While visiting Illinois can be fun and exciting, living in the Land of Lincoln can bring valuable life experiences in many ways. The state, located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the U.S., is known for several notable things. It has the country’s fifth-largest Gross Domestic Product and the sixth-largest population. Finding a livelihood is not a difficult task, and the cost of living is reasonable. Its rich history and cultural contributions being the first state to abolish slavery, the home to the very first Mcdonald’s, and the country’s best music festivals, provide more profound experiences.
Another thing worth considering when moving to Illinois is its quality education. Getting a law degree and seeking a legal service career is an excellent reason to stay in this state. Besides its quality education, law students have access to world-class institutes and clinics to enrich their academic life. Illinois also offers invigorating ways to destress and enjoy some outdoor activities.
Choosing the best law school in Illinois is an essential step in becoming a successful professional in the legal field. Some of the best in the country are among the top law schools in Illinois, and getting relevant information to these is a prerequisite every aspiring lawyer has to take.
Best Law Schools in Illinois
1. University of Chicago
- Law School Link
- Degrees offered: J.D., L.L.M., J.S.D., M.L.S.
The University of Chicago, opened in 1902, provides interdisciplinary education and rigorous training to its students. This top school in Illinois employs faculty members determined to help students explore their potentials and paths. The residential campus in Chicago houses the close-knit community of students, faculty, and staff; an absolute benefit carried over to students’ inevitable alumni life. Moreover, the university’s research centers give the students additional learning opportunities while showcasing their faculty’s legal expertise, further enriching their academic experiences.
Since the university believes that the law does not exist separately from other societal factors, its academic programs are heavily influenced by interdisciplinary inquiry. Following this thought, the university allows students to study law simultaneously with other disciplines such as Economics, Philosophy, and Social Sciences. Furthermore, students are exposed to hands-on activities in the legal services through the university’s clinical programs like the Employment Law Clinic and Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. These and along with the top-notch degree programs, sum up the students’ unique academic journey at the University of Chicago Law School.
2. Northwestern University
- Law School Link
- Degrees offered: J.D., L.L.M., M.L.S.
The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, located in Chicago, is one of the best law schools in Illinois. It combines well-established traditions and experience to provide education through dynamic curricula, practical exposure, and forward-thinking. Its distinguished faculty help students achieve their academic goals through their expertise and decades-long experience. Founded in 1859, the school still fosters an environment of noncompetition and shared responsibility. Even after graduation, alumni receive tremendous support and network through the “Law School through Life” program, which provides the resources to stay connected to the school and other students and tools for their personal and professional goals.
Aside from its degree programs in various specializations, the school also offers joint degree programs and Juris Doctor programs for international lawyers. Beyond the mandatory courses and programs, students have the opportunity to widen their legal experience through the school’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, which allows students to represent clients and calibrate their skills. More importantly, through the clinic, the students bring value to the community by helping the less fortunate who need legal advice.
3. Loyola University Chicago School of Law
- Law School Link
- Degrees offered: J.D., M.J., L.L.M., S.J.D.
The Loyola University Chicago School of Law, founded in 1870, aims to produce responsible and compassionate legal professionals and leaders through its long-standing Jesuit traditions. With guidance from the esteemed faculty of renowned scholars and legal experts, students have better knowledge in legal studies and its related disciplines. The school’s alumni services also ensure that students get additional support as they start their careers.
This top law school in Illinois offers degree programs in various areas such as Children’s Law and Policy, Health Law, and Business Law. It also has dual degree programs, combining Juris Doctor degree with other programs such as Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Education. Students have the opportunity to widen their exposure in the legal field through the school’s clinical programs. The Loyola Community Law Center helps students obtain real-world experience by representing clients incapable of affording legal services.
4. Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Law School Link
- Degrees offered: J.D., L.L.M., J.S.D.
The Chicago-Kent College of Law, the second oldest law school in Illinois, provides students with varied degree programs and specializations and progressive curriculum and experiential opportunities. Its faculty members consist of scholars, practitioners, and teachers, whose extensive academic and professional backgrounds secure learning for their students. After graduation, students have access to the school’s worldwide alumni network of over 14,000 alumni in over 50 countries. With the different alumni programs, graduates can look forward to giving back to their alma mater and further advancing their careers.
While the school offers degree programs in various areas, the highly regarded are programs in Labor and Employment Law and the Intellectual Property Law. The school also recognizes the utmost importance of legal writing in practice, thus offering the Legal Research and Writing Program students have to complete within five semesters. Aside from fundamental skills, the school has institutes and centers which help students explore practical and scholarly research on different social and legal issues.
5. DePaul University College of Law
- Law School Link
- Degrees offered: J.D., M.J., L.L.M.
We end our list of best law schools in Illinois with DePaul University College of Law. This law school stands by its mission to serve the city’s vulnerable population in various settings. It aims to produce professionals that are ready to solve complex modern problems. With its faculty consisting of promoters of legal reform, scholarship, and public engagement, the students are set for a successful practice, leaving a positive impact on the global community.
The school’s degree programs come in several areas such as Family Law, Taxation, and U.S. Legal Studies. Meanwhile, centers and institutes provide additional resources for students to widen their legal knowledge and experiences. Some of the centers and institutes at DePaul College of Law are the Center for Animal Law, International Human Rights Law Institute, and Center for Jewish Law and Judaic Studies.
I hope that this article on the best law schools in Illinois was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Law School Category!