Applying to the University of Chicago Law School: What You Need To Know

Applying to the University of Chicago Law School: What You Need To Know

Meg Bingle: Hi there. My name is Meg Bingle and I am the Associate Director of Admissions here at the University of Chicago Law School. Thank you for joining me today to learn a little bit more about UChicago Law! Meg Bingle: I have a couple of goals for today’s webinar. First of all, Meg Bingle: I want to introduce you to the University of Chicago Law School. We are a very unique learning community. And I want to give you a little bit more information about what makes our community so special. Meg Bingle: I also want to tell you about the application process for JD admission – how can you get yourself here to the University of Chicago for law school. Meg Bingle: Last but not least, I want to leave time for questions and answers. For many of you, you’re going to be watching this as a recording, so I’m going to direct your questions to our inbox at [email protected] Meg Bingle: Without further ado, UChicago Law, unique learning community. Meg Bingle: For those of you who have not had an opportunity to visit us, University of Chicago Law School is located on the main campus of the University of Chicago, which is in Hyde Park. Meg Bingle: Hyde Park is actually a neighborhood of Chicago. So we’re in the city of Chicago. We’re just a little bit farther removed from what would be considered the downtown. Meg Bingle: If you’ve ever been to the Bean, if you’ve seen those very pretty pictures of the dramatic skyline of Chicago, all of that is an area of the city called the Loop. Meg Bingle: Here at UChicago Law, we’re about 15 to 20 minutes out of the loop in Hyde Park. Meg Bingle: Cool thing about that is that you get the best of both worlds. Hyde Park has got that real kind of college feeling – lots of green spaces. You got the main campus. We’ve got the College, the medical school. Meg Bingle: All of that is here in Hyde Park, but you also have Chicago at your fingertips. You’ve got a major world class city right there 15 minutes away. Meg Bingle: As I said, we are unique learning community. First of all, something that’s very important about coming to the University of Chicago is that we are a national law school. Meg Bingle: If you are sitting out there and you’re starting the process of thinking about coming into law school, you’re going to be thinking about a lot of considerations. Meg Bingle: One of those considerations is going to be “hey, where are you going to practice at the end of three years?” Meg Bingle: Coming to a place like UChicago, you might hear some people tell you that it’s not going to let you go to anywhere but Chicago. Meg Bingle: They are flat out wrong. Only about 35% of our students end up staying in Chicago. And that’s all self selection here in UChicago Law. You can go wherever you’d like to go to practice. Meg Bingle: This really is the type of community where you can go into our Career Services Office and say, “Hey, you know, I want to practice X type of law and Y city” and we’re going to work with you to make that happen. Meg Bingle: Another important thing about being a national law school is that our students come from all over. Meg Bingle: So I think in our most recent 1L class, if I’m not mistaken, we have something like students from 41 different states. Meg Bingle: And 96 different undergrad institutions. When we are sitting here thinking about crafting a class for admission, we take it seriously that we want Meg Bingle: as many diverse perspectives as possible in our classroom and we define that diversity very broadly to add to a really kind of unique and robust learning environment. Meg Bingle: Here at UChicago Law something that truly sets us apart is that we are a small law school community. Meg Bingle: Each of our classes is only about 185 to 195 students, which has a lot of positives Meg Bingle: from that. So first of all, as a preliminary matter because there aren’t that many of you, you get to know your classmates very well, very quickly. Meg Bingle: And you know, it’s just a really good thing to be going to law school with people that you’re friendly with Meg Bingle: It cuts down on competition, which is certainly something that I get asked about a lot on the road. “How competitive is your law school?” Meg Bingle: One of the things that I’m very happy to report that competition is really kind of low here. You know, I won’t lie to you and tell you the competition doesn’t exist. Of course it does. We are an elite law school. Meg Bingle: But it’s really kind of more of an internalized competition, like I am competing with myself, for my optimal outcome versus a zero sum game, sort of competition. Meg Bingle: Which is important because, generally speaking, our students support one another. And I think that that’s something that, again, really sets us apart. Meg Bingle: You’re also supported by our faculty members, right, just because we have a small student community does not mean that we have a small faculty community. We still have a world class faculty that teaches all kinds of different classes. Meg Bingle: Because there aren’t that many students, faculty are actually able to get to know you. Meg Bingle: And something that I can tell you that I hear frequently from our alumni, is that this is truly unique and sticks with them. Meg Bingle: That faculty mentorship. So having that small community means that all of us get together and really get to know each other. Meg Bingle: Another kind of unique element of University of Chicago Law School is that we’re on the quarter system. Meg Bingle: The quarter system is kind of different. I’m sure a lot of you might not be familiar with it. At the outset I should tell you that it’s actually kind of a misnomer. Meg Bingle: Because we actually only have three quarters. So we have our fall quarter that starts towards the end of September and goes to about the end of December. Meg Bingle: Our winter quarter picks up in the first week of January and goes to that end of March, give or take. Meg Bingle: Our third quarter, the spring quarter, starts in April and goes to the end of May, early June. And we don’t have a summer quarter. Meg Bingle: Couple positives to the quarter system. First of all, in law school, you’re going to absolutely love the quarter system. Meg Bingle: Because there are going to be so many classes here at Chicago that you’re going to want to take and having that quarter system is going to give you the flexibility to take about four extra classes on each year, which is really vital. Meg Bingle: To being able to explore all kinds of different parallels here at UChicago Law. Meg Bingle: Also the entire university of Chicago is on the quarter system. So one of the huge things that you’re going to hear UChicago Law – it’s something that Meg Bingle: I’m probably going to continue to bring up repeatedly throughout this presentation is that UChicago Law. Meg Bingle: Is the home of interdisciplinary studies. So when you are hearing about things like law and economics or law and philosophy. Meg Bingle: Chances are it is connected to the University of Chicago. Now being on the quarter system and having the entire school be on the quarter system. Meg Bingle: Means that if you want to take a class outside of the law school, you’re going to be able to do so because our classes match theirs. Of course a standard for those classes is that it has to be related to law. Meg Bingle: But as you can imagine at UChicago Law, almost everything can be related to law. And that’s really something. Meg Bingle: That again kind of goes back to that interdisciplinary is that we want you to recognize that law is never practiced in a vacuum. There’s always all sorts of different intersections. Meg Bingle: Which leads me to my next point here at UChicago Law, we have unparalleled theoretical exploration. What that means for you. Meg Bingle: Is that this is not the type of law school that you’re going to come to and get a concentration in something Meg Bingle: We really pride ourselves on having a very general legal education that allows her lot of flexibility. Meg Bingle: Now that’s not to say that if you came to law school and you knew that you want to do a particular type of law, you weren’t going to be able to take the classes and to do the clinics to do that. Meg Bingle: Obviously, of course you are. And you’re going to have plenty of faculty mentorship helping you kind of navigate that path to get exactly where you want to be. Meg Bingle: But something that really sets UChicago apart. And I can tell you, I answer this question constantly on the road recruiting and in interviews, something that really sets us apart here in Chicago. Meg Bingle: Is that a lot of our students come in with a broad idea of what they want to do. Right. Meg Bingle: They’re not exactly sure what the contours of their career is going to look like, but they kind of know sort of broadly, what they want to do. Meg Bingle: And there will be a very linear path that lends itself in front of them, right, there’ll be classes, clinics that first summer job, that second summer job and then that first sort of career goal. Meg Bingle: All in that linear path. You know that’s law school everywhere. Meg Bingle: What sets UChicago apart is that our students get themselves on that linear path and very successfully. Meg Bingle: They get themselves on that linear path and then they leverage the quarter system and our unique course offerings. Meg Bingle: To really challenge themselves, right, we have about 170 classes to choose from in that second in the third year Meg Bingle: Our students take advantage of that. Right. They take a class that might be not required for the career path that they’re going to go into Meg Bingle: But simply because they’re interested in it. And I think that that really speaks to sort of the curiosity that happens at UChicago, and sort of this commitment to Meg Bingle: As we say our on website learning for learning’s sake. And you’re going to see a lot of that here in Chicago and it does set us apart. Meg Bingle: As part of that sort of learning for learnings sake. There’s another element that goes into law school education, which is clinical opportunities. Meg Bingle: For those of you who have not been introduced to the wonderful world of legal clinics. Meg Bingle: Basically a legal clinic is going to be an opportunity to work in a real live law firm, real life Law Clinic with real life law cases. Meg Bingle: So you are going to be working with clients were actually working their way through the legal system. Meg Bingle: Whether it’s the criminal justice system through a handful of our clinics, like we have a juvenile justice clinic that defends juveniles going through the criminal justice system. Meg Bingle: We have a federal clinic that’s going to show you criminal law on the federal level. Meg Bingle: We have a prosecution and defense clinic and exoneration projects. So you can learn as much as you’d like. On the criminal law side of things. Meg Bingle: But we also have different clinics, we have an environmental law clinic. Meg Bingle: That currently is working on Clean Water Act cases. You have a corporate lab that can show you what it really means like to be like a corporate lawyer. We have one of my favorite clinics, which I’m Meg Bingle: Not technically supposed to say, but I think it’s really cool. Meg Bingle: So the innovation clinic is actually a partnership between the Booth School of Business and the law school. Meg Bingle: Booth presents the sort of startup incubator side of things. So the business school provides business recommendations and we provide the law side of things. So it’s really kind of Meg Bingle: living proof of that interdisciplinarity that I was talking to you. Our clinical program is going to be open to you in your second and third year. Meg Bingle: Here UChicago Law, you do not apply into our clinics, as you might have other law schools. You register for our clinics, the same way that you register for classes. So you rank them. It goes into a computer it spits out matches. Meg Bingle: Obviously third years get to go first. So they almost always get their first choices. Meg Bingle: But even outside of that in the last several years, all of our students who have wanted to do a clinic have been able to do a clinic. Meg Bingle: And the vast, vast, vast majority of them have been able to do their first choice clinic. Meg Bingle: Sometimes it’s just a matter of if you wanted to do, you know, our international human rights clinic in the fall quarter might have to wait to the major the spring. Meg Bingle: And of our students who choose to do a clinic, many of them will do more than one. So we really recognize here at UChicago Law that clinical education is Meg Bingle: Vital to creating that whole package that when you graduate at the end of three years, you’re ready to dive right into your legal practice. Meg Bingle: That’s not all we have at UChicago Law. We have an extreme commitment to public interest that takes the shape of many different ways. Meg Bingle: So first of all UChicago Law is always expanding on our clinical education program. Meg Bingle: Right now we have about 15 legal clinics of those clinics 13 of them are public interest oriented. So, the vast majority of our students here in Chicago are going to do their clinical education. Meg Bingle: In public interest and that actually really fits with what they’re interested in. Meg Bingle: We also have all kinds of other ways for you to get involved in public interest. For example, if you’re a first year student and you want to get involved. You have a pro bono initiative. Meg Bingle: That’s a pledge that you take at the beginning of your three years of law school where you commit to doing 50 hours of pro bono work. Meg Bingle: Our pro bono director will work with you to find all kinds of unique opportunities that you can get involved and then continue that through your second year and third year. Meg Bingle: We also have all sorts of Spring Break trips that will take you across the country to explore different legal opportunities over the two weeks spring break that we have. Meg Bingle: We also have a very important financial aid offerings, because if you want to go into public interest, you want to also be able to live. Meg Bingle: And an important part of that is going to be our guaranteed summer fundings. We have guaranteed summer stipends up to $5,000 for both your first and your second summer if you go into a qualifying public interest job. Meg Bingle: We also have a generous loan repayment program that will work with you after you graduate from law school to pay back your loan on a year by year basis. Meg Bingle: Assuming that you meet a handful of criteria like having a qualified public interest job. Meg Bingle: Generally speaking here at the Law School, you’re going to find quite a few students who are interested in public interest. We’re also supporting them in our Career Services Office. Meg Bingle: with our Director of Public Interest. So if you are sitting out there and you’re thinking: “Man, I really want to go into public interest,” please consider the University of Chicago because we’ve got a lot of opportunities and people Meg Bingle: who are excited to support you to get into that career that you’re thinking. Meg Bingle: Outside of the classroom, we also have all kinds of different exciting things happening here at UChicago Law. Meg Bingle: A big part of our life here on campus is going to be our student organizations. We have about 60 different student organizations that really kind of run the gamut. Meg Bingle: We of course have affinity organizations that do wonderful programming. We have social organizations. We have organizations committed to different types of law. Meg Bingle: A big part of what our student organizations do is bring speakers to campus for something that we’ve called Lunchtime Learning Meg Bingle: So every day at lunch when school is in session, there’s basically a different lunch talk happening. Most days, there’s more than one. Meg Bingle: A lot of those lunch talks are going to be sort of practical, like, “hey, I want to be a criminal defense attorney. What does that mean?” Meg Bingle: “I want to be an Environmental Defense attorney. And what does it mean?” “I want to go into big law. What does that mean?” Meg Bingle: Our students do a really good job of bringing alumni and other people back to campus so that you can really kind of learn what that career means. Meg Bingle: So that’s one sort of track that they have in the lunch talks. The bigger track and the one that probably happens more frequently -believe it or not – Meg Bingle: Is our student organizations inviting fascinating people to campus to talk about current issues in law, to talk about their research, talk about upcoming cases in the Supreme Court. Meg Bingle: One of my favorite talks from last year was fascinating. So one of our clinics, the Institute for Justice clinic on Entrepreneurship was working with Meg Bingle: A group of food trucks, who are actually involved in a lawsuit over restrictions in Chicago about where they could have their food trucks. Meg Bingle: So the City of Chicago put out these ordinances that were restricting where the food trucks could be and they ended up litigating it. And one of our clinics is helping them litigate that case. Meg Bingle: They went to the trial court and ended up, they had to appeal it and they were appealing it up to the Illinois Supreme Court. Meg Bingle: Well, for the lunch talk, we had was their attorneys coming to UChicago and previewing the argument that they were going to do before the Supreme Court later that week. Meg Bingle: And asking for feedback. And the other really awesome part about that one – the food trucks catered it! Meg Bingle: So that kind of shows sort of what life is like here on campus. Right. It’s a very curious place where Meg Bingle: People are not just learning in the classroom. They’re learning all over the place, but also people are getting together. People really like having those sort of conversations about what’s going on in the world. Meg Bingle: This is not the type of place where it’s like quiet 24/7. There’s always a lot of activity. A lot of it is going to be academic discourse. Meg Bingle: But a lot of it is going to be fun as well.We also have something called Coffee Mess and Wine Mess. Coffee Mess happens every Wednesday with coffee. coffee. And Wine Mess is most Thursdays. Meg Bingle: Those are great opportunities to really get together with your classmates, to get together with our faculty and get together with your favorite admissions team. Meg Bingle: To catch up and see how it’s going again. One of the best parts about going to law school is Meg Bingle: You are joining a community and you will feel like a part of that community here. You will be able to engage with all kinds of different lives, both inside and outside the classroom. Meg Bingle: Another big part of that is what I’ve got here on the screen here with our initiatives. Meg Bingle: You know, we’ve got really great journals. So if you are interested in academic research and writing, we’ve got that at UChicago Law Review. We’ve got the Legal Forum. We’ve got our International Law Journal Meg Bingle: Those are great opportunities to do some really heavy research and academic writing. Meg Bingle: We have something called the Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative that is actually a program that we run during our orientation program. Meg Bingle: It’s going to give you the opportunity to, first of all, get to know your classmates really well. Meg Bingle: But also develop some skills that are going to be really important for being a lawyer, things like active listening, team building and team management. Meg Bingle: All of those skills that we might not necessarily teach you in a lawclassroom but are still going to be vital to your legal career. We teach you that at the very beginning. You can hone those skills, the whole three years here. Meg Bingle: We also have joint and dual degree programs. You know, I talked at the very beginning of this slideshow about the interdisciplinarity at the UChicago Meg Bingle: Well, part of that is going to be through our joint degree programs. We’re very excited this year that we were able to announce a three year JD MBA program, which I will discuss in more detail later. So set that one aside. Meg Bingle: Otherwise we have joint and dual degree programs in almost all of the divisions across campus. Meg Bingle: How that works is you apply to the Law School and you apply to the other degree of your choice. If you get into both of them. We will then work with you to kind of create a curriculum that works for you. Meg Bingle: Sometimes we’re able to shave a little bit of the time off by credit sharing. Other times, you’re going to be doing it concurrently without limited credit sharing. Meg Bingle: Regardless of how that actually works out. We’re always excited to work with you. Same thing if you wanted a JD PhD. Meg Bingle: We also have two programs that are not degrees but are certificate granting programs. So if you were out there, sitting there saying “hey, Meg Bingle: I really like law and business, but I’m not ready to commit to a JD MBA.” The Doctoroff Business Leadership Program is going to be for you. Meg Bingle: That’s a three year certificate granting program that you do while you’re doing your JD, so it’s not an extra tuition. It’s not an extra degree. It’s a certificate Meg Bingle: You take a handful of classes that are taught by Booth faculty members and you get a mentor out there in the alumni community and you get to be a part of a cohort. Meg Bingle: Where you really get to be around like minded people who are also interested in law and business. Meg Bingle: We also have something called the certificate in Health Administration and Policy for those of you out there that are interested in health law and administration and Policy. Definitely consider this program. Meg Bingle: Again, it’s, it’s a certificate granting programs. It’s not a second degree, not a second tuition. Meg Bingle: But that’s going to give you an opportunity to get into a cohort with students that are here at the Law School, at the Business School, at the Social Services School, the Public Policy School and the Medical School and you’ve got a Meg Bingle: Handful of classes together, which is again a really awesome way to see the sort of law that you’re interested from multiple perspectives. Meg Bingle: I’ve got a couple of slides here that are going to be about numbers to kind of give you an idea of what’s going on. So on the left side of your screen. You’re going to see our demographic information. So importantly we only have about 600 students Meg Bingle: This, it gives you a breakdown of the classes that are going to be our first, second, and third year Meg Bingle: So you get an idea of sort of what’s up. I am very proud of the current 1L class because they are 51% female. Meg Bingle: But as you can see I, you know, I’ve talked about the commitment to diversity we really do have that commitment t is something that’s very important to us. But again, it’s also defined very broadly. Meg Bingle: So we’re taking into account all sorts of different things when we’re looking at your application. Which kind of leads that right side of the screen. Meg Bingle: It’s a hallmark of the UChicago Law Admissions office that when we are looking at a file, we’re looking at it in a holistic way. Meg Bingle: We are not just cherry picking LSATs and GPAs. I’m going to repeat that for all of you out there. We are not just cherry picking LSATs and GPAs. Meg Bingle: We look at every single file that comes into this office and we look at every element of that file. Meg Bingle: Obviously, at UChicago Law, we’re big on data and on quantitative research, so I can demonstrate this to you. If you look at this, look at this right side column. Meg Bingle: Please pay attention to LSAT ranges that demonstrates that we have that sort of holistic process. Same if you look at our GPA range. Meg Bingle: It shows you that we really are looking for the whole package. So when you are sitting out there thinking about applying to us. Meg Bingle: Keep that in mind. Right. We want to know as much about you as possible, which I will, of course, discussing a little bit more detail when I get into our application requirements. Meg Bingle: This is a helpful graphic that kind of shows you a little bit about employment opportunities. This is the class of 2018 that’s the Meg Bingle: Only class we have reported right now. We report these at the 10 month out mark. So we’re still waiting on the class of 2019. Meg Bingle: Actually, that’s probably coming in soon, though. Regardless, that’s all very exciting stuff because our employment rate it really hovers around that 98% 99% Meg Bingle: A lot of times that number isn’t 100% because we have something like a PhD student Meg Bingle: A couple of years ago and I can’t remember exactly what year the number was right around 98 or something like that because we had a Rhodes Scholar. Meg Bingle: You were actually counted as unemployed for the American Bar Association statistics if you have a Rhodes Scholarship. Meg Bingle: Regardless, that is a tangent. Let me tell you a little bit more about the chart that you’re looking at. Meg Bingle: First of all, the number that I want to highlight the most is that big yellow chunk. Meg Bingle: Important there. That is our clerkship number and this was in 2018 it was 27%. I think in the class of 2019 it was, it’s going to be closer to like 28% – 29% Meg Bingle: Clerkships are big here in Chicago. If you are interested in doing a clerkship which, for those of you who have not yet heard that term yet. Meg Bingle: A clerkship is basically like a post doctorate. It’s a year or two after you graduate from law school working for a judge. Meg Bingle: So there are opportunities now for you to work for a little bit and then go back to our clerkship but that’s something you learn later on. Meg Bingle: Regardless, the cool thing about a clerkship is that it’s going to really give you an opportunity Meg Bingle: To see a lot of close work with a judge. You get to do a lot of really detailed legal research and to write a lot which is important in developing that skill set and really Meg Bingle: honing the things that you learned in law school and polishing and refining them so that when you get into practice, you’re going to be an even better lawyer. Meg Bingle: Now, I often get asked, you know, “why is the UChicago Law clerkship number so extraordinary? How are you getting it there?” Meg Bingle: There’s a lot of resources that are going to build up around you. If you’re interested in a clerkship Meg Bingle: The first one is going to be our Director of Clerkships in our Office of Career Services. Meg Bingle: She is going to work with you, starting your first year of law school so that you understand the clerkship process and then work with you hand by hand to do your selection process together. Meg Bingle: She is a wonderful resource. She’s a really great counselor. That’s one of the beautiful things about coming to the University of Chicago is that Meg Bingle: At a lot of instances you actually got a little bit of of agency in your clerkship decision. So you’re going to have that opportunity to kind of sit down and think like Meg Bingle: What do I want out of my collection, right, am I looking for geography, am I looking for a type of law by looking for an ideology and how can I tailor the clerkships search to that particular want or need. Meg Bingle: She’s also going to be really helpful because something you’re going to learn is that there is no sort of standardization to the clerkship application process. Every judge have their own deadline. They have their own requirements. Meg Bingle: And she has really made it her own that she’s going to make sure that every application that comes out of you should probably law is in strict compliance with whichever of deadlines and standards that the judge it puts out there. That’s one big chunk of what happened here. Meg Bingle: The other big chunk and arguably, it actually might be a little bit more important is our faculty members. Meg Bingle: Our faculty members are very involved in the clerkship process. First of all, they’re almost certainly going to encourage you to do a clerkship. Meg Bingle: I was talking to a student the other day and he was telling me that he was thinking about a clerkship and sat down with one of his professors who said: Meg Bingle: “You’re going to do a clerkship right?” and the kids like “oh no I’m not sure.” And he said, “Well, you’re going to do a clerkship right?” Meg Bingle: Well, lo and behold, guess who’s doing a clerkship next year? Right. So our faculty members are going to encourage you to do that because they recognize how wonderful these opportunities are. Meg Bingle: They’re also again going to be helpful in that counseling side of things, helping you figure out what judges you should apply to Meg Bingle: It also of course doesn’t hurt that they have a lot of friends out there who are judges. So they’ll encourage you if they think it’s the right fit. Okay, maybe you should be looking at this judge Meg Bingle: Another huge part of our faculty involvement in the clerkship process is going to be the letters of recommendation. Meg Bingle: That goes back to kind of what I was talking about before. Here at UChicago Law, you’re really going to have the opportunity to get to know your faculty members and they’re going to get the opportunity to know you. Meg Bingle: So when they sit down to write you a letter of recommendation, it is going to be a meaningful letter of recommendation. And let me just tell you right now, I read thousands of those a year. Meg Bingle: You can definitely tell the difference when someone knows you versus when they don’t know you. Meg Bingle: So again, I think that is kind of what’s tipping the scales and for us getting almost 30% of our classes going directly into clerkships. Meg Bingle: I should also highlight another component of that is that are so many of our students have been going into clerkships Meg Bingle: And we’ve been hearing some positive feedback that’s also becoming like a perpetuating cycle where judges are hearing that – they’re seeing and hearing how awesome our UChicago Law graduates are and they’re clamoring for more clerks. Meg Bingle: So the other big chunk on this employment charts, is that red one. Meg Bingle: The red one is going to be people going into directly into private firms. For those of you that are sitting out there and thinking about public interest. This might be kind of jarring to you. Maybe you’re like: Meg Bingle: “I thought Meg just said UChicago Law has a very robust public interest community. What’s happening with this graph?” Let me give you a little bit more context. Meg Bingle: First of all, I wasn’t lying to you there absolutely is a very robust public interest community here. Meg Bingle: And despite the fact that people are in this chart choosing private firms, it doesn’t negate that that actually exists here to give you a little bit more context. So this is sort of chart. First of all recognize that, you know, Meg Bingle: A lot of our students are choosing to go into private firms for their very first job right. This is not what they’re doing three years from now, it’s not what they’re doing five years now. This is literally just that 10 month mark. Meg Bingle: And the reason why so many students choose to go into that private firms as their first job is that first of all, private firms have the resources to train you to be a very good attorney. Meg Bingle: A lot of public interest organizations simply don’t have those resources, they don’t have the ability to send you to fancy trainings, or to do all the things that private firms are able to do. Meg Bingle: They do, however, at the private firms have pro bono clinics. Almost every big law firm has an commitment to pro bono and allows its lawyers to work on pro bono cases. Meg Bingle: The majority of those cases are going to be staffed by second, first, and third year attorneys. So even though you’re going to work for a private firm, you can still keep those public interest, skills sharp Meg Bingle: By working in the pro bono clinic. Last but not least, you know, a lot of these sort of Meg Bingle: private firms are going to be offering you very generous salaries. So sometimes when you see that six figure check coming in. Meg Bingle: It’s hard to say no to that at the at the outset. Now I want to highlight this next chart quickly. Meg Bingle: What’s interesting is that just because these students are starting in private firms does not mean that that’s where the trajectory of their career is going to go. Meg Bingle: Many of these students actually boomerang into traditional public interest jobs at the 3, 5, 7 and 10 year mark. Meg Bingle: The farther you get out from the law school the more even these numbers become. Meg Bingle: And you’ll see that in our alumni community. When you’re out there if you do land here, you’ll see that they have these very dynamic careers where they’ve experienced different things and they’re better lawyers for it. Meg Bingle: I’ve mentioned this before. But again, that’s something that’s very important is that if you come to the University of Chicago. You’re not stuck here in Chicago. First of all, no one is ever stuck here in Chicago. Chicago is a pretty extraordinary city. Meg Bingle: That being said, out top five markets: so Chicago about 35 36% of the class ends up here. Meg Bingle: That is entirely self selection people fall in love with the City of Chicago. Sometimes people actually even literally fall in love in Chicago. They want to stay because their partners are here. Meg Bingle: But outside of that our top markets are going to be New York, DC, California and Texas, but just to reiterate what I said. And you can see it here, right. Meg Bingle: If you want to go somewhere we can work with you to make that happen, your law degree from the University of Chicago is portable, it will take you wherever you’d like to go Meg Bingle: So I just went through that very quickly. That was kind of a handy primer on life here in Chicago. And now I want to transition into a little bit more about the JD application process. Meg Bingle: I should say this, for those of you out there that might not be thinking about JD admissions, maybe you’re thinking about our LLM program or MLS program or a JSD program. Meg Bingle: I would encourage you to reach out to [email protected] for more specific information about the application process for those programs. This Meg Bingle: Section of the webinar is literally only going to cover the JD side. So if you’re thinking LLM, if you’re thinking JSD, if you’re thinking MLS please email [email protected] Meg Bingle: For those of you still with me thinking about the JD process. Let’s get into the nitty gritty about how you get here so you can experience all the wonderful things. I just described, so Meg Bingle: First of all, some helpful dates. Meg Bingle: We have an early decision program here at the University of Chicago. So Meg Bingle: If you have sat through this webinar and you have thought, “Oh my gosh, Meg. This is absolutely amazing. This is that school that I want to go to. It’s my number one choice.” I would encourage you to think about our early decision program. Meg Bingle: In the early decision program, you have to apply by December, 1, but you’re guaranteed a decision on your law application by the end of the year. So about January 1, give or take. Meg Bingle: Important things to note about our early decision program. It is binding. So if you apply to us, and you get admitted, you will have to pull your applications from the other schools. Meg Bingle: And other important element is if you are thinking about the early decision program but financial aid is going to be a massive concern of yours. Think very closely. Meg Bingle: Because you will have to decide whether or not you want to come to us before you will get your financial aid award because those usually come out mid to late February, give or take. Meg Bingle: Another important thing about early decision is that, you know, that definitely signals to us how serious you are about UChicago. There’s absolutely Meg Bingle: A positive inference from that. But it’s also just a matter of thinking about those other considerations that we’ve got the best sort of law school experience for you. Meg Bingle: Outside of our early decision program. We have our regular decision program. Meg Bingle: The regular decision deadline is March 1 but I want to highlight this we have rolling admissions here at UChicago. So, the earlier you apply to the law school, the better. Meg Bingle: So if you’re sitting out there listening to this, now I’m hoping that you’re kind of thinking ahead. Meg Bingle: Try to get your applications in early. We almost always open our application between September 1 and September 15. If you know you want to come here, get it in early. Meg Bingle: It really does make a difference because there’s more spots available in the class there’s more money in the financial aid pool. So think about that rolling admissions – the earlier you apply the better. Meg Bingle: With respect to the rest of the admissions timeline. We start making regular decisions towards the end of January, early February. Financial aid follows soon after that. Meg Bingle: Typically we have admitted students programming throughout the spring. And then we have a deposit deadline that is about May 1, give or take. Meg Bingle: Now, I kind of want to get into some of the elements of the JD application so Meg Bingle: First of all, for those of you who are thinking about applying the law school, you’re probably getting very familiar with Meg Bingle: Everything for our applications primarily going to go through, so if you have not created an account, I encourage you to do so. Meg Bingle: LSAC is also going to be the people who administer the LSAT so at the outset, so you’re probably going to be very familiar with them if you’re thinking about applying to law school. Meg Bingle: As for the elements of our application, you have an application that you fill out on that asks for a handful of demographic information. Meg Bingle: And has the sort of instructions that you’re going to need to follow to apply. Meg Bingle: We’re going to request all of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts. All of those transcripts are going to be submitted through LSAC and then push to us from LSAC. So all you need to do is upload them to LSAC. Meg Bingle: For those of you who have done, you know, maybe a study abroad or maybe or foreign educated Meg Bingle: You still submit your transcripts through LSAC and they have a foreign transcript service that will actually, you know, translate them where need be and also give us a little bit more information so that we can put that sort of transcript into context. Meg Bingle: We ask for all transcripts. So your undergrad transcripts and a master’s degree, you might have any study abroad programs that you have an all of that’s going through LSAC. Meg Bingle: We also of course required a standardized tests we accept the LSAT and the GRE for JD admission and then the GMATfor JD MBA admission. Meg Bingle: I’m going to talk a little bit more about that on the next slide to kind of give you some more color context on that. Meg Bingle: We ask you for a resume. Cool thing about the law application, the resume is a little bit different than what you might otherwise expect and what I mean by that is that a law school application resume does not have to be just one page. Meg Bingle: Remember what I said about that holistic process, right, the more we know about you, the better. Meg Bingle: I like to describe the resume – to me, it’s kind of this catch all document. If there is something really cool about yourself that you have not captured anywhere else Meg Bingle: Chances are it belongs in that resume. Use it. you know maybe you wrote a really cool thesis. Maybe you’re an artist. Maybe you’ve published in The Washington Post before, like, whatever it may be. Meg Bingle: include that in that resume, so that we can get to know more of you. Another big part of kind of getting to know you, is going to be the letters of recommendation. Meg Bingle: At the law school, we require two letters of recommendation but we will be accept, up to four. Meg Bingle: We always have a preference for academic letters of recommendation. you’re coming to a school. So we want to know how you’re gonna, you know, sort of be able to handle school Meg Bingle: That being said, I know that many of you are out there in the workforce and that you might want to have a work letter of recommendation. Meg Bingle: That is absolutely okay. We do accept work letters. For those work recommendations, Meg Bingle: Please consider that we want them to focus on your academic skills. We want you to focus on the skills that are going to allow you to succeed in the classroom. Meg Bingle: That’s things like writing, critical analytical thinking those things that, like you need in the classroom. Meg Bingle: Another important thing about letters of recommendation is please choose people who actually know you. We see letters of recommendation that come in sometimes and maybe they’re Meg Bingle: from the fancy Senator, or maybe they’re from the fancy names, you know, professor who taught the lecture, but doesn’t actually know you beyond your ID number. Meg Bingle: That’s what we want to hear from it’s not so much the letterhead that we’re worried about. It’s more the content of the letter so Meg Bingle: Choose the chief of staff. We could actually speak to your work fitness or maybe choose the TA was with you every day and a discussion group. Those are going to be more meaningful letters of recommendation that are really going to kind of again provide context to you in the classroom. Meg Bingle: Another big thing that we’re asking for is our personal statement. Meg Bingle: If you’re anything like me, the personal statement was a bit of a struggle. Right. It’s weird to write yourself in a way. Meg Bingle: To go to what I was saying before, holistic review process, the more we know about you, the better. This personal statement is a really classic example to kind of give us more information. Meg Bingle: So some of the classic pitfalls that I see in personal statements. A lot of times I will see people that narrate their resume. Meg Bingle: Goodness gracious. I read your resume. I got that. If you’re not providing more that’s just really a wasted opportunity right I think a better way of handling that is maybe picking one formative experience and writing about it. Meg Bingle: Or maybe you know you want to tell me something totally different. Now our prompt for our personal statement is really broad Meg Bingle: It’s like, Tell me about yourself. You don’t have to tell me why you want to go to law school, but you certainly can. Meg Bingle: You know, if you’re out there thinking, like, “oh god I don’t even know where to get started writing a personal statement” Meg Bingle: Visit our website, go to and search “personal statement.” We’ve actually pulled together a handful of personal statements from current students and former students. Meg Bingle: And they’ll kind of show you and give you kind of a good guide post like what we mean when we say you do not have to give us you know your entire life story in a personal statement. Meg Bingle: It only should be about two to three pages anyway, so you don’t really have that space, but that website will give you a helpful sort of starting guide to getting off the ground there. Meg Bingle: Another thing that we actually require through our stack is going to be an application fee. Meg Bingle: In some instances, we are able to grant fee waivers. But those are a very limited set of circumstances for things like veterans, people who have done the Peace Corps and for Teach for America. Meg Bingle: We also participate in the candidate referral service. So if you are thinking about law school and you’ve got an LSAC account, I encourage you to sign up for that candidate referral service. Meg Bingle: That is done throughout the fall. So I can’t guarantee that we’re going to do that, but it’s something that we have done in the past. So kind of keep your eyes peeled on that. Meg Bingle: The last requirement of our application elements is the interview. Meg Bingle: We only do 20 minute Skype interviews. So whether you are across campus or across the world, you’re going to be giving us a 20 minute Skype interview. Meg Bingle: Those are by invitation only. So, by applying to law school you are not guaranteed an interview. In fact, we couldn’t possibly interview everyone, unfortunately. Meg Bingle: So you wait for the invitation. You cannot request an interview. Interviews are basically given to people that we want to know more about. We’ve got your file. Want to know a little bit more about you. Meg Bingle: If you get an interview request from us, please take us up on it. I can tell you that I do the vast majority of our interviews here. Meg Bingle: It’s probably going to be me on the other side of Skype just wanting to get to know you. Please, don’t panic. It’s not supposed to be a stressful interview. Meg Bingle: I’ll ask you some questions about your resume. I’ll ask you about why you want to come to law school, why you want to come to UChicago, besides the fact that you saw an amazing webinar that I did. Meg Bingle: So have some of that prepared and be able to think about that. But otherwise, don’t worry about it because it really isn’t a hard process. Meg Bingle: And the right column you have some helpful little notes. Again I talked about Meg Bingle: That you need that account and everything goes through there. Same thing with the foreign transcripts. I said I would talk about standardized tests. Meg Bingle: We accept the LSAT and GRE for JD admission and the GMAT for JD MBA admission. Important things about the LSAT – it comes to us automatically through LSAC. So there’s nothing that you need to do it. So take the LSAT and then it comes to us directly. Meg Bingle: For those of you that are thinking about timing. There’s a couple of things that kind of go on with that. Like, for example, you know, we’re only going to take the October LSAT as the latest test for early decision. Meg Bingle: But again, those are kind of ad hoc and I encourage you to check out our website for those sort of specific twists. Meg Bingle: Otherwise, we’re going to accept the LSAT for JD admissions that comes to us directly. Meg Bingle: With the GRE and the GMAT you actually have to go to their websites and push them to us. So if you’re going to be submitting those exams need to kind of think about that carefully. Meg Bingle: At this time, you’re still getting the vast majority as LSATs. There’s some GREs that have been admitted that are running around our school now. Meg Bingle: We don’t have significant data on that yet we’re still only sharing data on our LSATs. Meg Bingle: I recognize in today’s world might take the LSAT more than once. That is, OK, we are going to take your highest score. Meg Bingle: If you take multiple tests, though, and there’s a big jump. I would encourage you to submit a one page addendum kind of explaining that difference. Meg Bingle: We also are going to get all of your LSAT scores for the last five years. Meg Bingle: So when you apply to law school, all of those will come to us. You must have a valid test or it must have been taken within the next five years for your file to be considered complete. Meg Bingle: Same thing with the GRE and GMAT those are all five years. I’m going to talk about that next because of our new three year JD MBA program. Meg Bingle: In the past we’ve always had a JD MBA program. Meg Bingle: But right now we’re excited because we can offer it an accelerated way. So in a three year way. Meg Bingle: Couple of interesting, fun facts. First of all, most important of all, if you are interested in our three year JD MBA program ignore everything I just said about the outset, please visit the website. Meg Bingle: Go to Chicago Booth search JD MBA, there’s a specific set of instructions there, you are going to apply predominantly through the Booth School of Business application. Meg Bingle: There’s additional forms that you need to fill out. But again, all of that is on the website. So if you want to do the three year program, please go to the Booth website – that’s where you’re going to get the majority of the information on that. Meg Bingle: They’re also going to be some helpful things on the timeline. Meg Bingle: You know, you can see here that I’ve got the dates that we had this year. They’re going to be relatively similar next year, but they’re not probably not gonna be exactly that. Meg Bingle: Important to note on the three year JD MBA, you will interview in person with booth being still interviewed via Skype for the law school. Meg Bingle: There will be one set tuition and one scholarship for the program. Meg Bingle: So lots of fun things happening that through the JD MBA program. Meg Bingle: The best place to get more information on that is to continue to follow the Booth website. Meg Bingle: It’s also the best place when you’re thinking about anything related to that program, go and check that. There’s also a very robust FAQ. Meg Bingle: Now on to financial aid. Another very significant part of the law school experience. Meg Bingle: Here at UChicago Law about 80% of our students will receive financial aid in the form of scholarships. So we have merit and need based financial aid. Meg Bingle: For merit based financial aid when you apply to the law school, you are automatically considered for it. Meg Bingle: We use that same holistic review process that I talked about with admissions with respect to our financial aid offerings. Right. So, again, not just cherry picking LSATs and GPA. There really is a lot more to it. Meg Bingle: Of our students who choose to come here, 80% will end up with merit financially in the form of scholarships. 60% will also end up taking out loans. Meg Bingle: If you want to be considered for need based financial aid, it is an additional form that you fill out after you get admitted. Meg Bingle: All you really need to do right now is apply. That gets you automatically considered for merit aid. After you get admitted there’s a whole process for Meg Bingle: Considerations for need based aid. For those of you that are international students, please note that you will not qualify for federally subsidized loans. Meg Bingle: But you will qualify UChicago institutional loans. So if you international, Meg Bingle: andtrying to come into law school, just make sure that you’ve got a couple of extra considerations. Meg Bingle: For all things financial aid oriented. If you do have those questions, please email us at [email protected] Meg Bingle: Which kind of brings us to the end of the webinar. I know that I talk very fast. It’s kind of crazy and I threw a lot of information at you. Meg Bingle: If you have questions related to admissions, please email us at [email protected] Meg Bingle: If you haev questions related to the University of Chicago Law School, the city of Chicago, please email us at [email protected] We are looking forward to hearing from you. Other than that, thank you so much for joining me and you have a wonderful day.

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