University of Chicago Law School Vs. Georgetown University Law Center: An In-Depth Comparison

Are you considering attending law school but can't decide between the University of Chicago Law School and Georgetown University Law Center? Look no further! Our in-depth comparison breaks down everything from curriculum to campus culture to help you make the best decision for your legal education.

Posted May 12, 2023

If you're considering attending law school, you've likely heard of both the University of Chicago Law School and Georgetown University Law Center. Both schools have excellent reputations, but how do they stack up against each other? In this in-depth comparison, we'll explore the history, curriculum, faculty, student life, resources, tuition costs, graduate outcomes, campus environment, and diversity efforts of both schools to help you make an informed decision.

Introduction: Setting the Stage for the Comparison

Before we dive into the details, let's set the stage for this comparison. The University of Chicago Law School and Georgetown University Law Center are two of the top law schools in the United States, both located in major metropolitan areas. Both schools offer a rigorous education and vibrant student life, but they have distinct differences in their history, curriculum, and campus culture.

One major difference between the two law schools is their approach to legal education. The University of Chicago Law School is known for its emphasis on theoretical and analytical thinking, with a focus on law and economics. On the other hand, Georgetown University Law Center places a greater emphasis on practical skills and experiential learning, with a strong emphasis on public interest law. This difference in approach can be seen in the types of courses offered and the extracurricular activities available to students.

History and Reputation of University of Chicago Law School

The University of Chicago Law School was founded in 1902 and is consistently ranked as one of the top law schools in the country. The school is known for its rigorous academic program, intense intellectual atmosphere, and commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship. The law school is closely connected to the greater University of Chicago, which is known for its academic rigor and dedication to rigorous research and scholarship. The law school has also produced numerous influential legal scholars and judges throughout its history.

One of the unique features of the University of Chicago Law School is its emphasis on the law and economics movement. This approach to legal analysis combines economic theory with legal reasoning to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the law. The law school is home to the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics, which is dedicated to promoting research and scholarship in this field.

In addition to its academic programs, the University of Chicago Law School is also known for its commitment to public service. The school offers a wide range of opportunities for students to engage in pro bono work and public interest law. The law school's Pro Bono Service Initiative provides students with the opportunity to work on legal projects for non-profit organizations and individuals who cannot afford legal representation. This commitment to public service is reflected in the school's motto, "Law in Service of Human Needs."

History and Reputation of Georgetown University Law Center

Founded in 1870, Georgetown University Law Center is one of the oldest law schools in the country. The school has a strong reputation for its public interest law program, international law program, and its dedication to social justice and community service. The law school is located in the heart of Washington D.C., providing students with unique opportunities to engage with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and international organizations. Georgetown Law graduates include numerous prominent politicians, judges, and legal scholars.

Georgetown Law Center has a diverse student body, with students from all over the world. The school offers a variety of programs and initiatives to support diversity and inclusion, including the Diversity Committee, which works to promote diversity and inclusion within the law school community. Additionally, the school has a number of student organizations dedicated to promoting diversity and social justice, such as the Black Law Students Association and the Women's Legal Alliance.

Georgetown Law Center is also known for its strong clinical program, which allows students to gain practical experience working with real clients under the supervision of experienced attorneys. The school offers a wide range of clinics, including the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, the Domestic Violence Clinic, and the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic. These clinics provide students with the opportunity to develop their legal skills while also making a positive impact on the community.

Admissions Process and Selectivity at Both Schools

Both the University of Chicago Law School and Georgetown University Law Center are highly selective law schools. The University of Chicago Law School had an acceptance rate of 16.2% in 2020, while Georgetown Law had an acceptance rate of 19.1%. Both schools have rigorous admission requirements, including strong LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs, as well as compelling letters of recommendation, personal statements, and interviews. As you can see from the acceptance rates, admission to both law schools is a major achievement.

Curriculum and Course Offerings at University of Chicago Law School

The curriculum at the University of Chicago Law School emphasizes interdisciplinary study and critical analysis of legal issues. The school offers a variety of courses, including traditional legal subjects like civil and criminal law, as well as specialized topics like law and economics, law and philosophy, and law and social policy. The law school also offers a number of joint degree programs in partnership with other departments at the University of Chicago, allowing students to gain expertise in other fields while earning their law degree.

Curriculum and Course Offerings at Georgetown University Law Center

The curriculum at Georgetown University Law Center emphasizes a practical, experiential approach to legal education. The school offers a wide range of courses in traditional legal subjects like contracts, torts, and civil procedure, as well as specialized courses in areas like national security law and health law. Georgetown Law is also known for its clinical programs, which provide students with hands-on experience working with clients and practicing legal skills in a real-world setting. Additionally, the law school offers a number of joint degree programs in partnership with other departments at Georgetown University.

Faculty and Staff: Comparing the Professors and Support Staff at Both Schools

The faculty and staff at both law schools are made up of accomplished legal scholars and practitioners. However, there are differences in their approach. The University of Chicago Law School is known for its focus on theoretical and interdisciplinary scholarship, and its faculty includes numerous scholars who are leaders in their field. Georgetown Law, on the other hand, emphasizes practical legal education and has a faculty made up of both scholars and practitioners who bring real-world experience to the classroom. Both schools pride themselves on their dedicated staff who support students throughout their academic journey.

Student Life: Extracurricular Activities, Clubs, and Organizations

Law school is more than just academics; it's also about building relationships, developing skills, and having fun. Both the University of Chicago Law School and Georgetown University Law Center provide ample opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations. At the University of Chicago Law School, there are over 45 student groups, including the Federalist Society, the American Constitution Society, and the Law and Philosophy Society. Georgetown Law offers over 60 student groups, including the Barristers' Council, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and the Women's Legal Alliance.

Resources Available to Students: Libraries, Career Services, and More

Law school can be stressful, but it's also essential to have the right resources and support to succeed. Both the University of Chicago Law School and Georgetown University Law Center provide students with a range of resources, including state-of-the-art libraries, academic support services, career services, and more. The University of Chicago Law School has a library with over 700,000 volumes, as well as access to numerous legal databases and other resources. Georgetown Law has the Edward Bennett Williams Law Library, which houses over one million volumes and is one of the largest law libraries in the world. Both schools offer career services and support to help students find internships, clerkships, and full-time jobs after graduation.

Tuition Costs, Financial Aid, and Scholarships at Both Schools

Law school is a significant investment, and tuition costs can vary considerably between schools. The University of Chicago Law School's tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year is $70,650, while Georgetown Law's tuition for the same period is $65,905. However, both schools offer a range of financial aid and scholarship programs to help students manage the cost of tuition. In addition to scholarships based on merit, need-based financial aid is also available at both schools. Students are also encouraged to seek out external scholarship opportunities.

Graduate Outcomes: Comparing Job Placement Statistics and Alumni Networks

The ultimate goal of attending law school is to launch a successful legal career. Both the University of Chicago Law School and Georgetown University Law Center have strong graduate outcomes, with high job placement rates and extensive alumni networks. According to data from the American Bar Association, 96.3% of University of Chicago Law School graduates were employed 10 months after graduation, with a median starting salary of $180,000. At Georgetown Law, 90% of graduates were employed 10 months after graduation, with a median starting salary of $180,000. Alumni of both schools can be found in prominent positions in law firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other fields.

Campus Environment: Location, Facilities, and Campus Culture

The campus environment can have a significant impact on the law school experience. The University of Chicago Law School is located in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. The campus is known for its Gothic architecture and its connection to the larger University of Chicago community. Georgetown Law is located in the heart of Washington D.C.'s Capitol Hill neighborhood, providing students with easy access to government offices, law firms, and the Supreme Court. Both schools have state-of-the-art facilities, including classrooms, libraries, and common spaces. Campus culture varies between the two schools, with the University of Chicago Law School characterized by intense intellectual discussion and academic rigor, and Georgetown Law known for its emphasis on community and social justice.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts at Both Schools

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical issues in the legal profession, and both the University of Chicago Law School and Georgetown University Law Center have made efforts to promote a more diverse and inclusive learning environment. The University of Chicago Law School has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which works to recruit and retain diverse students, faculty, and staff, and to promote understanding and dialogue around issues of diversity and inclusion. Georgetown Law has a Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action Committee, which works to ensure that all members of the law school community are treated with respect and dignity and that no one is discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.

Conclusion: Which One is the Better Choice for You?

So, which one is the better choice for you? The answer depends on your individual needs, interests, and goals. If you're interested in a rigorous, interdisciplinary academic program with a focus on intellectual inquiry and theoretical scholarship, the University of Chicago Law School may be the right choice for you. If you're interested in a practical, hands-on legal education with a commitment to social justice and community service, Georgetown University Law Center may be a better fit. Whatever your decision, both law schools offer a transformative educational experience that can prepare you for a successful career in the legal profession.

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles