IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
The Chicago-Kent College of Law of ITT Tech is a private law school located in downtown Chicago. As a result of its unique affiliation with a technological institute, Chicago-Kent Law is among the authorities in legal academia on matters regarding technology and cyberspace. The school also houses one of the most highly regarded Legal Writing programs in the country and has earned a reputation of graduating students who enter the legal field with advanced writing skills. For applicants with hopes of securing employment in and around the Windy City, Chicago-Kent Law is a great place to pursue a legal education, as the school is respected and recognized by most of the law firms and courts of the area.
Admissions & tuition
Receiving approximately 3,500 total applications for its full-time and part-time programs, Chicago-Kent law school must be highly selective in granting admission offers. For the 2009 entering class, the school received approximately 3,600 applications, granted admissions offers to about 1,300 applicants, 298 of whom accepted the offers and matriculated at the school. The LSAT scores of the full-time division of the 2009 entering class at the 25th and 75th percentiles were 156 and 163, while the undergraduate GPAs of the class at the same percentiles were 3.11 and 3.67. In general, applicants with numbers that fall within these ranges should be competitive in future application cycles at Chicago-Kent Law. For applicants with slightly lower numbers, the part-time division of the school is a good option, as it provides such applicants to the opportunity to enter a less competitive admissions process, and if admitted, to transfer to the full-time division upon fulfilling some requirements. That said, all applicants, regardless of their numbers, can improve their chances of admission into either program if they are able to demonstrate in their application their ability to bring diversity to the student body of Chicago-Kent Law.
Tuition at Chicago-Kent Law, like at most private law schools, has passed the $35,000 mark in recent years. For the 2009-2010 academic year, students in the full-time division of the school paid $37,800, while those enrolled in the part-time division paid $27,750. The school typically does its part in helping students with these expenses by providing grants or scholarships in various amounts to about half of the student body.
Academics & curriculum
As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, Chicago-Kent law school is known for its Legal Writing and Intellectual Property programs, both of which are ranked among the top ten in the nation by the popular US News & World Report rankings. Like students at most schools, students at Chicago-Kent Law enroll in a Legal Writing course in both semesters of their first year, during which year they must also enroll in other foundational courses such as Property, Civil Procedure, and Contracts. Unlike most law students, however, Chicago-Kent Law students must fulfill Legal Writing requirements in their second and third years as well. Aside from these requirements, students are mostly free during their second and third years to choose from among the school's more than 100 elective courses to complete their 87 credit-hour degrees. Chicago-Kent Law also offers its students the opportunity to participate in one of several certification and concentration programs in areas such as international law, intellectual property law, and environmental law. For students with a desire to gain practical lawyering experience, the school offers ten in-house clinics, among them the popular Immigration Clinic, the Social Security Disability Clinic, and the Criminal Defense Clinic. These clinics, combined with the school's moot court and appellate advocacy programs, ensure that students at Chicago-Kent Law have plenty of opportunity to take their legal education outside the classroom setting. At the same time, the school's various study abroad programs, including those in Germany, Denmark, and New Zealand, ensure that students with hopes of taking their legal education beyond American borders are able to do so.
Quality of life
Although Chicago-Kent law school does not have a traditional campus as it is located five miles away from the main Illinois Institute of Technology campus, the efficient public transportation system of Chicago makes for a situation in which the entire Windy City serves as a campus for students. Chicago-Kent Law is located in close proximity to Chicago's Union Station, allowing students direct access to all of the city's subway lines, which provide quick and efficient service to all points of Chicago. As such, the endless variety of eateries, shops, and parks of the city are never more than a train ride away for law students wishing to unwind during the day, and the endless variety of nightspots of the city are similarly accessible. A shuttle bus is also available between the law school building and the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, which allows Chicago-Kent Law students quick access to the facilities of the main campus, and also enables law students who live in student housing on the main campus to travel between home and class with minimal hassle. For the large majority of students who choose to live off- campus, housing options are plentiful throughout the city, although apartments close to campus tend to be pricier. Lastly, safety is generally not a problem for Chicago-Kent Law students, who can call on security escorts to accompany them out of the law school at night.
Employment prospects & bar passage
Like most similarly ranked and regarded law schools, Chicago-Kent Law has a reputation that is strong mostly in the city and region in which the school is located. Fortunately for students of Chicago-Kent, their school is located in a city that houses one of the biggest legal markets of the country, which provides countless employment opportunities in all areas of the law. Recruiters from many law firms from the Windy City stop by Chicago-Kent to interview students each year, up to 80% of whom stay in and around Chicago to begin their practice of the law. As is usually the case, on-campus interviews are fruitful mostly for students ranked near the top of their class, and lower ranked students must rely more heavily on the school's dedicated career services office and large and loyal alumni network. Similarly, students hoping to land jobs outside of Illinois will likely experience a tougher job search, and will have to take much initiative in contacting alums who practice in the areas in which they hope to work. That said, nearly all Chicago-Kent Law students are typically able to find employment within 9 months of graduation, as the school generally reports about a 90% employment rate within that time period.
On the Illinois bar exam, Chicago-Kent Law students generally pass at a somewhat higher rate than the overall state passage rate. For the Class of 2007's Illinois bar exams, 93.5% of Chicago-Kent students passed, while 88.7% of all test-takers in the state succeeded.
The Chicago-Kent College of Law is among the authorities on legal matters related to technology and cyberspace, and houses a nationally-ranked legal writing program. For applicants hoping to find employment in and around Chicago, the school is a great place to pursue a legal education.
U.S. News ranking: 77th
Application deadline: 3/1
Application fee: $60
Entering class size: 246 full-time, 52 part-time (2009)
Median LSAT: full-time: 161, part-time: 158 (2009)
Median undergraduate GPA: full-time: 3.53, part-time: 3.25 (2009)
Yearly tuition: full-time: $37,800, part-time: $27,750 (2009-2010)
Median private sector first-year salary: $100,000 (Class of 2007, 59% reporting)