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The University of Chicago Law School is the graduate school of law at the University of Chicagomarker. Established in 1902, the school is among the highest ranked law schools in the United States. It is currently ranked 6th by the US News & World Report law school rankings, tied with Berkeley. The school awards the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, as well as the L.L.M., J.S.D and D.Comp.L (solely to foreign trained lawyers). The school has been noted for its large influence on law and economics scholarship.


The law school was established in 1902.


As of 2005, the school's faculty has the highest per capita article citation rate of any American law school.

The Law School is well-known for its advancement of the application of social science to the law. A significant movement in jurisprudence began at the law school when Aaron Director initiated the first modern systemic investigation between the intersection of law and economics, an area in which the law school's faculty figure prominently.

In addition, the law school is known for the fact that President Barack Obama served on its faculty for twelve years, teaching constitutional law. He was first classified as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and then as a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004.


The University of Chicago Law Review is one of the school's flagship student-run journals. The Chicago Journal of International Law and the University of Chicago Legal Forum are the Law School's other well-known student-run journals. Students interested in membership on any of these journals participate in a writing competition at the end of the first year. The Law Review selects 19 students for membership based on first year GPA ("grade on"), and 10 students for the quality of their writing competition submission ("write on"). The other two student-run journals select members on the basis of writing competition submissions alone (without regard to GPA). All three student-run journals also allow second and third year students to "write on" by submitting a piece of legal scholarship worthy of publication.

The Supreme Court Review, published by the law school and overseen by faculty since the 1960s, remains the most cited legal journal internationally with respect to commentary on the nation's highest court. The faculty also oversees publication of the Journal of Law and Economics and the Journal of Legal Studies.

Legal Clinics

The Law School boasts three highly-regarded legal clinics: the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, the Immigrant Children's Advocacy Project, and the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship. Second and third year students at the Law School are afforded the opportunity to work within these clinics

Courses that are linked to these clinical programs include: Appellate Advocacy, the Civil Rights Police Accountability Project, the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project, the Employment Discrimination Project, the Housing Initiative, Mental Health Advocacy (within the Mandel Clinic), Immigrant Children's Advocacy, and Entrepreneurship (associated with the Institute for Justice).

Student Organizations

The Law School is home to one of the three founding chapters of the Federalist Society. It is also home to a large chapter of the progressive American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.


The Laird Bell law quadrangle

The Law School employs a unique grading system with a range from 155 to 186. These numerical grades convert to the more familiar alphabetical scale as follows: 155-159 = F, 160-167 = D, 168-173 = C, 174-179 = B, 180-186 = A. For classes of more than 50 students, professors are encouraged to set the median grade at 177, with the number of grades above a 180 approximately equaling the number of grades below a 173. Professors, however, are entitled to set a lower median at his or her discretion.

A student graduates "with honors" if a final average of 179 is attained, "with high honors" if a final average of 180.5 is attained, and "with highest honors" if a final average of 182 is attained. The last of these achievements is rare; typically only one student every few years will attain the requisite 182 average. Additionally, the Law School awards two class-rank based honors at graduation. The top 10% are honored as "Order of the Coif," and the top 5% are honored as "Kirkland Scholars" (a designation created in 2006 by a $7 million donation from the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis). [53826]

The grading scale was previously 55-86, but the school prefixed their grades with a "1" in 2003 to avoid confusion with traditional grading scales.

Student placement

Chicago ranks second on a ranking of the "Top 15 Schools From Which the Most 'Prestigious' Law Firms Hire New Lawyers"; second for "Faculty Quality"; third for "Supreme Court Clerkship Placement"; and fifth for "Student Quality". The Law School is also notable for having the third highest gross and second highest per capita placement of alumni as U.S.marker Supreme Courtmarker clerkships, with roughly 15-25% of each graduating class going on to clerkships at the federal or state level. Private career prospects are equally bright for graduates, placing highly into elite firms.

Prominent faculty

Notable alumni


  1. U.S. News and World Report Law School Rankings
  2. Faculty Imact (2005)
  3. Leiter Rankings
  4. [1]
  5. [2]

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