The University of Chicago School of Law is an enormously influential and fabulous law school. To a perfectly objective prospective law student, if you get in, you should really consider going here.* The school has the highest job placement metric – 98 percent – of any law school, and is the second-smallest of the nation’s elite schools.
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is a gem – and not some crusty big diamond hidden in a vault. True to its Chicago roots, it’s big and brash from its Streeterville locale on the shores of Lake Michigan. The school’s alums are a jaw-dropping roster of power in law firms, business, sports and politics.
DePaul University College of Law is impressive for many reasons, including launching Chicago’s two longest-serving mayors, both named Daley. Specializing in IP and health law, the school is also notable today for having one of the highest percentage of women students among all law schools.
At a whopping 938 students (at last count) John Marshall Law School Chicago is roughly 200 students larger than the state’s second-largest (IIT Chicago Kent). And that tells you almost everything you need to know about this sprawling downtown Chicago law school that enrolls huge classes from which a large number fail or transfer.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law has a lot going for it. Named in honor of legendary Chicago trial lawyer Philip H. Corboy, it packs a heavyweight alumni punch with judges and politicians including Attorney General Lisa Madigan and her dad, longtime speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Mike Madigan, as well as elite trial lawyers.
Chicago offers some of the best law schools in the country, and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law boxes well above its weight here. It offers a rich history and an impressive array of leadership from its graduates, programs and innovations like an in-house legal clinic that operates as a law firm, and an early focus on technology and innovation.
The third of Illinois’ public law schools and the youngest is Northern Illinois University College of Law in DeKalb. It’s one of the smallest law schools in the U.S., with a total enrollment of 265. Its attributes are a very low resident tuition of $22,130 and proximity to Chicago and its suburbs, while offering students a small-town rural setting to learn.
The University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana Champaign is one of the best public law schools in America, and easily the best option in Illinois. Established in 1897, the “downstate” school offers strong academics, an excellent network of 11,000 alums and leadership dedicated to making the school’s future as strong as its past.
Heading to Carbondale, Ill., was a turn home during the Law School Road Trip. Growing up near Champaign-Urbana, SIU was always known as a party school, and for its proximity to Marion prison. The intervening years have not been kind to the region, which is resolutely hardscrabble.