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.
UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby UChicagoStudent » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:24 pm

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.


No scholly to Chi. Had basically the same options. I loved the school when I visited, career options are awesome out of Chicago, and I didn't get into HYS.

Renzo
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby Renzo » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:38 pm

UChicagoStudent wrote:
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

Well played sir, well played.

chicagolawgirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby chicagolawgirl » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:13 pm

i'm similar to UChicagoStudent. Didn't get into Y, waitlisted at H and didn't apply to S (want to practice in the Midwest or on the East Coast). No money at U of C, sigh, but it's a great school with fantastic options.

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby UChicagoStudent » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:59 pm

bump for not having classes today

annabell
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby annabell » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:06 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. I have no idea if I'll be admitted (I hope so). Just in case, I wanted to take the opportunity to ask a quesiton. How would you say the overall "quality of life" is for students?
Last edited by annabell on Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby UChicagoStudent » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:45 pm

--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!

deadbeat
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby deadbeat » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:53 am

To clarify on the Regent's gym- I got a 3 month trial and a discount when both my roommate and I signed up. I ended up paying $260 for a full year's membership, which I don't think is bad at all. The downside is that the gym is not that great. I think you can still get a good workout there, but you might not be able to do everything you're accustomed to doing. But the convenience of riding on an elevator to get to the gym while it's cold and dark outside is hard to beat.

Ratner is the UChi rec center. It's been recently renovated, and from what I've seen, looks great.

There are also intramural sports teams and other mixers with other grad divisions, but to be honest I don't think there's much interaction. Given that, a lot of this is what you make of it, and there seems to be a fair number of events going on where you can mingle with people from other departments.

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lucydog
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby lucydog » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:17 am

chicagolawgirl wrote:There were a lot of reasons I picked Chicago (I'm sure I obsessed over the law school choice as much as many of you are now.)

I may be interested in clerking and/or academia at some point, and, among its peer schools, Chicago tends to do the best in this category, and also places incredibly well at firms. I also decided I didn't want to be in a college town since I'm a few years out of undergrad, so I've enjoyed being able to explore the city.

Chicago is also a smaller school -- 190 students to a class -- which is a huge advantage when you're looking for jobs. Firms and government agencies want intellectual diversity, even in a struggling economy. If they take three Chicago grads every year, that's a larger percentage of our class than it would be at a school with a bigger student population. That means they're generally willing to go deeper into the class to hire us, which is great. Interestingly, I've heard this has been helping a lot in terms of the 2L job summer job search. It also makes you very valuable if you're interested in applying to jobs in places like DC and NYC -- you'll stand out among the hordes of Columbia, NYU and Georgetown applicants. Less students at Chicago, plus a healthy dose of geographical diversity, means less competition for jobs in different cities.

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 was a little worried about social life at U of C given its intense reputation and the whole "where fun goes to die" slogan that the undergrads tout. I was totally wrong on that front; it's been great. A large percentage of the 1L class goes to bar review every Thursday, and people definitely go out on the weekends a lot as well. It's a generally friendly and intellectually curious crowd -- people from really varied backgrounds -- which makes for an interesting experience all around.

Chicago also is known for picking some of the best and brightest younger faculty members. The school has an uncanny ability to select the future academic "stars" (and presidents of the United States, of course)!


As another Chicago 1L, I agree with everything that Chicagolawgirl has said

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ruleser
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby ruleser » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:51 am

So it's known as the epicenter for law and economics. What role if any do you feel that playing in your studies - do you get to be part of the real econ discussions that are dealing with the econ crisis? Or is that just the profs...

pehaigllleises
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby pehaigllleises » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:53 am

We get to attend lunch talks/debates on the headline news issues and other fun or interesting topics (or, topics with the best looking food that day), listen to the professors, eat lunch, ask them questions, and stuff our faces some more.

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RussianGirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby RussianGirl » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:03 pm

Love this thread!

my 2 cents:

1. Our classmates are great. Almost everyone is super interesting, brilliant, and outgoing.
2. I <3 Regents gym. Like deadbeat, I got a great deal, and it happens to have exactly the machines I normally use, minus maybe just a couple
3. The faculty here is tremendous and super easily accessible
4. All the free food and discounted booze is awesome! Also, I'm pretty sure that not every school offers their students this kind of treatment (I know HLS, NYU, and Duke don't)
5. Scholly money v. higher ranking is a VERY delicate debate. Taking out sticker is scary, but at the same time our job prospects are much better than the lower T10-14. I would definitely take 30k at UofC over 60K at Duke. Sticker at UofC v. 60K at Duke is a much tougher call though and is something that needs to be thought of very carefully... Plenty of people do it, but know what you are getting yourself into
6. I'm also one of the 21-year-olds. It's totally fine, most people don't even know.

Kretzy
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby Kretzy » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:44 pm

RussianGirl wrote:Love this thread!

my 2 cents:

5. Scholly money v. higher ranking is a VERY delicate debate. Taking out sticker is scary, but at the same time our job prospects are much better than the lower T10-14. I would definitely take 30k at UofC over 60K at Duke. Sticker at UofC v. 60K at Duke is a much tougher call though and is something that needs to be thought of very carefully... Plenty of people do it, but know what you are getting yourself into


This has to be one of the most reasonable arguments about prestige vs. money I've read on the boards. Thanks for the insight!

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RussianGirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby RussianGirl » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:26 am

Kretzy wrote:This has to be one of the most reasonable arguments about prestige vs. money I've read on the boards. Thanks for the insight!

Hahaha, I'm glad!
By the way, great cycle... you're definitely going to be one of those people making scholly calls. fwiw, I ended up choosing between NYU, U of C, and Berkeley, heavily researching all three. So, if you need any tips, fire away!

freeflowfox
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby freeflowfox » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:34 am

Okay, thanks for answering questions, I'll take a shot.

What made you pick Chicago over the other two? What kind of major pluses or minuses did your research show, and have they been confirmed by your time there? Did you have money at the others?

Also, I'm down to t10 with 30,000/year and probably UChi sticker pending admission. I want to work in New York. I know you gave your analysis, but, what would you do? It's driving me up a damn wall. Also, you have any inkling as to how negotiating with Chicago would work? They say on their site they do not match scholarships. Can i beg for money? I'm really penniless.

pehaigllleises
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby pehaigllleises » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:54 am

Visit the schools. Columbia was my first choice forever... until I visited. Visiting may or may not help narrow down your field. I never really considered NYU, other than as a backup to Columbia, so I don't know a single thing about NYU.

MY reasons for choosing Chicago over Columbia:
1. I did NOT want to live in New York. I had lived there for years and wanted to get out while the getting was good. Astronomical taxes, astronomical rent. In Chicago everything is basically half price. With the money I save I could fly to New York every other week. I actually lived within walking distance of Columbia but chose to leave all of my friends and significant other [for a year, anyway] and move halfway across the country to Chicago.
2. Columbia was lamesauce when I visited. Half of the professors whose classes I sat in on were actually rude to me. The current students were just as friendly as Chicago's, perhaps because grades had come out and they figured out they weren't all special snowflakes, because many of the other admitted students had that northeastern ivy stick up their butts. I met 0 administrators. They served only wine.
3. Chicago was great when I visited, even though the temp was -1. All of the professors were friendly, and all of the teaching I saw was great. The other admitted students didn't offend my being. I met basically every head of every administrative department I could have wanted to (implying very little bureaucracy). They served vodka.
4. Chicago scholarship >>> Columbia scholarship. This one was a "duh" moment. Unless it was the other way around, I still would have chosen Chicago over Columbia. The only school that gave me more than Chicago was Cornell. I think Chicago messed up on my aid offer, but please don't tell them.

Chicago doles out scholarships automatically, no forms to fill out. I heard back in mid-February about that. I heard back in March or so from Columbia, there were forms first.

Chicago might SAY it doesn't match, but you should try anyway. They're not going to take your admissions offer away, and especially not if you're at least not being a jerk about it. So it can't hurt you, and it could be the most money you've ever made in 5 minutes.

Apparently our job options are coming out better than many other of the lower T-10 schools and NYU because of our small class size and prestige. X% better chance at finding a job * Y salary/month * Z months, is probably going to work out close to eliminating that $30,000 difference. With the amount that law school costs, $30,000 is kind of negligible.

I would definitely take Chicago at sticker over $30,000 at Northwestern. I would have had a harder time taking Chicago sticker over $60,000 at Northwestern. Given that NW's tuition is $3,000/year higher, there might have had to have been a bigger difference. I probably would have taken $60,000 at Michigan over Chicago at sticker, though, if I didn't have life factors that would prevent me from doing so.

MUST STOP AVOIDING STUDYING RIGHT NOW.

freeflowfox
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby freeflowfox » Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:47 pm

Sorry, i meant 30,000 per year...

But man thanks a lot for this comprehensive and very helpful reply!

given the above, what would you say?

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RussianGirl
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby RussianGirl » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:08 am

freeflowfox wrote:Sorry, i meant 30,000 per year...

I have a lot to say on the subject, but unfortunately it's exam-time. I'm gonna come back and write more in a week or so... but for now, here are my thoughts:

30k/yr at a T10 is solid. I'd take the money and run. Just think, you are gonna have to pay off 90 thousand dollars less. You can do whatever you want after you graduate & don't have to commit to BigLaw. Think: freedom.

Def ask everyone to match schollies. If they don't at least 1/3 - 1/2 match, I wouldn't even think about it. Financial concerns were a BIG issue for me though, but this is not universal and really depends on your goals. If you're sure that you want to be an academic, for example, U of C ftw, regardless of $!

To be perfectly candid, I actually ended up picking U of C cause of scholly money. There were definitely other considerations (faculty, clerking, academia, small class size), but in the end I probably would have gone to NYU if they matched my offer. That being said, I really, really love it here and am convinced I've made the right choice :)

pehaigllleises
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby pehaigllleises » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:47 am

$90,000 = take the money and run. DO ask to match everywhere regardless of what they say.

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echoi
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby echoi » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:53 am

Do you guys know of any ED applicants that received scholarship money and what their stats were?

freeflowfox
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby freeflowfox » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:52 am

Wow, didn't expect such an unanimous take the money and run response. I definitely will attempt to leverage, and thanks for the confirmation that my inclination towards the scholarship is correct.

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SplitterPride
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby SplitterPride » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:18 am

Hey Chicago Girl, when will the Cubs ever win the World Series?

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Dany
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby Dany » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:41 am

@freeflowfox - Yeah, $90,000 really is just too much to say no to at a TOP TEN law school. If it was at, say, a T20 or T25, it's no contest (as in, go for the better school), but four ranking spaces should NOT cause you to say no to that kind of money. The amount of debt you won't have is staggering, so congrats on that fantastic offer, and good luck leveraging it, too!

Kretzy
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby Kretzy » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:36 am

I'm in the "I wanna be an academic" boat, so I'm hoping for money from other places and then leverage (if I get into UC). Northwestern's new Law Scholars program would be really tempting with 30,000 a year though...

And thanks RussianGirl! I will probably be PM'ing you after you get done with finals to chat about the school, if you don't mind :)

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby UChicagoStudent » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:03 am

$90k at Northwestern v. sticker at Chicago should be a pretty easy choice... I told myself that if I ended up getting $90 at Northwestern, I would end up going there. I ended up with $30k for the last 2 years (full price first year). If I did well enough to transfer out somewhere else after first year, I would end up paying full price first year at NU with nothing to show for it.

I also turned down $60k at Duke. and $45k at Michigan, before negotiating with the schools, although I kind of wish that I did a little bit more negotiation before I ended up making my final decision, but I'm extremely happy.

freeflowfox
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Re: Chicago 1L Taking Questions!

Postby freeflowfox » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:22 am

I just want to do public interest, I don't want to be forced by debt to do big law.




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