Ryan Dunigan, JD/MPP '12

Ryan Dunigan JD/MPP ‘12
Chicago, Illinois
Undergrad: DePaul University, ‘08
Major: Public Policy
Law School Activities: Black Law Students Association

Ryan Dunigan says he chose to attend the Law School because “it’s the best law school in the best city in the world.” But he came to the University of Chicago with a dual purpose.

While Ryan is a second-year student here, you can also find him at the University of Chicago’s Harris School for Public Policy working on his masters degree. The JD/MPP program is one joint-degree program offered at the Law School. Students also can pursue joint degrees with the Chicago Booth School of Business and the International Relations Department, or they can pursue a joint degree with another division on campus.

Ryan said someone who wants to pursue a JD/MPP should want more than simply to be involved in politics, a goal that can be accomplished by moving to Washington, D.C., or working on any political campaign. A student interested in the JD/MPP program should desire the depth of knowledge and analytical skills that will allow them to ask tough questions of policymakers and–for the aspiring policymakers–to find smart answers to the questions and problems posed to them.

Ryan, who is from Chicago, came to the University of Chicago Law School to pursue those goals, but he also wanted to stay in the city to build his base of contacts–and has he ever. Through the Law School, Ryan has been connected to job and internship interviews and he’s met friends and future business associates through the Law School’s network of alumni and current students.  

Ryan says he has benefited overall from the Law School’s intellectual intensity in ways he didn’t expect.

“The Law School has given me a set of skills that will help me look at law, public policy, and just life in a way that I never thought,” he said.

Here’s what Ryan thinks is the biggest misconception about the Law School:

“That it is a conservative place.”