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.
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Xifeng
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Xifeng » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:27 pm

Enjoy the Levsnowmorepocalypse tomorrow. Oh Roberto.

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applelover
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby applelover » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:54 pm

I apologize if this has been asked already, but does anyone feel like the quarter system puts them at a disadvantage for SA and other summer jobs? I know classes end in June, which is a month+ later than most other law schools.

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elterrible78
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby elterrible78 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:58 pm

applelover wrote:I apologize if this has been asked already, but does anyone feel like the quarter system puts them at a disadvantage for SA and other summer jobs? I know classes end in June, which is a month+ later than most other law schools.


I don't think it's a big deal. It's a perfectly good question to ask, though. My summer employer is more than willing to be flexible, and I think that's more the rule than the exception.

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applelover
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby applelover » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:02 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
applelover wrote:I apologize if this has been asked already, but does anyone feel like the quarter system puts them at a disadvantage for SA and other summer jobs? I know classes end in June, which is a month+ later than most other law schools.


I don't think it's a big deal. It's a perfectly good question to ask, though. My summer employer is more than willing to be flexible, and I think that's more the rule than the exception.


Thanks for the response! Also, are most employers familiar with UChi's grading system? Do you typically have to explain it to them, or if you put a 179 or something on your resume, will they understand what that means?

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Crowing
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Crowing » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:05 pm

applelover wrote:
elterrible78 wrote:
applelover wrote:I apologize if this has been asked already, but does anyone feel like the quarter system puts them at a disadvantage for SA and other summer jobs? I know classes end in June, which is a month+ later than most other law schools.


I don't think it's a big deal. It's a perfectly good question to ask, though. My summer employer is more than willing to be flexible, and I think that's more the rule than the exception.


Thanks for the response! Also, are most employers familiar with UChi's grading system? Do you typically have to explain it to them, or if you put a 179 or something on your resume, will they understand what that means?


I imagine most OCI employers would know since they send alums to interview I believe. But I'll let a 2L+ comment on that.

As far as 1L jobs went, a lot of people didn't know what they meant. Firms in my secondary had no idea, and the USAO didn't either (I didn't interview with an alum, anyway, and he couldn't figure out what was going on). There is a little key on the back but it's pretty useless and just tells you that 180-186 = A, etc.

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applelover
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby applelover » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:09 pm

Crowing wrote:
applelover wrote:
elterrible78 wrote:
applelover wrote:I apologize if this has been asked already, but does anyone feel like the quarter system puts them at a disadvantage for SA and other summer jobs? I know classes end in June, which is a month+ later than most other law schools.


I don't think it's a big deal. It's a perfectly good question to ask, though. My summer employer is more than willing to be flexible, and I think that's more the rule than the exception.


Thanks for the response! Also, are most employers familiar with UChi's grading system? Do you typically have to explain it to them, or if you put a 179 or something on your resume, will they understand what that means?


I imagine most OCI employers would know since they send alums to interview I believe. But I'll let a 2L+ comment on that.

As far as 1L jobs went, a lot of people didn't know what they meant. Firms in my secondary had no idea, and the USAO didn't either (I didn't interview with an alum, anyway, and he couldn't figure out what was going on). There is a little key on the back but it's pretty useless and just tells you that 180-186 = A, etc.


So, does that put students at a disadvantage for jobs? Are their chances of securing summer employment after 1L worsened by this at all?

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Crowing
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Crowing » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:12 pm

applelover wrote:So, does that put students at a disadvantage for jobs? Are their chances of securing summer employment after 1L worsened by this at all?


I doubt it. A lot of 1L employers just don't care about grades, and those that do can figure it out. If you apply early enough you might have offers before you even have any grades. In any case, there's no sense in worrying about 1L employment--everybody gets a legal job after 1L unless they don't want it (and even then I think OCS will push you really hard). The employment rate for 1Ls was 100% two years ago, and last year it was all but one person who decided to take classes instead (OCS likes to repeat this fact a lot; I think they're kinda butthurt about it).

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skers
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby skers » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:20 pm

I don't think any summer employers care about our later end date. A lot of places will hire you before even working out availability anyway. Even on the off chance a place has a firm start date, finding 1L employment is supper easy. The only real difference is you might have a couple weeks where it's just you in the office. Our OCI dates are later and classes start later, so you can actually have a legit summer vacation which none of my friends at other schools were able to do. I guess there's a downside if you're the type of sick soul that wants to do write on as there's a good chance you'll be working when you do the writing competition, but there's a pretty easy solution to that.

It's different for 2L summer because a number of (most?) firms' start-date is when 2Ls get out. And as Crowing said, they're familiar with U of C students anyway.

As far as grades go, yeah, no one understands them. It's probably an advantage if anything as it's a pain to figure out what they mean and they'll just assume you're smart because you're at U of C. OCI employers are familiar with the grading system, so there's no real problem there. I did have interviews who were confused by what the fuck the numbers meant, but I just laughed about it and it was NBD.

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applelover
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby applelover » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:23 pm

TemporarySaint wrote:I don't think any summer employers care about our later end date. A lot of places will hire you before even working out availability anyway. Even on the off chance a place has a firm start date, finding 1L employment is supper easy. The only real difference is you might have a couple weeks where it's just you in the office. Our OCI dates are later and classes start later, so you can actually have a legit summer vacation which none of my friends at other schools were able to do. I guess there's a downside if you're the type of sick soul that wants to do write on as there's a good chance you'll be working when you do the writing competition, but there's a pretty easy solution to that.

It's different for 2L summer because a number of (most?) firms' start-date is when 2Ls get out. And as Crowing said, they're familiar with U of C students anyway.

As far as grades go, yeah, no one understands them. It's probably an advantage if anything as it's a pain to figure out what they mean and they'll just assume you're smart because you're at U of C. OCI employers are familiar with the grading system, so there's no real problem there. I did have interviews who were confused by what the fuck the numbers meant, but I just laughed about it and it was NBD.


What did you do for 1L employment if you don't mind sharing? Also, what is write on?

Crowing wrote:
applelover wrote:So, does that put students at a disadvantage for jobs? Are their chances of securing summer employment after 1L worsened by this at all?


I doubt it. A lot of 1L employers just don't care about grades, and those that do can figure it out. If you apply early enough you might have offers before you even have any grades. In any case, there's no sense in worrying about 1L employment--everybody gets a legal job after 1L unless they don't want it (and even then I think OCS will push you really hard). The employment rate for 1Ls was 100% two years ago, and last year it was all but one person who decided to take classes instead (OCS likes to repeat this fact a lot; I think they're kinda butthurt about it).


Thank you. Was it difficult to adapt to the grading system?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:24 pm

applelover wrote:
So, does that put students at a disadvantage for jobs? Are their chances of securing summer employment after 1L worsened by this at all?

I didn't hear of any of my classmates having trouble because of this. I think 1L employers are good at accommodating our schedule even if it would not fit with their normal schedules.

20141023
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 20141023 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:31 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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skers
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby skers » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:39 pm

applelover wrote:
TemporarySaint wrote:I don't think any summer employers care about our later end date. A lot of places will hire you before even working out availability anyway. Even on the off chance a place has a firm start date, finding 1L employment is supper easy. The only real difference is you might have a couple weeks where it's just you in the office. Our OCI dates are later and classes start later, so you can actually have a legit summer vacation which none of my friends at other schools were able to do. I guess there's a downside if you're the type of sick soul that wants to do write on as there's a good chance you'll be working when you do the writing competition, but there's a pretty easy solution to that.

It's different for 2L summer because a number of (most?) firms' start-date is when 2Ls get out. And as Crowing said, they're familiar with U of C students anyway.

As far as grades go, yeah, no one understands them. It's probably an advantage if anything as it's a pain to figure out what they mean and they'll just assume you're smart because you're at U of C. OCI employers are familiar with the grading system, so there's no real problem there. I did have interviews who were confused by what the fuck the numbers meant, but I just laughed about it and it was NBD.


What did you do for 1L employment if you don't mind sharing? Also, what is write on?


I worked at a PI org. It's a supper common route since the school provides guaranteed funding for PI and gov employment. There really are a ton of open opportunities and you can work in pretty much any part of the country, which I'd really recommend since it's a rad time to go somewhere new and make bad decisions.

Do you care deeply about em-dashes and comma splices? Well, then the write on might be for you! It's how law review and journal membership are determined.

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Sourrudedude
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Sourrudedude » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:40 pm

Apple, writing on is one way to get onto Law Review (the other being grading on).
0L here so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:43 pm

Sourrudedude wrote:Apple, writing on is one way to get onto Law Review (the other being grading on).
0L here so please correct me if I'm wrong.


You have to do write on and they don't tell you whether you wrote on or graded on.

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Crowing
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Crowing » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:48 pm

applelover wrote:
Crowing wrote:
applelover wrote:So, does that put students at a disadvantage for jobs? Are their chances of securing summer employment after 1L worsened by this at all?


I doubt it. A lot of 1L employers just don't care about grades, and those that do can figure it out. If you apply early enough you might have offers before you even have any grades. In any case, there's no sense in worrying about 1L employment--everybody gets a legal job after 1L unless they don't want it (and even then I think OCS will push you really hard). The employment rate for 1Ls was 100% two years ago, and last year it was all but one person who decided to take classes instead (OCS likes to repeat this fact a lot; I think they're kinda butthurt about it).


Thank you. Was it difficult to adapt to the grading system?


Not really. I mean, it doesn't cause me to approach things in any way differently than I would if we just had a standard letter grade scale.

The scale is very wide (156-186), but in practice most professors don't use the whole thing. I think like 173-184 is more typical, with rare exceptions? So it's a few more data points than just having 3 different As and 3 different Bs, but again there's not really anything that you as a student would do differently under our system.

We do have 6 credits in the fall, 12 in the winter, and 18(!) in the spring (+4 for legal writing, which spans all three quarters but has a graded memo in the winter and graded brief in the spring). If anything that (instead of the grading system) is what would make the academic system a little different at UChicago. I can't say I'm a huge fan of it just because I like to have consistency, but I suppose it's not like lawyers have that in their everyday jobs anyway so if it's really that onerous I probably picked the wrong profession.

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cotiger
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby cotiger » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:04 pm

Crowing wrote:We do have 6 credits in the fall, 12 in the winter, and 18(!) in the spring (+4 for legal writing, which spans all three quarters but has a graded memo in the winter and graded brief in the spring).


What does this mean exactly? You don't really have three times as many classes in the spring as the fall, do you?

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:09 pm

cotiger wrote:
Crowing wrote:We do have 6 credits in the fall, 12 in the winter, and 18(!) in the spring (+4 for legal writing, which spans all three quarters but has a graded memo in the winter and graded brief in the spring).


What does this mean exactly? You don't really have three times as many classes in the spring as the fall, do you?


We have the same number of classes every quarter. However the number of finals and amount of credit those finals count for differ. First quarter is two finals each over one quarter of material and it shakes out to about 15% of our 1L grades. Second quarter is two finals over two quarters which ends up being around 35% of our grades. Spring quarter is four finals, two over two quarters and to over one quarter which is about 50% of our grades. Considering how I'm feeling for winter finals which start tomorrow, spring should be a super time.

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:46 pm

Re: the job thing

I was asked I think once what our median was and a few times "roughly where does this put you" but the overwhelming majority of interviewers either didn't look at grades or knew our system. I can actually only think of maybe 3-4 out of like 25 that looked at the transcript in front of me, so there really wasn't a chance for it to come up. I assume they just funneled them to recruiting or looked at them quickly over their breaks. Even if you don't know what the numbers mean, you do know bigger is better than smaller, and if you have 2 CBs to give from your morning interview block, you probably just order them by eyeball GPA and choose from the top half based on personality or something (this is exactly what I will do if god forbid I ever get to show up to an OCI).

2Ls get out earlier than 1Ls, most people seem to be starting work the day after Memorial Day from what I gather which is like a week later than other schools, in some cases two. A lot of firms just have different dates for the Chicago/Stanford crew too.

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Crowing
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Crowing » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:47 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:
cotiger wrote:
Crowing wrote:We do have 6 credits in the fall, 12 in the winter, and 18(!) in the spring (+4 for legal writing, which spans all three quarters but has a graded memo in the winter and graded brief in the spring).


What does this mean exactly? You don't really have three times as many classes in the spring as the fall, do you?


We have the same number of classes every quarter. However the number of finals and amount of credit those finals count for differ. First quarter is two finals each over one quarter of material and it shakes out to about 15% of our 1L grades. Second quarter is two finals over two quarters which ends up being around 35% of our grades. Spring quarter is four finals, two over two quarters and to over one quarter which is about 50% of our grades. Considering how I'm feeling for winter finals which start tomorrow, spring should be a super time.


Oh it's going to be thrilling, for sure. I'm making a list of things that make spring quarter better than winter quarter to try to stay positive. So far I've got:
- Better weather
- No job search shit to worry about (for most people anyway)
- 0 textbooks to buy (or 1 depending on what elective you picked)

Happy to take more suggestions.

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:52 pm

Sourrudedude wrote:Apple, writing on is one way to get onto Law Review (the other being grading on).
0L here so please correct me if I'm wrong.


2/3rd get on via grades (assuming a good faith effort at the writing competition), 1/3rd from the competition. You don't know how you got on, but it is pretty easy to figure it out.

20141023
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 20141023 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:52 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:57 pm

Crowing wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:
cotiger wrote:
Crowing wrote:We do have 6 credits in the fall, 12 in the winter, and 18(!) in the spring (+4 for legal writing, which spans all three quarters but has a graded memo in the winter and graded brief in the spring).


What does this mean exactly? You don't really have three times as many classes in the spring as the fall, do you?


We have the same number of classes every quarter. However the number of finals and amount of credit those finals count for differ. First quarter is two finals each over one quarter of material and it shakes out to about 15% of our 1L grades. Second quarter is two finals over two quarters which ends up being around 35% of our grades. Spring quarter is four finals, two over two quarters and to over one quarter which is about 50% of our grades. Considering how I'm feeling for winter finals which start tomorrow, spring should be a super time.


Oh it's going to be thrilling, for sure. I'm making a list of things that make spring quarter better than winter quarter to try to stay positive. So far I've got:
- Better weather
- No job search shit to worry about (for most people anyway)
- 0 textbooks to buy (or 1 depending on what elective you picked)

Happy to take more suggestions.


- More Bar Reviews!
- Prom!

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cotiger
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby cotiger » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:36 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:
cotiger wrote:
Crowing wrote:We do have 6 credits in the fall, 12 in the winter, and 18(!) in the spring (+4 for legal writing, which spans all three quarters but has a graded memo in the winter and graded brief in the spring).


What does this mean exactly? You don't really have three times as many classes in the spring as the fall, do you?


We have the same number of classes every quarter. However the number of finals and amount of credit those finals count for differ. First quarter is two finals each over one quarter of material and it shakes out to about 15% of our 1L grades. Second quarter is two finals over two quarters which ends up being around 35% of our grades. Spring quarter is four finals, two over two quarters and to over one quarter which is about 50% of our grades. Considering how I'm feeling for winter finals which start tomorrow, spring should be a super time.


That actually sounds really nice. Easing you into the law school exam process instead of having 50% of your grades determined the first time you experience it.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby beepboopbeep » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:57 pm

cotiger wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:
cotiger wrote:
Crowing wrote:We do have 6 credits in the fall, 12 in the winter, and 18(!) in the spring (+4 for legal writing, which spans all three quarters but has a graded memo in the winter and graded brief in the spring).


What does this mean exactly? You don't really have three times as many classes in the spring as the fall, do you?


We have the same number of classes every quarter. However the number of finals and amount of credit those finals count for differ. First quarter is two finals each over one quarter of material and it shakes out to about 15% of our 1L grades. Second quarter is two finals over two quarters which ends up being around 35% of our grades. Spring quarter is four finals, two over two quarters and to over one quarter which is about 50% of our grades. Considering how I'm feeling for winter finals which start tomorrow, spring should be a super time.


That actually sounds really nice. Easing you into the law school exam process instead of having 50% of your grades determined the first time you experience it.


I always hear people say this as a plus, but 50% chance it harms you more than it hurts you. If you have more time to adjust, so do your classmates, and on a mandatory curve that's all that matters.

I mean, sure, psychic benefits and all that. Definitely nice as a matter of mental burden to only have two classes to worry about each of the first two quarters. But IMO the stress comes more from the fact that you're competing with a lot of very smart people than the size of the workload itself.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:02 am

beepboopbeep wrote:
cotiger wrote:
That actually sounds really nice. Easing you into the law school exam process instead of having 50% of your grades determined the first time you experience it.


I always hear people say this as a plus, but 50% chance it harms you more than it hurts you. If you have more time to adjust, so do your classmates, and on a mandatory curve that's all that matters.

I mean, sure, psychic benefits and all that. Definitely nice as a matter of mental burden to only have two classes to worry about each of the first two quarters. But IMO the stress comes more from the fact that you're competing with a lot of very smart people than the size of the workload itself.

I'm pretty sure psychic benefits are all that people mean when they say it's nice. I personally felt much less stressed knowing that only two grades out of like fifteen were coming on my first go-around. And while your adjusting will be matched by other students in terms of grades, the low-stakes intro can also help you make mental and emotional adjustments for future exam periods that matter more, which may not help your grades because of the fixed-sum game of the curve but which will very likely help you as a human being who has to live through it.

If you want evidence that lower stakes help people be happier and makes the experience more tolerable, look at the 3Ls, who are mostly in a no-stakes game right now and who have a much easier time of finals period as a personal matter.




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