The University of Chicago Law School, located in Hyde Park along Lake Michigan, is one of the best schools in the country, currently ranked 5th by U.S. News and World Report, tied with Berkeley Law and higher than two of the five Ivy League law schools.
Admission at Chicago Law is highly selective with an acceptance rate of just 16.2% in 2007. Chicago Law is noted for its intellectual atmosphere and focus on theoretical law, but still has plenty of clinical offerings for practical experience as well.
Chicago Law's three-year full-time Juris Doctor (J.D.) program operates from September to early June; there are no part-time or evening programs or summer sessions. Details about housing can be found at Housing Information.
1111 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Fast Facts (Class of 2012)
Applicants: 5000 (estimate)
Total enrollment: 593 (each class around 190-195)
Students of color: 29%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1: 10.3
LSAT Median: 171
LSAT 25/75 Percentile: 169-173
UGPA Median: 3.76
UGPA 25/75 Percentile: 3.63-3.84
Costs and Fees (2009-2010)
Total estimated budget: $66,342
Application fee: $75
Application deadline: February 1 for admission the following fall; Early Decision deadline is December 1.
Applicants must submit applications online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
In addition to the application and fee, applicants must submit:
- Personal statement
- LSDAS report including transcripts
- Two to four letters of recommendation
Chicago Law accepts transfer students who have completed one year and are in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school; the school receives approximately 150-200 applications for the 15-25 spots available to transfers. Admitted transfer students are generally in the top 3-5% of their law school class.
Transfer applicants must submit applications by April 15 for Early Decision and July 1 of the year in which they wish to transfer. In addition to the $75 application fee and completed transfer application, available through LSAC, transfer applicants must also submit the following:
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a law school professor)
- LSDAS report
- Law school transcript
- Law school information form sent directly from home law school
For more information on transferring to Chicago Law, see Transfer Applicants.
Degrees and Curriculum
In order to earn a Juris Doctor degree, a Chicago Law student must complete 105 course hours, including:
- Required first-year curriculum
- Professional Responsibility course
- Skills course or clinic
For more specific information, see Degree Requirements.
The first-year curriculum includes Civil Procedure, Property, Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing, and Elements of the Law.
Chicago Law offers the opportunity for students to earn joint degrees with other departments, in particular, J.D./M.B.A., J.D./Ph.D, J.D./Master of Public Policy, and J.D./A.M. in International Relations; students must be accepted to each program separately.
Chicago Law does not grant academic credit for study abroad experiences.
Law Journals and Other Activities
Chicago Law has three student-edited legal journals: the Chicago Law Review, Chicago Journal of International Law, and Chicago Legal Forum.
Along with many student organizations, the law school has specialized projects and initiatives for specific legal interests and four highly regarded legal clinics: the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, the Immigrant Children's Advocacy Project, the Exoneration Project, and the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship.Bar Exam Passage Rate
A majority of Chicago Law students take the Illinois State Bar Exam and, in 2007, achieved a 97.7% pass rate. The overall pass rate for the Illinois Bar Exam was 87%.
From the 2007 graduating class, 96.4% were employed at graduation and 99% were employed nine months after graduation. For the Class of 2006, starting salaries in the private sector averaged $135,000, and $53,000 in the public sector.
Eighty-two percent of the Class of 2008 secured work in private practice, 13% received judicial clerkships, 3% entered the business field, and 2% accepted public interest or government positions.