Josh Mahoney, '13

Josh Mahoney '13
Hometown: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Undergrad: University of Northern Iowa, '09
Major: Economics and English
Law School activities: Student Admissions Committee, Intramural flag football, American Constitution Society

Josh Mahoney took some time away from studying in his first quarter of law school by playing on the Law School’s intramural flag football team. It allowed him to stay active and meet people, albeit in a less competitive arena than where he was a year ago.

Josh came to the Law School after spending his college years as a linebacker on the University of Northern Iowa’s football team. But he was known at UNI for his academics as well as his athleticism. Throughout college, Josh maintained a perfect GPA, an accomplishment that led to him receiving the NCAA’s Walter Byers Post-Graduate Scholarship and later becoming a finalist for the William Campbell Trophy, informally considered as the academic version of the Heisman Trophy.

As Josh considered which law school to attend, he was convinced to choose Chicago Law during a visit here for the Day in the Life program. What impressed him most were the people he met.

“Sometimes what gets lost in the law school admissions process is that beyond numbers, rankings, and statistics, the most important factor in choosing a school is the quality of its people,” he said. “And nothing has changed my opinion since I’ve arrived; the people here are really outstanding.”

The transition into law school has been challenging, but Josh says Chicago Law does a good job of managing 1Ls’ expectations and anxiety. He’s noticed similarities between law school and lessons he learned while playing college football.

“The challenge of law school is similar to college athletics in that it requires you to focus intensely on the task at hand,” he said. “In college athletics, one thing I learned is that simply learning a playbook does not lead to success on the field. You need to be able to apply those strategies when playing the game and be willing to adapt based on the action. Law school requires the same type of skill. Passively absorbing the material is a start, but being able to apply that information to real-world situations is what law school is all about.”

Here's what Josh thinks about living in Chicago:

"I'm originally from South Dakota, so being able to take advantage of the range of cultural experiences has been great. In a place like Chicago, there really is something for everyone. My roommate took me to my first opera this fall at the Lyric Opera House, and I have been able to see some great live music as well. Hyde Park itself has a lot of options. My personal favorites are the running/bike path on Lake Michigan and the ethnic restaurants near campus."