How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

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reversejinx
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How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby reversejinx » Fri May 20, 2011 2:10 am

... compared to my chances of sucking at a similar but larger school (e.g. Columbia, NYU, Michigan)?

Before anyone does the "law school is hard brah" bit, I'll of course be working my ass off, and trying to do my best. But as I'm trying to make a decision about which school to attend, I've found that the best way to make these minor, marginal distinctions is to figure out where I can maximize my chances of gainful employment, if I were to do poorly.

So we've all heard about the RIGOR of Chicago, and I'm trying to tease out how much of it is overblown, and how much of it is real. I imagine that the smaller class size makes the curve much more significant. And from what I understand Chicago gives out equal A's and C's. Is this different at the other schools? Of course, there was that ATL post about Chicago retroactively curving small classes that's garnered a far amount of attention. Although from what I can tell, even if its true it's unlikely to affect more than one or two classes you'll take your 2L or 3L years. So how's about it? Is Chicago so much harder that I'd have a better chance to do well at one of these other schools? Or is Chicago's small class size and overall prestige such that even if I were to do poorly, I'd still be in a better position?

Thanks in advance!

justhockey31
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby justhockey31 » Fri May 20, 2011 2:15 am

I would say about a 50% chance of falling below median and sucking...in all seriousness though you cannot predict how well or poorly you will do. Just do everything you can to go to law school confident and ready work. Worrying about everyone else and all other factors at Chicago will only lead to failure.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri May 20, 2011 10:10 pm

reversejinx wrote:... compared to my chances of sucking at a similar but larger school (e.g. Columbia, NYU, Michigan)?


Before anyone does the "law school is hard brah" bit, I'll of course be working my ass off, and trying to do my best. But as I'm trying to make a decision about which school to attend, I've found that the best way to make these minor, marginal distinctions is to figure out where I can maximize my chances of gainful employment, if I were to do poorly.

So we've all heard about the RIGOR of Chicago, and I'm trying to tease out how much of it is overblown, and how much of it is real. I imagine that the smaller class size makes the curve much more significant. And from what I understand Chicago gives out equal A's and C's. Is this different at the other schools?

Oh yeah. Other schools it’s more like 25% or more in As and a very small number or, or no, Cs. [/quote]

reversejinx wrote: Of course, there was that ATL post about Chicago retroactively curving small classes that's garnered a far amount of attention.


Well it’s called university of shitcago lol… I didn’t even bother to apply to UChi. The school’s highly competitive nature and the general social awkwardness of the typical UChi student was largely unappealing to me. But to each his own, and you might fit in there (I, personally, would not have though).

reversejinx wrote: Is Chicago so much harder that I'd have a better chance to do well at one of these other schools?


Not really. Your grades might be worse, but it doesn’t really matter because law firms still hire just as deep into UChi’s class as they do into its peer school’s classes.

reversejinx wrote:Or is Chicago's small class size and overall prestige such that even if I were to do poorly, I'd still be in a better position?


Columbia is more prestigious that Chicago…

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Lisi
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby Lisi » Fri May 20, 2011 10:50 pm

Feel free to take this with a grain of salt. I went to Chicago undergrad, which also has the "where fun comes to die" self-selecting-rigor reputation (at least it did when I applied/attended ~8-12years ago). I did grad school at an ivy and taught undergrads, and from what I can tell (and this may be similar to the law schools): the students all work about the same. The difference is that Chicago seems more stressful b/c the quarter system: because you are taking fewer classes and in relatively shorter period of time (quarter vs. semester), the classes can seem more intense (no time for slacking). It seemed that the Chicago kids and the other school's kids worked as hard, but Chicago was definitely more academic. Most Chicago people had 1 or 2 activities or clubs and that was it -- the rest of their time went to school work (I knew no one who did a school-year internship). The other school had a bit more of a balance. BUT, that doesn't mean that students in the two groups weren't equally busy - because they were. It was just a different allocation of time. This might be the case for Chicago Law (fewer people doing non-academic activities, internships, etc. during the academic year). That I can't say for sure though.
Whether or not a school is "super competitive" vs. "laid back" is a bit of an awkward categorization in my eyes. How can you tell who is really doing all the work? There are people who work very hard but act very chill about it (as though it would be uncool to admit to how much they work) and there are others that work very hard and let everyone know it (they think it's distinguishing, cool, honest, what have you). Anyway, Chicago probably fits the second category, but I don't think that the environment in the first description is healthier or, in truth, less competitive. I just think of it as non-nerdy vs. nerdy (I love nerds, I'm not hating), but both of these types can be competitive -- especially, of course, if there is less diversity in terms of everyone's career and academic goals.

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Emma.
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby Emma. » Fri May 20, 2011 11:22 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Well it’s called university of shitcago lol… I didn’t even bother to apply to UChi. The school’s highly competitive nature and the general social awkwardness of the typical UChi student was largely unappealing to me. But to each his own, and you might fit in there (I, personally, would not have though).



:roll:

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Columbia is more prestigious that Chicago…


:roll: :roll:

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Jay W. Weatherman
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby Jay W. Weatherman » Fri May 20, 2011 11:32 pm

U Chicago 1l here.

I wouldn't get too hung up on the "rigor" reputation, but then again I've never gone to another law school so I wouldn't know. Will your work hard here? Yes, but you're going to work hard anywhere.

Are there cultural and philosophical differences between Columbia, NYU and Chicago? Undoubtedly, but that doesn't make Chicago harder or make it more likely that people will "suck" here. The grading system is unique but it isn't set up to make it more likely people will fail. Instead it distinguishes people who do well and leaves the vast majority in a mushy middle. The details of the curve aren't all published but here is the info the school provides:

Classes are graded on a scale from 155-186. 180-186 is the rough equivalent of an A. 179-174 is the rough equivalent of a B. 173-168 is a C.

The median is 177 and the majority of people in a given class get a 176, 177 or 178. In a typical graduating class 19% of students will have an average of 179+, 3.8% will have an average of 180.5+ and .4% will have a 182+.

That scale makes it easy to identify the rock stars and then leaves a lot of talented people squished together. None of it really matters though because as an above poster indicated firms will go as deep into Chicago's class as they will for a peer school (if not deeper because we're smaller). I suspect you'd find that the vast majority of students at Chicago, Columbia and NYU are similar in that they're all bright hard-working people who didn't get into Yale, Harvard or Stanford. I'd bet that the biggest difference between CCN students is that 200 of them live in Chicago and the rest live in New York.

As for the ATL story: the grading curve wasn't retroactively changed. There was a policy that had been in place for years (median of 177 for regular classes, 179 for seminars), some faculty hadn't been meeting that and the administration clarified the policy. That was it.

At the end of the day the curve is the great equalizer. Chicago can't be harder than its peer schools because everyone has fixed grades. If you do well at Chicago you would have done well at Columbia or NYU. If you suck here you would have sucked there. There are differences between the schools, real ones that you should base your decision on, but this isn't one you should be concerned about.

Renzo
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby Renzo » Sat May 21, 2011 12:43 am

Emma. wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Well it’s called university of shitcago lol… I didn’t even bother to apply to UChi. The school’s highly competitive nature and the general social awkwardness of the typical UChi student was largely unappealing to me. But to each his own, and you might fit in there (I, personally, would not have though).



:roll:

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Columbia is more prestigious that Chicago…


:roll: :roll:


You know, he's half right. CLS isn't that prestigious.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat May 21, 2011 2:15 am

HYS or GTFO...

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat May 21, 2011 3:04 pm

Emma. wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Well it’s called university of shitcago lol… I didn’t even bother to apply to UChi. The school’s highly competitive nature and the general social awkwardness of the typical UChi student was largely unappealing to me. But to each his own, and you might fit in there (I, personally, would not have though).



:roll:

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Columbia is more prestigious that Chicago…


:roll: :roll:


:roll: :roll: :roll:

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Emma.
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby Emma. » Sat May 21, 2011 7:45 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:


I just wonder what you would possibly know about the reality of attending UChi since you didn't even apply.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Sat May 21, 2011 8:55 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:Well it’s called university of shitcago lol… I didn’t even bother to apply to UChi. The school’s highly competitive nature and the general social awkwardness of the typical UChi student was largely unappealing to me. But to each his own, and you might fit in there (I, personally, would not have though).

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon May 23, 2011 7:58 pm

Emma. wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:


I just wonder what you would possibly know about the reality of attending UChi since you didn't even apply.


You don't have to apply to have a good idea of what the school is like... A visit, reading, and meeting a few people who attend there is much more effective. Anyways, the enviroment at UChi isn't exactly a big secret. Even in this thread, just read Lisi's post. I wouldn't want to go to a school in that "second category."

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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby ExpectLess » Mon May 23, 2011 11:27 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Emma. wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:


I just wonder what you would possibly know about the reality of attending UChi since you didn't even apply.


You don't have to apply to have a good idea of what the school is like... A visit, reading, and meeting a few people who attend there is much more effective. Anyways, the enviroment at UChi isn't exactly a big secret. Even in this thread, just read Lisi's post. I wouldn't want to go to a school in that "second category."


You visited the school, researched it, and talked with people who went there, then decided not to apply?

I'm going to jump in here and say I was thoroughly impressed by the people I met at UChi and the environment cultivated there. The people were friendly and social on the whole--everyone I met ended up having at least a few drinks on a Thursday night, and were generally outgoing and approachable--and although it was clear people were serious about their studies, I thought it was a positive that people cared about doing well and about the subject matter they were studying. Call me crazy.

Anyway, seeing as that didn't have much to do with the OP's question, I'd offer this to the OP: UChi has insanely good employment statistics. In fact, the numbers alone suggest they were perhaps more insulated than their larger peers from the economic downturn. I don't think you'd be better off at any other peer school.

reversejinx
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby reversejinx » Tue May 24, 2011 4:16 pm

Jay W. Weatherman wrote:Classes are graded on a scale from 155-186. 180-186 is the rough equivalent of an A. 179-174 is the rough equivalent of a B. 173-168 is a C.

The median is 177 and the majority of people in a given class get a 176, 177 or 178. In a typical graduating class 19% of students will have an average of 179+, 3.8% will have an average of 180.5+ and .4% will have a 182+.


Thanks that was a helpful breakdown. Don't know if you'll be able to answer this as you haven't gone through OCI yet, but can anyone comment on how firms interpret your scores? Or do they just look at rankings (or does Chicago not release rankings)? Is a 179 a high B+, and is that considered good? Or do you need to have a 180 or higher to really impress? And is there a wide chasm between a 174 and a 179? If I average a 175 does that mean firms with unofficial grade cutoffs won't even look at me?

Jay W. Weatherman wrote:That scale makes it easy to identify the rock stars and then leaves a lot of talented people squished together. None of it really matters though because as an above poster indicated firms will go as deep into Chicago's class as they will for a peer school (if not deeper because we're smaller). I suspect you'd find that the vast majority of students at Chicago, Columbia and NYU are similar in that they're all bright hard-working people who didn't get into Yale, Harvard or Stanford. I'd bet that the biggest difference between CCN students is that 200 of them live in Chicago and the rest live in New York.


Can anyone speak more on the placement of Chicago. I've seen the NLJ250 numbers, and while Chicago is ranked high, that's still not that reassuring in this economic climate. How deep do firms go? What if I'm at the bottom of my class? And lastly, does region have an effect on how it places? I assume it does better than most in the Chicago/Midwest area. But how does it do in NY, and in more regional markets like LA, SF, or DC?

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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby bjsesq » Tue May 24, 2011 4:19 pm

Emma. wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:


I just wonder what you would possibly know about the reality of attending UChi since you didn't even apply.


Bar reviews, brah.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue May 24, 2011 4:36 pm

ExpectLess wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Emma. wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:


I just wonder what you would possibly know about the reality of attending UChi since you didn't even apply.


You don't have to apply to have a good idea of what the school is like... A visit, reading, and meeting a few people who attend there is much more effective. Anyways, the enviroment at UChi isn't exactly a big secret. Even in this thread, just read Lisi's post. I wouldn't want to go to a school in that "second category."


You visited the school, researched it, and talked with people who went there, then decided not to apply?

I'm going to jump in here and say I was thoroughly impressed by the people I met at UChi and the environment cultivated there. The people were friendly and social on the whole--everyone I met ended up having at least a few drinks on a Thursday night, and were generally outgoing and approachable--and although it was clear people were serious about their studies, I thought it was a positive that people cared about doing well and about the subject matter they were studying. Call me crazy.


I just didn’t want to go there… The environment there is very different than the one at the school I chose to attend. People here also care about doing well in school. Most are just less of “gunners” about it. People here generally seem less weird to me as well. I also didn’t like the idea of living in Hyde Park. However, I do understand all the trolling going on in this thread by UChi students wanting to defend their school (although, if anything, everything said here only confirms my decision of not wanting to apply to UChi).

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Jay W. Weatherman
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby Jay W. Weatherman » Wed May 25, 2011 7:14 pm

reversejinx wrote:
Jay W. Weatherman wrote:Classes are graded on a scale from 155-186. 180-186 is the rough equivalent of an A. 179-174 is the rough equivalent of a B. 173-168 is a C.

The median is 177 and the majority of people in a given class get a 176, 177 or 178. In a typical graduating class 19% of students will have an average of 179+, 3.8% will have an average of 180.5+ and .4% will have a 182+.


Thanks that was a helpful breakdown. Don't know if you'll be able to answer this as you haven't gone through OCI yet, but can anyone comment on how firms interpret your scores? Or do they just look at rankings (or does Chicago not release rankings)? Is a 179 a high B+, and is that considered good? Or do you need to have a 180 or higher to really impress? And is there a wide chasm between a 174 and a 179? If I average a 175 does that mean firms with unofficial grade cutoffs won't even look at me?

Jay W. Weatherman wrote:That scale makes it easy to identify the rock stars and then leaves a lot of talented people squished together. None of it really matters though because as an above poster indicated firms will go as deep into Chicago's class as they will for a peer school (if not deeper because we're smaller). I suspect you'd find that the vast majority of students at Chicago, Columbia and NYU are similar in that they're all bright hard-working people who didn't get into Yale, Harvard or Stanford. I'd bet that the biggest difference between CCN students is that 200 of them live in Chicago and the rest live in New York.


Can anyone speak more on the placement of Chicago. I've seen the NLJ250 numbers, and while Chicago is ranked high, that's still not that reassuring in this economic climate. How deep do firms go? What if I'm at the bottom of my class? And lastly, does region have an effect on how it places? I assume it does better than most in the Chicago/Midwest area. But how does it do in NY, and in more regional markets like LA, SF, or DC?


Can't speak to how firms interpret scores but at least for some of the interviews I did this year the question was basically "what does this mean?" The information I wrote out is exactly what the school gives and it doesn't publish anything else so I basically said 177 is the median and shrugged my shoulders. The school doesn't calculate GPA or publish class rank.

OCI could be different because of the higher chance of having an Alum interview you and they'd obviously understand the system better.

180 is very good. If that's you're average you're almost certainly in the top 10% and grading on to law review.

As for regional placement I don't remember the exact numbers but I think the school puts about 40% of grads into Chicago, 15-20% each to D.C. and NY, a good chunk to California and Texas and then disperses the rest between New England and other smaller markets. Obviously a lot of that depends on self-selection though.

reversejinx
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby reversejinx » Thu May 26, 2011 5:33 pm

Jay W. Weatherman wrote:
Can't speak to how firms interpret scores but at least for some of the interviews I did this year the question was basically "what does this mean?" The information I wrote out is exactly what the school gives and it doesn't publish anything else so I basically said 177 is the median and shrugged my shoulders. The school doesn't calculate GPA or publish class rank.

OCI could be different because of the higher chance of having an Alum interview you and they'd obviously understand the system better.


Should I feel better that that's the case? I mean, if I don't do well, and I end up with a 174 (which if I'm understanding the system correctly, is basically a B-), will firms just not care? How did you answer that question when they asked you "what does this mean"?

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dresden doll
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby dresden doll » Thu May 26, 2011 5:34 pm

Emma. wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:


I just wonder what you would possibly know about the reality of attending UChi since you didn't even apply.


I believe he gets that information from the same place anyone that refers to Chi as "Shitcago" would - his own ass.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu May 26, 2011 6:16 pm

dresden doll wrote:
Emma. wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:


I just wonder what you would possibly know about the reality of attending UChi since you didn't even apply.


I believe he gets that information from the same place anyone that refers to Chi as "Shitcago" would - his own ass.


XxSpyKEx wrote: I do understand all the trolling going on in this thread by UChi students wanting to defend their school (although, if anything, everything said here only confirms my decision of not wanting to apply to UChi).



...I also replied to that post you are quoting, dresden

09042014
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby 09042014 » Thu May 26, 2011 6:21 pm

If you can't stand the heat, don't ride a short bus to the Hangge Uppe.

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dresden doll
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby dresden doll » Thu May 26, 2011 6:27 pm

Desert Fox wrote:If you can't stand the heat, don't ride a short bus to the Hangge Uppe.


Yes. It's better to live right around the corner.

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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby d34d9823 » Thu May 26, 2011 6:31 pm

reversejinx wrote:... compared to my chances of sucking at a similar but larger school (e.g. Columbia, NYU, Michigan)?

Before anyone does the "law school is hard brah" bit, I'll of course be working my ass off, and trying to do my best. But as I'm trying to make a decision about which school to attend, I've found that the best way to make these minor, marginal distinctions is to figure out where I can maximize my chances of gainful employment, if I were to do poorly.

So we've all heard about the RIGOR of Chicago, and I'm trying to tease out how much of it is overblown, and how much of it is real. I imagine that the smaller class size makes the curve much more significant. And from what I understand Chicago gives out equal A's and C's. Is this different at the other schools? Of course, there was that ATL post about Chicago retroactively curving small classes that's garnered a far amount of attention. Although from what I can tell, even if its true it's unlikely to affect more than one or two classes you'll take your 2L or 3L years. So how's about it? Is Chicago so much harder that I'd have a better chance to do well at one of these other schools? Or is Chicago's small class size and overall prestige such that even if I were to do poorly, I'd still be in a better position?

Thanks in advance!

Sorry, OP. There aren't normally such retards in the on-topic forums. (Although this is the internet, I guess).

As far as your question, the only thing that matters as far as job prospects is your class rank. People who focus on how the school curves or whether LRW is graded are missing that point. At any school you go to, you will face the exact same challenges as your peers (level playing field, etc.), so Chicago is neither worse or better in that aspect. I believe people at Chicago do study slightly more than students at their peer schools (there was a research article floating around but I can't be bothered to find it). If that's something you care about, you may want to try to track that article down.

As for the advantages of Chicago, its placement is head and shoulders above the schools commonly considered its peers in clerkships and academia. It equals Columbia in terms of BigLaw, but overall more students at Chicago are going to see their desired outcome. I think people on here make the mistake of believing popular perceptions instead of relying on the actual hiring data, which is pretty strong in favor of Chicago:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150004

http://www.leiterrankings.com/new/2010_ ... ment.shtml

http://leiterrankings.com/new/2011_LawTeachers.shtml

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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby 09042014 » Thu May 26, 2011 6:33 pm

dresden doll wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:If you can't stand the heat, don't ride a short bus to the Hangge Uppe.


Yes. It's better to live right around the corner.


I'm having fun with the fact your school rented short buses to bring them to Bar review. I still LOL at that.

Though I have to admit every Uchi student I've meet is nice.

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dresden doll
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Re: How likely is it that I'll suck at Chicago...

Postby dresden doll » Thu May 26, 2011 6:50 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:If you can't stand the heat, don't ride a short bus to the Hangge Uppe.


Yes. It's better to live right around the corner.


I'm having fun with the fact your school rented short buses to bring them to Bar review. I still LOL at that.

Though I have to admit every Uchi student I've meet is nice.

I just want to point out that CLS hired identical buses to transport people to and from Barrister Ball. CCN FTW?




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