UChi Students & Alumni Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Samsing
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Samsing » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:02 pm

I'm interested as well. I was thinking about asking the same exact questions as Optimist. What's a typical weekend like? How much time do you get to explore the city or just do something that interests you? I'll be coming from the south and don't mind the cold but I'm not exactly used to it. How hard is adapting to the weather change if any of you had to face that? Chicago is definitely one of my top choices. Thank you for answering the questions!

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:02 pm

Optimist Prime wrote:Class size and collegiality is another thing I'm very interested in. I know this is subjective, but how is the student atmosphere at U Chi? Also, I'd be very interested to hear what people love about going to school there. I'm sure all of you had amazing options, was there anything about U Chi that wowed you?

Class size was a big deal to me. I came from a school/major that had a TON of people and so all of my classes had different people and the result was I ended up not knowing many classmates at all. I wanted the opposite experience in law school where I would walk down the hall or sit in class and know who basically everyone was. It forces people to be collegial and it makes the network tighter which I at least value. It's not that there are never issues, but I would say the student body here tends to be pretty close knit. There is a balance between social people who go out and more low key people who don't too so you can find like minded friends pretty readily in my experience.

I'll tell a true anecdote which shows what I mean. During OCI I was in an elevator with two non-chicago 2Ls. They turn to each other and shake hands and ask "where do you go to school" to which both said UVA. They literally had never seen or met each other despite being the same year at the same school. Simply put, that doesn't happen here, and that was important to me.

The faculty here is great too and despite being good writers they all are good teachers across the board, which is what matters to the student experience, not citation count. I have little doubt that this is the case at Harvard too, but it is something I enjoy about here.

The city is worth mentioning too - I'll talk about that in response to the next questions.

Samsing wrote:I'm interested as well. I was thinking about asking the same exact questions as Optimist. What's a typical weekend like? How much time do you get to explore the city or just do something that interests you? I'll be coming from the south and don't mind the cold but I'm not exactly used to it. How hard is adapting to the weather change if any of you had to face that? Chicago is definitely one of my top choices. Thank you for answering the questions!

You will have some time to do stuff in the city first quarter for sure, realistically you won't have much for winter and spring. That's not to say you can't make the time, I'm just thinking to my experience and the experiences of people I know, and people rarely left Hyde Park as school ramped up. I think this is probably similar across schools though.

As a first year, my typical weekend involved going out on Friday, taking it easy Saturday maybe watching sports or catching up on sleep, sometimes doing something with friends, and then Sunday I would sleep in and spend the afternoon getting ahead on the next week's reading. As a second year I'm wildly unproductive and my weekends and weeks look about the same.

Winter last year was fine, I also had never really dealt with bad winters (though I had dealt with snow) and while it was chilly it was manageable. The bus system gets you right to the door of the law school so you can minimize your time outdoors. I will admit that this winter has been absolutely brutal and awful, no way around it. It is absolutely cold as shit every day, it snows 4 times a week, and at this point we have like 4 feet of residual snow everywhere. I'm probably going to have to buy all new shoes in the spring which is irritating. I think it's the same throughout the northeast too unfortunately, this year is just an anomaly so here's hoping next year is a regression to the weather mean.

Overall I really like Chicago, I hadn't really lived in a city before this and it has been a good experience for me. There's really good food here, good festivals during the better weather months, good shopping, and good outdoor things to do. The public transportation system is great too so you can get anywhere within about a 15 mile radius with at most 2 transfers and usually within 45 minutes or so.

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Crowing
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Crowing » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:42 pm

Samsing wrote:I'm interested as well. I was thinking about asking the same exact questions as Optimist. What's a typical weekend like? How much time do you get to explore the city or just do something that interests you? I'll be coming from the south and don't mind the cold but I'm not exactly used to it. How hard is adapting to the weather change if any of you had to face that? Chicago is definitely one of my top choices. Thank you for answering the questions!


I had a lot of extra time during fall quarter--I was probably hanging out with friends most nights of the week. This quarter is busier so I pretty much only see them on weekends, but I still have plenty of time as long as I budget it wisely. I imagine spring will be rather terrible but I think it's short enough that as long as you maintain a good mental state and don't get burned out before then you can power through it. That's the goal anyway.

Going to the city is very easy on either public transportation or with your own car; there's a bit of discussion on that subject a few pages back. I don't leave Hyde Park every week but that's not because I can't; I'm just kind of a homebody and my idea of hanging out with friends typically involves more chill activities. I know there are people here who are a lot more actively social than I am, so on that subject I think it's more based on who you are and what you're looking for.

The weather has never been a problem for me other than snowmelt being generally gross. When temperatures first dropped below 0 it was quite cold but I really think that issue is overblown. This might sound kind of terrifying from an outside context but after a couple months of winter now I don't even feel like 10 degrees is particularly uncomfortable anymore. It's all relative; if you've ever gone somewhere tropical and gone back to a temperate climate and felt like you were freezing in 70 degree weather you'll understand.

20141023
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 20141023 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:22 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:40 pm

By the time you throw in seminars as a 2L/3L which have either long papers or reaction papers as the deliverable and Booth/Undergrad classes which can be pass failed, the work load is a joke. Journals take up a lot of time for the sadistic folks and clinic work can be time consuming but in waves. Both of those are things you opt into though.

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Optimist Prime
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Optimist Prime » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:29 pm

How is easy is it to take classes at Booth? It's an incredible program and I know I would enjoy the opportunity to network with the MBAs.

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Emma.
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:32 pm

Optimist Prime wrote:How is easy is it to take classes at Booth? It's an incredible program and I know I would enjoy the opportunity to network with the MBAs.


Theoretically really easy. In practice sometimes it can be tough to get the classes you want because the B-school students get first pick, and classes do fill up. It makes sense that Booth students get priority over us at their own school though. I'd have been pissed if I wanted to get into a law school class and some Booth student was able to get into it ahead of me.

Edited to add: You can only take 12 credits (4 classes) outside the law school, but there are an increasing number of business school classes (taught by B-school professors) being cross-listed and taught at the law school. Those don't count towards your outside credits. You could probably wind up graduating with half (or more) of your post-1L credits being B-school classes if you really wanted to.

20141023
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 20141023 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:43 pm

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:59 pm

Note that I don't think you can pass/fail the cross listed classes whereas you typically can P/F the allowable 12 credits. Emma would know more about actually enrolling in them than I would, but it's worth pointing out the P/F perk since my understanding is that it is all but impossible to fail a booth class.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:05 pm

Optimist Prime wrote:How is easy is it to take classes at Booth? It's an incredible program and I know I would enjoy the opportunity to network with the MBAs.


I suggest that you at least speak to the Booth students before you stalk their linkedin profiles.

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Emma.
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:08 pm

2014 wrote:Note that I don't think you can pass/fail the cross listed classes whereas you typically can P/F the allowable 12 credits. Emma would know more about actually enrolling in them than I would, but it's worth pointing out the P/F perk since my understanding is that it is all but impossible to fail a booth class.


This is legit. But P/F isn't automatic with the 12 credits outside the law school. It is totally up to the discretion of the professor, and many Booth profs don't allow it.

syezzie
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby syezzie » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:25 pm

Also, keep in mind that our exam periods and school breaks don't always match up with Booth's, which can make it somewhat difficult to take Booth classes. For example, I think Booth's spring exams are June 6-14, while ours are over Memorial Day weekend. So 3Ls can't take Booth exam classes in the spring and 2Ls probably can't either, depending on their summer start dates.

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Emma.
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:27 pm

syezzie wrote:Also, keep in mind that our exam periods and school breaks don't always match up with Booth's, which can make it somewhat difficult to take Booth classes. For example, I think Booth's spring exams are June 6-14, while ours are over Memorial Day weekend. So 3Ls can't take Booth exam classes in the spring and 2Ls probably can't either, depending on their summer start dates.


Actually, 3Ls probably can (the Booth professor just needs to be willing to give you a provisional grade so you can graduate), while 2Ls almost certainly can't. But your point is well taken. Spring quarter, Booth classes are less of an option (though there are quite a few that don't involve a final exam).

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Optimist Prime
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Optimist Prime » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:48 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
Emma. wrote:
Optimist Prime wrote:How is easy is it to take classes at Booth? It's an incredible program and I know I would enjoy the opportunity to network with the MBAs.
Theoretically really easy. In practice sometimes it can be tough to get the classes you want because the B-school students get first pick, and classes do fill up. It makes sense that Booth students get priority over us at their own school though. I'd have been pissed if I wanted to get into a law school class and some Booth student was able to get into it ahead of me.

Edited to add: You can only take 12 credits (4 classes) outside the law school, but there are an increasing number of business school classes (taught by B-school professors) being cross-listed and taught at the law school. Those don't count towards your outside credits. You could probably wind up graduating with half (or more) of your post-1L credits being B-school classes if you really wanted to.
This will probably see a big increase because of the Doctoroff program; in case you OL's hadn't heard, Daniel Doctoroff donated $10 million to the Law School in order to get them to start the Doctoroff Business Leadership Program. As part of this, students (not only those enrolled in the Doctoroff Program) will be presented with a lot more "business-oriented" classes at the law school, like Emma mentioned. I don't think this has started just yet, but it will likely begin in the fall (you all wouldn't be able to choose these classes until your 2L year anyway, which is still a while away).


No, I hadn't heard of this. Very interesting and something I'll be sure to ask about during my interview. Thanks kappycaft1.

Pulsar
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Pulsar » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:01 am

2014 wrote:Class size was a big deal to me. I came from a school/major that had a TON of people and so all of my classes had different people and the result was I ended up not knowing many classmates at all. I wanted the opposite experience in law school where I would walk down the hall or sit in class and know who basically everyone was. It forces people to be collegial and it makes the network tighter which I at least value. It's not that there are never issues, but I would say the student body here tends to be pretty close knit. There is a balance between social people who go out and more low key people who don't too so you can find like minded friends pretty readily in my experience.


To temper the above: I'd guess that our class (2Ls) is more close-knit than most. But a lot of people are "professional" in the polite-but-not-giving-a-damn-about-your-actual-life sense, and that wears on me sometimes. (Every time DG talks about "professionalism" my teeth grind). I also think our class is also more cliquey than I had expected. These things are probably inevitable at any law school though.

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HarvardHopeful
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby HarvardHopeful » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:09 am

What grades would I need at Chicago to get a federal clerkship? Do most people who want clerkships successfully get them? Is Chicago's %of class that get clerkships lower than HYS because of self-selection, or is it common for someone with decent/good grades to strike out on the federal clerkship job hunt?

I know these questions don't have concrete answers but if anyone has any first-hand experience with it or knows of their classmates' experiences I would really appreciate hearing about it! Thanks :D

Pulsar
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Pulsar » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:40 am

HarvardHopeful wrote:What grades would I need at Chicago to get a federal clerkship? Do most people who want clerkships successfully get them? Is Chicago's %of class that get clerkships lower than HYS because of self-selection, or is it common for someone with decent/good grades to strike out on the federal clerkship job hunt?

I know these questions don't have concrete answers but if anyone has any first-hand experience with it or knows of their classmates' experiences I would really appreciate hearing about it! Thanks :D


There is some self-selection out of clerking. Ex: lots of people don't go for district court clerkships. Chicago students end up going CoA or nothing more than kids at other schools I think.

I'm not sure exactly how low one could go and still be competitive, but I know that median is probably not enough to make the process other than a struggle. As to the HYS comparison, well, I don't go to HYS, but I think grouping those three schools together for clerkship processes probably elides some important distinctions. H's clerkship placement is much closer to Chicago's than it is to Yale's. Stanford is in the middle. All of them probably have something (but not the same size of) an advantage.

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Emma.
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:00 am

HarvardHopeful wrote:What grades would I need at Chicago to get a federal clerkship? Do most people who want clerkships successfully get them? Is Chicago's %of class that get clerkships lower than HYS because of self-selection, or is it common for someone with decent/good grades to strike out on the federal clerkship job hunt?

I know these questions don't have concrete answers but if anyone has any first-hand experience with it or knows of their classmates' experiences I would really appreciate hearing about it! Thanks :D


I think there is pretty significant self selection. Fwiw, H's clerkship placement is only very slightly better than UChi. http://www.law.uci.edu/about/our-histor ... il2013.pdf

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Jaqen
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Jaqen » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:19 am

1L butting in. Are clerkships easier to get if you go for a less-popular circuit (aka not 2d, 7th, 9th) to which you have ties?

I have no idea if I'm interested in, much less will be competitive for, clerkships or not. Just curious.

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HarvardHopeful
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby HarvardHopeful » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:22 pm

Thanks for the quick responses! UChicago is looking more and more like my choice, but since students shouldn't assume they will be at the top of their law school class (since everyone is likely just as smart as you are), I'm worried about not getting a clerkship. Definitely going to look into it more when I visit.

On another note, are there any restaurants/places that you recommend I go visit for my first trip to Chicago? :D

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WhiteyCakes
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WhiteyCakes » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:28 pm

HarvardHopeful wrote:Thanks for the quick responses! UChicago is looking more and more like my choice, but since students shouldn't assume they will be at the top of their law school class (since everyone is likely just as smart as you are), I'm worried about not getting a clerkship. Definitely going to look into it more when I visit.

On another note, are there any restaurants/places that you recommend I go visit for my first trip to Chicago? :D


If you're talking Hyde Park, the only answer is Medici. City-wide there are a ton of options. If you will be here for ASW the admissions office will give you a pretty good sampling of a lot of different places. If you are visiting outside of ASW, check this out:

http://www.reddit.com/r/chicago/wiki/eats

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Gryffindor
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Gryffindor » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:05 pm

If this has been said on previous posts... I apologize! With 105 pages already, hard to sift through them all.

For those of you currently living at Regents, what is your typical monthly payment- everything included (Rent, gym, parking, cable, internet, etc)?


I've gotten some estimates from a few years back, but with the new management I want to see if its changed much. Trying to ballpark some figures here in case I decide to go to UChi.

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Rahviveh
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Rahviveh » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:20 pm

Gryffindor wrote:If this has been said on previous posts... I apologize! With 105 pages already, hard to sift through them all.

For those of you currently living at Regents, what is your typical monthly payment- everything included (Rent, gym, parking, cable, internet, etc)?


I've gotten some estimates from a few years back, but with the new management I want to see if its changed much. Trying to ballpark some figures here in case I decide to go to UChi.

Im in an unrenovated 1BD And I believe one of the cheapest floor plans

Rent - 1130
Utilities - 100 (heat + elec)
Parking ( I don't have but supposedly its damn expensive)
Internet- 35 (you can also get it for free but its a lot slower)

Cable I don't have. Gym is included

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Emma.
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:46 pm

Jaqen wrote:Are clerkships easier to get if you go for a less-popular circuit (aka not 2d, 7th, 9th) to which you have ties?



Yes, somewhat easier.

In the last few years all clerkships have become increasingly competitive. My judge (in one of the more popular circuits) receives easily 1000 applications for 4 spots. But certainly ties to what people might consider a flyover area are going to help you. I doubt that there are many Fed CoA positions available to students with sub-179 GPAs though.

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Emma.
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:53 pm

HarvardHopeful wrote:Thanks for the quick responses! UChicago is looking more and more like my choice, but since students shouldn't assume they will be at the top of their law school class (since everyone is likely just as smart as you are), I'm worried about not getting a clerkship. Definitely going to look into it more when I visit.



Curious: why are you so sure that you want to clerk? I'm a recent grad/current CoA clerk. Feel free to PM me questions if you want.

You are going to have to be toward the top of the class from either H or Chi in order to secure a federal clerkship. It isn't like those are falling into the lap of the median Harvard student.

If clerking is genuinely necessary for your future career plans (though I can't imagine what that career would be) you should go to Yale.




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