Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
freeflowfox
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby freeflowfox » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:28 am

Thanks a lot for your very informative--and reassuring--replies, do you guys mind me asking if either of you took any scholarship to go to UChicago, and for both yes or no answers, why? I'm basically down to t14 with 45k/year or CCN with none.

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby UChicagoStudent » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:20 am

freeflowfox wrote:Thanks a lot for your very informative--and reassuring--replies, do you guys mind me asking if either of you took any scholarship to go to UChicago, and for both yes or no answers, why? I'm basically down to t14 with 45k/year or CCN with none.


Ya. I ended up taking out full $$$ - didn't get any scholarship money. Pretty much everyone who gets into Chicago will have options in the t20. My options were between a near full Scholarship at USC, ~half scholarship at Northwestern and Duke, and ~1/3 at Michigan, or full price at NYU/Chicago.

The first thing that I'd look at would be to really consider where you want to practice. I know that a year ago, I was going to end up at the best school that took me. Geographic placement is a really underestimated consideration when you're choosing a school. Firms want someone who is 'geographically grounded'. If you want to practice in Chicago (I really do), then NU and UofC are the two most realistic options (UofM may be as well). I turned down Northwestern scholarship money for many reasons, but it wasn't easy. I fell in love with U of C after I visited for ASW, and I didn't get the same feeling from NU. While I do occasionally second-guess myself, I cannot imagine myself anywhere else right now.

Realize that you're going to be paying off the loans for a while if you do take out the full amount. I'll be paying >$2k a month for 10 years to ay off my loans. I'm worried, but I honestly couldn't imagine myself anywhere else.

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MF248
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby MF248 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:35 am

chicagolawgirl wrote:MF248: White Sox. Definitely :)


This is the credited response :)

freeflowfox
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby freeflowfox » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:53 am

Thanks, I wish you good luck on your job hunt next year, and I'm now somewhat placated about the prospect of full loans at Chicago.

chicagolawgirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby chicagolawgirl » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:51 am

I turned down $60K, $45K and $24K scholarships at T10 schools to go to Chicago. I honestly have no idea if it was the right decision, but I'm happy here and happy with the options that are open to me.

You've actually hit upon one of my few complaints about Chicago ... the school takes your parents' income into account, even if you've been working for a few years, which seems somewhat unfair. Other schools, like Northwestern and Michigan, don't require you to report your parents' income.

Best of luck with your decision ... I know it's a tough one!

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby UChicagoStudent » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:22 pm

nicdmx wrote:What made you decide on Chicago?


While we're at it, I'll answer this one as well.

I wanted to stay in the midwest after I graduate. It came down between NU, Mich, and UofC. I got in the first round of admissions (Early Dec.) for Chicago. After that, I was overwhelmed with alumni(2), professors(1), students(3), and even 2 deans personally contacting me. I really got a personal feeling from the school

Secondly, I did a little bit of research and the faculty at UofC is top-notch. Cass Sunstein (part-time), Eric and Judge Posner, Martha Nussbaum, Richard McCadams, Judge Ginsburg, Judge Easterbrook, Dean Levmore, and Brian Lieter are some of the more prominent faculty members running around. All of my professors are relatively young (I heard average age of a Chicago professor 47, as opposed to Yale's average age being 70 but might be completely making that up) and very accomplished. I think 3 years ago if I told myself that I would pick my law school by how well known the faculty was, I would have kicked myself, but I am so glad I took that into consideration. When all of you start law school, you'll read opinions by Posner, Easterbrook, and Ginsburg. You'll encounter law-review articles in your casebook written by the professors teaching your 1L classes. It's absolutely amazing having these scholars who are literally shaping the law we live know your first name and interact with you regularly over the course of your academic career.

I was concerned that Chicago was the place 'where fun goes to die'. After visiting other law schools, including spending time at other top schools, all the other top schools have relatively the same social atmosphere. Chicago is no less fun than the other top schools (except maybe UVA :lol: ), and more socially balanced. Most people in law school are shaped (socilly) lot more by their undergraduate schools than the law school they attend. 'The place where fun goes to die' is generally directed towards the undergrad population. I guarantee that if this is your concern (it was one of mine), just visit and hang out with some students.

Finally, I was really worried about Hyde Park, before I actually visited (thanks in part to reading Ken's anti-Chicago review on TLS). The campus is absolutely stunning, with beautiful Gothic buildings coupled with really cool modern architecture. Hyde park is a cute little town with extremely quick access to all the amenities Chicago has to offer. If Hyde Park isn't your flavor, then just live in the city - most 2and3L's live there. However, Chicago winters will get cold, so if you're from a warm climate, it will be a bit of an adjustment.

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Dialogue
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby Dialogue » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:42 pm

UChicagoStudent wrote:Cass Sunstein (part-time), Eric and Judge Posner, Martha Nussbaum, Richard McCadams, Judge Ginsburg, Judge Easterbrook, Dean Levmore, and Brian Lieter are some of the more prominent faculty members running around.


Any word on how long Sunstein will be teaching at Chicago? I remember he took a position at Harvard then went on leave to work with Obama, but had no idea he was stull teaching at C.

If he is still there, how hard is it to get into the classes taught by Sunstein, Posner, McAdams, etc? Not to sound like an uber-nerd, but knowing that I could take Sunstein a few times would be enough to get me to a particular school.

chicagolawgirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby chicagolawgirl » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:55 pm

I'm not sure what the deal is with Sunstein, but Chicago is known for having star faculty members teach 1L classes. This year, half of the 1L class has McAdams for Crim, half has Eric Posner for Contracts and half has David Strauss for Elements.

Other professors teaching first year classes over the next two quarters include Judge Diane Wood, outgoing Dean Saul Levmore (he's staying on as a faculty member) and Richard Epstein. Ginsburg and Nussbaum are teaching spring electives offered to 1Ls. I'm sure I'm forgetting some here, but basically you're guaranteed to have noteworthy professors from the start of your academic career. I'd also add that many of the professors you may not have heard of (if you're not immersed in legal academia) are great as well.

Chicago, more so than many other law schools, is very focused on having professors who view teaching as a priority and welcome student interaction. Scholarship is important too, but it doesn't overshadow the teaching aspect.

chicagolawgirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby chicagolawgirl » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:19 am

I left out a lot of great professors, so here's an overview of first year professors for 2009-2010 (some of the classes stretch out over two quarters).

First Quarter:

Adam Samaha and Emily Buss are teaching Civ Pro.

Eric Posner and Omri Ben-Shahar are teaching Contracts.

Richard McAdams and Donald Braman are teaching Crim Law.

Rosalind Dixon and David Strauss are teaching Elements.

--------------

Second Quarter:

Eric Posner and Anup Malani are teaching Contracts.

Bernard Harcourt and Richard McAdams are teaching Crim Law.

Dick Helmholz and Lior Strahilevetz are teaching Property.

Jacob Gersen and Fennell are teaching Torts.

--------------

Third Quarter:

Adam Cox and Judge Wood are teaching Civ Pro II.

Helmholz and Strahilevetz are teaching property.

Dean Levmore and Richard Epstein are teaching Torts.

Then, we're all able to choose one of these 1L electives. They are:

Jurisprudence I, taught by Brian Leiter
Legislation, taught by Aziz Huq
Comparative Legal Institutions, taught by Tom Ginsburg
Economic Analysis of the Law, taught by Thomas Miles
American Legal History, taught by Alison LaCroix
Emotion, Reason, and Law, taught by Martha Nussbaum
There also is one on Roman Law, but I'm not sure who's teaching it.

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dresden doll
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby dresden doll » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:22 am

chicagolawgirl wrote:The student-faculty interaction here is unparalleled. They come to coffee mess (free donuts, bagels and coffee every Wednesday morning), wine mess (incredibly cheap booze in the Green Lounge every Friday afternoon) and hang around after classes to talk and answer questions. If you study in the library, you'll see them wandering through all the time. It's really fantastic.


I <3 Wine Messes. :D

jacko
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby jacko » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:30 am

Any word on when or if Chicago might make some adjustments to their LRAP? GULC has done it so I think that Chicago makes a move to make it a little more PI friendly program.

chicagolawgirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby chicagolawgirl » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:54 am

Chicago did revise it in 2007, according to TLS. I'll paste the info below; everything I've heard here is in line with it. I'm also pretty sure marriage and spousal income won't affect the program, which is a nice feature.

From Ken's summary:

Loan Repayment Assistance:

The University of Chicago revised its loan repayment program in 2007, which had faced much criticism for being far too restrictive. Under the new Hormel Public Interest Program, graduates working in qualified public interest jobs will receive an interest-free loan of up to $10,000, which will be fully forgiven a year after it is made, provided the graduate remains in the public interest job. The job’s salary must be below $72,000. The Hormel program continues for seven of the eight years after graduation, for a potential total of $70,000.

Summer Funding:

Though traditionally criticized as not providing enough support for public interest-minded students, Chicago has beefed up its summer funding for students committed to non-profit, government or public interest work.

Students who undertake qualifying (low-paying, with a not-for-profit or government unit) public interest work their first summer are eligible for a $6,000 partially forgivable loan, called the Heerey Fellowship. If a student works at least four full-time weeks in such a position during their first summer of law school, up to $3,000 of the loan can be forgiven.

Students who plan to work at a firm their second summer may use those earnings to pay off the balance, or they can simply choose to only accept a $3,000 loan for their first summer, so there will be no balance to be paid. If a student works at a qualifying public interest position their second summer as well, the entire $6,000 loan will be forgiven.

There is an application process to attain the loan, but a rising 2L said that “everyone I know who applied for the money got it.”

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Dialogue
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby Dialogue » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:50 am

chicagolawgirl wrote:I'm not sure what the deal is with Sunstein, but Chicago is known for having star faculty members teach 1L classes. This year, half of the 1L class has McAdams for Crim, half has Eric Posner for Contracts and half has David Strauss for Elements.

Other professors teaching first year classes over the next two quarters include Judge Diane Wood, outgoing Dean Saul Levmore (he's staying on as a faculty member) and Richard Epstein. Ginsburg and Nussbaum are teaching spring electives offered to 1Ls. I'm sure I'm forgetting some here, but basically you're guaranteed to have noteworthy professors from the start of your academic career. I'd also add that many of the professors you may not have heard of (if you're not immersed in legal academia) are great as well.

Chicago, more so than many other law schools, is very focused on having professors who view teaching as a priority and welcome student interaction. Scholarship is important too, but it doesn't overshadow the teaching aspect.


Thanks, I appreciate it. That focus speaks volumes about UChicago.

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cranberry
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby cranberry » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:33 pm

Do people like the graduate housing? Which buildings are preferred?

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echoi
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby echoi » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:20 pm

I've found conflicting information online about the pet policy at Regents Park. Can anyone tell me if they allow dogs under 25lbs?

chicagolawgirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby chicagolawgirl » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:19 pm

cranberry: The majority of 1Ls choose to live in Hyde Park. The majority (more than 60 percent) live in Regents Park, a private building that offers discounts to U of C students, which has its pluses and minuses. It's great to be near fellow students and makes taking cabs into the city very convenient. Nevertheless, it's a little overpriced for the area.

Some students also live in New Grad, which is a more dorm-like atmosphere (ie, you wouldn't have your own kitchen). On the plus side, it's right next to the law school, so the commute is nonexistent, and I think it's pretty cheap.

Other students choose to rent apartments through the university or Craigslist. This isn't a bad option either, and you can get a nice place. Still, I've heard it can be hard to get on the bus in the morning since so many people crowd on at Regents, so it might be best to live within walking distance if you do this. You also will not be able to walk over to Regents and your friends' apartments late at night in Hyde Park, so you'll probably have to call SafeRide, take the bus, take a cab or have a car.

A fair number of students also live in other areas of Chicago, like South Loop, Wicker Park and Lincoln Park.

2L and 3L year the majority of students move to those areas.

echoi: Regents allows pets (I've seen many dogs that weigh much more than 25 pounds, like labs), but you will be placed in the South Tower. Plenty of students are over there anyway, including many law students sharing three-bedroom places.

Kretzy
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby Kretzy » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:53 pm

How do Chicago folks feel about the possibility of 1L summer firm jobs? Are most people thinking that it's just a pipe dream? Also, does the quarter system adversely affect summer employment prospects, since UC students are getting out later than others?

Thanks a bunch!

chicagolawgirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby chicagolawgirl » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:28 pm

I haven't been paying a ton of attention firm gigs for 1L summer, because I'm hoping to do something else and look at firms for my 2L summer. I've heard mixed rumors, ie that some firms will be looking at hiring 1Ls because it gives them an extra year for the economy to improve before they have to make a hiring decision on us. Still, I'd be surprised if a ton of 1Ls ended up with firm jobs, given the economic climate.

The major law firms are familiar with Chicago's academic calendar and are very flexible in terms of allowing us to have later start and end dates.

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby UChicagoStudent » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:10 pm

Kretzy wrote:How do Chicago folks feel about the possibility of 1L summer firm jobs? Are most people thinking that it's just a pipe dream? Also, does the quarter system adversely affect summer employment prospects, since UC students are getting out later than others?

Thanks a bunch!


Rumor is that if you don't have some sort of 'in' with a firm or a truly outstanding resume, you will not likely end up with a 1L firm job, there just aren't any out there right now. But (as chicagolawgirl said), I have heard rumors of firms hiring 1L's instead of 2L's because it gives them more time to decide on who they want to keep as well as signal to people that they are relatively financially strong, and can afford to take on multiple 1L interns.

Next few years will likely be pretty slow, but not as bad as this year. Class of 2013 and 2014 will likely have better opportunities for 1L jobs. In a good economy, I've heard that 1/3 of the class does firm work, 1/3 does research, and 1/3 does PI/Gov't/judicial internships. I'd guess that 50% of the students that want a firm job in a good economy will get one

freeflowfox
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby freeflowfox » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:30 pm

Edited for wrong question. Didn't read previous post closely enough.

What about the quarter system though? How does it affect job prospects?

Renzo
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby Renzo » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:10 pm

Where, exactly, do they bury the fun after it dies? Or do they incinerate it? :wink:

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gotmilk?
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby gotmilk? » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 am

thanks for answering questions! i'm currently a nervous 0L that applied ED

what effect (if any) would being one of the youngest students (21 when i would matriculate) have on my social interaction with others? i would assume that everyone tends to hang out with everyone else because the school is so small... is my intuition correct?

also, for those who live in the grad housing or other kitchen-less housing, what is available for them to eat?

marburger06
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby marburger06 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:41 am

gotmilk? wrote:thanks for answering questions! i'm currently a nervous 0L that applied ED

what effect (if any) would being one of the youngest students (21 when i would matriculate) have on my social interaction with others? i would assume that everyone tends to hang out with everyone else because the school is so small... is my intuition correct?


There are several of us 21-year-olds, and I don't feel like our age really matters in social settings. I have friends that range in age from 21 to 28, and I don't feel out of place or anything. People definitely have their own groups of friends, but everyone is super friendly and you end up talking with everyone just by hanging out in the green lounge and going to bar review.

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby UChicagoStudent » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:10 pm

Renzo wrote:Where, exactly, do they bury the fun after it dies? Or do they incinerate it? :wink:


Northwestern Law - it gets buried with their career options.

:roll: just kidding, I have nothing but love for NU!!, but there is a bit of a Chicago rivalry

chicagolawgirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby chicagolawgirl » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:17 pm

freeflowfox: The quarter system does not affect career or summer positions. We place people across the country, and employers are already familiar with it. The worst that could happen is you'd miss a summer associate opening happy hour.

gotmilk?: I think it all depends on you. Chicago has quite a few people who are straight out of undergrad, so there will be other 21-, 22- and 23-year-olds. I don't think it will make a difference if you're 21 versus 22, unless you act really young for your age. I have friends here ranging in age from 22 to 32.




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