On Friday, August 25, we welcomed the newest members of our law school community, the Transfer Class of 2008. These are students who completed their first year at another law school, and for a variety of reasons, chose to transfer into Chicago's second year class.
This year we have 18 students joining us as transfer students, from all over the country and the world. I always admire the students who are applying to transfer to Chicago, I think it takes a lot of courage and initiative to leave a comfortable environment and strike out on a new, potentially more challenging path.
Chicago is a very transfer-friendly school for several reasons. First, we have a very accommodating class schedule, since we do not start classes until the end of September. This allows new transfer students an extra month to move to Chicago, become oriented with the city and the school, and prepare for classes. Our small class size and the small number of transfer students we accept (18 is actually a big transfer class for us!) helps the new 2Ls quickly integrate into their class, and the community as a whole. Most importantly, our current 2Ls are very helpful and eager to get to know the newest members of their class.
This year was the first year we had an expanded orientation for the transfer class, it began in the morning with coffee and breakfast in the Kane Center with students and faculty. Professor Epstein was there, of course, as well as Professors Baird, Cox, Henderson, and Gersen, among others. We followed breakfast with the ceremonial handshake, and then an information session about the nuts and bolts of the school, the quarter system, and living in Hyde Park. Professor Gersen (class of 2004) gave a wonderful talk about how to choose classes and how to navigate the seemingly endless options of the quarter system. We finished on a very positive note, discussing on-campus interviewing, where hundreds of law firms come to campus to interview the 2Ls and 3Ls.
After a break, we finished up the long day of orientation with dinner downtown for the transfer students, their significant others, and a large group of 2Ls and 3Ls. At dinner, Professor Henderson (class of 1998) again welcomed everyone, and spoke a bit about the 'Chicago Way' of thinking and learning, while his two year old daughter played in the background.
We hope it was a good start for the newest members of the class of 2008!