--How many nights a week does the typical student go out? And what types of "going out" activities (i.e. bars, pregames, parties, etc.) are there?
It Varies. Beginning of the quarter, I think most kids went out 3-4x a week. There are different degrees to going out - staying out until 5 a.m. and going bowling are two pretty different things that go on (both happen here). I feel like some students can still end up doing both. 2nd and 3rd year students go out a lot more. I think that time is at a premium for everyone, and staying out until 4 a.m. pretty much ruins the next day.
One big difference is that law school is 100% different from undergrad in terms of going out. There are parties in Regents, people pregame Thurs-Sat, and the bar reviews are normally pretty full.
--Do the Law students associate with other grad school students (i.e. Business School students, masters students, etc.)? Anyone else in Chicago? Or is it more of an insular group?
There are interactions, although they are as limited or extensive as you want them to be. I think most grad schools (business/med/law) have some intramural sports teams, the Pub on campus normally draws a lot of graduate students, and there are a lot of graduate specific seminars (especially in the beginning of the semester). It is what you make it, but from what I've seen, most law students hang out with law students.
--How stressful/competitive is the academic environment?
As stressful as you make it. If you treat law school like a full time job from the start, then you're going to be a lot better off then someone end-loading their schedule. If you want ;aw review, you'll (I'm speculating here) end up working 60+ hours per week. Some kids get overwhelmed when we started, but everyone as adapted pretty well.
--What type of gym do students use (is there one on campus available to law students or do students go to private health clubs)?
Regents has a rip-off of a gym for way too much money. The gym on campus looks pretty nice (I haven't actually used it yet, but some students do frequent it) and it's free and only 4 blocks from school.
Given the rough reputation of Hyde Park, are there particular areas to live you would recommend to students with young children? (This is all given the gigantic assumption that my ass even gets in, of course.)
Hyde Park is like a suburb in the city. UofC has one of the largest private police forces in the world, and as lonk as you are within the limits of the neighborhood, it is safe. Hyde Park also looks like a pretty good place to raise a family, but I have absolutely no idea where specifically would be ideal. I would recommend getting in contact with a Realtor or the school will point you in the right direction when you get in. Good Luck with your application!