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LAW SCHOOL PROFILE

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University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, IL [By Heather Jung] The University of Chicago Law School believes in teaching based on the interdisciplinary education system. This method blends the study of law with studies in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. According to the school’s website, this devotion to interdisciplinary education stems from the “conviction that the law does not exist in a vacuum; we can understand the law and legal methods only if we understand both how the law affects the behavior of the society it governs and how the law reflects the values of that society.” Faculty members are not only lawyers but also philosophers, historians, economists, and medical doctors.

Because of its interdisciplinary approach

under the semester system, but students

Neighbors (a public service group that

to teaching, many people believed the

have three sets of classes and professors

helps the Hyde Park neighborhood), Scales

school would fail when it first opened in

each year instead of two.

of Justice (an a cappella group), and Law School Musical (a student show that features

1902. Today, however, it is a Top 10 law school, and the interdisciplinary method

Prospective students are often concerned

new lyrics put together with familiar tunes

is widespread. In his letter to prospective

about the number of exams they will have

and original dialogue to create a parody of

students, Dean Saul Levmore describes the

to take during the first year. The school’s

law school life).

drastic changes the school has undergone

website assures students that they will not

during its first 100 years:

have more exams than first-years at any

In an effort to alleviate growing educational

other school. Some classes will overlap

problems in the United States, the law school

“In our first century, we evolved from

from quarter to quarter, so students will

has partnered with Teach for America,

an upstart school with five teachers, 75

sometimes have two professors but only one

a national corps of college graduates

students, a small set of courses, and no

exam. During the first quarter, students

dedicated to helping students in inner-city

building into a place that is at the leading

have two exams. During the second and

schools reach their full potential. Through

edge of legal education, with interdisciplinary

third quarters, students have three exams,

the program, college graduates (of various

approaches, an amazingly productive faculty,

with the possibility of a fourth during the

majors) commit themselves to teaching at

and a formidable library. Our graduates go

third quarter, depending on the electives

urban schools for two years. In order to

on in record numbers to clerk for leading

they choose to take.

encourage graduates to participate in this program, University of Chicago Law School

judges, to build businesses, to teach, and, of course, to practice law. We begin

Because University of Chicago Law School is

offers several incentives: a two-year loan

this second century with newly renovated

a Top 10 law school, admissions are highly

deferment for those who are accepted into

classrooms, public policy initiatives that seek

competitive. The admissions office expects

the program, application fee waivers for

your involvement, a new program supporting

5,000 applicants for the 190 to 195 class-

Teach for America teachers and alumni

public interest careers, and post-graduate

of-2010 spots. The average undergraduate

interested in attending the school, and

opportunities that are second to none.”

GPA for incoming students is 3.66, and the

scholarships for qualified participants.

average LSAT score is 171. Since opening its doors, the school has had

In addition to employing a unique teaching approach, the University of Chicago Law

The school offers numerous opportunities for

some very distinguished alumni. Some of

School is one of the few law schools in the

students to get involved. It is home to three

the nation’s most influential and prominent

country that use the quarter system rather

legal clinics: the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid

lawyers and politicians obtained their J.D.s

than the semester system. While initially

Clinic, the Immigrant Children’s Advocacy

at the school. University of Chicago Law

a source of concern for many students, the

Project, and the Institute for Justice Clinic on

School’s list of notable alumni includes

quarter system has its distinct advantages.

Entrepreneurship. The clinics give students

former U.S. Attorney Generals John Ashcroft

Since quarters are shorter than semesters,

hands-on experience under the supervision

and Ramsey Clark; the first openly gay U.S.

the university can offer three to four sessions

of clinical teachers. There are also more

ambassador, James Hormel; and Carol

of a class each year. The overall amount

than 50 student organizations and activities,

Moseley-Braun, the first African-American

of time spent in school is the same as it is

including Amicus (for married students),

woman elected to the Senate.

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LAW SCHOOL PROFILE

www.lawcrossing.com

1. 800.973.1177

Students who enjoy big-city life will love

the Victory Gardens Theater. The city is also

Busch. “Beyond that, I make sure to check

Chicago. According to the 2005 Census,

home to numerous museums, including the

in on the city’s world-class comedy clubs and

Chicago has a population of 2,842,518, the

Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum

museums periodically. Even just spending a

third-largest city population in the United

of Natural History, and the Museum of

couple hours walking around the zoo with a

States. And along with that metropolitan

Contemporary Art.

friend can make for a great afternoon.”

Sports fans are sure to love at least one

ON THE NET

population comes a metropolitan lifestyle. Those interested in the arts will not be

of the city’s 15 sports teams. Chicago is

disappointed, as Chicago is a mecca for

home to two Major League Baseball teams

University of Chicago Law School

the arts. As the birthplace of modern

(including the White Sox, the 2005 World

www.law.uchicago.edu

improvisational theater, Chicago is well-

Series champions), a championship NFL

known for its theater scene. Amongst the

team, a world-renowned basketball team, a

Dean’s Message

hundreds of theater companies in Chicago

championship soccer team, and one of the

www.law.uchicago.edu/prospective/

are the world-renowned Steppenwolf

Original Six NHL teams.

deanletter.html

native Gary Sinise), the Goodman Theatre

“Chicago has a vibrant nightlife with plenty

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

(built as a tribute to playwright and

of options available no matter which nights

www.steppenwolf.org

Chicagoan Kenneth Sawyer Goodman), and

of the week are convenient,” said 2L Frank

Theatre Company (co-founded by Illinois

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University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, IL