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Course syllabus

This course will help new advisors find their bearings and seasoned advisors in their mentoring. Join veteran advisor Diane Curtis and relatively-new advisor Ilisabeth Bornstein in a freeform, fireside chat about getting started as an advisor.

Ilisabeth reflects on her transition from law practice to advising and Diane discusses her experience in helping new advisors hit the ground running. Together, they discuss how to get established at your institution, what resources are most helpful in advising students, and common experiences in advising. They cover institutional differences, where to look for helpful internal relationships, and where to get information from external sources such as LSAC, NALP, and professional advising organizations.

  1. Establishing Your Role in Your School's Ecosystem


    We discuss finding your bearings at two very different institutions. We discuss what many prelaw advisors don’t know when starting out and ways of connecting with other prelaw advisors online and in person, through associations and conferences, to close knowledge gaps.

  2. What should a new advisor expect to do?


    We discuss best practices for advising students and providing access to important information and resources. We also discuss how the prelaw advising process can continue beyond undergrad, and how to sustain a productive relationship with alumni.

  3. Law School Application Basics


    We talk about staying engaged with current students by creating mailing lists, hosting events, and building relationships with other on-campus organizations such as career services. We also cover some general information that we wish we had known from the start about standardized tests, how to address common student’s concerns, and application packages.

  4. Key Advising Resources


    We discuss the variety of resources available to prelaw advisors.

  5. Defining Your Success


    We discuss how to measure your success as a prelaw advisor.

Diane Curtis, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

photo of Diane Curtis

Diane Curtis is the Director of Pre-Law Advising and a Senior Lecturer in Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has been a Pre-Law Advisor since 2004, is a member of the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors (NAPLA), and has presented several times at NAPLA and PLANC conferences on such topics as engaging legal alumni, assisting applicants with personal statements, and advising online. Diane also served on the National Advisory Council for Law School Transparency. Previously, she practiced law for 10 years in New York City and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Ilisabeth Bornstein, Bryant University

photo of Ilisabeth Bornstein

Ilisabeth Bornstein is a Lecturer in Legal Studies and Pre-Law Advisor. She received her J.D. and her M.P.P. from the University of Chicago and her B.A. from Yale University. She is also a practicing attorney.