Pre-Orientation Program

Welcome to Pre-Orientation Sign

The University of Chicago Law School Pre-Orientation Program is a 5-day initiative designed to strengthen the academic, professional, and interpersonal skills of incoming 1L students. Program curricula and competencies will be delivered in modules, and are complemented by professional development and social activities. Participants will receive a stipend for their completion of the program. 


This program is designed to support those who are first in their family to attend college, come from underrepresented racial and/or ethnic background, or who may find the transition to law school financially, socially, and/or academically challenging. It will also:

  • EXPOSE incoming 1L students to the rigors of Law School curriculum and the big skills needed to succeed in the field.
  • CONNECT incoming 1L students to the Law School and campus-wide resources that will support their transition with respect to identity and experience.
  • PROVIDE incoming 1L students with additional opportunities to learn about the Law School, careers in the legal profession, and professional development that will both enhance their student experience and strengthen their candidacy in the legal profession.

The 5-day program will provide an inclusive environment where incoming 1L students can create a network with diverse classmates and encourage collaboration. Our vision is that these students will serve as informal ambassadors to the Law School, sharing their knowledge and experience with their peers.  


Incoming 1L participants receive the following program benefits:

  • Introduction to 1L Legal Education: Participants will receive modified lectures covering Law & Economics and Critical Race Theory from Law School faculty.
  • Big Skills Development: Participants will strengthen skills in case analysis, cold calling, outlining, research, writing/editing and using library services.
  • Lunch with Law School Community: Participants will have an opportunity to join Law School Faculty, Staff, and Students for lunch.
  • Cohort of Peers: Participants will be encouraged to create a cohort with one another other, promoting the idea of inclusion and collaboration. 
  • Dean of Students Meeting: Participants will have an opportunity to schedule individual meetings with Dean of Students leadership.
  • Stipend: Participants will receive a $500 stipend for program completion.
Professor Buss speaking with some of the 2022 Pre-Orientation students

Professor Buss speaking with students from the 2022 Pre-Orientation cohort


All students are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to students that are first in their families to go to college, or may find the transition to law school financially, socially, and/or academically challenging. 

Applicants will be reviewed and recommended by Dean of Students staff, including the Senior Associate Director of Student Affairs & Diversity + Inclusion and the Office of Admissions. All recommendations are made in the best interests of students, with the intent to provide a rich and rewarding stepping-stone into their Law School program journey. Admitted students will be notified by the Dean of Students office.


Application Opens May 6, 2024
Application Priority Deadline July 3, 2024
Committee Review Early July 2024
Selected Applicants Notified Late July 2024
Program On-Boarding August 2024
First Day of Program September 11, 2024
Last Day of Program September 17, 2024


For questions regarding program eligibility, please email


To apply, please complete the Pre-Orientation Application Form.