Last Updated on May 20, 2020
Pre-Law Advising is working to keep up with changes to how COVID-19 is affecting applications to law schools and LSAT testing. Below is a running list of links to various organizations and updates on information as we know it. As always, UIC students and alumni should reach out to Pre-Law Advising for an appointment or with questions or concerns. More programming will be coming to you via webinar and online resources throughout the rest of this semester as well.
Pre-Law Advisor's End-of Semester Message
Pre-la w message
Dear Pre-Law Students,
First, I want to convey a heartfelt message of congratulations to the entire UIC pre-law community, from freshmen to transfer students to new graduates; you not only survived the infamous “COVID-19 Semester”, you stepped-up and conquered the unexpected challenges, anxieties and new processes with impressive success and resolve. You should be especially proud of your accomplishments this semester! Remember winning the COVID spring battle as you face new challenges, obstacles, and character tests going forward and draw strength from your spring 2020 victories.
I very much enjoyed meeting many of you in person this past semester. Thank you to those of you who attended and participated in the limited number of pre-law activities we were able to hold before it was unsafe to gather. One of the most disappointing aspects of moving activities entirely off-campus was having to cancel previously planned March and April pre-law programming. Look for online programming this summer and into the fall if necessary.
Cheers to the graduating class of 2020! I would very much appreciate hearing about your post UIC plans. If you have a chance, shoot me a quick email or schedule an appointment if you have time or have questions about transitioning to law school or applying at a later date.
Graduates: Remember that UIC pre-law advising is available to UIC alumni for up to 5 years after graduation; send an email message to email@example.com to request an appointment. Take advantage. You are also welcome to attend pre-law events (hopefully soon), check the UIC Pre-Law Advising web site for event information.
Pre-law advising appointments are available over the summer. Check Insight for availability and to make an appointment (or send an email if you are a non-LAS student/alum). Current freshmen (rising sophomores) should be able to schedule an appointment on Insight once your academic status has been updated to show you as a sophomore (30 credits)-probably within the next 2-3 weeks.
For those of you submitting your law school applications this fall, the summer is a good time to work on your personal statement(s). I am available to review final drafts of your personal statement and/or resume. You can email me your draft and expect to receive it back with comments within 4-5 business days; unless I’m on vacation. We can use an appointment to discuss your personal statement if necessary. The Personal Statement Webinar is now available on the Pre-Law Advising website.
Check the Pre-Law Advising website periodically for Pre-Law COVID-19 Updates.
Some ideas to help you maximize your summer:
- Summer is a great time to put yourselves out there (at least virtually) and explore the legal or other professions; network, do informational interviews
- Research and/or apply for internships
- Watch/listen to streamed appellate oral arguments; the U.S. Supreme Court is live for the first time in history, many states’ appellate and supreme court oral arguments are also available to listen/view on Zoom
- Prepare for the LSAT
- Volunteering in any capacity – helping housebound neighbors with getting food, dog walking, etc.; all lawyers need empathy and a client oriented focus
- Reading about law school, the legal profession (Richard Susskind, Nutshell on American Law and the Legal System, Plain English for Lawyers, John Grisham, Scott Turow)
- Be creative and proactive!
Have a safe and enjoyable summer!
Bradley A. Mueller, J.D.
Pre-Law Advising Appointments
Pre-Law advising appointments are available!
All appointments will be held online for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. Online appointments may be conducted with audio only if you do not have video capability. Continue to schedule an appointment in the normal manner. As always, if you are a non-LAS student, an alum, or otherwise are unable to schedule via Insight, please email the Pre-Law Advisor at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Once your appointment is scheduled, you will receive an email from the Pre-Law Advisor with your virtual meeting location link.
Helpful Links Specific to COVID-19 Content
LSAC Updates: Coronavirus and the LSAT. The most current information regarding LSAT test dates, cancellations and policies can be found on LSAC’s website, which includes a very helpful FAQ section.
LSAC COVID-19 Resources: LSAC is creating, tracking, and compiling resources to help you navigate this challenging time. The list of resources will change as LSAC receives updates and new opportunities become available.
AccessLex is another great resource for COVID-19 information as it relates to current and prospective law students.
University of Michigan Law School FAQs COVID-19 Edition provides answers to typical applicant questions in the current unique admissions process, including answers to questions about P/F, CR/NC grading policies, that are generally applicable across the board.
Spring 2020 CR/NC Policy & Considerations for Pre-Law Students
With the new undergraduate CR/NC policy just released, Pre-Law Advising is working to find out as much information as possible regarding how current and future law school applications will be affected if a student chooses the CR/NC option for spring 2020 courses.
You have until April 29, 2020 to decide regarding CR/NC, so it may be worthwhile to engage in your online courses right now as though you plan to earn a letter grade. Please schedule a pre-law advising appointment if you wish to discuss your options prior to April 29, 2020.
There is not a universal approach to this decision that applies to everyone. It will be up to each student to decide what’s best based on their unique circumstances.
Law schools around the country understand that this is an unprecedented time for law school applicants, and this is where the holistic review process comes into play.
There are some considerations to keep in mind as you make your CR/NC decisions:
- Do what is best for your mental/physical health, financial conditions, and family situations.
- As always, law school admission committees will carefully review your transcript for your overall areas of academic success and any discrepancies that appear in your academic history. This could include a semester/semesters in which you dropped multiple classes or withdrew from an entire semester, or a semester in which you performed poorly. In normal circumstances, we encourage students to submit a letter of addendum to directly address those discrepancies. However, LSAC will place a letter in the CAS report of every applicant enrolled during Spring 2020, to remind law schools going forward that the semester was one in which many schools changed their grading systems in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will serve as a reminder about the effects of the pandemic for law schools who will review applications in the near future or several years from now and will make the addendum generally unnecessary for this semester.
- If you choose CR for the final grade, it will neither improve or negatively affect your GPA. However, it is difficult to prove the level of academic effort with a CR grade when compared with a letter grade, especially when considering the rigor of upper level courses and courses in your major. Additionally, if your goal is to improve your GPA, the CR grade will not help you. You will still earn credit for the hours but not the quality points necessary to improve your GPA.
- For this semester, if you choose to CR/NC courses, remember law schools know this is an option and will likely weigh those courses accordingly in their final decision when considering all aspects (your resume, personal statement, letters of recommendation, LSAT score, etc.) of your application.
- Although LSAC will be supplementing future CAS reports with a letter acknowledging the unique circumstances of the Spring 2020 semester, applicants could also explain their own COVID-19 situation in an addendum.
- You may wish to keep a “COVID-19 journal” about what is happening, which courses you are taking, and why you selected CR/NC in particular courses. Such a journal could come in handy down the road if you ever need to explain the decision, perhaps in an addendum.
- Reach out to law schools directly with any questions related to CR/NC or other aspects of the application process.