate in the Public Defender Internship Program must submit an application online at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/2726999. The application consists of a cover letter, informal transcript, resume and writing sample. The cover letter should address each of the following elements: 1) explain your interest in and motivation for undertaking this internship, 2) share your experience in working with only a modest level of direct supervision, and 3) discuss your plans for accommodating participation in the internship in your schedule (including how many other credit hours you plan to carry, whether you will be studying for the LSAT, whether you have other significant time commitments).  All of those materials will be reviewed for a decision on acceptance into the program by the departmental internship committee. 

At a minimum, students seeking to participate in this program need (1) to have completed 45 credit hours by Spring, 2019 (2) with at least one year of residence on this campus and (3) to have earned a cumulative UIUC grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  They must (4) have completed PS 101: U.S. Government & Politics and (5) have no arrests or criminal convictions – as an adult or juvenile – or serious campus disciplinary violations involving campus or local law enforcement.  In addition to working in the courthouse, students will need to attend a class for one hour per week on Wednesday afternoons.  Submit all applications online at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/2726999.

Past students have really enjoyed this opportunity.  Questions on this internship?  Contact Jamie Thomas-Ward at thomas99@illinois.edu.

PSYC 341: Advanced Community Projects. Gaining experience with clients in a human services context can build client-related skills as well as introducing students to the legal needs of a community or a specific population.

Sociology has a Criminology, Law and Society minor. These courses may be helpful for students exploring criminal legal issues and crime in society, such as:

  • SOC 378: Sociology of Law
  • SOC 479: Law and Society

Other courses to explore different areas of law include the following. Some have restrictions; check Course Explorer.

  • ACE 403: Agricultural Law
  • GEOG 210: Social & Environmental Issues
  • JOUR 311: Media Law
  • LER 120: Contemporary Labor Problems
  • REL 480: Islamic Law
  • RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport
  • SE 400 Engineering Law (only pre-req is RHET 105)

Business classes can provide a helpful foundation for those interested in corporate careers, however, most are restricted to College of Business majors or minors. Some courses will release any leftover seats after a restricted period; check Course Explorer for more details.

  • BADM 300 Legal Environment of Business
  • BADM 303 Principles of Public Policy–also cross-listed as PS 321.
  • BADM 314 Leading Negotiations
  • BADM 447 Legal Strategies for Entrepreneurial Firms

Remember that these are only suggestionsFurther, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify other good options.

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Mark Your Calendars – Law Fair Edition!


Law School Admission Panel – Tuesday, September 25, 7pm, 1002 Lincoln Hall

Join us for this panel as we hear from experts in law school admissions. What happens after you submit an application? What do they really look for in a candidate? What do they love and hate to see in a personal statement? What can applicants expect during an interview? How can applicants build effective relationships with admissions staff? Get all of your questions answered from this panel of admissions professionals with a vast array of experience. Panelists include admissions deans and professionals from the following law schools:

  • Columbia Law School
  • Indiana University–Maurer School of Law
  • Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • University of Illinois College of Law
  • University of Wisconsin Law School

No registration necessary. Bring your questions!

The Law School Fair is THIS Wednesday, September 26, 10am-2pm at the ARC, 201 E. Peabody. We are looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Join us as over 100 law schools visit campus to meet with prospective students. Gather information about law schools, talk with admissions professionals about their schools, collect some fun freebies and law school application fee waivers. This event is FREE and open to the public. Dress is business casual. For more information, including a list of law schools attending the fair, visit our website. You can also scroll down for some tips and suggestions to get the most out of this opportunity. See you at the fair! No registration is required.

Emory Law Interviews – Wednesday, September 26, 3-5pm – After the Law School Fair

Emory Law will be conducting individual interviews on Wednesday, September 26th from 3:00 to 5:00pm. These are not formal interviews, but an opportunity for you to learn more about the programs offered at Emory Law, to discuss the law school admissions process in general, and to get all of your questions answered.  If you would like to schedule an appointment, sign up for a time slot here: Emory Law Sign Up. Please be sure to bring a copy of your resume during your time slot. Click here to learn more about Emory Law. 

Four Things to Do Before the Law School Fair

Here are a few things to do before to get the most of out of the Law School Fair.

  1. Look at the Schools’ Websites and Do Some Background Research
    1. Have specific questions for the admissions representatives that are coming to campus. Most basic questions can be answered by simply looking at the website (GPAs, LSAT scores, where their graduates work, professors, etc).
    2. Example questions to ask: where do students typically work after their first year summer? What is the school environment like? Are there study groups or other academic resources available? What do students do in their free time? How many students are involved in clubs and activities? What is the most popular class at the law school?
  2. Have an Elevator Pitch Ready
    1. What’s an elevator pitch? It is a 30 second introductory speech about yourself.
    2. The elevator pitch should start out by telling the representative your name, your hometown, your major, when you are applying to law school, and why you are interested in that specific law school. The law schools want to get to know you, so you should tell them a little about yourself.
    3. Don’t read off the speech, consider it the beginning of a conversation.
  3. Get Your Outfit Ready
    1. Dress is business causal for the event.
    2. Men – A dress shirt, dress pants, and a tie are appropriate. No suit coat is needed.
    3. Women – A dress shirt, blouse, or sweater, and dress pants or a skirt are appropriate.
  4. Things to Bring With to the Event
    1. A list of schools you want to talk to and why you are interested in those law schools.
    2. A notebook and pencil. If you are impressed with a school or want to remember a specific detail about a conversation, it is best to write it down right away.
    3. No need to bring a resume – most law schools will not accept resumes at this event.

Opportunities at the College of Law

Volunteer/Mock Jurors Needed!

The Fundamentals of Trial Advocacy Course students at the UIUC College of Law will be doing their openings October 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10.  The College of Law needs volunteers to serve as mock jurors for this class.  This is a great opportunity for pre-law students to observe a law school class and learn something about our trial system.  Opening statements would begin at 6pm so all participants are asked to arrive no later than 5:45pm. Volunteers can expect each session to last approximately 2.5 hours. Refreshments/snacks will be served to participants. Interested mock jurors should contact Thanin Stewart, UIUC College of Law, Visiting Law Associate at tostewa2@illinois.edu.

Campus Events

Career Center EventsClick here to visit the Career Center’s website for more information or to register for these sessions.

  • Finding an Internship–Sept. 25, 5-6 pm, TCC Conference Room
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Reviews
    • Sept. 24, 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Sept. 25, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept 26, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept. 27, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
  • Making Your Major Decision–Sept. 25, 5-6 pm, SDRP 2005
  • Global Careers: Japan — Sept. 28, 4-5:30pm, TCC Interview Suite, Room 213, 616 East Green Street


THE ILLINOIS CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS: Application Deadline October 13!

Diverse and welcoming, The Illinois Club draws its membership from all areas of the University as well as the surrounding community. Since 1915, The Illinois Club has provided financial support to worthy undergraduate students. This year, we will be giving out the following scholarships:

  • Make-A-Difference Awards of $3,000
  • A Global Focus Award of $3,000
  • A Humanities Award of $3,000
  • Isabelle Purnell Education Awards of $3,000 • The Judith Life Ikenberry Fine Arts Award of $5,500

General Eligibility: You must be an undergraduate, have earned at least 60 credit hours by the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester, and graduate no earlier than December 2019 to apply. A minimum GPA of 2.75 at both the time of application and winning of award is also required.

For more information about the individual awards, go to http://go.illinois.edu/TICScholarship.

Interested in more scholarships? PLAS has collected information on over 200 scholarships–for both undergrads and incoming law students–on our Scholarships Spreadsheet over on our Pre-Law Compass page. It’s a wide variety of scholarships based on everything from being left-handed to making a video to tweeting, and deadlines vary, so check it out!


David F. Prindable Undergraduate PAID Internship at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH): Communications and Undergraduate Outreach: Applications DUE THIS Friday, September 28!

Undergraduate majors in humanities disciplines are invited to apply for a paid internship in communications and undergraduate outreach at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), the campus humanities hub. The successful candidate will assist IPRH with its communications strategy, particularly its email communications and social-media presence, in addition to serving as a IPRH’s undergraduate liaison and chief strategist on undergraduate engagement. This position is funded thanks to a generous gift from David F. Prindable.

To be considered for this internship, candidates must possess strong writing and communications skills, excellent attention to detail, the ability to work independently, and an investigative mind. A broad interest in the humanities is preferred.





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Mark Your Calendars – Week of September 10

September is a big month for pre-law students–scroll through to see why.

Pre-Law Events

Our Fall Event Calendar is posted! Here’s a preview of what’s coming up.

Pre-Law 101 – TODAY, Monday, September 10, 4-5pm 514 IUB

This workshop is designed for incoming students who are new to pre-law or are interested in learning more about it.

We will cover: What it means to be pre-law at Illinois, course selection, majors, and extracurriculars, building a pre-law resume, and what law schools are really looking for. We will outline a four year plan to maximize your undergraduate experiences in order to make a great law school candidate. We’ll also take any questions about law school and legal careers.

Each Pre-Law 101 session is the same, so pick the one that best suits your schedule. Incoming freshmen should attend a Pre-Law 101 prior to setting up an individual pre-law advising appointment. Registration is closed by we have a few empty spots available on a first come, first served basis.

Letter of Recommendation Webinar – THIS Friday, September 14, 2-3pm

This is part of our Applying to Law School webinar series for Illinois students and alumni. During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • How many letters of recommendation law school applications require
  • Who to ask for recommendations
  • How to approach your request
  • Timelines for getting recommendations
  • How to input your recommenders in your Credential Assembly Service account

Bring your questions! Register for this webinar by September 13 at this link. Webinar link and handouts will be sent to registrants before the session.

Perfecting Your Personal Statement and Resume for Law School–Tuesday, Sept.17, 4-5pm, 514 IUB

The personal statement is one of the most difficult yet powerful elements of the law school application. Join us for this workshop, which will cover what the personal statement is, how to prepare for writing it, and some tips and suggestions for making it reflect an applicant’s strengths. We will also discuss how the personal statement and resume can complement each other to create a stronger law school application. Each session is the same, so select the one that best suits your schedule. Register here for this session.

Law School Admissions Panel–Tuesday, Sept. 25, 7:00 pm in 1002 Lincoln Hall. Are you wondering what law school admissions professionals really look for in an applicant? How do they weigh LSAT scores, grades, or work experience? What gets their attention–and what would make them deny someone? Join us for this expert law school admissions panel to discover this and more. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. This is a must-see event for anyone considering applying to law school!

Panelists include admissions deans and professionals from the following schools:

  • Columbia Law School
  • Indiana University–Maurer School of Law
  • Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • University of Illinois College of Law
  • University of Wisconsin Law School

Law School Fair–Wednesday, Sept. 26, 10:00 am-2:00 pm at the ARC (201 E. Peabody Drive) It’s the biggest pre-law event of the year as 110 law schools visit campus to meet all who are interested in applying to law school. Learn about law schools, scholarships, and the application process while meeting the people who will be reading your law school applications. Application fee waivers and other freebies will be available. Stop by or stay the whole time! This event is free and open to the public. For more information click here to visit our website. No registration required.

Campus Events

ILLINOIS-IN-WASHINGTON – Information Session Tuesday, September 11, 5-6pm, David Kinley Hall, Room 106

Illinois in Washington (IIW) is an academic internship program open to all U of I undergraduates. Participants live and intern in Washington, DC, while taking U of I classes.  IIW offers an exceptional opportunity to gain rewarding work experience while enjoying the political, intellectual, and cultural experiences than only the nation’s capital can offer.  Student internships have included positions with members of Congress, think tanks, consulting groups, social justice organizations, and government agencies.  Come and join us for an unforgettable semester in one of the most exciting cities in the world.  Our information session will provide a brief overview of the program.  The application deadline for the Spring 2019 term is October 1st.  Application instructions are available at http://www.washington.illinois.edu/apply/information/.

Career Center EventsClick here to visit the Career Center’s website for more information or to register for these sessions.

  • CC-I Information Session, Sept. 10, 4:00 pm, Interview Suite Room 213. The actual deadline for the CC-I application is September 11. 
  • Resume/Cover Letter/Linked In Review
    • Sept. 10, 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Sept. 11, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept 12, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm BrewLab Coffee Shop
    • Sept. 13, 2-4:30pm TCC Resource Center
    • Sept. 14, 2-4:30 pm TCC Resource Center; 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
    • Sept. 16, 5-7:30pm Ikenberry Commons
  • Creating Your Powerful Cover Letter
    • Sept. 12, 4-5pm, TCC Conference Room
  • Creating Your Powerful Resume
    • Sept. 12, 5-6 pm
  • Translating Your Study Abroad Experience
    • Sept. 11, 5-6pm, Lincoln 1024
    • Sept. 12, 5-6pm, Lincoln 1024
  • Career Fair Prep
    • Sept. 13, 4:00 pm

Pre-Law Honors Society: The Order of Prospective Lawyers

If you have a cumulative GPA of a 3.30/4.00, and have completed 30 hours of campus credit prior to initiation (Sophomore status) you are eligible to apply for membership in the Pre-Law Honors Society.  Click on the link below to access the application and the instructions for how to apply.  Applications are due THIS FRIDAY, September 14, by Midnight! All questions should be directed to prelawhonorssociety@gmail.com.


THE ILLINOIS CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS: Application Deadline October 13!

Diverse and welcoming, The Illinois Club draws its membership from all areas of the University as well as the surrounding community. Since 1915, The Illinois Club has provided financial support to worthy undergraduate students. This year, we will be giving out the following scholarships:

  • Make-A-Difference Awards of $3,000
  • A Global Focus Award of $3,000
  • A Humanities Award of $3,000
  • Isabelle Purnell Education Awards of $3,000 • The Judith Life Ikenberry Fine Arts Award of $5,500

General Eligibility: You must be an undergraduate, have earned at least 60 credit hours by the beginning of the Spring 2019 semester, and graduate no earlier than December 2019 to apply. A minimum GPA of 2.75 at both the time of application and winning of award is also required.

For more information about the individual awards, go to http://go.illinois.edu/TICScholarship.

Interested in more scholarships? PLAS has collected information on over 200 scholarships–for both undergrads and incoming law students–on our Scholarships Spreadsheet over on our Pre-Law Compass page. It’s a wide variety of scholarships based on everything from being left-handed to making a video to tweeting, and deadlines vary, so check it out!


David F. Prindable Undergraduate PAID Internship at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH): Communications and Undergraduate Outreach: Applications DUE Friday, September 28!

Undergraduate majors in humanities disciplines are invited to apply for a paid internship in communications and undergraduate outreach at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), the campus humanities hub. The successful candidate will assist IPRH with its communications strategy, particularly its email communications and social-media presence, in addition to serving as a IPRH’s undergraduate liaison and chief strategist on undergraduate engagement. This position is funded thanks to a generous gift from David F. Prindable.

To be considered for this internship, candidates must possess strong writing and communications skills, excellent attention to detail, the ability to work independently, and an investigative mind. A broad interest in the humanities is preferred.

The position commences October 15, 2018 and ends May 15, 2019. The Prindable intern will work approximately two to three hours per week, for 24 weeks, at the rate of $15.75 per hour (up to $1,000 per year). There is flexibility regarding the hours to be worked.

To apply, please email a one-page letter of interest, a resume, and a list of three references (academic or non-academic, so long as they can speak to your skills and work ethic; at least one referee should be able to comment on your writing skills) to iprh@illinois.edu by September 28 with “Prindable Internship” in the subject line. Letters may be addressed and questions directed to IPRH Deputy Director, Nancy Castro (ncastro@illinois.edu).

The Office of Undergraduate Research is Hiring a PAID Graphic Design Intern

Graphic Design Intern: The Illinois Office of Undergraduate Research is seeking a motivated and experienced undergraduate student to assist with creating innovative and visually impactful graphics for the office. The graphic design intern will be expected to work from 5 – 10 hours per week (workstation and required software will be provided). This is a PAID internship at $12/hour. Federal Work Study designation is required.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Assist with layout, design, and production of flyers, digital/web graphics, office brochures, and other print/digital resources, consistent with current office branding.
  • Assist with converting digital assets to web-ready formats.
  • Assist with other projects as needed.

For a full description of the position, including the required experiences and qualifications and information on how to apply, please visit: http://go.illinois.edu/OURintern


Interested in other internships? It’s NOT too early to start looking for spring/summer internships today! We post internships on our blog and our Facebook page. Check out this blog post for a plan on how to start finding spring and summer internships this fall.

Pre-Law Resources

Now is a great time to check out–or join–all of our pre-law resources! Click the links to explore. You can also search this blog for posts about the LSAT, law school applications, resumes, internships, and more!




Compass page

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5 Fall Semester Tips for All Pre-Law Students

  • Get to know your professors.  Go to office hours and participate in class. It’s a great way to learn how to network, a critical life skill. Eventually you’ll need letters of recommendation, and building these relationships now will help you later.
  • Create or update your resume and LinkedIn profile.
    If you already have a resume, update it and take it to the Career Center for a review. If you don’t have a resume yet, now is a great time to draft one. The Career Center offers workshops on creating a resume, or you can find some good templates online.
    Now is also a good time to create or update a Linked In profile. While you’re at it, review your social media and clean it up…ask yourself if you would want employers or law schools to view everything that’s posted.
  • Start looking for spring/summer jobs and internships. It’s not too early! Here’s a blog post that we recently wrote about it with tips and suggestions.
  • Explore study abroad, Illinois in Washington, and/or national and international scholarships such as Fulbright, Luce, or Gilman for next summer or next year. These take time and have early application deadlines.
  • Consider your LSAT options for 2019. If you’re planning to graduate in 2019 and take a gap year or two prior to law school, you might want to go ahead and take the LSAT before you graduate. Alumni tell us all the time how challenging it is to balance full-time jobs (plus commutes, family, and personal time) with studying for the LSAT. The scores are good for 5 years so banking the score prior to graduation may save you some time and stress in the future.
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September LSAT Takers – Day of Test Info and Reminders

The September LSAT is next week! Of course you have been studying diligently and are ready for what is coming on the LSAT. But don’t forget — the LSAC has a list of rules and procedures to follow for the day of the test.  Here are a few reminders and tips to help test day go smoothly.

What must you bring? To be eligible to take the LSAT, you will be required to have with you at the test center the printout of your admission ticket that includes the photo that you uploaded through your LSAC online account. Admission tickets that do not display the required uploaded photo will not be accepted on test day. You must also bring a valid, government issued photo ID and 3-4 sharpened sharpened No. 2 or HB wooden pencils with good erasers. Remember that mechanical pencils are prohibited.

What can’t you bring? The LSAC has a list of LSAT test day prohibited items that includes cellphones, backpacks/handbags, digital watches, fitness tracking devices, headphones, hats, sunglasses, and many others.  NOTE: LSAC has adopted a no-tolerance policy with regard to the use or possession of electronic devices (including cell phones) during the administration of the LSAT.   Consequently, test takers discovered in possession of (or using) any electronic device, will be issued a Violation of Law School Admission Test Center Regulations form and will be dismissed from the test. Such violations will be grounds for score cancellation, and you may be subject to an LSAC investigation. This policy will be enforced from the time test takers arrive at the test center until they leave at the conclusion of the test—including the break. Remember to review the LSAC’s Day of Test reminders to avoid making a critical mistake! http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/day-of-test.

Test day tips and reminders
In addition to LSAC’s rules, here are some tips and reminders to help your test day go smoothly!

  1. Get several nights of good sleep. It’s normal to be anxious the night before, and having a few good nights of sleep before test day will help.
  2. Eat breakfast and bring a snack and drink even if you don’t think you’ll need it. The test is long, and your brain will want that fuel.
  3. Make sure you print out your test ticket, locate your government ID, get some non-mechanical pencils, and pack your plastic bag of allowed test items the night before.
  4. Scope out the location before test day. Drive there or take your public transportation route if you can. This way you will know where to find parking or you can estimate how long it will take to walk from a train station.
  5. Figure out what you’ll do with your backpack, handbag, and your cell phone because you cannot bring these items in with you.
  6. Dress comfortably, and in layers. Your test site may be warm or cold, and you want to limit distractions as much as possible. (Note that test takers are not allowed to wear hoods, except as religious apparel.)
  7. ARRIVE EARLY. Give yourself plenty of time to check in, use the restroom, and get settled before the test begins. Test sites do not allow late arrivals.
  8. Expect some distractions…no test site will be perfectly silent. Practice bringing your attention back to your exam after each distraction. (Law school exams and the bar exam contain plenty of distractions too, so this will be a constant.)

For more info on LSAT options, including cancelling your score after the LSAT or retaking, check out this post from earlier this summer.

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Welcome Back Pre-Law Students – Fall of 2018

Welcome Class of 2022 and Welcome Back Pre-Law Students!

Hello students!  Our first blog post of the 2018-2019 school year features an overview of many of the events happening on campus in the next week. We have also included a brief update on Pre-Law Advising Services (PLAS), including information about our FREE practice LSAT being offered on Friday, October 5, as well as our first Pre-Law 101 Workshop set for Monday, September 10, 4-5pm.  Scroll down for more on that.  We will resume our regular blogging schedule next week.  Our postings will include updates on PLAS programs, campus events, internships and information on a variety of pre-law topics and items of interest so keep checking in!!

Upcoming Campus Events

Welcome Days/Welcome Week 2018 — August 25 – September 1, 2018

Quad Day: Sunday, August 26

The fall semester kicks off this weekend with Quad Day, Sunday, August 26, Noon-4pm! Come out for a day of learning about any and every Registered Student Organization on the Illinois campus. Campus offices and local organizations will also be lining the Main Quad for you to get a taste of how diverse the university is and what it has to offer. The Illini Union vendors will be there, along with the Rec Room, so you can see what we are all about! Special performances by the Marching Illini and other RSOs will take place. With over 600 RSOs present, you are bound to find something you are interested in. Remember — law schools like to see applicants who are both good students and who are involved in their community.

And speaking of RSOs… Are you interested in joining the soon to be launched Pre-Law Club?  Keep checking the blog for information about the planned September organizational meeting!

For more info about Quad Day and other Welcome Week Events, check out the Illini Union webpage: https://union.illinois.edu/see-and-do/events/welcomeweek


Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations

Wake Up Call – Saturday, August 25, 4–6 pm
Foellinger Auditorium
Sponsored by the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center

Women’s Resources Center Open House | Aug 27, 2018   4:30 – 6:30 pm  

Check out the Women’s Resources Center and meet the staff while playing games and sipping “mocktails”! Join us in celebrating the beginning of a new year. The Women’s Resources Center is located at 616 E Green St, Suite 202 in Champaign. The front door is located next to the McDonalds on Green St. The office is on the second floor.

Any questions or requests for accommodation can be sent to Sylwia Dutka at dutka2@illinois.edu

Paleta Social – Monday August 27th, 5:30–8:30pm
La Casa Cultural Latina, 1203 W. Nevada St., Urbana

After the first day of classes, La Casa holds a social for new students to come and meet other new and returning students, while returning students can catch up with fellow classmates, all while enjoying a paleta/ice cream. It is also an introduction of La Casa to new students in an informal manner.

LGBT Resource Center Welcome Back Event – Tuesday August 28th, 4:00–6:00pm
Illini Union 314

Celebrate the start of a new year with food, music, and opportunities to meet LGBT Resource Center staff, LGBT RSOs, campus partners, and more! Come find out how to get involved with and stay connected to LGBTQ life at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! All students, staff, faculty, and community members including partners are invited.

Asiantation – Tuesday, September 4, 3–8 pm
SDRP Multipurpose Rooms
301 E. Gregory Dr., Champaign

Feminism Al Fresco – Tuesday, September 4, 4–6 pm
Engineering Hall Patio
next to Bardeen Quad
Sponsored by the Women’s Resources Center

Asian American Cultural Center and International Education Open House —Thursday, September 6, 3:30–6:30 pm
1210 W. Nevada St., Urbana

Native American House and American Indian Studies Open House – Thursday, September 6, 4–7 pm
1206 W. Nevada St., Urbana

For more information on these and other OIIR happenings, go here for the full OIIR calendar of events.https://oiir.illinois.edu/events. To access the UIUC calendar for campus-wide events and holidays, go here: https://calendars.illinois.edu/list/7 For information about add/drop deadlines for classes and other information, check out the calendar for the Office of the Registrar here: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/4175.

Other Campus Events and Opportunities

Illinois Trial Team — Info Nights August 30 and 31, 6pm and 7pm, College of Law, Room A, 504 E Pennsylvania Ave, Champaign

Are you thinking about law school? Want to learn about the judicial system or improve your public speaking skills? Then this might be the opportunity for you!

The Illinois Trial Team represents the University of Illinois in intercollegiate mock trial tournaments which span the country — competing at schools like Yale, Duke, UMichigan, and many more. Through preparing and competing in these tournaments, you will build your knowledge of the law, trial advocacy, and general presentation skills. As a member of the team, you will be a part of a tight-knit, highly motivated group of pre-law students. The team provides various pre-law opportunities to its members, such as internships, campus visits, and LSAT resources.

We highly recommend that prospective members attend one of our information sessions. If you are unable to attend, please e-mail  illinoistrialteam.vpe@gmail.com as soon as possible. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please see the following google form: https://goo.gl/forms/MWVMsSdH7ZMq8qu12

Information Sessions will be held at the College of Law Room A at the following times:

6:00 p.m. August 30th

7:00 p.m. August 30th

6:00 p.m. August 31st

7:00 p.m. August 31st

Career Center

The Career Center offers a variety of programs to help you identify career paths through workshops, career fairs and individual meetings. They will have a table at Quad Day, Sunday, August 26 from 12-4pm, as well as an Open House on Quad Day from 1-3pm at their office at 715 S. Wright Street.  The Career Center schedule resumes next week.  Here are some of their upcoming events:

Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Reviews: August 27, 28, 29, 30 & 31

2:00-4:30pm, Career Center Resource Center, 715 S. Wright Street

CC-I Info Sessions – Monday, August 27, 4-5pm; Tuesday August 28, 4-5pm; Tuesday, September 4, 4-5pm; Monday, September 10, 4-5pm.

If you want to join the Career Certificate – International Students(CC-I) program, it is mandatory to attend one of the four CC-I information sessions. CC-I is the signature program of the Career Center for international undergraduate and masters students who want to be more competitive in the internship/full-time job market. The actual deadline for the CC-I application is September 11. CC-I runs for 9 weeks.

All CC-I info sessions will be held at the Career Center Interview Suite, 616 E. Green Street, Room 213

Illinois Part-time Job Fair 2018 – Tuesday, September 4, 10am-2pm, Illini Union Room B

Looking for a part-time job on campus or in the Champaign-Urbana community? This is the event for you! The Illinois Part-Time Job Fair is open to all students on campus seeking opportunities to make some extra money while completing their academics. Opportunities at this fair are paid positions. Check out the event in Handshake to view a full list of employers attending!

To learn more about the Career Center’s schedule of events, go here: https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/events

Luce Scholars Program — Information Sessions August 30 and 31

The National and International Scholarships Program (NISP) is offering a two-day informational event about the Luce Scholars Program.  The Luce is a one-year internship in East or Southeast-Asia, and designed specifically for students who do not have much prior experience in that region.  Starting August 30th, NISP will offer an informational overview session, featuring an informal discussion with previous Luce Scholars. On August 31st, NISP will host a workshop designed to help students begin to craft their personal statement.

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

August 30th, 3:30-4:30pm – Informational session and discussion with a former Luce Scholar.

August 31st 3:00-4:00pm – Workshop on how to craft a Luce personal statement.

More information about the Luce can be found here: http://www.topscholars.illinois.edu/luce.

For more information about other NISP events and scholarship deadlines, go here: https://calendars.illinois.edu/list/1826

PLAS Updates for Fall 2018

1. What’s going on at PLAS? All of our events are listed in our Event Calendar here: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/2508.  You may also look at the right side of this page for info on events coming up in the next few weeks, which include a FREE practice LSAT on Friday, October 5! Note that some of our workshops have limited seating, like the Pre-Law 101 sessions, the first of which is set for Monday, September 10, and the practice LSAT, so you’ll want to register for those in advance. Note: registration for the FREE Practice LSAT will open on Tuesday, September 4.  We will add a few programs as the semester progresses.  Be sure to check our blog September 3  for an overview of the semester’s events!

2. Attend a Pre-Law 101 Workshop. If you are a new pre-law student you’ll definitely want to attend a Pre-Law 101 Workshop, which will answer most of your questions about what it means to be pre-law and how you can maximize your opportunities as an undergrad. Note: the first Pre-Law 101 session is set for Monday, September 10. These sessions are all listed in our Event Calendar and you can register there.

3. How do we keep in touch? Blog, Facebook group, Twitter, email
The best way to keep up with pre-law news is to read this blog and join our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter (@UIUC Pre-Law). We send occasional emails but we don’t want to clog your inbox…so instead, we update this blog, Twitter and our Facebook page at least once a week.

4. Making an appointment….is easy. Call 333-9669. Except please, if you’re sick, stay home in your jammies! You can call us at the appointment time if you really need to talk. Otherwise, please reschedule.

Save the date for the Law School Fair! On Sept. 26 from 10 am – 2 pm at the ARC  Over 100 law school reps will be here to meet YOU! Click here for more details, including a list of who’s coming.



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Starting law school this fall? What to know, do, and buy this summer!

Congratulations to all Illini who are completing the law school application cycle! It feels like it’s over, but actually, a whole new stage is just beginning. What should you do now and throughout the summer to make sure you are ready to enter the legal profession?

First Things First: Final Application Tasks

  • Seat deposits. Now is the time for making those seat deposits to save your seat. While some people will submit multiple seat deposits, if you’ve done your research and completed your visits, you need to only place one seat deposit at your selected school. Remember that starting May 15, every law school can see each deposit that applicants have made–meaning that they will know if you’ve put down multiple deposits.
  • Follow up on wait lists. It is very common to be on one or more wait lists. Revisit this blog post for tips on what to do.
  • Withdraw your other applications. By this point, applicants have narrowed down their law school to one or two top choices. Contact the schools you know you won’t be attending to formally withdraw. This allows those law schools to offer your seat/scholarship to someone else. Some law schools will have a webform to do this, whereas at others, a simple email like this will do. Dear Dean of Admissions, Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend Your Law School. However, after careful consideration I have decided to attend X Law School (or, I’ve decided to attend law school in the midwest/east coast/elsewhere), so I will not be placing a deposit.  I very much appreciate your time and consideration of my application. Best wishes, Applicant.
  • Send a final transcript. After graduation, you must provide a final transcript to the law school you are attending.

Professional details–You are taking an important step toward beginning your professional life. Start off on the right foot.

  • Get online.
    • Clean up your social media presence like your Facebook and Twitter sites. Would you want an employer or law school representative to see every picture or post of yours? If not, take them down, and set privacy restrictions.
    • Set up a new, professional-sounding gmail account (not cubbies14 or hotty100). Learn how to use google calendar–if you haven’t been much of a planner until now, this is a good time to start getting in the habit of planning your days/weeks. Here’s a good video to learn some starter tips and tricks.
    • Create a Linked In profile or update your profile.
    • Update your resume.
    • Subscribe to online news and legal resources such as the New York Times and the National Law Journal to get into the practice of keeping up to date on legal issues.
  • Follow up with your professors/recommenders. You will continue to need recommendations for scholarships and for applying to jobs at the end of 1L year and beyond. Plus, it is simply good practice to begin developing long term connections.  At minimum you should:
    • Send a thank you note to your law school recommenders and let them know where you’ve decided to attend law school.
    • Provide your gmail or other non-Illinois email so that they can stay in touch with you after you graduate.
    • Ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn.
    • Extra credit for delivering an inexpensive token gift such as a coffee gift card or chocolates. You don’t have to spend a lot of money–and shouldn’t–to express your appreciation.
  • Network. Ask lawyers you or your parents know if you can take them to coffee and learn about their practice area. You can use the Illinois Lawyer Finder here to locate lawyers near you by practice area. Use your networking skills and begin reaching out to any contacts in legal fields that interest you. Remember, everyone needs a lawyer eventually, and most people know or have hired a lawyer. Plus lawyers know lots of other lawyers and can introduce or recommend you. You can already start thinking about what kind of 1L summer job you’d like and build the network for that.
  • Create a Google Doc to help with your bar exam application. List every address you’ve ever had, every landlord you’ve ever had, and every speeding and parking ticket you’ve ever received. Get all the records you can for these and for any academic or disciplinary action against you during your undergraduate years. You’ll be applying during your 2L or 3L year to sit for the bar in your chosen state and you will not remember these old details! If you’d like to know what details you’ll be obligated to report on your Illinois Character & Fitness application, visit the Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar application here–be sure to click on the drop down menu to see all the questions in Sections A through J. Click here to explore other states’ bar application requirements.

Financial considerations

  • Follow up with the financial aid office of your law school to make sure they have all the documents they need, such as your FAFSA, and that you haven’t missed any opportunities to apply for school-specific scholarships.
  • Apply for scholarships this summer! We posted a Scholarships Spreadsheet over on Compass listing over 200 scholarships for incoming law students (and many which are available to undergrads also).
  • Most federal loans will not be disbursed until AFTER classes begin, so you will need to pay security deposits and the first month of rent as well as buy books and necessary items (below) all before getting your loans. Save up this summer!
  • Buy some important items.
    • You will need a suit and dress shoes the very first week of class.
    • You should also bring at least 2-3 business casual outfits that you can wear to networking events.
    • You may need a new or upgraded laptop–check with your law school to see what technology they recommend and what is compatible with their IT systems. Your law school may also offer discounts. A printer is very helpful but you could speak to your roommate(s) to see if they have one before purchasing.
  • Make a budget. Each law school is required to provide a budget in your financial aid package, or you can find it online. You are not required to take the full loan amount; remember that your loans start accruing interest from Day 1 so any amount you do not borrow will save you the interest too. Sit down and carefully consider your living expenses so you can budget accordingly. Remember that your loan disbursement is only designed to pay for tuition/fees and 9 months of living expenses, and it is not designed to cover costs like car payment/insurance, credit card debt, or travel (for example, if you need to fly to your new law school or ship your belongings there).

Personal details

  • Make living arrangements. Whether you are living in an apartment, with parents, or staying in on-campus housing, you should be figuring out where you will live as soon as possible. Additionally, you should be trying to locate a roommate if you plan on renting an apartment with someone else. Join social media groups for your law school class or speak directly with your school to see if they have a roommate matching system.
  • Take care of anything and everything in your personal life that you can. Get your car serviced, change your cell phone plan, go to the dentist, book necessary travel arrangements, open a bank account in your new city…do anything that you can take care of now. You will not want to spend precious free time on these things later.
  • Go to the doctor and update your vaccinations–law schools will require it. Start or maintain good exercise and eating habits–it’s easier to maintain these than to start them during the semester!
  • Embrace starting over. You have been given a clean slate, so use it wisely. Don’t start law school by being the person who brags about their big scholarship/LSAT score/undergrad accomplishments. Conversely, don’t be intimidated by people in your class with a higher LSAT score/scholarship–frequently the people who will end up at the top of the law school class are not who you would have predicted. You have made it here, you deserve to be here, now embrace the opportunity to start with a clean slate!
  • Finally, WORK HARD from Day 1! 1L grades and class rank are VERY important and will determine things like: whether you can write for a law journal, whether you can participate in moot court, and whether you can interview with law firms before your 2L year in On Campus Interviews (OCI). Start developing a consistent study schedule and the discipline to stick to it. 1L year is not the time to sit back and coast while you adjust to a new life. Remember that law school classes are curved, so by design, everyone will NOT get an A. It is critical not to fall behind on your coursework during the first semester.


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