[quote="call-me-bubbles"]OK, finally read through all 197 pages of this thread, but I've still got these questions. Sorry there are so many, but I'm trying to do my due diligence. Thanks so much in advance for any insight! 2.
How beneficial or detrimental, if at all, is 1L summer clinic experience (as opposed to doing an SA or internship) for students aiming to go into Big Law? For those who are aiming for PI?Usually not at all detrimental for BigLaw. I would say that if you're a non-tradtional student whose resume screams I DONT WANT BIGLAW I WANT PI then maybe maaaybe you should think about this. But most students simply can't get paid firm jobs 1L. It's not expected that you do so. Clinic work is substantive legal work, and firms are more than fine with that.
Do 1Ls get sufficient guidance on OCI/bidding and all that? Do 1Ls learn everything they need to know in order to be competitive for writing on to LR? I haven't worked as a paralegal or anything, so I worry I may be at a disadvantage relative to others who have had more extensive legal experience as 0Ls.You're fine without paralegal experience, totally fine. No 0Ls have had "legal experience" in any meaningful way! The main benefit of being a paralegal is that it shows employers that you know how to operate in a legal office. It doesn't really help with legal content or coursework. (Same is true of pre-law undergrad courses). We do get sufficient guidance on OCI, although doing your own research is expected and necessary (and completely manageable).
More generally, if anyone here comes from a less privileged background, have you found UChi to be adequately supportive? I'm a first-generation college student, so mentorship is important to me. Definitely experiencing imposter syndrome. I think there is a lot of support available, especially informal support and mentorship from 2L and 3L students. If you end up coming here, please send me a PM so I can connect you with other first generation students! I would also suggest doing JumpStart, which is a program for Chicago-area law students. It's a great way to meet other students and get support and mentorship set up for your time in the law school.
One of the nice things about law school is that, as I said above, there's really no actual prep for it before you get here. That puts you on a relatively even footing with your peers from more $$$ backgrounds. Unlike, say, philosophy, where I am usually really poorly read and way behind students who went to "good" schools their whole life, everyone is starting from scratch. Given that, and given the way that OCI and legal hiring work, law school provides a surprisingly good opportunity for class mobility. 5.
If a student winds up in the bottom 10%, what kind of employment options are they looking at? I'd still imagine such a student's prospects are brighter coming out of UChi than a lower-ranked school. (Just thinking about the absolute worst-case scenario here...)It's tough to say. A lot will depend on your personal qualities (meaning your grit, persistence, hustle) and your ability to sell yourself in interviews as a pleasant, normal person. The school name itself opens a lot of doors, much more so than I was expecting it to going into the process.
How are cell reception and Internet speed these days in different parts of/buildings in Hyde Park and at the law school itself? I read a lot of complaints from folks in Regents about shitty service and poor WiFi. (Also, is it really recommended to walk around the law school with an Ethernet cable, or is that a thing of the past?)The Ethernet cable is the funniest thing ever to me. Classic UChi. Anyway, no, you don't need one! Wifi in the law school building is great. I never had problems in Regents or in my other HP apartment. In my (limited, AirBnB) experience, TLC-owned buildings have shitty internet.
Does anybody have any thoughts on/experience with the JD/MA in International Relations dual degree, or any other dual degree program?Since you're asking about dual degrees generally, that says to me that you don't have anything super-specific in mind. Given that, I would suggest thinking long and hard about whether a dual degree would be worth it from any school. The people I know who are getting them are either PhD students in other disciplines or have a really, really good reason for getting them. If your goal is to work in a field like international arbitration, they don't seem necessary. The JD opens up a lot of doors all by itself.
In terms of getting a dual degree here, specifically, the faculty and administrators here all seem open to it. I thought about it for a long time (JD/MBA) but ultimately decided against it because I got a job in the field I was looking for and it doesn't make sense, financially, to add the extra year onto my degree.
The 75th percentile scholarship award is $30,000 over three years -- that ain't much. I know the standard advice is to never go someplace at sticker (except maybe
YSH), but it seems like most students at UChi are actually going at near or full sticker price. I just want to confirm that that's the case so I can assuage some guilt I'm feeling, as it looks like I'll probably be in that boat. (Still waiting on financial aid, but my LSAT is at the 25th percentile, so I'm not expecting much.)It does sound like a lot of people are coming here at sticker price. I'm not, so I have limited insight into that decision-making process, but I will say that it depends on your options and what you want to do with your degree. I'd be hesitant to take out that much in loans to do generic biglaw. This is a really specific question so please feel free to ask again when you get financial aid info, especially from other schools. I will say that you don't need to feel guilty about spending this much money. But I wouldn't base your decision about it on the other people going to the school. A lot of students here have family that can afford to help them out substantially. If that's not you, you're looking at a very different picture than those students are.
Hope that helps---good luck!