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UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything

MindTheGap76

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Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #270 on: February 03, 2007, 04:05:22 PM »
In my personal opinion, they've made the right choice (even though we fail to matriculate a lot of students each year because peer schools are much more aggressive about pushing "international law" and "interdisciplinary study," two buzzwords that seem especially popular among pre-law students these days).

But don't we need to learn about diverse cultures?  What if I included my desire to end hunger in Africa in my personal statement?  SOL? 

UChi still has an international law curriculum, they just don't emphasize study abroad or pour considerable resources into their international law program, as do many of their peers (NYU, CLS, and HLS come to mind specifically). 

This is correct.

EDIT: Though I would add that I'm not sure what specific differences there are in international law opportunities.  I know NYU/CLS/HLS harp on it a lot more in their promotional material; and HLS just added more international law focus to the first year curriculum.  But I'm unsure, beyond study abroad, how the student experience actually differs.  I'm not saying it doesn't differ—I'm just genuinely uninformed about what the "considerable resources" other schools spend actually goes to.

Hank Rearden

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Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #271 on: February 03, 2007, 04:07:47 PM »
In my personal opinion, they've made the right choice (even though we fail to matriculate a lot of students each year because peer schools are much more aggressive about pushing "international law" and "interdisciplinary study," two buzzwords that seem especially popular among pre-law students these days).

But don't we need to learn about diverse cultures?  What if I included my desire to end hunger in Africa in my personal statement?  SOL? 

You can learn about them at the law school your 1L year, you can go work in Africa during the summer after your 1L year, you take classes about it from anywhere in the University of Chicago during your 2/3L year, and you can even take a year off to go cure AIDS.  But you can't go to Africa during your 2L year and still get course credit.

So go ahead and say it, Hank.  Say: "@#!* it, I'm going to NYU!"

 :D

I hope you know I was kidding. 

I did go to Africa once, but somehow the trip failed to find its way into my application. 

Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #272 on: February 03, 2007, 09:04:30 PM »
What percentage of the students are straight out of undergrad?  It seems like Chicago attracts the "older" applicant...Also, does the school help with housing/is there on-campus housing?

MindTheGap76

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Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #273 on: February 03, 2007, 09:13:06 PM »
What percentage of the students are straight out of undergrad?  It seems like Chicago attracts the "older" applicant...Also, does the school help with housing/is there on-campus housing?

There's probably a statistic out there about this, but if I had to guess, I would say probably 1/3 come straight through.  I would guess another 30-40% start at age 25 or younger, and the remaining bunch are all 26 or older.

There is one on-campus housing option, New Grad dormitory.  There are also a bunch of university owned and operated apartments (Graduate Student Housing), but they are not all on campus (though most are close).  Finally, there is a local apartment highrise, Regents, that does a great law student special (see above).

I always recommend Regents to the incoming students.

MindTheGap76

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Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #274 on: February 03, 2007, 09:31:13 PM »
So I went in search of a statistic about age.  According to our viewbook, median age is 24; and 10% have graduate degrees of some sort.

In the meantime, I'd never seen the viewbook for this year.  Is this something they send to you guys?

http://webcast-law.uchicago.edu/pdfs/viewbook_06-07.pdf

I think they did a pretty damn good job with it.

EDIT: And I chuckled to see they finally caved and threw the word "interdisciplinary" in there.  ENJOY YOU 0LS!  That is directly catering to your trendy tastes!

EDIT #2: The guy pictured on page 13 is also my opponent in moot court, so I now have a photograph to use during my mandatory 2-minute hate sessions.

FunkyzeitmitBruno

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Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #275 on: February 04, 2007, 08:10:30 AM »
I've been looking over Leiter's blog and some XOXO threads on the topic, and it seems like UChicago (a school known for its highly venerable faculty) has trouble retaining some of its top professors, particularly over the last 3-5 years. HLS and others have taken a few of Chicago's faculty. In fact, among the T6 schools, Chicago has taken the biggest losses in faculty over the past few years, while HLS, NYU, etc. have really boosted their faculty mostly with young "superstars". On top of that, Chicago's strength has always been in Law and Economics, and the faculty members who helped develop this area aren't getting any younger and are likely to retire in the coming years. In fact, this also applies to much of Chicago's star faculty (i.e., getting old, retiring soon). Moreover, it seems like Chicago, despite its overall faculty strength, has glaring weaknesses (for a school of its stature) in IP and International Law, two areas that really appeal to at least prospective students.

All this isn't really a question, but wondering if MTG or any other ppl with knowledge on the topic have any comments or substantiated disagreements? Fyi, I personally am really interested in attending UChi next fall, its probably my top choice right now, but this recent and potential future decline in faculty concerns me.

Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #276 on: February 04, 2007, 08:23:36 AM »
I am curious about the grade situation- is it true that the # of As= # of Cs??  What is the median grade for classes? 

MindTheGap76

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Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #277 on: February 04, 2007, 11:34:19 AM »
I've been looking over Leiter's blog and some XOXO threads on the topic, and it seems like UChicago (a school known for its highly venerable faculty) has trouble retaining some of its top professors, particularly over the last 3-5 years. HLS and others have taken a few of Chicago's faculty. In fact, among the T6 schools, Chicago has taken the biggest losses in faculty over the past few years, while HLS, NYU, etc. have really boosted their faculty mostly with young "superstars". On top of that, Chicago's strength has always been in Law and Economics, and the faculty members who helped develop this area aren't getting any younger and are likely to retire in the coming years. In fact, this also applies to much of Chicago's star faculty (i.e., getting old, retiring soon). Moreover, it seems like Chicago, despite its overall faculty strength, has glaring weaknesses (for a school of its stature) in IP and International Law, two areas that really appeal to at least prospective students.

All this isn't really a question, but wondering if MTG or any other ppl with knowledge on the topic have any comments or substantiated disagreements? Fyi, I personally am really interested in attending UChi next fall, its probably my top choice right now, but this recent and potential future decline in faculty concerns me.

Okay, there's a lot to get through here.  Let me try to make a few points:
1) I think the school that has taken the most licks on the faculty front is Columbia, not Chicago.  They have lost some of their huge names, we have not.

2) Since my time here, and a little before, the folks I can recall losing to other schools are Meares, Vermuele, Hamburger, and just last week, Lichtman. I don't know anything about Hamburger, but my impression is that he wasn't a huge loss. Everything I've heard about Meares suggests that she was utter garbage as a professor, so I'm not too upset that she is gone. As described above, I'm mildly disappointed about losing Lichtman, but the situation there is that his wife is a 4th year med student, and just got her residency in LA; I don't think that reflects poorly on the school retaining people, though it does suck for our weakness in IP. The one I'm most disappointed about is Vermuele. By all accounts, he is both a great prof and an up and coming scholar.

3) Now, as to our big name profs getting old—yes, Baird, Easterbrook, Epstein, Levmore, Posner, Nussbaum, Sunstein, Stone, Strauss, et al. are getting old. For the purposes of a potential 1L, I don't think any of them are going to retire in the next 5 years, so you should get the full experience.

4) One of the things I like best about Chicago is how kickass our young faculty is. That's not me being a troll, that's a legitimate sentiment that I think is felt by a lot of other students here. The hiring committee has been focused relentlessly on finding top young talent, and with maybe one or two exceptions, they seem to have done a great job. For example, you may not know his name yet, but I expect Lior Strahievitz is going to be a giant in property. Tom Miles and Jacob Gersen are basically being groomed to replace Cass Sunstein. Eugene Kontorovich and Eric Posner help our weakness in International Law. And I don't know what his reputation is as a scholar, but pretty much everyone loves Todd Henderson. Point being that even if our biggest names are getting older, we have a lot of young up and coming folks that are impressing students here. I don't know if they'll ever be as big of names as Sunstein or Epstein (who, sadly, has not really groomed any proteges), but as far as the student educational experience goes, many of them are top flight.

5) I completely agree with you on our weakness in IP. We lost Lessig in 1997, we didn't hire Tim Wu when he visited in 2005, and now we just lost Lichtman, leaving us really with only Randy Picker as a dedicated IP guy (with Strahilevitz doing a bit of IP). I'm hoping the hiring committee gets aggressive about fixing this problem. In particular, I really hope this bleeds over into some support for hiring Orin Kerr. He's really a crimlaw guy, but he has enough of a tech background that he could easily teach some of our IP classes.  Plus he's awesome; if we miss out on hiring him, I will think the school has made a pretty huge error.

As to International Law, we have Eric Posner and Eugene Kontorovich. Beyond that, I can't pretend I really care. International law is an important, but niche academic subject that naive 0Ls seem to be unnecessarily, and unreasonably obsessed with.

As a 0L, the only place I really think you should be concerned about Chicago is that our CrimLaw faculty is extremely weak right now. I know that isn't as sexy to 0Ls as IP or International Law, but it is a place that will have a much greater impact on your experience here than either of those other two subjects will. Once again, I'm really hoping we get Orin Kerr. I took him last quarter, he kicks ass, and I know he would accept an offer here if we made one.

Anyway, in conclusion, despite a few minor losses to other schools, and the general aging of some of the big names, I think Chicago's biggest strength is still its faculty. We have a few holes to patch, but I guarantee: If you come here as a 1L, you will have the academic experience of a lifetime.

MindTheGap76

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Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #278 on: February 04, 2007, 11:43:15 AM »
I am curious about the grade situation- is it true that the # of As= # of Cs??  What is the median grade for classes? 

Let me give you three answers to this question:

Most directly: In curved classes they should "approximately" be equal, but I don't know in practice what "approximately" means. The median grade is 177.

Most indirectly: I discussed the Chicago grading system in depth a few pages back, so I would recommend reading that post for more information.

Most importantly: It doesn't matter. The selection of a grading system is arbitrary, and the letter values attached are irrelevant. All you need to care about is that employers aren't idiots, they understand a C from Chicago isn't the same as a C from other schools (and similarly, they know an A from Chicago is worth way more than an A from other schools).

Denny Crane

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Re: UChicago 2L Taking Questions About Anything
« Reply #279 on: February 04, 2007, 02:16:05 PM »
Didn't I read somewhere that Sunstein (and Nussbaum) may be leaving for Harvard? Or just visiting?

Sunstein is currently visiting at HLS.  I think Harvard has made overtures to both, but they haven't decided yet.  I hope they do come.  Just in time for my arrival.