What is LawBrain?
It's a living legal community making laws accessible and interactive. Click Here to get Started »

University of Chicago Law School

From lawbrain.com

The University of Chicago, one of the youngest of the major American universities, was granted its charter in 1890 and opened its doors for classes in October 1892.



The University of Chicago, one of the youngest of the major American universities, was granted its charter in 1890 and opened its doors for classes in October 1892. Located in Hyde Park, just south of the heart of Chicago, the school affords its students ready access to one of the country’s most prominent legal markets in the country. Instead of operating on a traditional semester schedule, the Law School has three shortened terms, which begin at the end of September and wrap up in mid-June.

Known as the top tier intellectual law schools in the nation, admission to this prestigious law school is very selective and competitive. With over 5,000 applicants interviewed in 2010, only 982 received admission. The median LSAT score is a 171 and the median undergraduate GPA is a 3.89 for the current incoming class. Attending the law school doesn’t come cheap, with an average tuition per year being $45,404 for the JD (Jurist Doctorate) program.

The law school awards a number of degrees and programs of study such as the J.D., L.L.M. (Masters in Laws), J.S.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) and D.Comp.L (Doctor of Comparative Law). In both the J.S.D and D.Comp.L programs, students may work on their dissertations in Chicago or anywhere else in the world but they must spend one year in residence at the Law School. They are expected to keep in close contact with their faculty sponsors. The J.S.D. degree will be awarded to students who have submitted a dissertation that is accepted by the faculty within five years of the start of the Program. Although there is no required coursework for the J.S.D. degree, candidates may take courses in the Law School and the University if they wish.

The School is known to have the two best graduate degrees at the master’s level: Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Master of Comparative Law (M.Comp.L.). Unlike a number of other law schools, the University of Chicago does not offer specialized graduate degree programs with a large number of graduate courses in a particular field such as taxation or securities regulation. There are no specific courses which LL.M. students are required to take at Chicago, nor are there courses they may not take. This means that students have the flexibility to create their own programs.

Students have an opportunity to participate in six scholarly journals the school produces: The Chicago Journal of International Law, The University of Chicago Law Review, The University of Chicago Legal Forum, The Journal of Law & Economics, The Journal of Legal Studies, and The Supreme Court Review. Law students can also take advantage of the legal clinics the law school offers. The Law School is home to 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. Although practical in nature, the benefit goes both ways, by serving the community and leaning to train in a first class clinical environment.


The Law School ranks #5 among the top law schools in the country according to the U.S. News World Report.

What They Are Saying

Chicago Law School is known to have a relatively small class sizes and a strong focus on academics which foster a close-knit learning community, students say. Though the school can get a bad rap for its not-so-glitzy south Chicago stomping grounds and the renowned “seriousness” of the student body, many students say the hype is overblown.


Recently an uproar has been brewing because The University of Chicago has decided to destroy the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan in Hyde Park. Many questioned does the presence of a few handfuls of great lawyers, economists, and scientists make up for the institutional corruption of the University of Chicago, which has, among many other things, for decades driven black people from the only homes they had, enriching in the process the real estate interests it shares with the slumlords of the Obama Administration.

Notable Professors

  • Daniel Abebe
  • Omri Ben-Shahar
  • Emily Buss
  • Adam Cox
  • Rosalind Dixon
  • Richard A. Epstein
  • Lee Fennell
  • Tom Ginsburg

Notable Alumni

  • Shimon Agranat: President of the Israeli Supreme Court 1965-1976
  • John Ashcroft: Former U.S. Senator, Governor of Missouri, and Attorney General of the United States
  • Russell Baker: founder of the international firm Baker & McKenzie
  • Robert Bork: Former Solicitor General of the United States, acting Attorney General of the United States.
  • Carol Moseley Braun: U.S. Senator from Illinois; first (and only) African-American female U.S. Senator.
  • Sophonisba Breckinridge: first woman to graduate from the Law School in its first class
  • Elizabeth Cheney: Daughter of former U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney
  • Marvin Chirelstein: Professor at Columbia Law School
  • Norton Clapp: Former president and chairman of Weyerhaeuser, former president of Boy Scouts of America



FindLaw AHK