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.
Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:05 pm

Does anyone live really close to the law school? I'm trying to figure out what I'm gonna do next year for housing. I'm thinking about getting a dog so I might try to go home during lunch to take care of him and I'm wondering what the market is like within walking distance of the law school. Also curious about what the tradeoffs are in terms of proximity to Treasure Island, HPP and other amenities around Hyde Park, not that there really are a whole lot.

Canof09
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Canof09 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:01 pm

2014 wrote:
lawschool20175 wrote:Where do must law students live? Do they usually live in law school housing or rent their own apartments? I know Hyde Park does not have the best reputation, but did you feel safe in the neighborhood?

Hyde Park their first year. There is one building that probably more than half of the class lives in, and another 10% or so live within about 3 blocks of that building. Most 2Ls and 3Ls move out of Hyde Park and are spread between South Loop, the loop and lincoln park with some exceptions.

Hyde Park itself is perfectly safe especially if you have the common sense to not wander around alone at midnight. It's the surrounding areas that get hairy, but you will have no reason to ever even pass through them.



I have a question about this. How do most upperclassmen get to class since they're not in Hyde Park? I am under the impression that most don't have cars. Public transport? How long is the trip on public transport from south loop, loop, and lincoln park?

Why do most upperclassmen leave? Just to be closer to downtown or what?

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:28 pm

Canof09 wrote:
2014 wrote:
lawschool20175 wrote:Where do must law students live? Do they usually live in law school housing or rent their own apartments? I know Hyde Park does not have the best reputation, but did you feel safe in the neighborhood?

Hyde Park their first year. There is one building that probably more than half of the class lives in, and another 10% or so live within about 3 blocks of that building. Most 2Ls and 3Ls move out of Hyde Park and are spread between South Loop, the loop and lincoln park with some exceptions.

Hyde Park itself is perfectly safe especially if you have the common sense to not wander around alone at midnight. It's the surrounding areas that get hairy, but you will have no reason to ever even pass through them.



I have a question about this. How do most upperclassmen get to class since they're not in Hyde Park? I am under the impression that most don't have cars. Public transport? How long is the trip on public transport from south loop, loop, and lincoln park?

Why do most upperclassmen leave? Just to be closer to downtown or what?


Generally, upperclassmen that do not have a car live in South Loop. There is a bus (#2) that runs during AM/PM rush hour hours to/from the Law School from South Loop. It's very convenient, and people will live somewhere that is close to a stop.

Those with cars spread much further throughout the city. Traffic is bad in Chicago, but as long as you're not going home at 6pm, you can get to/from school from almost anywhere in the city in 20-30m. It's not bad.

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:15 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:Does anyone live really close to the law school? I'm trying to figure out what I'm gonna do next year for housing. I'm thinking about getting a dog so I might try to go home during lunch to take care of him and I'm wondering what the market is like within walking distance of the law school. Also curious about what the tradeoffs are in terms of proximity to Treasure Island, HPP and other amenities around Hyde Park, not that there really are a whole lot.

I know of like one group that lived a block south of the law school, usually it's only grad housing though. If you are getting a dog i imagine it would make it way way easier to be able to walk home, i don't think it's a bad idea. You would save a small mountain of rent too.

Canof09 wrote:I have a question about this. How do most upperclassmen get to class since they're not in Hyde Park? I am under the impression that most don't have cars. Public transport? How long is the trip on public transport from south loop, loop, and lincoln park?

Why do most upperclassmen leave? Just to be closer to downtown or what?

The 2 bus goes from the loop/south loop straight to the law school (though on a less than convenient schedule - only before 9:45 and after 3:45. The 6 bus runs all day between downtown and stony island which is a 5ish block walk to the law school and doable. Some people take the metra too which is a commuter rail and drops off at the same place as the 6, but is more comfortable than a bus.

If you live in lincoln park or any other neighborhood other than the loop/south loop you either will need to transfer to the 2/6 or drive. Both are doable but I don't know anyone who consistently does public transit from anywhere but the loop/south loop


People mostly move north because you can/do spend a lot less time at school your 2L/3L years and so the commute is less of a burden and it gives you access to a lot more fun areas. Also just like there is a lot of momentum for 1Ls to live in Regents because everyone else lives there, when everyone else mass exoduses downtown there is a lot of momentum for holdouts to follow. I moved downtown and I'm glad i did, my commute is admittedly way more inconvenient though and rent is like 400/month more.

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oxie
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby oxie » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:14 pm

First off I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread -- it's been a really useful resource!

I was wondering if anyone has insights about the prospects for getting DC biglaw from Chicago. How well represented are DC firms at OCI and is there much competition for interview spots with them? What sort of grades are needed to be in a good position to get to DC from Chicago? For someone who is aiming for DC (but would be OK with NY if my grades aren’t gonna cut it for DC), are there any significant advantages or disadvantages to choosing Chicago over schools like Harvard or Columbia/NYU or more DC-oriented lower-T14s like UVA and Duke?

0913djp
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 0913djp » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:23 pm

I'm interested in the above as well.

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:12 am

oxie wrote:First off I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread -- it's been a really useful resource!

I was wondering if anyone has insights about the prospects for getting DC biglaw from Chicago. How well represented are DC firms at OCI and is there much competition for interview spots with them? What sort of grades are needed to be in a good position to get to DC from Chicago? For someone who is aiming for DC (but would be OK with NY if my grades aren’t gonna cut it for DC), are there any significant advantages or disadvantages to choosing Chicago over schools like Harvard or Columbia/NYU or more DC-oriented lower-T14s like UVA and Duke?


Will do my best to answer this even though I only interviewed with 1 DC firm (Williams & Connolly). In general, the DC firms are well represented at OCI. Offhand, I remember firms such as Gibson, Boies, Kirkland, W&C, etc. There is decent competition for those interview spots, but with smart bidding, you'd likely get most of them.

Getting a CB/offer is a different story. DC firms cared a surprising amount about ties. Those that targeted there without some connection (absent LR grades) didn't do great. Moreover, they are a bit grade snobby. OCS has a "callback report" that is not super helpful, but it does show the DC firms with gpa averages higher than the firms other offices. For example, the average GPA for Kirkland Chicago CB is a bit above median. For the DC office, it's a 179 (top 25%ish?). There are certainly DC firms that dip lower, but yeah, it is higher. At least my year, a lot of the highest grades stayed in Chicago or went to CA, so YMMV depending on who targets it. I don't want to out too much info that might be private, so feel free to PM me and I'll go into more detail.

I can't imagine any of those schools listed, except Harvard, would you get you DC any easier. I assume Harvard has an easier time of it, but don't know the empirics.

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Gryffindor
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Gryffindor » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:14 am

Hey guys I have two questions.

1. Can someone explain the grading to me? I've seen numbers on previous posts and am having trouble understanding what they mean.

2. Where do most students eat lunch during the day? Are there many options nearby?

Thanks!

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:54 am

Gryffindor wrote:Hey guys I have two questions.

1. Can someone explain the grading to me? I've seen numbers on previous posts and am having trouble understanding what they mean.

2. Where do most students eat lunch during the day? Are there many options nearby?

Thanks!


Quick reply since we are in the middle of studying for finals:

1. We use a number system that goes from 155-186. That breaks down to:
180-186 A
174-179 B
168-173 C
160-167 D
155-159 F

The median grade is 177, with my understanding that the mean being a smidgen higher. It is rare to hear of a 173 or below. They do not give us much information about grades, but we do know the following:

LR grade-on cutoff is generally about 180.

At graduation, there are three tiers of honors:
Highest Honors (182+) 0.5%
High Honors (180.5+) 7.2%
Honors (179+) 22.7%

2. There are a few options near campus. There's a subway close by and a few undergraduate dining halls. Most people eat lunch for free, nearly every day. The groups on campus will have speakers each day, and you can pick up free lunch (really good stuff) by going to the talk or hanging around and picking up the leftovers.

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:28 pm

DC was very competitive but I know they dipped to medianish or just above for some people. It's just a small market which a lot of people want, I don't think your odds are much better or worse here than anywhere else. There is marginally less DC cannibalism here (competing with your classmates) than at HY or Southern schools and that is an advantage, but also probably a few less firms showing up here. I don't know which way it cuts, I imagine it's a wash.

Wherever you decide to go you should have a backup market planned though. No school can guarantee you DC.

Re: Grades - I haven't heard of a single grade lower than a 173. I'm sure they exist, and if I got one I wouldn't talk about it either, but the curve is heavy at the mean and skews higher than lower.

For lunch we also have a cafe in the building that serves admittedly mediocre food, but food nonetheless. A lot of people bring their lunch too. Other than that, Wheninlaw was spot on with the other options.

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oxie
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby oxie » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:16 pm

Thanks for the info on DC Wheninlaw and 2014!

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:21 pm

For actual good food I think the best place to go is the business school.

lawschool2014hopeful
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:04 pm

I briefly skimmed the thread I dont think this question has been asked before, if so, I apologize.

What is everyone's thoughts on the "Elements of the law" course, what does it exactly cover?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Bildungsroman » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:52 pm

lawschool2014hopeful wrote:I briefly skimmed the thread I dont think this question has been asked before, if so, I apologize.

What is everyone's thoughts on the "Elements of the law" course, what does it exactly cover?

It's alright. Its content depends on which professor you have. I had McAdams and we covered a lot of concepts that would come up during the next three years. e.g. ex post versus ex ante considerations, rules versus standards, rent seeking, vote cycling, other public choice, interpretive theories, game theory, law and econ stuff, cognitive biases.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby beepboopbeep » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:53 pm

lawschool2014hopeful wrote:I briefly skimmed the thread I dont think this question has been asked before, if so, I apologize.

What is everyone's thoughts on the "Elements of the law" course, what does it exactly cover?


I thought it was relatively useful in terms of teaching you how to come up with compelling counterarguments and think about the justifications behind particular doctrines. I'll even admit that Strauss was pretty good. We covered:

Evolution of Precedent
Rules versus Standards
Freedom of Contract
Statutory Interpretation

All on sort of a general-overview level, like a basic survey of the relevant cases/theories to cover some recurring issues across different fields of law. It's kind of a nice "here is all the background required reading" sort of thing.

lawschool2014hopeful
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:14 pm

Awesome, thanks alot. The course sounds very interesting!

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:09 pm

lawschool2014hopeful wrote:Awesome, thanks alot. The course sounds very interesting!


You'll appreciate it more when it's replaced with another doctrinal class. Then you'll want elements every quarter.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby beepboopbeep » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:36 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:
lawschool2014hopeful wrote:Awesome, thanks alot. The course sounds very interesting!


You'll appreciate it more when it's replaced with another doctrinal class. Then you'll want elements every quarter.


I don't really enjoy torts as a subject, but now that it's over I want torts every quarter. Or maybe just Henderson/Levmore.

One thing I didn't consider as a 0L that maybe more people should - UofC seems to value having big guns teach 1L classes (Levmore, Henderson, Epstein, Posner Jr., Baird, Strauss, Strahilevitz, etc). The majority of these have so far been excellent profs.

20141023
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 20141023 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:50 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:51 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:This might just be because I had McAdams and not Strauss, but I wasn't a big fan of Elements (I liked that there was generally less work to do for that class, but that's about it). McAdams seemed rather unprepared and the class itself generally turned into a shit-show with students arguing against each other and McAdams not really having control of the class. If I had to compare it to something, I'd say that it was like what your guy's crim law class sounds like this quarter. :P


Strauss is so amazing. I think he would be even better for con law since it's probably more interesting material.

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elterrible78
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby elterrible78 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:56 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:One thing I didn't consider as a 0L that maybe more people should - UofC seems to value having big guns teach 1L classes (Levmore, Henderson, Epstein, Posner Jr., Baird, Strauss, Strahilevitz, etc). The majority of these have so far been excellent profs.


I've been thinking about this quite a bit today, and I couldn't agree more. The grind can wear you down, but when you stop for a minute and think about how lucky we are to be taught by people who are not just straight-up geniuses, but also absolutely fantastic teachers, it's actually quite stunning. I've had Levmore, Henderson, and Strauss so far, and they've just been outstanding. The whole U Chicago selling point of having brilliant minds who can actually teach (and enjoy doing it) is not bullshit.

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PopTorts13
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby PopTorts13 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:52 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
beepboopbeep wrote:One thing I didn't consider as a 0L that maybe more people should - UofC seems to value having big guns teach 1L classes (Levmore, Henderson, Epstein, Posner Jr., Baird, Strauss, Strahilevitz, etc). The majority of these have so far been excellent profs.


I've been thinking about this quite a bit today, and I couldn't agree more. The grind can wear you down, but when you stop for a minute and think about how lucky we are to be taught by people who are not just straight-up geniuses, but also absolutely fantastic teachers, it's actually quite stunning. I've had Levmore, Henderson, and Strauss so far, and they've just been outstanding. The whole U Chicago selling point of having brilliant minds who can actually teach (and enjoy doing it) is not bullshit.


Completely agree. I wasn't a fan of our Civ Pro prof. I went in for help after an exam and he refused to tell me how he evaluated my test and said that I spotted all of the issues but still had the worst test he ever saw. FYI, his memo for the exam said that people turned in their exam late and went over the word limit and STILL my exam that spotted and explained each issue was the worst? I've got no respect for the guy. Completely discretionary grading and rude to me when I politely asked for help. Thankfully no other professor is remotely like him.

20141023
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 20141023 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:03 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rahviveh
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Rahviveh » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:12 pm

PopTorts13 wrote:
elterrible78 wrote:
beepboopbeep wrote:One thing I didn't consider as a 0L that maybe more people should - UofC seems to value having big guns teach 1L classes (Levmore, Henderson, Epstein, Posner Jr., Baird, Strauss, Strahilevitz, etc). The majority of these have so far been excellent profs.


I've been thinking about this quite a bit today, and I couldn't agree more. The grind can wear you down, but when you stop for a minute and think about how lucky we are to be taught by people who are not just straight-up geniuses, but also absolutely fantastic teachers, it's actually quite stunning. I've had Levmore, Henderson, and Strauss so far, and they've just been outstanding. The whole U Chicago selling point of having brilliant minds who can actually teach (and enjoy doing it) is not bullshit.


Completely agree. I wasn't a fan of our Civ Pro prof. I went in for help after an exam and he refused to tell me how he evaluated my test and said that I spotted all of the issues but still had the worst test he ever saw. FYI, his memo for the exam said that people turned in their exam late and went over the word limit and STILL my exam that spotted and explained each issue was the worst? I've got no respect for the guy. Completely discretionary grading and rude to me when I politely asked for help. Thankfully no other professor is remotely like him.



LOL. Even though I liked him overall, I also found him kind of cold and rude in office hours or personal settings. But yeah, he's the only permanent faculty member I've had so far who's just good, not great/phenomenal like the others.

gchatbrah
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby gchatbrah » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:25 pm

What's with all the Hub-star hate?




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