Message From the Dean

I made the University of Illinois College of Law my professional home more than fifteen years ago. It was one of the very best decisions I ever made.

Jamelle Sharpe

I’ve lived in several parts of the country during my career, working both inside and outside of the legal profession. While each place was wonderful in its own way, none quite compare to Illinois Law. Its excellence isn’t captured solely by the publicly available data marking it as one of the most highly regarded law schools in the country. We also have a first-rate faculty of teacher-scholars who dedicate themselves to their students. We have a large, enthusiastic, and incredibly accomplished alumni corps who welcome opportunities to give back. We are a proud part of one of the nation’s most impactful research universities, which offers innumerable opportunities for our students to deepen their understanding of both the law and the world. Most importantly, the academic rigor, intellectual excitement, and easy camaraderie that defines our law school community is truly unique.

Despite all of these assets, Illinois Law never rests on its laurels. The legal profession is constantly evolving to keep up with an increasingly complex society. We continually strive to be at the forefront of understanding this change, seeking new opportunities to deliver value to our students, the bench and bar, and society as a whole.

We continue to make an Illinois Law education affordable and accessible. We provide generous financial support and are one of the most effective law schools in the nation when it comes to placing students in legal jobs. Our proactive and creative career services professionals help graduates find meaningful work in all corners of the profession, from public interest to government to the country’s most prestigious private law firms.

We are augmenting opportunities to support our students’ intellectual and professional growth, as well as their emotional well-being. Our home base in Champaign buzzes with activity. Our faculty and student organizations host numerous public lectures and conferences featuring some of the most accomplished scholars and attorneys in the world. Our robust clinical and externship offerings weave real-world experience and community involvement into our students’ studies. Through our new Kimball R. and Karen Gatsis Anderson Center for Advocacy and Professionalism, we coordinate a variety of competitions and programs to explore legal ethics and hone students’ trial, negotiation, and appellate advocacy skills. Our long-standing Chicago Program provides a diverse curriculum that embeds students in the Chicago legal market during the second semester of their third year. And our talented student services staff is always available to counsel, encourage, and guide students throughout their studies.

Most importantly, Illinois Law offers a top-flight education that prepares students to answer the most pressing and complex legal questions society can throw at them. Our teacher-scholars pride themselves on challenging students and investing deeply in their intellectual and professional development. Their efforts are reflected in Illinois Law’s impressive bar passage rate, high job placement rate, and in the quality of work our graduates secure. Indeed, our placement successes rank us among the very best law schools in the nation (outcomes can be accessed here).

I believe that it would be well worth your time to learn more about what Illinois Law can offer you. Please navigate through our website for more information. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly ( or contact our Admissions Office to schedule an in-person visit.

Thanks for considering Illinois Law, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Jamelle C. Sharpe
Dean, Professor and
Guy Raymond Jones Faculty Scholar