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
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