likemike wrote:Can someone please explain what makes UChi so much more "rigorous" than other law schools? I'm having a hard time understanding what the word means in context. Is UChi that much harder than a Columbia or NYU? Are the students really that much more concerned about their education than peer students elsewhere?
I think it is tough for any student to answer this unless they have transferred to UChi from another top school. I'm not sure that UChi kids work any harder/longer hours than students at our peer schools.
From what I understand from candid (not recruiting) conversations with faculty here, all the "rigor" stuff is more about a level of engagement, both from the students' perspective and the faculty's, than it is about working way harder. Students want to dig deeper into the material, and the faculty really go the extra mile to challenge us to think critically about things and work harder to defend our opinions. It is also very rare (at least in my experience) that people come to class unprepared, you can't generally get on the internet in class... There are little things that add up.
I think there is also a sense among employers that UChi sticking to its guns with its grading policy (and if anything enforcing grade deflation!) is a sign that students here can't get away with coasting through law school. This reputation is definitely a good thing for us when OCI rolls around.
There are a few aspects of UChicago that are more "rigorous" than some peer schools.
-Strict grading system with more gradations than other schools
-Inflexible Curve with no grade inflation
-Graded legal writing
-No internet in the classrooms
-Quarter system creates longer class periods, higher total credit requirement, and more exams over law school career
-Frequent well attended Lunch Talks, which are generally academic lectures
-Even tenured professors have strict publication requirements
I'm not sure if the students are on average more high strung or study more than at other schools, but there are aspects of the school that create at least a perception of rigor. This probably benefits us with employers, since they understand that "below median" in this environment doesn't mean that you're a bad student or a bad lawyer.