Chicago 2015


As someone doing my LLM in UChicago, here are a couple of things which you all should know about the University and this beautiful city. These are the pointers which truly helped me in sealing my decision to come here instead of other law schools. Hope you find this helpful!
1) Size: the program at other universities are several times the size of the LLM class at UChicago. The Law School itself is smaller than any other comparable law schools at other universities, and that means that you literally know everybody. This is not only good for networking and friendship reasons, but also because the School can offer a number of things that would be impossible to have in larger schools. Let me give you an example. There are seminars here for which students go to class to professors' homes. These include attending classes at Judge Richard Posner's and Martha Nussbaum's houses (there are many professors doing the same thing) with a group of no more than 14 students. Imagine drink a glass of wine while you discuss the readings. Therefore, the connection and proximity with professors and other students is simply amazing.
2) Faculty: Chicago has an amazing group of professors. The same can be probably be said about other top 10 schools, but depending on the subjects, Chicago is really strong. I am thinking about topics like Con Law, Comparative Law, Torts, Antitrust, Contracts, Public Choice, Judicial Behavior, and of course, it is the very cradle of Economic Analysis of Law (will discuss further). Professors like Posner, Easterbrook, Landes, Epstein, Baird, Picker, Ginsburg, to name just a few, are frontrunners in their respective fields, and in the case of those still in the bench at the 7th Circuit (Posner, Easterbrook and also Wood) they have re-shaped the legal landscape in the US with their widely cited decisions and rationale.
3) Law & Econ: Most people come for the love of, or developing an interest in Economic Analysis of Law. This is the cradle of law & economics and here at Chicago you will be getting a set of tools that will help you get a fresh and very useful approach to legal issues, without prejudice to whatever normative standpoints you already have. A good balance of classic courses and a couple of basic courses on Economic Analysis of Law will change the way you approach law to your benefit. And if you already have a background on Law & Econ, you can go for the more advanced courses both at the Law School and by registering at the Econ Department, a feature that works for all other schools within the University.
4) Cost: Living in Chicago is way cheaper than options like NYC. Here in Chicago you don't need to buy a car. Public transportation works really well, and if you live within the Campus area, you have free transportation 24hs a day. Food is cheaper, utilities are cheaper. A good way to compare these things is by using this calculator by CNN. money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ You can compare the cost of living in different cities. You will see what I mean.
5) Chicago: There's amazing classical music, jazz music architecture, sports, food...the list is endless. One can attend Chicago Symphony concerts, the best orchestra in the U.S., for just 15 dollars (student tickets). Chicago is literally the world capital for architecture. When you get to Chicago you realize why is that. The skyline, the lake, the river, everything is amazingly beautiful, even with the snow! You also have great blues and jazz clubs, really good theater, and the broadway shows that come here all the time. Add to the list the Chicago Bulls, the Bears and the current champions of the Hockey League, the Blackhawks, and the combo is complete.
Ok, as you can see, I am really a fan of the city, the University and the Law School. But for a reason. Please feel free to ask anything questions. Also, the admission process is not restricted to people with work experience, there are many students in my class who have come right after finishing their undergrad in law. So, to those who applied, good luck for the admission.



Thank you so much for this post! I also applied to Chicago. I have heard the same thing about dinners, lunchs and proximity with professors by other Chicago students. I just hope they accept me since I my TOEFL scores are 102 and not a 104, as they request. Although, I would consider that I have a very interesting work experience.

<blockquote>As someone doing my LLM in UChicago, here are a couple of things which you all should know about the University and this beautiful city. These are the pointers which truly helped me in sealing my decision to come here instead of other law schools. Hope you find this helpful!
1) Size: the program at other universities are several times the size of the LLM class at UChicago. The Law School itself is smaller than any other comparable law schools at other universities, and that means that you literally know everybody. This is not only good for networking and friendship reasons, but also because the School can offer a number of things that would be impossible to have in larger schools. Let me give you an example. There are seminars here for which students go to class to professors' homes. These include attending classes at Judge Richard Posner's and Martha Nussbaum's houses (there are many professors doing the same thing) with a group of no more than 14 students. Imagine drink a glass of wine while you discuss the readings. Therefore, the connection and proximity with professors and other students is simply amazing.
2) Faculty: Chicago has an amazing group of professors. The same can be probably be said about other top 10 schools, but depending on the subjects, Chicago is really strong. I am thinking about topics like Con Law, Comparative Law, Torts, Antitrust, Contracts, Public Choice, Judicial Behavior, and of course, it is the very cradle of Economic Analysis of Law (will discuss further). Professors like Posner, Easterbrook, Landes, Epstein, Baird, Picker, Ginsburg, to name just a few, are frontrunners in their respective fields, and in the case of those still in the bench at the 7th Circuit (Posner, Easterbrook and also Wood) they have re-shaped the legal landscape in the US with their widely cited decisions and rationale.
3) Law & Econ: Most people come for the love of, or developing an interest in Economic Analysis of Law. This is the cradle of law & economics and here at Chicago you will be getting a set of tools that will help you get a fresh and very useful approach to legal issues, without prejudice to whatever normative standpoints you already have. A good balance of classic courses and a couple of basic courses on Economic Analysis of Law will change the way you approach law to your benefit. And if you already have a background on Law & Econ, you can go for the more advanced courses both at the Law School and by registering at the Econ Department, a feature that works for all other schools within the University.
4) Cost: Living in Chicago is way cheaper than options like NYC. Here in Chicago you don't need to buy a car. Public transportation works really well, and if you live within the Campus area, you have free transportation 24hs a day. Food is cheaper, utilities are cheaper. A good way to compare these things is by using this calculator by CNN. money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ You can compare the cost of living in different cities. You will see what I mean.
5) Chicago: There's amazing classical music, jazz music architecture, sports, food...the list is endless. One can attend Chicago Symphony concerts, the best orchestra in the U.S., for just 15 dollars (student tickets). Chicago is literally the world capital for architecture. When you get to Chicago you realize why is that. The skyline, the lake, the river, everything is amazingly beautiful, even with the snow! You also have great blues and jazz clubs, really good theater, and the broadway shows that come here all the time. Add to the list the Chicago Bulls, the Bears and the current champions of the Hockey League, the Blackhawks, and the combo is complete.
Ok, as you can see, I am really a fan of the city, the University and the Law School. But for a reason. Please feel free to ask anything questions. Also, the admission process is not restricted to people with work experience, there are many students in my class who have come right after finishing their undergrad in law. So, to those who applied, good luck for the admission.</blockquote>




Thank you so much for this post! I also applied to Chicago. I have heard the same thing about dinners, lunchs and proximity with professors by other Chicago students. I just hope they accept me since I my TOEFL scores are 102 and not a 104, as they request. Although, I would consider that I have a very interesting work experience.
quote

Joy Hopeful,

Quoting Chicago Law official website FAQ section:

"My TOEFL or IELTS scores are slightly below the University of Chicago requirement. Will I still be considered for LLM admission?

The Law School Graduate Studies Committee sets the minimum English language proficiency standard for admission. This means that the Committee will not review an application with TOEFL or IELTS scores below the minimum requirements. Those applicants will not be offered admission. The Committee does not offer conditional admission under any circumstances."

So if your other credentials are strong, you really should have re-taken the TOEFL test, as for your case 2 points below the bottom line will render your entire application package ignored, regretful.

Joy Hopeful,

Quoting Chicago Law official website FAQ section:

"My TOEFL or IELTS scores are slightly below the University of Chicago requirement. Will I still be considered for LLM admission?

The Law School Graduate Studies Committee sets the minimum English language proficiency standard for admission. This means that the Committee will not review an application with TOEFL or IELTS scores below the minimum requirements. Those applicants will not be offered admission. The Committee does not offer conditional admission under any circumstances."

So if your other credentials are strong, you really should have re-taken the TOEFL test, as for your case 2 points below the bottom line will render your entire application package ignored, regretful.
quote

Well, I have retaken, but I still wasn't able to reach 104. I have another TOEFL scheduled for this friday. Maybe my application will be ignored, but it was the best I could do. I have sent them all my TOEFL scores from the last year, I achieved 27/28 in all abilities just not in the same test. Sometimes 3 of them are above 25 and only one is above. But I have a lot of experience and a consistent application.

Maybe I am not a good candidate for Chicago, or maybe they will consider other factors. It is up to them.

Well, I have retaken, but I still wasn't able to reach 104. I have another TOEFL scheduled for this friday. Maybe my application will be ignored, but it was the best I could do. I have sent them all my TOEFL scores from the last year, I achieved 27/28 in all abilities just not in the same test. Sometimes 3 of them are above 25 and only one is above. But I have a lot of experience and a consistent application.

Maybe I am not a good candidate for Chicago, or maybe they will consider other factors. It is up to them.
quote
jsd

As someone doing my LLM in UChicago, here are a couple of things which you all should know about the University and this beautiful city.


There's a lot of smoke here and the "points" are similar to Cornell and UPenn's "ivy league" drum. FWIW here are some counter pointers from someone who's BTDT on the eastcoast.

1) Size: the program at other universities are several times the size of the LLM class at UChicago.

There are seminars here for which students go to class to professors' homes. Imagine drink a glass of wine while you discuss the readings.

>>Small size in an LLM helps but not greatly so. LLM students typically tailor their own courses as everything is pretty much elective and class size norms mean that all such courses in most law schools are fairly workable. NYU's 450 LLM students don't sit in a single class. A large class also allows for more networking. My own class had >150 candidates and I knew close to 70% of them personally.

Good trivia about the wine and homes but that's no substitute for proximity to NYC / DC. Much as I have respect for Judge Posner, I wouldnt pay 80k to travel across the atlantic to sip wine with him.

2) Faculty: Chicago has an amazing group of professors.

>>Undoubtedly. But all T14 law schools have excellent faculty who are well paid, quite accomplished and on top of their fields of expertise. No surprises here.

3) Law & Econ: Most people come for the love of, or developing an interest in Economic Analysis of Law. This is the cradle of law & economics.

>>The Economics faculty at chicago is undoubtedly preeminent but that does not mean the law school shares the same reputation. Cornell has an excellent engineering and sciences faculty but its LLM is not particularly well known. Yale law school is great but its business school is out of the top 20.

Other law schools have their own strengths. Harvard for Constitutional law and Columbia for Corporate law, as examples.

4) Cost: Living in Chicago is way cheaper than options like NYC. Here in Chicago you don't need to buy a car. Public transportation works really well. Food is cheaper, utilities are cheaper.

>>Cost of living in NYC is more expensive but hardly enough to make a big dent in your finances. The boarding & lodging budget is usually about $20k and Chicago will not save you more than 5-7k over NYC. There are plenty of other east coast schools in smaller towns where you can 'save' more. Trying to save on a few dollars after spending 45-50k (and a year of forgone income) on tuition is a bad strategy. Public transportation in all East coast cities is superior and AFAIK nobody is forced to buy a car.

5) Chicago: There's amazing classical music, jazz music architecture, sports, food...the list is endless.

>>again, no surprises but it cant beat NYC. Then again if law schools were chosen based on the home city Yale would be unranked.

Here are some more points why smugunthan defends his/her choice of Chicago based on an earlier post I saw http://www.llm-guide.com/board/137256/1#post-137500

1. Personal heartwarming emails. Nice but not essential. Good marketing though.

2. Financial Assistance. Each law school is unpredictable on this. But definitive receipt of aid is a factor and to that extent any law school that gives aid gets a plus.

3. Gut feeling. No worth commenting and generally a poor method of making decisions.

As a warning, chicago's academic calender is criticised for being too harsh and unforgiving. There's a reason why no other ABA law school has such a calender.

I suspect smugunthan chose Chicago (in this case over columbia) largely due to a desire to be exclusive and feel smug that he/she is probably the sole representative of his/her country. I know for a fact that in one year there were two UK nationals in chicago while Harvard had nearly ten. Is this a good way to choose a law school? You decide.

Chicago is a great lawschool but the reasons noted here are not the right ones for choosing it an an LLM destination. Choosing Chicago due to the "economics" tag is like choosing UPenn for the 'ivy league' tag. Go to chicago for the right reasons, not to sip wine with faculty or listen to jazz. Do all that on your B1 (tourist) visa.

<blockquote>As someone doing my LLM in UChicago, here are a couple of things which you all should know about the University and this beautiful city. </blockquote>

There's a lot of smoke here and the "points" are similar to Cornell and UPenn's "ivy league" drum. FWIW here are some counter pointers from someone who's BTDT on the eastcoast.

1) Size: the program at other universities are several times the size of the LLM class at UChicago.

There are seminars here for which students go to class to professors' homes. Imagine drink a glass of wine while you discuss the readings.

>>Small size in an LLM helps but not greatly so. LLM students typically tailor their own courses as everything is pretty much elective and class size norms mean that all such courses in most law schools are fairly workable. NYU's 450 LLM students don't sit in a single class. A large class also allows for more networking. My own class had >150 candidates and I knew close to 70% of them personally.

Good trivia about the wine and homes but that's no substitute for proximity to NYC / DC. Much as I have respect for Judge Posner, I wouldnt pay 80k to travel across the atlantic to sip wine with him.

2) Faculty: Chicago has an amazing group of professors.

>>Undoubtedly. But all T14 law schools have excellent faculty who are well paid, quite accomplished and on top of their fields of expertise. No surprises here.

3) Law & Econ: Most people come for the love of, or developing an interest in Economic Analysis of Law. This is the cradle of law & economics.

>>The Economics faculty at chicago is undoubtedly preeminent but that does not mean the law school shares the same reputation. Cornell has an excellent engineering and sciences faculty but its LLM is not particularly well known. Yale law school is great but its business school is out of the top 20.

Other law schools have their own strengths. Harvard for Constitutional law and Columbia for Corporate law, as examples.

4) Cost: Living in Chicago is way cheaper than options like NYC. Here in Chicago you don't need to buy a car. Public transportation works really well. Food is cheaper, utilities are cheaper.

>>Cost of living in NYC is more expensive but hardly enough to make a big dent in your finances. The boarding & lodging budget is usually about $20k and Chicago will not save you more than 5-7k over NYC. There are plenty of other east coast schools in smaller towns where you can 'save' more. Trying to save on a few dollars after spending 45-50k (and a year of forgone income) on tuition is a bad strategy. Public transportation in all East coast cities is superior and AFAIK nobody is forced to buy a car.

5) Chicago: There's amazing classical music, jazz music architecture, sports, food...the list is endless.

>>again, no surprises but it cant beat NYC. Then again if law schools were chosen based on the home city Yale would be unranked.

Here are some more points why smugunthan defends his/her choice of Chicago based on an earlier post I saw http://www.llm-guide.com/board/137256/1#post-137500

1. Personal heartwarming emails. Nice but not essential. Good marketing though.

2. Financial Assistance. Each law school is unpredictable on this. But definitive receipt of aid is a factor and to that extent any law school that gives aid gets a plus.

3. Gut feeling. No worth commenting and generally a poor method of making decisions.

As a warning, chicago's academic calender is criticised for being too harsh and unforgiving. There's a reason why no other ABA law school has such a calender.

I suspect smugunthan chose Chicago (in this case over columbia) largely due to a desire to be exclusive and feel smug that he/she is probably the sole representative of his/her country. I know for a fact that in one year there were two UK nationals in chicago while Harvard had nearly ten. Is this a good way to choose a law school? You decide.

Chicago is a great lawschool but the reasons noted here are not the right ones for choosing it an an LLM destination. Choosing Chicago due to the "economics" tag is like choosing UPenn for the 'ivy league' tag. Go to chicago for the right reasons, not to sip wine with faculty or listen to jazz. Do all that on your B1 (tourist) visa.
quote
Paloma88

jsd,

Thannk you for your contribution to the forum. I find it very valuable.
I would like to know your opinion as to what are the "right" reasons to choose a particular university.
Where did you do your LLM?

Thank you!!!

jsd,

Thannk you for your contribution to the forum. I find it very valuable.
I would like to know your opinion as to what are the "right" reasons to choose a particular university.
Where did you do your LLM?

Thank you!!!
quote
jsd

jsd,

Thannk you for your contribution to the forum. I find it very valuable.
I would like to know your opinion as to what are the "right" reasons to choose a particular university.


~ Law school academic strength fits into LLM objective. It's surprising how 95% of the people who apply have never read the list of courses offered
~ Law school ranking (not overall university ranking)
~ Chances of getting a job
~ Amount of financial aid offered

<blockquote>jsd,

Thannk you for your contribution to the forum. I find it very valuable.
I would like to know your opinion as to what are the "right" reasons to choose a particular university. </blockquote>

~ Law school academic strength fits into LLM objective. It's surprising how 95% of the people who apply have never read the list of courses offered
~ Law school ranking (not overall university ranking)
~ Chances of getting a job
~ Amount of financial aid offered
quote
jsd

Hi! In my time, the judicial clerkships could be taken both as internships during one's law course and as a full-time employment after graduation. In both cases, it involved working with a single judge, briefing him, researching on pending cases etc. Of course the clerk's involvement in the latter case was deeper, he most often being a qualified advocate and not a student. But the selection process was competitive in both cases.


The understood meaning of a judicial clerkship is full time employment in chambers for a year, usually two. Out here it's very competitive and only the T14 ever get into Federal courts after the JD.

I recall one of the admission deans finding out from an Asian student (maybe India or Ceylonese) that her "clerkship" was just pottering away for a month and a half in between academic terms. IIRC the word used to describe this was 'internship'. To the extent an applicant has been such an intern, US law schools know what it means and generally discount it mostly.

<blockquote>Hi! In my time, the judicial clerkships could be taken both as internships during one's law course and as a full-time employment after graduation. In both cases, it involved working with a single judge, briefing him, researching on pending cases etc. Of course the clerk's involvement in the latter case was deeper, he most often being a qualified advocate and not a student. But the selection process was competitive in both cases.
</blockquote>

The understood meaning of a judicial clerkship is full time employment in chambers for a year, usually two. Out here it's very competitive and only the T14 ever get into Federal courts after the JD.

I recall one of the admission deans finding out from an Asian student (maybe India or Ceylonese) that her "clerkship" was just pottering away for a month and a half in between academic terms. IIRC the word used to describe this was 'internship'. To the extent an applicant has been such an intern, US law schools know what it means and generally discount it mostly.
quote

(As a warning, chicago's academic calender is criticised for being too harsh and unforgiving. There's a reason why no other ABA law school has such a calender.)

This is not correct. Stanford and the University of Washington law schools are also on the quarter rather than semester calendar. All three schools follow this calendar because the other areas of their universities are on that calendar, thus making it easier for law students to take courses elsewhere in the university. As to the observation "harsh and unforgiving," some students prefer the quarter system because they take fewer courses per quarter and get to select courses more often.

(As a warning, chicago's academic calender is criticised for being too harsh and unforgiving. There's a reason why no other ABA law school has such a calender.)

This is not correct. Stanford and the University of Washington law schools are also on the quarter rather than semester calendar. All three schools follow this calendar because the other areas of their universities are on that calendar, thus making it easier for law students to take courses elsewhere in the university. As to the observation "harsh and unforgiving," some students prefer the quarter system because they take fewer courses per quarter and get to select courses more often.
quote
hobbit

Can we expect the results this week? Excited!!

Can we expect the results this week? Excited!!
quote
Paloma88

Hi Hobbit,

Not this week, but next one. We are still missing one last group email:

"Group e-mail #7 - Application Decision Messages Coming Next Week "

Good luck!

Hi Hobbit,

Not this week, but next one. We are still missing one last group email:

"Group e-mail #7 - Application Decision Messages Coming Next Week "

Good luck!
quote
imnc

I hope they follow the promise of Feb 10 decisions.

I hope they follow the promise of Feb 10 decisions.
quote
hobbit

Hi Hobbit,

Not this week, but next one. We are still missing one last group email:

"Group e-mail #7 - Application Decision Messages Coming Next Week "

Good luck!


Hey Paloma88, thanks, but isn't that the email we're waiting for. if so, the quoted email dates to 27 Jan and shouldn't this week be the 'next' week?

<blockquote>Hi Hobbit,

Not this week, but next one. We are still missing one last group email:

"Group e-mail #7 - Application Decision Messages Coming Next Week "

Good luck!</blockquote>

Hey Paloma88, thanks, but isn't that the email we're waiting for. if so, the quoted email dates to 27 Jan and shouldn't this week be the 'next' week?
quote
hotpursuit

Decision were sent last year the 6th of February. My bet is on this Friday or early next week.

Just a couple of days.
Best,
H

Decision were sent last year the 6th of February. My bet is on this Friday or early next week.

Just a couple of days.
Best,
H
quote
grumpyJD

Monday, February 9.

Monday, February 9.
quote
Frenchy82

Hi,

Are they sending scholarship information as well ?

Hi,

Are they sending scholarship information as well ?
quote
grumpyJD

No idea. I haven't applied for any.

No idea. I haven't applied for any.
quote
suzie1588

anxious and excited about the results! looks like a fantastic program, and is no. 2 on my priority list (the 1st is harvard). how many of you have chicago as your first choice?

anxious and excited about the results! looks like a fantastic program, and is no. 2 on my priority list (the 1st is harvard). how many of you have chicago as your first choice?
quote
Paloma88

Yes! Lots of anxiety!!!! In my case Chicago is my No. 1 choice. My second option is Harvard.

Yes! Lots of anxiety!!!! In my case Chicago is my No. 1 choice. My second option is Harvard.
quote
grumpyJD

Same I am eager to hear back but I suspect that the odds are against me. Chicago is absolutely my first choice.

Same – I am eager to hear back but I suspect that the odds are against me. Chicago is absolutely my first choice.
quote
LLM_SLS

Chicado is my second choice! Does anyone receive a good news?? Please keep us posted!!

What is your background??

Chicado is my second choice! Does anyone receive a good news?? Please keep us posted!!

What is your background??
quote

Reply to Post

Related Law Schools

Chicago, Illinois 562 Followers 319 Discussions

Other Related Content

DAJV to Hold Virtual LL.M. Fairs in November

News Oct 08, 2020