Nabihah Maqbool, '18

Headshot of Nabihah Maqbool

“I talked to Dean [of Admissions Ann] Perry on the phone multiple times and got the impression, which I now know is true, that the faculty and administrators really care about their students.”

Hometown: St. Louis Missouri
Undergrad: University of Missouri
College major: BA Political Science, BS Biology
Law School activities/organizations: Human Rights Law Society, University of Chicago ACLU, Dean of Students Advisory Board, American Constitution Society

Nabihah Maqbool’s commitment to improving public health policies inspired her to become a lawyer. She had already earned a Master of Public Health degree and worked for a public health organization; in law school, she would learn how to evaluate and effect change in these meaningful policies and programs.

“I took a very circuitous route to law school—but all of the experiences I collected on the way solidified that I needed to study law,” Maqbool, ’18, said.

The student organizations Maqbool joined during her first quarter reflect her passion for public interest in a health field. As a 1L representative for the Law School’s ACLU chapter and for the Human Rights Law Society, she is working to sharpen her understanding of healthcare access both in the United States and abroad. 

“I’m trying to find a way to combine an interest in health as a right and the legal systems that deliver that right, not just domestically but internationally,” she said.

Maqbool was first interested in the University of Chicago Law School for its academic reputation, but she ultimately made the decision to attend after interacting with the Law School’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

“I talked to Dean [of Admissions Ann] Perry on the phone multiple times and got the impression, which I now know is true, that the faculty and administrators really care about their students,” Maqbool said.

This support continued into orientation, when she participated in the Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative. This initiative, which helps Law School students learn crucial teambuilding and leadership skills, included a two-day retreat at an outdoor ropes course in the suburbs of Chicago.

“I didn’t understand why the orientation was so lengthy until I went through it—it confirmed that this is a school that’s really investing in its student body in innovative and nontraditional ways,” Maqbool said. “For the Kapnick retreat, I could tell that they wanted to make sure that the student body had the skills to be competent lawyers, but also that they wanted to foster friendships and relationships between us.”

Maqbool, who began law school with a master’s degree, said that as an older student she was pleasantly surprised by the maturity level of the student body from the moment she arrived. She also found that all of her professors were available to meet and discuss the material outside of class. By the end of her first quarter, she had had lunch with every single one of them.

“These professors, at their students’ request, will be happy to meet them for breakfast or lunch,” she said. “They make themselves very accessible—I’m so impressed by the amount of time that they’re willing to give to students.”

Advice for Prospective Students:

“Admitted Students Weekend is something I’ve heard a lot of my peers talk about—that the University of Chicago really distinguished itself from other law schools they were considering. It’s important for prospective students to get a feel for the culture, the involvement of the professors, and the quality of teaching. There’s something to be said for actually being in the building.”