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University of Chicago




The University of Chicago Law School is committed
to the lively exchange of ideas inside—and
outside—our newly renovated classrooms. Our
students are from diverse backgrounds, study with leading scholars and teachers, and are trained to think independently, critically, and creatively about the law. We are part of the world-class intellectual community of the University of Chicago and we believe that ideas turned into action is one of the most satisfying ways to practice law.

Ideas matter—to our students, to our faculty, to
our alumni. Chicago students enjoy their classes.
Chicago faculty enjoy teaching them. Chicago
alumni never forget them.
Our students crave rigor. They work hard—and
play hard. They challenge their teachers and each other on all things logical, legal, and political.
They master a lawyer’s most powerful skills:
researching, writing, and presenting wellreasoned
legal arguments. But they also enjoy over fifty student organizations ranging from the Federalist Society to the American Constitution Society, from StreetLaw, which teaches law to high school students, to the women’s intramural football team, which has won the campus
championship seven times in a row. Students
even fill the classrooms during lunchtime to hear
faculty and other speakers discuss the issues
of the day, and to enjoy a free lunch.
Chicago students are confident. They are involved.
They come from diverse backgrounds, and hail
from across the country and around the globe.
They are ready for the next challenge. They go on
to head law firms, become CEOs of companies,
clerk for Supreme Court Justices—and become
judges themselves.

University of Chicago Law School graduates lead and innovate in government, activism, academia, and business, as well as law. For this reason, Chicago aims not to merely certify lawyers, but to train well-rounded, critical, and socially-conscious thinkers and doers. Three cornerstones provide the foundation for Chicago's educational mission: the life of the mind, participatory learning, and interdisciplinary inquiry.

What sets Chicago apart from other law schools is our unabashed enthusiasm for the life of the mind - the conviction that ideas matter, that they are worth discussing, and that legal education should devote itself to learning for learning's sake, not just for earning's sake. Chicago students enjoy their classes and do not simply endure them. Eminent faculty teach first-year courses because, as committed teachers, they want to share ideas with students. We are passionate - even intense - about ideas. Our energy creates camaraderie that spills over from inside the classroom to outside the classroom, where we continue our conversations in the more relaxed atmospheres of the student lounge, restaurants, clubs, and sports stadiums.
Learning the law at Chicago is a collaborative venture between faculty and students that begins in the classroom but extends far beyond it.

In a Chicago classroom, students share the stage with the professor. The professor does not lecture the students but rather engages them in a dialogue. By asking questions about thorny legal concepts and principles, the professor challenges students to articulate and defend positions for themselves. Known as the Socratic Method, this dialogue presents students with questions, to which there are no easy answers, regarding some of our most complex legal and social problems. This method prepares students to think on their feet when the stakes are high in the courtroom, legislative chamber, or boardroom.

All first-year students participate in our legal writing program under the guidance of one of the full-time Bigelow Teaching Fellows. Through this program, students master a lawyer's most powerful skills - researching, writing, and presenting well-reasoned legal arguments.

In their second and third years, students complete two substantial pieces of writing, either class papers, pieces submitted to the school's scholarly journals, or briefs prepared for the Moot Court competition or one of the clinical programs. Also in their second and third years, students can take advocacy and clinical courses that allow them to polish their lawyering skills - such as managing class action lawsuits, negotiating, and arbitrating - under the tutelage of distinguished practitioners.

Housed in the Arthur Kane Center, Chicago's three clinics, the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, the MacArthur Justice Center, and the Institute for Justice Center on Entrepreneurship, involve more than 100 students each year and permit them to represent clients with real-world legal problems under the guidance of the clinical faculty.

At the University of Chicago Law School, we believe that the study of law and the fostering of ideas is best achieved by assembling a diverse community of students and faculty. Law is perhaps one of the most evolving fields of study; it integrates history, public policy, philosophy, politics, and economics. Accordingly, the Law School endeavors to attract women and men from a variety of racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds, diverse educational and work experiences, varied geographical backgrounds, and differing political ideologies. These members of our diverse community are better able to critique the past and present, and determine if, when, and how laws should evolve.

The small entering class of about 175-195 students is a diverse group selected from the top of the nation's applicant pool. Believing that the learning community is enhanced by the presence of those traditionally underrepresented in the legal community, we actively recruit a diverse student body. The Fall 2003 entering class is 45% women and 31% students of color. Over 200 colleges and universities are represented in our entire student body, and our students hail from 44 states and 28 foreign countries. Our students lead more than 45 societies and organizations, conduct an extensive moot court competition, produce a full-length original musical, run an elaborate trivia tournament, win an astonishing number of intramural sports championships, and organize a weekly Wine Mess (a social event for students, staff, and faculty every Friday afternoon).

The small entering class of about 175-195 students is a diverse group selected from the top of the nation's applicant pool. Believing that the learning community is enhanced by the presence of those traditionally underrepresented in the legal community, we actively recruit a diverse student body. The Fall 2003 entering class is 45% women and 31% students of color. Over 200 colleges and universities are represented in our entire student body, and our students hail from 44 states and 28 foreign countries. Our students lead more than 45 societies and organizations, conduct an extensive moot court competition, produce a full-length original musical, run an elaborate trivia tournament, win an astonishing number of intramural sports championships, and organize a weekly Wine Mess (a social event for students, staff, and faculty every Friday afternoon).

We believe that Chicago occupies a unique niche among this country's leading law schools. We pride ourselves on providing a rigorous professional education that prepares our students for distinguished careers in private practice and public service. We offer an unparalleled commitment to both teaching and scholarship in a small, close-knit learning community that draws upon the intellectual and material resources of one of the world's foremost universities and one of the nation's premier cities.

Faculty at the law school are very accessible. In a Law Students' Association survey several years ago, 94% of the students rated faculty availability as at least satisfactory; 77% said it was good or excellent. If you take a walk around the law library, you will find that the faculty offices are built around the stacks, and that professors often leave their doors open. Generally, should you walk into one of the offices to ask a question, talk about a project you might wish to pursue, or simply say "hello," you will be welcome. Moreover, in our experience faculty welcome email from students and respond to it thoughtfully—for those of us who are shy about barging into professors' offices, email facilitates communication.

Although it would be possible to pass through the Law School without getting to know any professors well, it would be very hard to be anonymous-the small class size during the first year means several professors likely will know who you are by the end of the first year. And during the second and third year, if you decide to pursue them, opportunities abound to work closely with professors—as a research assistant, through work on a journal, in an independent study, or even in a seminar. Faculty accessibility and the small size of the Law School translates into exciting classes. Students speak their minds openly in class, and their views are received by professors with respect. This does not mean that everything we say is on target, but rather that our ideas are considered seriously. Even a lecture with one hundred students in attendance can turn into a lively discussion about the societal value of a particular legal doctrine. And while it is true that a professor is likely to have a strong intellectual orientation that affects his or her interpretation of the law, this is so simply because the professor has integrated his beliefs with his convictions about the way the world should be. This is a desirable thing. It does not mean that the professor insists his students share his world-view. Indeed, competing beliefs underlie some of the most interesting discussions in our classes. But because everyone is required to come up with evidence and arguments for a position, bald assertions are frowned upon, and people actually end up talking to each other in (and after) class.

Beyond exchanges between students and faculty in the classroom, there are more formal communications aimed at improving the class experience and student life. At the end of each course, students complete anonymous surveys critiquing the professor's performance. These forms are taken seriously by students and faculty. Many professors specifically ask their classes to write extensive comments on the surveys, so that they can more accurately identify students' concerns-especially in courses that they are teaching for the first time. In addition to the surveys, each faculty committee (for instance, admissions, financial aid, placement) has a student liaison from each class, whose job it is to communicate student desires to the faculty.

On the lighter side, faculty take an active part in the life of the Law School. Each Friday afternoon, several law professors show up at the student-run happy hour. Students and faculty compete against each other in the annual trivia contest each Spring. And finally, each year a couple of professors make cameo appearances in the annual Law School musical, often bringing down the house.



School name:University of ChicagoLaw School
Address:1111 E. 60th St.
Zip & city:IL 60637 Illinois
Phone:773-702-9494
Web:http://www.law.uchicago.edu
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