Eh, it's a big public university, so yeah there are frats. As a law students though, we're very much in our own little law student world. We never see or notice them. I can only imagine frat types being an issue if you chose to live near a frat, but none of my friends do. In terms of hang outs, there are 2 distinct bar scenes at C-U. Green street (campus) has the undergrad bars, which some of us will go to on occasion if we feel like dancing/partying hard. Usually though, most law students go to downtown champaign, which is a much more grown-up scene.
Always open till 2. The fun thing though (or bad, depending on your POV), is that the undergrad green st. bars allow in 19+, while 21+ get bracelets to drink. This makes for great opportunities to drop the law bomb: "My buddy here is #1 in the law school class..." I've seen this work to marvelous effect.
St. Louis / D.C.:
I assume you mean for jobs at graduation. The short of it: I don't really know, as 1) i'm a 1L, and 2) the job market has really changed, and no one knows exactly how yet. I would say, though, that lots of grads go to Indy/St. Louis -- they're both actually a little closer than Chicago. As for D.C., i'm sure that class rank would have something to do with it, as well as personal/prior experience. One of my friends is former military, for example, so i think it's alot easier for him to talk to people in DC. Generally speaking though, this is a Chicago-based school.
Football is definately a big deal during the fall, especially while it's still nice out. Tailgate parties tend to go all day, and the whole town basically shuts down for the home games. If you've got alot of work to do on saturday, be sure to bring your books home on friday, 'cause you're not getting anywhere near the law school on game day. Basketball seems to attract a little less attention, probably just because it's cold outside. I've been to games though (eff MSU).
Favorite thing (2 actually):
It's Law School! Besides having the best job on earth, though, I love how tight everyone is. Beer League Darts and the Law School Softball league is a total blast. We all just seem to have a great time, and get along really well together. I know people talk about competitive or unfriendly atmospheres at some schools, but that's really not an issue here (although it does get a little tense around exams).
I've also gotta throw in our relationships with our profs. With "peer's pub" on thursday (going on as I write this), and all the various events (PILF Auction!) we get to hang out and drink with our professors a fair amount. Watching the factulty get wasted and rowdy, a day after they rip you apart in class, is awesome.
No hardcore alumni base in far-flung states. As someone who plans to go to [one such state] when I graduate, i'm a little curious about how much name recognition I'll get back home. This school is definitely hard-wired into Chiacgo, which is a plus for most students, probly not so much for me (unless i decide to bite the bullet and do Chicago big law, which i'm trying to avoid for the moment).
Whew, Keep em comin folks!