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Overall School Rating
50 Ratings

3.5 out of 5 Stars

32
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32 Student Reviews (4 star). See all 50 reviews.

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“Good School if You are at the Top”
September 2017CURRENT STUDENT
Uppers

Great Intellectual Property department and growing!! Lots and lots of opportunities for those interested in IP/Patent Law with a great Director of IP.

Downers

If you are not at the top of your class it can be difficult to get a job in Big Law. If you don't care about going into Big Law then you should be fine. The career services office needs improvement--need to better your OCI's for those who are in the top 10%..... it was slim pickings.

Comments

Work hard and if you're in the top 15-20% you'll do great!!!

Would You Recommend

Yes

“Good Chicago Law School”
June 2015FORMER STUDENT
Uppers

DePaul had a lot of great teachers and I felt like I learned a lot while I was there.

Downers

DePaul doesn't have a ton of prestige compared to Northwestern or University of Chicago, for example, and that can make a big difference when looking for a job after graduation.

Comments

If you are looking to practice law in Chicago, but can't get into NW or Univ. of Chicago, then DePaul is a quality alternative.

Would You Recommend

Yes

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

I did not expect to be so impressed with the faculty at DePaul. At any school, incoming students know that the subject matter is difficult and the socratic method is terrifying. But at DePaul, I felt like the professors were teaching first and instilling fear second. Though professors may be intimidating, I have always felt like they want me to arrive at the right answer. I also appreciate how professors tie the substantive and theoretical aspects of law back to fairness and justice. The cases we study do not exist in a bubble; rather, they have real consequences. It is refreshing to have professors who do not loose sight of that.

DePaul offers many opportunities for students to specialize in topics they are interested in. Law is a diverse field, so students who are interested in a specific area can specialize through seminars, clinics, and journals. Clinics offer students the opportunity to gain experience working on actual cases. Seminars and journals offer the opportunity to publish an article, which requires that the student become an expert on the topic they write on. Even if a student does not have a particular area of interest, these programs provide an opportunity to become familiar with an area of law.

Quality of Life

Chicago is a great city to live in. DePaul law school is centrally located downtown, which makes it accessible from any direction. Accordingly, students enjoy choice in where they live.

The building itself has a "law" look about it. There is plenty of wood grain and intricate finishing detail. The building is old, but the school has been in the process of updating for the past few years. The essential facilities like the library, student lounge, student organization offices, and classrooms are in good shape.

Admissions

DePaul's admission process is similar to most schools. When I applied, they required letters of recommendation, an undergraduate transcript, a personal statement, LSAT score, and a resume. Recently, the process has been moved online. This was implemented before I applied, but I can assume it was for administrative efficiency. Even though I applied before online applications, the turnaround time was faster than any other school I applied to.

Level

2L

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

There is a good balance of theory and practical courses. I personally prefer practical study courses and there are plenty of them to fill my schedule. While class sizes are fairly large, it was easy to meet people the first year because all of my classes, except legal writing, had the same students in it. The school also offers several unique academic programs including Art Law and Aviation Law, both of which I have been informed are outstanding from other students (I have not taken these classes myself). There are significant study abroad opportunities. While the students are competitive in the sense that each student strives to get the best grade, we do not do so by attempting to stifle others' ability to study, and the students generally have a good report with each other.

Quality of Life

It is expensive to live and attend school in Chicago. Certain expenses are lower, like gas because I use school subsidized public transit to travel too and from school, but for the most part my expenses have risen considerably since living in a much smaller city during undergrad. The facilities need some updating, but I believe the classrooms are being remodeled over the summer. The student lounge is amazing and the Library is well organized and clean. The school's neighborhood is pretty nice because it's in downtown Chicago and the crime rate for the most part is low, partially because law facilities that are not classrooms are not easily accessible to people other than law students, faculty, and staff. Students, in general, seem quite happy at DePaul. I think that is mostly because of the friendly environment and good report among students. I have a large group of friends among my fellow students and am amiable with a large part of the student body. Students frequently offer semi-strangers advice regarding professors, courses, and general non-law related questions.

Admissions

The school requires students to take the LSAT and write an application essay, but takes a lot of factors into consideration in determining admission. Such factors include GPA, LSAT score, undergraduate degree, any graduate degrees and personal factors. I did not attend graduate school and was still accepted. I also received a significant academic scholarship without any additional application.

Level

2L

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

I thought the classes were outstanding. The Professors were brilliant and a pleasure to learn from. I once received a C from a Professor, but still counted that class among my favorites, given how much I'd learned. Socratic method is common practice. Class size for bar classes is about 60-80. Practice-based classes are about 10-20 in size. Grading on a curve. Lots of study abroad opportunities.

Quality of Life

Cost of living is high, but I enjoyed Chicago a great deal. Facilities were great and it was very safe. I couldn't have been happier with my choice.

Admissions

Complete application, LSAT, essay, LSAC/LSDAS

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The quality of classes is excellent. Many courses during the first year focus on theory, but the professors have all practiced law and some practice and teach simultaneously, so there are rarely moments where practical study is not brought into the daily lessons and lectures. The Socratic method is used in almost all classes. Class sizes are just right, around 80 people/doctrinal classes and 15 for legal writing. The school offers a plethora or externship, research, clinic, independent study, teaching assistantship, and study abroad opportunities. The faculty are friendly and always available for questions. The workload is heavy with a major focus on case reading, but it is comparable to other schools and not unexpected for law school. Grading is on a curve with the 1L year being notoriously more difficult than the 2L and 3L years.

Quality of Life

Cost of living is pricey, but if you look hard enough, you can find affordable housing in the suburbs around the school. I would say the majority of students live in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, and Old Town. Downtown living costs are much higher, but students are given a CTA pass, making public transportation an easy and fast way to get to school and around the city. The law school is located downtown in the middle of the business district, just blocks from the Willis (Sears) Tower. Computer labs are always open with computers available, legal research printing is free, the library staff is helpful, the school is monitored by security, and the overall atmosphere is very positive.

Admissions

The application did ask if there was a specific field of law that I was interested in, we had to write a personal statement, provide our LSAT score, and could apply through LSAC. Financial aid was not offered until after acceptance. They also informed us after we were accepted if we were accepted into a specialized legal writing class in conjunction with the field of law we were interested in on our application. Some fields of law, like family law, do offer scholarships.

Level

1L

Graduation Year

2013

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

First year is largely theoretical (though not much Socratic method), but includes enough practical information (e.g. Civ Pro) to be suitable as a clerk in summer/fall after 1L. 2L and 3L is elective and includes substantial practical offerings with a selection of theoretical classes on specific topics. 1L courses have around 70-90 students (day program) except for Legal Writing (LARC) which has around 15. Upper-lever classes can be as big, but sometimes as few as five or six, depending on demand. Study abroad is available over summer and winter with additional programs in other parts of the U.S. for winter and spring breaks. Locations include Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, China, Czech Republic, Ireland, Argentina, Australia, and Los Angeles). Also accepts study abroad credits from any other ABA-accredited program/school. Grading is one forced curve for all of 1L; curve also applies to all LARC classes (LARC I and II are 1L year, LARC III is one semester of 2L year). A more lenient curve also applies to all upper-level classes of more than 25 students, no curve for classes of 25 or fewer. No formal academic advising, mostly through word-of-mouth with other students and recent grads, but that is more than sufficient. Requirements to graduate are easy to follow and posted online for easy reference.

Quality of Life

Campus blends with Chicago. There is university-affiliated housing two blocks south of the law school, but most students find an apartment in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Bucktown, Logan Square, Buena Park, or elsewhere (some locals commute from suburbs via Metra (commuter rail), but that is uncommon, mostly students who are married or live with family). U-Pass (unlimited-use CTA bus/train pass, mandatory purchase through student fees) makes commuting easy from all over the city. Most partying, study groups, and other socializing happens away from downtown and the law school.

Admissions

Nothing required beyond LSAC minimums (LSAT, references, essays). "Merit" scholarships available for incoming students (at least up to $20k/yr) but difficult to maintain past first year because of minimum GPA requirements combined with the mandatory curve.

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Quality of practical application outweighs theory (but theory is not absent). Socratic method is well-applied by professors to force discussion in competitive (but not cut throat) courses.

Additionally, Unique programs such as the clinics are not only useful, but give outstanding employment interview bullet points.

Quality of Life

Cost of Chicago higher than smaller towns, but that's life. I feel safe.

Admissions

Definitely had essays (although I cannot recall the question), LSAT scores higher than average, Financial Aid was dedicated to allowing every eligible student to attend via loans.

Level

2L

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The classes I've taken here would receive mixed reviews, but I've had very few classes that were exceptionally bad. The good classes I've had were truly amazing, particularly in the areas of international law and public interest law. I think the first year curriculum is fair and the professors do a good job of helping students adjust to the tactics of law school. Individual professors tell you up front whether they use the Socratic method or not, so at least you know what you're getting into. I've had wonderful research opportunities here and as a result I've been able to develop strong relationships with a few professors. The study abroad opportunities are varied, as they cover the entire world, and I like how the programs each have their own focus. Grading on the curve typically doesn't bother me but I think it's a real disadvantage in legal writing classes because a curved grade doesn't let you know how strong or weak your skills actually are. The workload is manageable so long as you don't waste time. I would say that the worst classes at DePaul are the legal writing classes, but this varies significantly depending on the professor. I feel like I learned basic skills in my first year of legal writing, and my professor is such a wonderful person that I now work for her and love it. However, my third semester of legal writing was a waste of time. I learned nothing from my professor that I couldn't have learned by simply reading a couple of handouts. My professor also couldn't have cared less about us, and she made it very clear that she did not want to be there with us. I have never had such a worthless class, but on the other hand I've heard a lot of people with different professors say that they learned more in LARC III than they did in their entire first year of legal writing. No one who had my professor feels that way though.

Quality of Life

I don't live on campus so I can't speak to that. However, I find that DePaul's campus needs some updating but the new facilities, such as the 2nd floor lounge, show just how much potential we have for growth. The library is in excellent shape and it contains pretty much anything that a law student could ever need. While I've heard of instances of on-campus crime, I've never gotten the impression that it's particularly rampant. My one complaint about on-campus life is the cost of printing and photocopying. Last year our printing was free, and this year we have to pay ten cents per page to print. This is incredibly steep given how much law students need to print things, and the school has done nothing about furthering a student suggestion to distribute pre-loaded printing cards to all law students. The increase in printing costs just seems greedy, and we pay enough in tuition to this school as it is.

Admissions

Honestly I don't remember much about the admissions process at DePaul, which means that there were no unique application questions but I also didn't have any problems with DePaul. One thing I really appreciated was DePaul's inclusion of your scholarship offers in your initial letter of admission. I had to wait to hear about my scholarship offers for a long time with other schools, but with DePaul I knew right away. I also know that the application was free on LSAC, and as I applied to twenty law schools I appreciated that financial break.

Level

2L

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

High quality clinics and public interest course offerings. Competitive the first year, but less so after that. Strict grade curve, which has come under recent criticism.

Quality of Life

Very urban. Downtown, so everything that comes with that. Crime is low. Feels very safe.

Admissions

Focus on public interest law.

Level

2L

Graduation Year

2012

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Uppers Downers Comments Would You Recommend

Academics Quality of Life Admissions Level Graduation Year