Duckmoney's experience at Chicago Day in the Life:
I went in to Chicago thinking that I would hate the place, the I couldn't take The Rigor, that the place was extremely competitive, and that everyone was a nerd who didn't know how to have fun. I was incredibly impressed by how many of these rumors were dispelled, and overall I was a huge fan of the place.
The weather: it sucks. I'm from the South, it's 75 degrees where I am now, and it was 35 and wet in Chicago and I almost slipped several times on the iced over sidewalks. If I go to Chicago, this will take some major adjustment.
Conversations with students: most of the students I talked to seemed like perfectly normal, sociable people. They were pretty diverse and a bit older, but nothing too out of the ordinary. This was generally true of the other students who were visiting as well. Everyone seemed to have a life, go to bar review, work out, etc. It's also a pretty social environment, and students can get free lunch pretty much every day by going to a speaking engagement on campus.
The Rigor: overrated. The students didn't study any more than at peer schools, and the classes were no more intense or intellectually stimulating than at peer schools. The Rigor is just a name that got attached to Chicago and everyone seems to embrace it, even though it's really no more rigorous than anywhere else. Also, they don't rank, and it's heavily ingrained in the culture that no one talks about their grades to one another. The extreme competitiveness just isn't there, other than people competing against themselves.
Placement: Wow. All the 3Ls I talked to had either a biglaw job or a federal clerkship (most of them appellate) lined up, all the 2Ls had summer positions, and the 1Ls had something lined up, including plenty of firm jobs. And these were people who weren't on law review / any journal at all. This is a much better situation than I gathered from peer schools, where the economy has people worried. No one at Chicago seemed to care about cost or crushing loans. Recent NLJ numbers confirm this.
The city / housing: seems perfectly livable. Females wouldn't want to walk around alone at night in Hyde Park, but other than that it seemed perfectly safe and surprisingly affordable.
Overall: loved it, incredibly impressed by, will be attending assuming HS rejections and no last-minute giant scholarship from another school. Feel free to PM me with any other questions.