The Law School is located in an architecturally distinct set of buildings designed by the late Eero Saarinen and originally completed in 1959. Significant additions were made in 1987 (a substantial increase in the size of the D'Angelo Law Library) and 1998 (the addition of The Kane Center for Clinical Legal Education and four new classrooms). In 2004, the original classrooms were completely renovated and wired for interactivity. Included in the Law Quadrangle is a courtroom complex, the Weymouth Kirkland Courtroom and the Glen A. Lloyd Auditorium. The D'Angelo Law Library contains about 700,000 volumes, and is one of the leading law libraries in the nation, with particular strength in the research collection and in foreign legal materials. A large proportion of its seating is in the form of carrels and semicarrels spaced throughout the five floors as well as in the main floor reading room.
The Law School's small size—195 first year students, 70 graduate students, and a total student body of approximately 650—helps to develop a sense of community among students, faculty, and administrators. Ease of access to, and easy information exchange with, the faculty are viewed as an integral part of the educational process; the building was designed specifically to encourage this atmosphere. Faculty and student organization offices are arranged around the stacks of the D'Angelo Law Library. The custom is for students to drop in on faculty members at any time without going through secretaries or other staff. The Harold J. Green Lounge, in which students and faculty gather between classes and for lunch, occupies a central place on the main floor of the Law School.
People visiting the University for the first time are often surprised to discover that it is not a typical urban campus surrounded by concrete and busy streets. Instead, they find an island of green grass and trees located in a residential community flanked by Lake Michigan's sandy beaches and two large parks. The University has over 125 buildings located on a 211-acre (slightly under one square kilometer) campus. The main campus retains the style established by the original designers, featuring gray limestone embellished with gargoyles, ivy, and spires characteristic of collegiate Gothic, and arranged in a series of tree-shaded quadrangles. The south campus, where the Law School is located, is connected to the main campus by a tree-lined Midway Plaisance which served as the midway (popular entertainment area) for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.
The University of Chicago's reputation as one of the world's foremost private universities is illustrated by the fact that over 80 Nobel Laureates have been associated with the University either as professors, students, or researchers. The University has approximately 4,900 undergraduates and 9,800 graduate students in four graduate divisions and seven professional schools. Chicago's relatively small size and emphasis on graduate studies have encouraged unusual interaction among disciplines. While traditional departments exist at Chicago, almost all academic programs embrace specialists from different disciplines. This is also true of the professional schools, which are all located on the main campus and enjoy unusually close relationships with the rest of the University. Many of the faculty hold appointments in more than one department or school. LL.M students may take courses elsewhere in the University but such courses are not counted toward the LL.M. credit requirements.
The University is located in Hyde Park, an integrated, residential community on Lake Michigan seven miles (11.2 kilometers) south of Chicago's central business area. Hyde Park and South Kenwood, its immediate neighbor to the north, comprise three square miles (7.8 square kilometers) of houses, shops, and parks. About 70% percent of the Law School's students and faculty live in this neighborhood of 45,000 people.
Fifty years ago, Hyde Park became one of the first communities in the country to take advantage of the federal government's urban renewal program. Today, the neighborhood—integrated and stable—is cited as a model. The community owes much of its "small town" feeling to the absence of substantial high rise development. In the area immediately surrounding the University, there are over 200 single-family homes and townhouses.
Hyde Park has coffee-houses, restaurants, gourmet food shops, galleries, museums, and theaters. Every June, artists and craftspersons exhibit their work at the 57th Street Art Fair, the oldest of Chicago's art fairs. Several shopping centers offer a wide range of products and prices, sometimes at special rates for students. Some of the city's best bookstores are located in Hyde Park. Please go to Hyde Park for more information about our community.
Chicago is one of the nation's great—and most beautiful—cities. The cultural and recreational opportunities of Chicago are easily accessible to students at the University. The "Loop," Chicago's business and cultural center, is only 15 minutes away by car and can be reached in 30 minutes by bike along Lake Michigan. The lakefront itself is one of the city's major attractions. It is a series of open parks with beaches and marinas along most of its 20 mile (32 kilometer) shoreline. Fast Company magazine named Chicago its 2008 U.S. City of the Year. Please go to Chicago for more information about the city. Also see weather and cost of living for comparisons between Chicago and other major U.S. cities.
LL.M. students find housing in a variety of locations. During the 2011-2012 academic year, this is the breakdown of where our LL.M. students lived: 4 in the New Graduate Residence Hall on campus, 46 in University and private apartments in Hyde Park, and 18 in apartments in downtown Chicago. Admitted applicants will be sent applications for University housing and detailed descriptions about the various housing options prepared by students. In the meantime, please go to housing for more information.