Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

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Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Northwestern University seal.svg
Motto

Quaecumque sunt vera (Latin)
Ὁ Λόγος πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας - Ho logos pleres charitos kai aletheias (Greek)
Whatsoever things are true (Philippians 4:8 AV)

The word full of grace and truth (Gospel of John 1:14)
Established 1859
School type Private
Parent endowment US $10.19 billion
Dean Kimberly Yuracko
Location Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
41°53′47″N 87°37′03″W / 41.8963°N 87.6174°W / 41.8963; -87.6174Coordinates: 41°53′47″N 87°37′03″W / 41.8963°N 87.6174°W / 41.8963; -87.6174
Enrollment 658[1]
Faculty 190[1]
USNWR ranking 10[1]
Bar pass rate 92% (2017)[1]
Website law.northwestern.edu
ABA profile Northwestern Law Profile
Northwestern-Pritzker-School-of-Law.svg

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, often shortened to Northwestern Pritzker School of Law[2], is one of the professional graduate schools of Northwestern University, located in Chicago, Illinois. Northwestern Law is a member of the "T-14", a prestigious group of 14 law schools that enjoy national recognition.[3]

Founded in 1859, it was the first law school in Chicago. Notable alumni include Arthur Goldberg, former United States Supreme Court Justice, Governor of Illinois and Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, U.S. Secretary of Labor, and Ambassador to the United Nations;[4] John Paul Stevens, former United States Supreme Court Justice;[5] Newton Minow, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission;[6] and Harold Washington, the first black Mayor of Chicago (1983–87) and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.[7]

History[edit]

Founded in 1859, the school that would become known as the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law was the first law school established in the city of Chicago. The school was originally the law department of the Old University of Chicago under the founding direction of Henry Booth[8] and enrolled twenty-three students. The law school became Union College of Law when it jointly affiliated with Northwestern University in 1873.[9] In 1891, the law school formally became Northwestern University School of Law when Northwestern assumed total control. Throughout the 20th century, programs such as the JD-MBA and JD-PhD were added to maintain the law school's position as one of America's top-ranked schools of law. In October 2015, it was named, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, after J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Pritzker, gave $100 million to the law school.[10]

Campus[edit]

The modernist Rubloff Building is part of the law school section of Northwestern's Chicago campus and overlooks Lake Michigan. To its west in the foreground are partial views of the original law school buildings designed by James Gamble Rogers in the 1920s

Northwestern Law is located on Northwestern University's downtown campus in Chicago's Streeterville/Gold Coast neighborhood. The law school is on Lake Shore Drive and Chicago Avenue, adjacent to Lake Shore Park and Lake Michigan, and a few blocks from the John Hancock Center, Magnificent Mile, Water Tower, Oak Street Beach, and Navy Pier.

The law school's location in the heart of downtown Chicago provides a wealth of part-time employment options for students while in school and a spectacular setting in which to study law. The proximity to courts, commerce, and public interest activities enables students to experience the practice of law, as well as its theory, in one of the most vibrant legal and business communities in the world.

Entrance to Levy Meyer Hall

Admissions[edit]

Admission to Northwestern Law is extremely competitive. For the class entering in the fall of 2016, 821 out of 4,070 applicants (20%) were offered admission, with 213 matriculating.[11] The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2016 entering class were 163 and 170, respectively, with a median of 168.[12] The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.43 and 3.89, respectively, with a median of 3.81.[12]

The law school's practical philosophy is manifested in a strong preference for applicants with at least two years of work experience. Approximately 90% of the school's students enter with at least one year of full-time work experience; 70% possess more than two years of experience.[13] In this respect, Northwestern Law is similar to many business schools.

Employment[edit]

According to U.S. News & World Report's 2017 Edition, 79% of the law school's 2016 graduates obtained prospective, full-time employment prior to graduation, with a median starting salary of $180,000.[1] According to Northwestern's official 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 91% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term employment nine months after graduation.[14] Northwestern's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 8.8%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[15]

Northwestern Law is well-established among BigLaw firms (defined as firms with 150 or more associates). In Vault's 2016 survey,[16] of over 15,000 BigLaw associates, Northwestern Law ranked #2 as a "feeder" school for BigLaw firms, after accounting for school size. According to Vault, Northwestern Law outperforms its expected BigLaw representation by 315%.

The law school enrolls approximately 985 students in its J.D., LL.M., S.J.D. and M.S.L. (Master of Science in Law) programs. The school employs an interdisciplinary research faculty, and has a low student-faculty ratio. According to Northwestern's 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 93% of the Class of 2016 obtained full-time, long-term employment nine months after graduation.[14]

Costs[edit]

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, living expenses, books, and other miscellaneous expenses) at Northwestern Law for the 2015-2016 academic year is $79,904.[1] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $292,586.[17]

2015-16 Expenses[12]
Category Per Annum
Tuition and Fees $58,398
Room and board $14,040
Books $1,418
Miscellaneous expenses $6,048
Total $79,904
Levy Mayer Hall

Journals[edit]

Northwestern Law sponsors six student-run scholarly legal journals. Student staff members are selected based on a writing competition, editing competition, and first-year grades, or a publishable note or comment on a legal topic.[18]

Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business[edit]

The Journal of International Law and Business has a substantive focus on private international law, as opposed to public international law or human rights. It seeks scholarship analyzing transnational and international legal problems and their effect on private entities. The Journal's stated goal is to promote an understanding of the future course of international legal developments as they relate to private entities.[19]

Northwestern University Law Review[edit]

The Northwestern University Law Review was first published in 1906 when it was called the "Illinois Law Review." Prior editors include: Roscoe Pound, long-time dean of Harvard Law School; Judge Robert A. Sprecher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens; Dean James A. Rahl; Illinois Governor Daniel Walker; and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Newton N. Minow; US Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg and Presidential Candidate Adlai Stevenson.

Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property[edit]

The Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property addresses subjects relating to law at the intersection of technology and intellectual property, including law and biotechnology, copyrights, the Internet, media, patents, telecommunications, and trademarks.

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology[edit]

The School states that its Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology "is one of the most widely read and widely cited publications in the world".[20] It is the second most widely subscribed journal published by any law school in the country.[20] It is one of the most widely circulated law journals in the country.[20] The journal was founded in 1910 by Dean John Henry Wigmore.[21]

Journal of Law and Social Policy[edit]

The Journal of Law and Social Policy is an interdisciplinary journal that explores the impact of the law on different aspects of society. Topics covered include race, gender, sexual orientation, housing, immigration, health care, juvenile justice, voting rights, family law, civil rights, poverty, the environment, and privacy rights.[22]

Journal of Human Rights[edit]

The Journal of Human Rights is an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to providing a dynamic forum for the discussion of human rights issues and law.[23] The Journal seeks contributions from professionals, scholars, and experienced field workers of every background, including but not limited to law, business, political science, public policy, economics, sociology, religion, and international relations. In addition to publication, the Journal seeks to promote the discussion of human rights law by organizing semi-annual Symposia and a Speaker Series. The Journal of Human Rights was founded in 2003 as the Journal of International Human Rights, but adopted its present name in 2016 to better reflect its focus.

Pritzker Legal Research Center[edit]

The Pritzker Legal Research Center is home to more than 829,974 books, journals, and other publications.[24]

The Pritzker Legal Research Center fulfills the research and information needs of the faculty and students of Northwestern Law. The Center is named after the Pritzker family, a philanthropic Chicago family. Jay A. Pritzker (1922-1999) graduated from Northwestern University in 1941 and Northwestern University School of Law in 1947.

Bluhm Legal Clinic[edit]

Clinical education at Northwestern dates back to the law school's beginnings. An innovative program developed by Dean John Henry Wigmore in 1910 with the Chicago Legal Aid Society evolved into the Legal Clinic, which opened its doors in 1969 with only two staff attorneys. In 2000, the Clinic was named for Northwestern University trustee and alum Neil Bluhm. Today, the Bluhm Legal Clinic houses more than 20 clinics within 14 centers and is widely recognized as one of the most comprehensive and effective clinical programs in the country. Through the law school's clinical program, students gain direct experience representing clients and fine-tune their skills as advocates. They also work with clinical faculty and staff to challenge the fairness of our legal institutions and to propose solutions for reform.

Center on Wrongful Convictions[edit]

The Center on Wrongful Convictions[25] (CWC) is dedicated to identifying and rectifying wrongful convictions. The Center investigates possible wrongful convictions and represents imprisoned clients with claims of actual innocence. It also focuses on raising public awareness of the prevalence, causes, and social costs of wrongful convictions and promoting reform of the criminal justice system.

Appellate Advocacy Center[edit]

The Appellate Advocacy Center includes the Federal Appellate Clinic and the Supreme Court Clinic. The Federal Appellate Clinic[26] allows third-year students to obtain provisional law licenses and argue cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Students in this clinic spend an entire year representing a criminal appellant, from merits briefing to oral argument.

The Supreme Court Clinic enables students to act as Supreme Court litigators in partnership with attorneys at Sidley Austin, including Northwestern Law alum Carter Phillips, who has argued more cases in front of the Supreme Court than any other lawyer while in private practice.

Children and Family Justice Center[edit]

The Children and Family Justice Center represents young people on matters of delinquency and crime, family violence, school discipline, health and disability, and immigration and asylum.[27] Attorneys, a social worker, and affiliated professionals help second- and third-year law students meet with clients, research legal issues, learn pretrial investigation, interviewing, and counseling skills, and litigate cases.

MacArthur Justice Center[edit]

The MacArthur Justice Center focuses its work on police misconduct, wrongful detention compensation, post-9/11 work, and other public interest and civil rights issues. Of particular note is the Guantanamo Bay detainee representation led by Joseph Margulies, author of Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power and lead counsel in Rasul v. Bush.

Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center[edit]

The Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center (DPELC),[28] founded as the Small Business Opportunity Center (SBOC), is a transactional clinic that was founded in 1998. Clients include technology executives, consultants, inventors, manufacturers and sellers of consumer products, musical groups, and persons interested in establishing nonprofit organizations.

The Center is also heavily involved in teaching in the field of entrepreneurship law, and hosts symposia and conferences to facilitate that endeavor.

Center for International Human Rights[edit]

The Center for International Human Rights works to advance human rights while enabling students to test and refine their academic learning in real cases. Stressing a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, the center provides policy perspectives to the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the U.S. Department of State, foreign governments, and nongovernmental organizations. Over the years faculty and staff working in the center have addressed, among other matters, the role of the International Criminal Court, international terrorism, U.S. death penalty laws, truth commissions, economic rights, NATO's humanitarian intervention, and political asylum cases. Students have investigated cases and had summer internships in Guatemala, Indonesia, and at the U.N. Human Rights Centre in Geneva.

The Center also offers students an opportunity to earn an LLM in Human Rights. The degree program is designed for students from transitional democracies and for those with career interests in international human rights law.

Investor Protection Center[edit]

The Investor Protection Center provides assistance to investors with limited income or small dollar claims who are unable to obtain legal representation. Law students, under the supervision of faculty attorneys, represent customers in handling their disputes with broker-dealers.

During the last few years, the (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)(FINRA) and other organizations have taken steps to make more information and services available to investors. Northwestern Law's Investor Protection Center operates with the aid of grants from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and other organizations to focus on priority areas. In particular, the Center is focused on helping to meet the needs of women, novice investors, and the elderly, in connection with securities arbitration.

Fred Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy[edit]

Named in honor of an innovative leader[29] in litigation and business strategies, the Fred Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy was established in 1999 to conduct research and teach innovative and technologically advanced trial strategy. The Bartlit Center focuses on changes in trial craft brought on by new technologies and compensation approaches.

The Bartlit Center sponsors and conducts academic research on the litigation process; support teaching skills in the JD program; and holds national conferences to explore and teach innovative trial and trial management strategies. The Bartlit Center works to complement the law school's program in simulation-based teaching of trial skills and builds on the research produced by Northwestern Law faculty.

Buildings gallery[edit]

Rankings and honors[edit]

The 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report Best Grad Schools[30] ranked Northwestern Law:
  • 10th in the country Overall
Leiter's Law School Rankings placed the law school:
  • 5th in Percentage of Federal Appellate Clerkships for 2008–2009
  • 6th in Success Rate of Graduates on the Teaching Market 2006-2008
  • 9th in Student Quality
  • 10th in Total Supreme Court Clerks for 2000-2007 terms
  • 11th for Largest Gross Endowment[31]
The Princeton Review most recently[32] placed the law school:
  • 1st for Best Career Prospects
  • 7th for Toughest to Get Into
  • 9th for Best Quality of Life
  • 10th for Best Overall Academic Experience
Judging the Law Schools (2009)[33] ranked the law school:
  • 7th in the country Overall
The 2010 National Law Journal "Go-To Schools" list [34] ranked Northwestern Law:
  • 1st for Percentage of Graduates Hired by NLJ250 Firms

Notable faculty[edit]

The 2016 student/faculty ratio was 6.5 to 1.[1]

Notable Northwestern Law faculty, past and present, include:

Popular media[edit]

  • The Chicago Code was substantially filmed on the Northwestern Law campus in Chicago.[35] This television drama premiered on Fox on February 7, 2011.[36] Filming at Northwestern Law began in August 2010.[35] Classrooms in the law school are depicted as interior offices for the fictional offices for City administration. Levy Mayer 212 served as the main taping location at the law school.[35]
  • In The Judge, Robert Downey Jr. plays the role of a Chicago defense attorney who is a Northwestern Law graduate.

Alumni[edit]

Selected prominent Northwestern Law alumni include:

Academia[edit]

For-profit / Non-profit organizations[edit]

Government / Politics[edit]

Judiciary[edit]

Firsts[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]