Prospective Students: Message from the Dean

Welcome to the University of Chicago Law School! Ours is a unique and engaged community, and I am pleased to introduce you to it.

The Law School is well known for its extraordinary faculty. For all the well-deserved accomplishments and accolades of our faculty members, it is their deep commitment to intellectual inquiry in law that sets them apart. Our professors produce scholarship that regularly advances, if not sets the terms of, academic and legal policy debates. Our faculty includes many famous names, as well as many names that will soon be famous. Faculty scholarship at the Law School is well known for its interdisciplinary character, where professors bring the ideas and methodologies of other fields to bear in studying law. The Law School was the cradle of Law and Economics, one of the most influential interdisciplinary legal fields and a field that continues to flourish here. Interdisciplinarity here at the Law School encompasses many other fields as well, such as history, philosophy, political science, and anthropology. Whatever the intellectual approach, the core scholarly endeavor at the Law School is to understand the law and legal institutions.

As devoted as our professors are to their scholarship, they are equally committed to their teaching. Our faculty consider teaching a privilege, and we especially prize the opportunity to teach first-year students. You will find all of our faculty members regularly teaching in the curriculum, just as you will regularly find them in their offices, at weekly coffees, and stopping to chat in the hallway. Legal education is the core of the Law School’s mission, and student access to our stellar faculty is essential to that education.

When you come to study at the Law School, you will join a small and diverse student body that is deeply committed to studying the law, developing life-long friendships and professional relationships, and changing the world. Our students participate in more than 60 student organizations and their involvement allows them to learn about career opportunities, serve the public, debate and discuss the most important topics of the day, and, of course, have fun. I am impressed by our students every day—by their intellect and their commitment, and by how seriously they take both their participation in the life of the Law School and their opportunities for career and professional development.

The Law School is a place that is serious about ideas. We continuously challenge and test ideas in our scholarship, our classrooms, and in our hallway conversations. A diversity of perspectives strengthens intellectual inquiry of this sort, and we welcome students and faculty of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Debate and deliberation also require open discussion, and the University of Chicago has repeatedly reaffirmed  its commitment to freedom of expression. The Law School is not a place where everyone agrees with everyone else, nor a place where everyone talks to only like-minded peers or professors. Instead, the Law School is a place where conversations between people with different views often yield the most valuable insights and the closest friendships.

You will find our alumni in every state and all over the world, in every job imaginable. Just based on the alumni I know personally, you might end up the executive director of a non-profit, the general counsel of a Fortune 100 company, a federal judge, the managing partner of a multi-national law firm, a tenured professor, or director of a major government agency. Whichever career path you choose, the educational opportunities at the Law School will help prepare you. Of course you will learn the substance of the law and how to think about it.  In so doing, you will sharpen your analytical thinking, and that will prove invaluable wherever your career takes you. You may also choose to participate in our clinics and experiential courses or the specialized curriculum of the Doctoroff Business Leadership Program. You will enjoy professional development programs such as the Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative. You will join our strong network of alumni worldwide, supporting your goals and aspirations for the future.

I hope that you will take advantage of the information offered on our website and other outlets to learn more about the Law School. Immerse yourself in our videos, follow us on Twitter, read faculty scholarship, and spend time on these pages especially for prospective students. Then come visit us in person and let us show you why our students and faculty are so happy to be here and why alumni are so proud of the education they received here. Come see our beautiful facilities, our vibrant Hyde Park neighborhood, and the incredible city of Chicago. Experience for yourself the best legal education in America. All of us at the Law School look forward to meeting you.

— Thomas J. Miles, Dean and Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law