4.5 out of 5 Stars
Engaged students and factuality; professors committed to teaching; great employment prospectsDowners
Intellectually elitist; little emphasis on clinics and pro-bono opportunitiesComments
Come if you want an intense, intellectually rigorous experience in a tight-knit environmentWould You Recommend
The professors are excellent; they are prepared, enthusiastic, and interested.Level
Class sizes are relatively small which means that sometimes there are not enough courses offered and a really popular one can get crowded easily. But on the other hand you can always get whatever class you want it just might be in a larger room. The small seminar classes with prominent faculty are outstanding and sometimes as small as ten students to a professor. The faculty are some of the most brilliant in their field and are truly challenging and inspiring. The legal writing course is pretty terrible, but I don't know of any law school who has a good one. There is no study abroad which is unfortunate. There are many many research opportunities because of the student faculty ratio. I find the competitiveness is very low, because you know all of your fellow students so well it's hard to be competitive against anyone but yourself.Quality of Life
Chicago is a city and more expensive than most places, but incredibly cheap compared to cities of it's size (LA, NY, Boston, Miami). The campus is very beautiful but it is kind of removed from the rest of the city in Hyde Park which is both good and bad. The law building is very nice with lockers and a small cafe inside. The library is fantastic with computers and wireless throughout. Crime does happen around the neighborhood, but I have never had a problem (knock on wood) and I walk around at night without a problem but I do carry MACE just in case. If you are not lazy like me there are also Safe Ride buses you can call or police umbrella services available 24 hours. The neighborhood of the law school is definitely lacking but it only takes a 20 min bus to get to the heart of downtown Chicago, and the public transportation here is phenomenal. I think it is a very, very happy place to be even with the cold :)Admissions
LSAT and essays are very important. I think there was one optional essay. The scholarship and financial aid is sparse, but the school has one of the best loan forgiveness programs for those that are public interest bound ($10,000 forgiven per year worked in the public interest sector!) and other students can count on generous firm salaries to pay back loans quickly.Level
Most professors use the socratic method, which when properly executed, is far superior to any other method. Seminars are usually 10-20 students, and lecture classes range anywhere from 10 to around 120 for the main 1L classes.
Faculty is amazing and is what sets this school apart from its peers.
Grading system, in my opinion, is ideal. It identifies the very top students so that are good candidates for the most selective clerkships and similar positions, and it also protects/muddles everyone else so that employers can't distinguish, say, the 40th percentile from the 60th percentile.
Lots of great research opportunities. We were required to write two "substantial" research papers, which can be quite serious works if one so desires.Quality of Life
Lots of options, both private and University-affiliated, in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is both inexpensive and safe.Admissions
Typical process: essay, LSAT, etc. I was a borderline candidate, so I was asked to come in for an interview and write an additional essay on a given topic. I actually really enjoyed both the essay and the interview.Level
Socratic heavy first year; After the first year, I had many small seminarsLevel
Students are competitive with themselves, but collegial with each other. Grades are not discussed to ensure this collegial environment. There is a focus on economics and theory, but we are all aware that we are also somewhat interested in practical learning. Grading is done on a curve. The class size is small, which is a huge advantage for job prospects, getting to know the faculty, and getting the full experience. Notable faculty include Baird, Geoffrey Stone, Nussbaum, Epstein, etc. Work load is no worse than other top ten schools, although we have a reputation for being more rigorous (which is great for employment prospects).Quality of Life
Many housing opportunities available, safe neighborhood plenty of police around.Admissions
Typical LSDAS application, no extra questions. Limited personal statement.Level
It's definitely more theoretical than practical, but if you want a more hands-on approach, there are plenty of seminars that are more practical. So basically it's up to you. There's a big range in terms of how Socratic professors are. In general, most 1L classes are pretty Socratic and later classes less so. The classes and professors are amazing. The faculty is well-respected scholars who are also approachable, and there are a lot of young professors who seem like they'll be the "next big thing." People often label the school as competitive, but that's false. People never talk about grades here, it's just an unspoken social norm that it's not cool to talk about. Workload is typical of a top-tier school.Quality of Life
Cost of living is pretty good, especially near campus in Hyde Park. It's a boring neighborhood though and has quite a bit of crime, typical of a big city. If you move farther north, there's a lot more to do, and some neighborhoods are safer, but it is more expensive than Hyde Park. The facilities are nothing special, but there's lots of space to study, and the library has lots of windows, which is nice. The adjoining undergrad campus is beautiful and gothic if you miss that atmosphere.Admissions
Pretty standard. I received an answer after about two months (waitlisted) and then heard that I got in the day after decision day.Level
Pretty standard law school application done through LSACLevel