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Topics - J.D. Erik

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Choosing the Right Law School / Chicago-Kent name change?
« on: April 27, 2006, 11:40:22 AM »
Do you think this would be a good thing?  I've heard from a lot of different people (current Kent students, prospective students, people working in biglaw firms in chicago, other lawyers on the west coast) that one of the best things IIT/Chicago-Kent could do would be to change up its name to something more prestigious sounding to try and rid most people's erroneous mental link to some TTT community college if they weren't already familiar with the school.

I sent an email to the Assistant Dean just inquiring if they had considered such a thing in the past and he said "no, but I would be interested in knowing if a majority of people feel that a name-change would help Kent".  So what do you guys think?

Man, this whole decision making process has been unbearable and I am so happy to have finally decided.  I will be doing part-time evening at Loyola Chicago this coming fall since I decided to keep my full-time job (who has generously agreed to pay for my entire tuition).  I'm really excited.  I flip-flopped between Loyola and Kent for probably 3 months and am so glad now that I have made a decision and can relax.

So whos the rest of the LUC crew on here?  Since I'm coming in after work, Im taking the Metra into Union @ around 5:30pm.  Cabs seem to be the quickest way to get from the west loop to gold coast - are there any other students arriving via metra that would like to catch a cab together for the evening classes and save some $$$

... Well I'm not sure how many other people are in the same position as me, choosing between the chicago schools that offer part-time evening, but I have been having a horrible time trying to decide between them.  I was accepted to all four and have been making the rounds at all of them.  Loyola impressed me the most and I was stressing in having to decide between there and Chicago-Kent.  Well I finally made it to Kent's admit day this afternoon and it made the decision a bit easier on me.  I came away from Kent with a slightly negative opinion, unfortunately.

First off, the pros of Kent.  It is in a much better location for those commuting in from the suburbs after work.  Trains arrive into Ogilvie/Union Station at 5:32-5:35 and evening classes at all the schools begin at 6pm.  Kent is literally a 2 minute walk from either train stop while Loyola is a nightmarish 40-minute walk (I timed myself).  That leaves either cabs or an insane rush to State/Washington to catch the redline and running to Loyola in under 20 minutes while Kent is a stress-free trip, even if your train arrives late.

Next, I was a bit more impressed with the professor teaching the mock class at Kent than I was at Loyola.  He seemed more clear and more interesting (tho the case chosen at Kent involving cannibalism on a lifeboat was inherently more entertaining than the one at Loyola involving contracts).  I keep hearing that the faculty at Kent is very good and the mock class did seem to prove that out, at least in terms of the one professor we had today.

Now the cons.  The building was very new and well-kept, however, I did not really like the feel of it.  It seemed more like I was entering an office complex for a 2nd job rather than going to school in the evening.  Maybe some people like that, but I kind of preferred the "university feel" that I got from Loyola.  Kent felt very much more like a commuter or community college, but that may entice some people.  The building and classrooms themselves were certainly in better shape than Loyola's facilities, but the library felt stagnant and depressing and the building as a whole just had a very cold, sterile feel about it.  I dunno, this is jsut personal preference.

Next, I was extremelly annoyed by many of the other admitted students at the event.  Thats nothing negative about the school itself, but sitting there listening to them annoyed me to the point where I knew if they were in my class I would be rolling my eyes every 5 minutes.  What also rubbed me the wrong way is the student panel felt completely scripted!  The assistant dean stood at the front and read off questions to the students and it came off like it had been rehearsed many times.  I much preferred the more honest and laid-back vibe I got at other schools where the administration left the room and the student panel answered our questions without coming off like they had memorized a paragraph response to a pre-selected question.  The students chosen for the panel also did not seem to be doing anything particularly interesting after grad.

So, as usual, this was just my personal opinion from the 6 or so hours that I was there today.  Others may feel differently, but it made the decision between Loyola and Kent a little easier for me.  I will most likely be attending Loyola (even though I am interested in IP).  Kent is known for a better IP program and also slightly better faculty, but Loyola just felt better to me and I would hate to feel out of place and depressed for 3-5 years of school just on the basis of an upward-moving USNEWS rank and (perhaps) marginally better IP training.

Anyone else visited there with their own thoughts?

I'm still having a rough time choosing between where I want to go - Kent or Loyola, Chicago.  Not having any family/friends in the law field makes getting a feel for various schoosl rep difficult without relying on the USNEWS.  When applying I was all for Loyola, but the last two years has seen Kent (and DePaul) jumping up spots while Loyola losing ground.  I will be in the PT, evening program at either school so that means 4-5 years of school, is there a good chance that Kent will have a better rep than Loyola given that amount of time?  I keep hearing Loyola is currently the more respected school but with it sliding down the slopes of USNEWS I guess it just makes me nervous?  I tried looking up the number of Loyola vs. Kent grads in Chicago at Kirkland and saw many more Kent grads employed there which kinda suprised me.  In fact, no Loyola grads were hired their last year.

And as a side question - Are all the Loyola schools related?  Whenever Loyola talks about their campuses, I hear them mention their Rome, but never the other schools in LA and NO.  Would a grad at one of those schools feel any of the "positive effects" of the alumni base of Loyola alums in the LA area or vice versa?

Incoming 1Ls / Hey *LSD Cat Crew* - Aren't these cats incredible!
« on: March 24, 2006, 01:02:20 PM »

They are called "Savannahs".  I'm thinking about buying one for my fiance and myself.  She has been wanting a cat forever, but I'm much more of a dog person so I was holding back.  With law school starting in the fall though I figure it might be a good time to get her a pet to keep her company and these cats are just so amazing I actually wouldn't mind having one in the house.  They can get up to like 25-30lbs (your average housecat is only 6lbs or so).  Just beautiful animals - they are bred with African Servals to get their exotic looks:

I must say I came away very impressed.  I still have not visited Chicago-Kent (that will be in a week or two when they have their admitted-students program), but I went to Univ Wisc-Madison a few weeks ago and came away from Loyola with a much more positive response.  Location was great (imo), I really loved the school being right in the center of downtown Chicago.  I am commuting in from the burbs so housing was not a big issue for me, but we did get to see the new residence hall under construction while there and it is literally directly across the street from the law center.  I'm sure this will be great news for people who just want to roll out of bed and head over to class without worrying about taking taxis or CTA lines (or paying the exorbitant gold coast living expenses).

The law center building breaks down basically like this, from what I can remember: Floors 1-3 are classrooms/student lounge areas, 4-6 law library, 7-12 undergrad library, 13-15 faculty offices/student organization offices/etc.  The courtroom for mock trials and whatnot are actually the next building down Pearson in the graduate business center.  Someone who goes there can probably clear up any errors I made, but that gives you a general idea.  They mentioned that first-year classes will all take place in the business building and as a 2L you will move over to the law center for the majority of your classes.  Honestly, this didn't bother me, the business building had electrical plugs and ethernet plugs in all the classrooms for laptop use (I think that was one of the main reasons why 1Ls are still in the business facility until the law center has all those hookups).

Faculty seemed very friendly and easy to approach (tho Im sure everyone was also on their best behavior during these tour days).  I was especially impressed with the new Dean of the school.  He gave a good welcome address and Q&A session and came across as very genuine and concerned for the students that went there.  I was surprised to learn that he is also a teacher at the school, criminal law I think he said.  We had a mock class (Contracts) which was surprisingly funny and interesting.  Someone who currently attends the school can tell you the name of the teacher because I cant remember (tall, black professor, J.D. from Duke).  Impression I got was that he really enjoyed teaching and managed to take what could have been a boring introduction to promise/agreement/consideration and actually had people laughing pretty hard.

What else.  The building was nice, but I like the more urban, skyscraper facility over the sprawling big10 campuses.  I want to feel like Im going to a professional school and not just a continuation of undergrad (which was the feeling I got from Madison).  Apparently there are some negatives arising from the law building switch (such as no true "student lounge" in the new law center).  Oh and I noticed that the urinal downstairs in the mens bathroom didnt flush properly :P but outside of that I felt the building was very cool.  Could use more ethernet ports in the classrooms, however.  The view is of course great on the top floors, including a spectacular view from a reading room in the library.

Only negative I can explcitly remember is the library is not 24-hour (I think it goes from 7a-11p or so).  Loyola does give you home access to lexis and westlaw though as I'm sure all other law schools do as well.  Oh and UNLIMITED free printing at the library.  This was a nice change from the other schools I visited where it was like 10 cents a page!

All-in-all, very nice school.  I am most definately leaning towards loyola now as my top-pick but am still reserving my final judgement until after I visit Kent.  If you've got any questions, feel free

Im most likely going to be attending Loyola Chicago, evening division this fall (still flip-flopping between there and Kent).  Im taking the metra into Ogilvie or Union Station at 5:35pm and class starts at 6pm.  Is it possible to get from that location to Water Tower in 20 minutes :)

The more I research, the more the situation is looking grim, but I figure some fellow chicago-dwellers might be of some help.  It seems like quite a walk - is it possible to make in 20 minutes (with books and a laptop)?  If not what are my options - the red-line?  It doesnt look like the redline picks up at Ogilvie or Union Station though  :-\

I went to the "admitted students weekend" at Univ. Wisconsin-Madison today with the full intention of going there for their part-time evening program.  What I learned however, was their "evening" program doesn't really exist  >:(  Classes start from 4:30pm-7:25pm Monday-Friday, which is completely unacceptable for someone in my position who is working a full-time job about an hour outside the city of Madison.  You also can't graduate by just doing the part-time evening program because most classes aren't offered in it so years down the road I would have to leave work and join the day program.  ridiculous.  *end of rant*

So now I'm back to deciding between the 5 nearby schools that offer part-time evening (marquette, depaul, loyola, kent, john marshall).  My B.S. is in engineering so I'm most interested in IP or patent law.  Does anyone here go to any of these schools already or researched/visited them enough to provide me with some advice or opinions?

Does Loyola have a decent IP program or would Kent be the better choice?  Also, is it even a possibility to gain employment outside of the midwest if attending one of these schools?  How do the facilities compare (I heard Loyola just moved to a new building)?  Oh and what is this about Loyola having been bankrupt ???

I'm just not sure how much weight to give the USNWR rankings.  I'm doing part-time evening program and have been accepted to all the non-T1 chicago schools and also Wisc-Madison (rank 32).

I currently live (and work) in IL, but it is about an equal-distance drive to either Madison or Chicago, but I can hop on the metra at Crystal Lake (about 40 mins from my house) to travel into chicago.  Is it a big issue to study at a school in a different state than where you might want to practice.  I don't really have any big desire to work in Wisconsin (city living in Chicago sounds much more appealing).  I would also like to have the option to work anywhere in the US tho and have heard that Loyola has good name recognition even though Wisc-Mad is ranked higher.

So what are some of your opinions?  Do chicago firms hire students from University of Wisconsin-Madison over the T2 schools in Chicago or should I really stick to a chitown school if I want to keep that option open?  What about nationwide reputation?  Loyola, for whatever reason, tends to be a recognized and well-thought of name by the average person, but would job opportunities be more plentiful coming from the T1 school?

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