University of Illinois College of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

The University of Illinois College of Law is one of the nation’s top public law schools, known for its highly respected faculty, innovative curriculum, cutting-edge interdisciplinary programs, and distinguished alumni in the fields of law, business, teaching, and public service. Illinois is nationally recognized both for its percentage of recent graduates hired at the nation’s largest 250 law firms and for its number of alumni associates promoted to partnership.

Established in 1897, the law school is located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the world’s top comprehensive research institutions. The law school’s innovative Chicago Program permits third-year students to take classes in Chicago—the nation’s third-largest legal market. The University of Illinois College of Law is approved by the American Bar Association and is the home of the founding chapter of the law honor society now known as the Order of the Coif.

Faculty

Illinois faculty members are known for their expertise and national visibility, their engaged approach to teaching, their open-door policy with respect to students, and their strong commitment to students’ professional development. They also bring a range of perspectives to their teaching and research: More than 40 percent of the tenured faculty have advanced degrees in other fields in addition to their law degrees, including business, economics, engineering, history, medicine, philosophy, and psychology.

Admission and Scholarships

Illinois Law recruits individuals with the ability, character, and life experience needed to become exceptional lawyers and leaders. In its holistic review of applicants, Illinois Law values intelligence, integrity, creativity, grit, public spiritedness, teamwork, hard work, diversity, and a global perspective. Students come from across the world to share ideas, learn collaboratively, and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in complex, high-profile professional settings.

Consistent with its mission as a public, land-grant institution, Illinois Law is committed to affordability and accessibility. There is no application fee. Under the Illinois Tuition Guarantee, tuition is locked in for all three years of law school. The college also offers an extensive number of scholarships for students who show particular promise for success in the study and practice of law. College of Law scholarships are not conditional upon maintaining a minimum grade-point average or class standing, and the amount is guaranteed as long as the recipient remains enrolled. A Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is also offered to graduates who choose careers within government and nonprofit organizations.

Career Planning and Professional Development

Illinois Law prepares its students to succeed in a competitive legal marketplace. Recent graduates have gone on to prestigious federal and state clerkships, positions at the nation’s top law firms and corporations, and high-impact public interest fellowships.

Illinois Law’s Office of Career Planning and Professional Development strives to set the bar in terms of counseling, responsiveness, innovation, teamwork, market analysis, and employer outreach.

The office’s professional staff, located in both Chicago and Champaign-Urbana, consists entirely of lawyers with extensive practice experience at top law firms, government agencies, and in-house legal departments. Using their experience and judgment, the team works to prepare students to realize their professional ambitions.

Curriculum

Illinois Law offers a rich and expansive curriculum designed to expose students to a range of practical, theoretical, and interdisciplinary perspectives on the law. Experiential learning is a strong focus, and Illinois offers 15 in-house clinics, field-placements, and other live-client courses, as well as an array of externships. Numerous moot court activities, negotiation exercises, simulation courses, and other cocurricular opportunities enhance the law school’s experiential learning offerings.

The first-year curriculum exposes students to the foundational elements of the law, including civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, torts, advocacy, and legal research and writing. Section sizes are small, with roughly 50 students in each.

After the first year, students can explore a rich curriculum of more than 130 courses, including robust offerings in business law, criminal law, family law, intellectual property, and international law. Many upper-division courses are taught in small sections of less than 25 students. Students may also receive up to six hours of credit for study in another discipline, complementing their legal education with advanced coursework in highly regarded University of Illinois departments, such as accounting, engineering, computer science, and social work.

Areas of Strength

Coursework at Illinois is rooted in the work of leading legal theorists and the findings of multidisciplinary research. While there are no specific concentrations, Illinois offers robust programming and curriculum in the following areas:

  • Business and Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Public Interest
  • Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Special Programs

  • Illinois Guarantee: To provide students with complete transparency with respect to their educational costs, the college guarantees that (1) JD students benefit from a stable tuition rate over all three years of their legal studies, and (2) scholarship recipients maintain their scholarship support while enrolled at Illinois Law.
  • Chicago Program: Third-year students can transition to professional life by electing to take their last semester’s courses in downtown Chicago, taught by a mix of nationally recognized Chicago-area practitioners and judges and members of Illinois Law’s faculty.
  • Joint-Degree Programs: Illinois offers multiple joint-degree programs in law and allied disciplines, including business, chemistry, computer science, human resources, journalism, medicine, natural resources and environmental sciences, political science, urban planning, and veterinary medicine.

Student Life

Students participate in a wide variety of activities. There are more than 30 student organizations as well as 3 student-edited journals and roughly 100 lectures and symposia each year. The campus offers a range of opportunities, from high-profile public conferences and lectures to Big Ten sporting events to musical recitals to opportunities for public service. The university’s 340,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art recreation center is located two blocks from the law school and is free for law students.

Champaign-Urbana is a dynamic micro-urban community known for its big-city amenities and small-town affordability, accessibility, safety, and friendliness. The city has a vibrant cultural scene, a variety of restaurants, and numerous recreational opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a fun college town or a family-friendly community, Champaign-Urbana has something for everyone. Named among the top 10 college towns in the United States by Business Insider, Champaign-Urbana boasts an assortment of restaurants, shopping, coffee houses, nightlife (including plenty of clubs and live-music venues), movie theaters, athletic facilities, museums, good schools, and award-winning park facilities and programs.

APPLICANT PROFILE

The application process at Illinois Law includes a range of factors and is designed to assess an applicant’s potential for success as a future law student and lawyer. All applications are given a full review. (A grid limited to undergraduate GPAs and LSAT scores would not fully convey the attributes of Illinois Law’s applicants or its approach to assessing their future potential as students and professionals.)

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Illinois:

3.31 to 3.79

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Illinois:

156 to 164

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Illinois:

3.31 to 3.79

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Illinois:

156 to 164

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Illinois:

3.31 to 3.79

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Illinois:

156 to 164

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

504 East Pennsylvania Avenue,
Champaign, IL 61820,
United States