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.