Illinois Law - Class of 2015

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:55 pm

Cornelius wrote:Wow, this is something I hadn't previously seen when reading about Illinois. Out of sheer curiosity, and I apologize if this is already available somewhere on the Illinois website, can you provide more details about the scholarships awarded (i.e. median award, min award-max award, % full scholarships, % half, etc.)? Do you anticipate a similar situation in the upcoming year despite the larger class size?

The average award was $20,000 per year, the minimum was $8,000 and the max was full tuition. I anticipate that we will continue with every student receiving scholarship assistance although I don't know what the average amount will be.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:58 pm

Pless wrote:
Cornelius wrote:Wow, this is something I hadn't previously seen when reading about Illinois. Out of sheer curiosity, and I apologize if this is already available somewhere on the Illinois website, can you provide more details about the scholarships awarded (i.e. median award, min award-max award, % full scholarships, % half, etc.)? Do you anticipate a similar situation in the upcoming year despite the larger class size?

The average award was $20,000 per year, the minimum was $8,000 and the max was full tuition. I anticipate that we will continue with every student receiving scholarship assistance although I don't know what the average amount will be.

Do you think you'll lock tuition for three years like you did last year?

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:34 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
Pless wrote:
Cornelius wrote:Wow, this is something I hadn't previously seen when reading about Illinois. Out of sheer curiosity, and I apologize if this is already available somewhere on the Illinois website, can you provide more details about the scholarships awarded (i.e. median award, min award-max award, % full scholarships, % half, etc.)? Do you anticipate a similar situation in the upcoming year despite the larger class size?

The average award was $20,000 per year, the minimum was $8,000 and the max was full tuition. I anticipate that we will continue with every student receiving scholarship assistance although I don't know what the average amount will be.

Do you think you'll lock tuition for three years like you did last year?

Yes.

tennisking88
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby tennisking88 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:49 pm

Dean Pless,

What do you think about contractions in personal statements? I've heard conflicting views on this. Most of TLS say to stay away from them, but I think there's something to the idea that your PS should reflect your personality, how you talk/think, etc.

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:43 pm

tennisking88 wrote:Dean Pless,

What do you think about contractions in personal statements? I've heard conflicting views on this. Most of TLS say to stay away from them, but I think there's something to the idea that your PS should reflect your personality, how you talk/think, etc.


In nine years, that is a new question for me. I am not a very formal person, so contractions don't bother me. I suppose that there may be some schools that feel differently, but in the litany of complaints I hear from my peers about applicants, the use of contractions is not one I have heard before.

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Robespierre
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Robespierre » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:11 pm

Pless wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:Dean Pless,

What do you think about contractions in personal statements? I've heard conflicting views on this. Most of TLS say to stay away from them, but I think there's something to the idea that your PS should reflect your personality, how you talk/think, etc.


In nine years, that is that's a new question for me. I am I'm not a very formal person, so contractions don't bother me. I suppose that there may be some schools that feel differently, but in the litany of complaints I hear from my peers about applicants, the use of contractions is not isn't one I have I've heard before.


FTFY

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:21 am

Robespierre wrote:
Pless wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:Dean Pless,

What do you think about contractions in personal statements? I've heard conflicting views on this. Most of TLS say to stay away from them, but I think there's something to the idea that your PS should reflect your personality, how you talk/think, etc.


In nine years, that is that's a new question for me. I am I'm not a very formal person, so contractions don't bother me. I suppose that there may be some schools that feel differently, but in the litany of complaints I hear from my peers about applicants, the use of contractions is not isn't one I have I've heard before.


FTFY


You're quite clever.

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Hopefully2012
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Hopefully2012 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:53 am

If you had to pick a couple things which separate your law school from its peers, what would they be? I looked through your viewbook but I'm also interested in your thoughts.

btw thank you for the insight into your admissions process.

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:13 pm

Hopefully2012 wrote:If you had to pick a couple things which separate your law school from its peers, what would they be? I looked through your viewbook but I'm also interested in your thoughts.

btw thank you for the insight into your admissions process.


I think that by and large most of the top law schools in the country are very similar. They offer a wide variety of courses taught by great faculty in rooms filled with bright, ambitious students. This is the case at Illinois. We will be offering over 200 elective courses this fall for our roughly 500 upper level law students. Our 1L's will have half of their classes with 46 students and half of their classes with 30 students. Illinois has faculty strengths in just about every area of law and we offer a wide variety of simulation courses and 11 different live client clinics.

I am not sure this next thing is a difference, since I can't speak with authority about other schools, but at Illinois we really are a community. Our students tend to work very closely together and are a pretty social bunch. Because of our small class sizes the students and faculty get a lot of direct interaction with each other and our faculty, while being some of the leading scholars in their areas of expertise, are great teachers who love to teach.

I can think of other differences, but those might not be qualitatively better, just different. Our primary market is Chicago, which is great for a lot of students, but not everyone. We place a third of our students outside of our primary market and over the last 3 years they have gone to 33 different states. We are in a college town, which means lower cost and interaction with over 10,000 graduate students in other disciplines as well as Big Ten athletics.

I think that is a good start.
Paul

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:41 pm

Pless wrote:
Hopefully2012 wrote:If you had to pick a couple things which separate your law school from its peers, what would they be? I looked through your viewbook but I'm also interested in your thoughts.

btw thank you for the insight into your admissions process.


I think that by and large most of the top law schools in the country are very similar. They offer a wide variety of courses taught by great faculty in rooms filled with bright, ambitious students. This is the case at Illinois. We will be offering over 200 elective courses this fall for our roughly 500 upper level law students. Our 1L's will have half of their classes with 46 students and half of their classes with 30 students. Illinois has faculty strengths in just about every area of law and we offer a wide variety of simulation courses and 11 different live client clinics.

I am not sure this next thing is a difference, since I can't speak with authority about other schools, but at Illinois we really are a community. Our students tend to work very closely together and are a pretty social bunch. Because of our small class sizes the students and faculty get a lot of direct interaction with each other and our faculty, while being some of the leading scholars in their areas of expertise, are great teachers who love to teach.

I can think of other differences, but those might not be qualitatively better, just different. Our primary market is Chicago, which is great for a lot of students, but not everyone. We place a third of our students outside of our primary market and over the last 3 years they have gone to 33 different states. We are in a college town, which means lower cost and interaction with over 10,000 graduate students in other disciplines as well as Big Ten athletics.

I think that is a good start.
Paul

This is great stuff. I'm definitely going to use some of it in my "Why Illinois?"

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DreamsInDigital
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby DreamsInDigital » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:54 pm

Hey Everyone,

Brand new 1L here. Just wanted to pop in and say hi.

Obviously Dean Pless is the absolute best resource for almost anything you need to know about Illinois/the application process, but I also want to make myself available.

Feel free to send me a PM if you have any specific questions about my cycle (I was a pretty severe splitter), my experience so far (come from a big city, so the move was a little drastic), or about anything you don't feel comfortable asking Dean Pless.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing some of you next year.

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neeko
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby neeko » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:03 am

Dean Pless,

I took the LSAT in June and will be retaking in October. In this situation, is it best to submit the application and make a note either on the application if it is available or by email or to wait for the release of the scores? Also, would the school also be notified of a new score automatically?

Thanks for your help!

Betharl
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Betharl » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:30 pm

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Last edited by Betharl on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DreamsInDigital
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby DreamsInDigital » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:58 pm

neeko, this is from last year's application thread. i would guess it is still the case.


Pless wrote:
Every school does this differently, but at Illinois we will hold a file if we see a pending LSAT administration. You may tell us to NOT wait, but unless you contact us we will hold the file. Given that, it is best to get the application in earlier. If you have all of the other parts of your file complete your application will move into review as soon as the new score reports. We have a paperless application process, so typically files will complete within 48 hours of your newest LSAT score reporting.

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:35 am

neeko wrote:Dean Pless,

I took the LSAT in June and will be retaking in October. In this situation, is it best to submit the application and make a note either on the application if it is available or by email or to wait for the release of the scores? Also, would the school also be notified of a new score automatically?

Thanks for your help!


As long as you are registered for a future test we will assume that you want us to wait for that score to come in and not complete your file. You may contact us and let us know that you would like to be considered complete, but we will not review your file again after the new score comes in. We are notified automatically when anything is updated in your LSAC account, including a new LSAT score or updated transcripts.

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:39 am

Betharl wrote:Dean Pless,

I received my UG degree from Illinois 2 years ago and Illinois is one of the schools I am considering for law school. My LSAC GPA should be about a 3.7, and I think I have a good chance at scoring at or above the school's LSAT median if I properly prepare. I am not sure if I will be ready for the October test, so I was thinking about giving up the advantage of applying early and postponing until the December LSAT.

If I decide to postpone, I would have all my applications ready to go so I could apply as soon as possible after receving my score from December. I would also consider retaking in February, with the hope that if I am waitlisted somewhere, a higher score in February could bump me to the top of the list (if my February score turned out to be way higher, it is possible I would wait and apply again next cycle, but I really don't want to do that). Do you think I should postpone, or should I simply do my best in October (knowing I won't be fully prepared) and retake in December?

Thanks,

Mike


This is always a personal choice, and a tough one. You should take the test when you feel ready and it is best to only take the test once (it is expensive and there are better ways to spend a Saturday.) If you decide to wait until December, I would consider applying after you take the test but before you get your score (at least to Illinois, where our application is free and you don't have to wait for a score to generate a fee waiver.) By doing so you will have your file complete the day after scores report. It may not seem like it would make a huge difference, but during this time of year we are receiving a few hundred applications a week, and a one or two week delay in your application completing could push you back a few weeks from a decision.

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NiccoloA
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby NiccoloA » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:26 am

Three questions:

With the resumes, do you prefer work experience to be strictly internships or can we include part-time jobs like McDonald's and the like during the school year?


Many of us will write Why Illinois essays, but I'm interested in why you think Illinois is the better choice. So, why Illinois?


What credit is given to in-state residents? I've heard that no real preference is given, but as a state school I would like to think that those that want to stay and work in Illinois might have a slight benefit of state pride, if nothing else.



Thanks,
:D

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Hopefully2012
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Hopefully2012 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:02 pm

NiccoloA wrote:Many of us will write Why Illinois essays, but I'm interested in why you think Illinois is the better choice. So, why Illinois?


I posed a similar question which was answered above that might help. :)

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:09 pm

NiccoloA wrote:Three questions:

With the resumes, do you prefer work experience to be strictly internships or can we include part-time jobs like McDonald's and the like during the school year?

Many of us will write Why Illinois essays, but I'm interested in why you think Illinois is the better choice. So, why Illinois?

What credit is given to in-state residents? I've heard that no real preference is given, but as a state school I would like to think that those that want to stay and work in Illinois might have a slight benefit of state pride, if nothing else.

Thanks,
:D


I would focus on experiences in professional environments, but it is good to include anything that you were doing during the school year. It helps to get a sense of the way you balance priorities. I gave some thoughts on the Why Illinois above, please let me know if you have additional questions. In the admissions process we are residency blind, looking for the very best students regardless of where they are from. Currently you do get a $7,000 tuition discount for being a resident, so hopefully that eases the pain a bit.

GregMmm
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby GregMmm » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:33 pm

Dean Pless,

I made a decision on the following question several weeks ago, but I think it would still be interesting for me and for people who are going to be in my position in several months to hear what you have to say--

Is there any reason to choose Illinois over WashU if I want to practice in the East Coast and I get similar money at both?

And-- your 2014 class profile is very impressive given your school's rank and reputation. You are obviously doing something right. What is Dean Bolin doing wrong? How would you play up a school's lay prestige and higher ranking differently? With respect to admission policies, would you accept more reverse splitters and less "regular" splitters? With respect to your job prospects, would you like to get a phone call with a job offer from Kent Syverud? I would like you to get that phone call...

(Not too difficult to guess where I ended up probably haha)

GregMmm
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby GregMmm » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:46 pm

Dean Pless,

I have another question for you-- when the number of applicants decreases in a given cycle, you naturally want to decrease your incoming class size to protect your medians. Is there any pressure on your office from the university to not decrease a class to the size you like it to be or will they not interfere with such matters?

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:58 pm

GregMmm wrote:Dean Pless,
I made a decision on the following question several weeks ago, but I think it would still be interesting for me and for people who are going to be in my position in several months to hear what you have to say--
Is there any reason to choose Illinois over WashU if I want to practice in the East Coast and I get similar money at both?
And-- your 2014 class profile is very impressive given your school's rank and reputation. You are obviously doing something right. What is Dean Bolin doing wrong? How would you play up a school's lay prestige and higher ranking differently? With respect to admission policies, would you accept more reverse splitters and less "regular" splitters? With respect to your job prospects, would you like to get a phone call with a job offer from Kent Syverud? I would like you to get that phone call...
(Not too difficult to guess where I ended up probably haha)


First, the East Coast issue. I tried looking at data for where WUSTL's grads are going, but the data on the website is for the class of '08. Given that is pre-ITE I don't know that information is relevant to your questions. After Chicago, our most popular markets have been DC and NYC. In the Class of 2010 we had about 9% of the class go to the East Coast and about 9% go to the West Coast. Self selection plays a role there as well.

As to the admissions issues, I am pretty sure WUSTL brought in a great class this year as well. They do that every year, and have done so for as long as Dean Bolin has been there, even before Dean Syverud took over. We have a smaller class and that certainly helps and we both spend a ton of money on recruiting the very best students possible.

As for the hypothetical phone call, I am a graduate of Illinois and I have a very deep and very personal tie to Illinois. I am not sure that I would be as effective at another school. Plus, I am a public school kind of guy. WUSTL is a beautiful school (I have never been on another campus that smelled like a golf course before) but I am pretty happy here.

I appreciate your interest in my career though. If I ever do start looking, I will be sure to use GregMmm as a reference. :)

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tennisballs
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby tennisballs » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:07 pm

Hi Dean Pless,

Thanks so much for answering questions. I'm excited for the application to come out this week!

Regarding the resume, do you frown upon a document that is more than 1 page?

I've heard different things. This website says it should be 1 in their section as do others. However, my pre-law advisor and a law professor who I sought advice from told me I should should not cut mine down further than I already have... which is 1.5 pages. They said an admissions office wouldn't frown upon this unless I had a bunch of useless info included.

If you would let me know how you feel about this and how Illinois views it, I would really appreciate it!

Thanks,

I-L-L

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:03 am

GregMmm wrote:Dean Pless,

I have another question for you-- when the number of applicants decreases in a given cycle, you naturally want to decrease your incoming class size to protect your medians. Is there any pressure on your office from the university to not decrease a class to the size you like it to be or will they not interfere with such matters?


At Illinois, the College is basically financially independent from the University and we make these decisions internally, without any pressure or demands from the outside.

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Pless
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Re: Illinois Law - Class of 2015

Postby Pless » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:05 am

tennisballs wrote:Hi Dean Pless,

Thanks so much for answering questions. I'm excited for the application to come out this week!

Regarding the resume, do you frown upon a document that is more than 1 page?

I've heard different things. This website says it should be 1 in their section as do others. However, my pre-law advisor and a law professor who I sought advice from told me I should should not cut mine down further than I already have... which is 1.5 pages. They said an admissions office wouldn't frown upon this unless I had a bunch of useless info included.

If you would let me know how you feel about this and how Illinois views it, I would really appreciate it!

Thanks,

I-L-L


I have always said that, for Illinois, a resume doesn't need to be restricted to one page. Each school will have their own thoughts on this. At Illinois, we want to know what you have been doing outside of your coursework. When in doubt, include it. Once you get here, our Career team will help you strip it down to the one page format that legal employers (typically) prefer.




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