How To Get Into

Chicago Law School

Chicago Program Overview

With an intimate class size of roughly 600 students, the University of Chicago Law School emphasizes its tight-knit community and focus on interdisciplinary learning. Students are encouraged to embrace “the life of the mind” and study law for the sake of learning.

To that end, the Socratic Method is embraced and students are expected to be active participants in their own legal education. There’s room for socializing as well, including breakfast and lunch with faculty and administrators, weekly Wine Mess and Coffee Mess, and Wellness Wednesday Programming for maintaining work-life balance to counterbalance the stresses of a rigorous academic course of study.

Standing proud before a zero-depth reflecting pool on the South Side of Chicago, the modernist building that houses the law school was designed by architect Eero Saarinen, whose work includes St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. The diverse Hyde Park neighborhood is within easy access of parks, museums, and shopping districts.

Former President Barack Obama famously taught constitutional law at UChicago. Current faculty includes luminaries like Martha Nussbaum, Richard Posner, and David Strauss.

University of Chicago Law School

  Important Insights about Chicago Law School

Curriculum
University of Chicago Law School

Unique to UChicago’s 1L curriculum is the “Elements of Law” course, which exposes students to the interdisciplinary nature of law.

To foster this interdisciplinary spirit after 1L year, students are encouraged to take 12 hours of coursework “Across the Midway” in graduate level courses outside of law.

While the school values a general legal education, opportunities to specialize abound. Chicago is considered the birthplace of Law and Economics, which is one of its most well-known interdisciplinary fields. Faculty focus, however, on the intersection of law in diverse disciplines such as philosophy, cultural studies, public policy, feminist and race theory, history, political science, business, and more.

For applicants interested in financial statements, capital structures, and complex transactions, the unique Doctoroff Business Leadership Program combines elements of the MBA program into a JD certificate to teach aspiring lawyers to “speak the language” of the corporate world.

Chicago’s quarter system is designed to ease 1Ls into the finals system by reducing the number of courses required in a semester system, while simultaneously increasing the overall number of courses students take during their time in law school.

Chicago does not rank students and discourages estimating rank. The 155-186 grading scale requires that students maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 168 to maintain satisfactory academic standing.

Clinical and Experiential Learning
University of Chicago Law School

Clinical programs at Chicago are autonomous, boasting their own faculty and support staff. Through the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, students will aid indigent clients encountering legal issues ranging from police accountability, employment, housing initiatives, international human rights, mental health advocacy, and social service. For more business minded law students, the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship and the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab Clinic give students an opportunity to engage with companies on navigating regulatory requirements and compete in a series of “real world” transactional corporate exercises.

Research Centers such as the Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values sponsor speakers and conferences on cutting-edge legal topics. Workshops expose students to a rich, intellectual community of scholars exploring topics such as the Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender, as well as Law & Economics, and much more.

In sum, with over 170 different courses and seminars, there is something for everyone at Chicago. Aspiring attorneys with a genuine interest in interdisciplinary scholarship will find themselves at home.

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Do you need help applying to Chicago Law School?

Talk with an Admissions Specialist with Experience in the Chicago Law School Admissions Process

This is an opportunity for us to explore your background and start to help you cultivate a plan of action to get you into your top-choice law school. It’s free to get started.

  Important Facts about Chicago Law School

Deadlines
deadlines

Early Decision: Applicants and all required materials must be received on or before December 1.

Regular Decision: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and must be received by March 1, 2018.

Chicago Law Scholars Program: University of Chicago College undergraduates and alumni can submit a binding early decision application by December 1 with the potential to receive at least $150,000 as part of their financial aid package

Standardized testing:

LSAT: “Because of rolling admissions process, the June or October test date puts you in the best position for getting your application in early.” December test scores are considered, though applicants are advised “to submit all other required application materials so that the LSAT will be the final component of your application.”

GRE: Chicago does not currently accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT.

Interview: By invitation only via Skype with a member of the Admissions Committee.

Notification: Early Decision applications should hear back by the end of December. Admissions results for Regular Decision applications will not be released until early January.

Class Profile
stratus-mba-classroom

Class Size: 600

Average Age: 24 (over 60% of the incoming class will have at least one or two years of work experience)

Women: 46%

Students of color: 30%

Median LSAT: 170 (low 156, high 179)

Median GPA: 3.90 (low 3.13, high 4.17)

Career Placement
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Bar Passage rate (first-time test takers) – 98.8% (the highest bar passage rate among tier 1 schools)

By Industries:

  • Law Firms: 67%
  • Judicial Clerkships: 19%
  • Business & Industry: 1.4%
  • Government: 12.1%
  • Education: 0.5%

Geographies:

  • Northeast/Mid-Atlantic: 24.6%
  • Central: 39.1%
  • South Atlantic/Central: 18.1%
  • Mountain/Pacific: 17.7%
  • U.S. Territories/Foreign: 0.5%

  Chicago Law School Resources

Admissions Tips & Advice for Getting Accepted

Essay Prompts

Personal Statement

Our application does not provide a specific topic or question for the personal statement because you are the best judge of what you should write. Write about something personal, relevant, and completely individual to you. This may include writing about a significant aspect of your background, a quality or trait that you believe defines you, a transformative experience, or the things that interest and motivate you. Don’t worry so much about selecting a unique or novel topic. Just be yourself. Your personal statement will be unique if you are honest and authentic. See these examples of personal statements written by some of our students. No page limit but 2-4 pages is considered “sufficient;” no formatting rules with respect to spacing, font type, font size, or margins.

Diversity Statement

Describe how your background or experiences will enhance the diversity of the University of Chicago Law School community (e.g., based on your culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ideology, age, socieconomic status, academic background, employment, or personal experience). No strict guidelines, but one page or less is considered “sufficient.”

Addendum

Undergraduate and/or Standardized Test Performance: If you do not think that your academic record or standardized test scores accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, please tell us why. No strict guidelines, but one page or less is considered “sufficient.”

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