Illinois has some great law schools and is an excellent choice for aspiring lawyers. However, there are some terms associated with Illinois law schools that you should know before you get started. Whether you want to go to a public or private law school, you'll want to make sure that it's an ABA-approved school if you want to sit for the Bar Exam. A good LSAT score can help you get into the best schools, but the following terms are probable not on your LSAT vocabulary list, though they are important.
Public vs. private law schools in IllinoisPublic law schools receive funding from the government, while private law schools do not. This means that private law schools in Illinois often have a higher tuition fee than public schools. This does not mean that they are necessarily more expensive. Sometimes, private schools are able to offer more in the way of financial aid than public schools due to large financial endowments from alumnae. Apply to both types of schools to compare financial aid packages.
University of Illinois is an example of a public law school, while DePaul University is a private school.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)The Law School Admissions Test, commonly referred to as the LSAT is a standardized test that you must take if you want to apply to law school. Many schools base their decision partially on these test scores in addition to college transcripts and recommendations. The LSAT tests reading comprehension, analytical reasoning and logistical reasoning.
Illinois Bar ExamOnce they've finished law school, students must pass the Illinois Bar Exam if they want to practice in the state of Illinois. This tests their knowledge of the law and ensures that they have the knowledge necessary to practice. Each state has its own test and requires lawyers to test for their state.
John Marshall Law School offers an overview of the Illinois Bar Exam.
ABA-approved law schools in IllinoisStudents must attend an law school that is approved by the American Bar Association if they want to practice law. This ensures that the school they study at is legitimate.
Juris Doctorate (J.D.)A Juris Doctorate, or J.D. is the degree that you get when you finish law school.
Law School Bible describes a J.D. in depth.