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At A Glance

Northwestern University School of Law

The first-year curriculum consists of 24 credits of required classes and 6 credits of electives. Half of all first-year classes are taught in sections of 60 or fewer students. Your first year of study at Northwestern will focus on building a solid foundation in legal reasoning, analysis, and writing, as well as a thorough understanding of the structures and policies of the law. Teamwork and communication skills are also strongly emphasized in classes such as Communication and Legal Reasoning, a required year-long course in which students collaborate on analytical exercises and group projects. Part of this class involves participation in the Arlyn Miner First-Year Moot Court. Another supplement to your first-year education is the Lawyer as Problem Solver program. Faculty and legal professionals teach this mandatory seminar, in which students learn how to facilitate problem solving for clients in settings outside the courtroom or boardroom. At the end of the year, you may apply for a position on one of the Law School's scholarly journals. Selection is based on a writing competition, first-year grades, and a publishable note or comment on a legal topic.

GPA:  LSAT: 

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Northwestern University School of Law's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 811
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 164 - 171
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 3.38 - 3.84
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 92.7%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 90.8%
Tuition $53,468

Overview

Overview

About Northwestern University School of Law

The first-year curriculum consists of 24 credits of required classes and 6 credits of electives. Half of all first-year classes are taught in sections of 60 or fewer students. Your first year of study at Northwestern will focus on building a solid foundation in legal reasoning, analysis, and writing, as well as a thorough understanding of the structures and policies of the law. Teamwork and communication skills are also strongly emphasized in classes such as Communication and Legal Reasoning, a required year-long course in which students collaborate on analytical exercises and group projects. Part of this class involves participation in the Arlyn Miner First-Year Moot Court. Another supplement to your first-year education is the Lawyer as Problem Solver program. Faculty and legal professionals teach this mandatory seminar, in which students learn how to facilitate problem solving for clients in settings outside the courtroom or boardroom. At the end of the year, you may apply for a position on one of the Law School's scholarly journals. Selection is based on a writing competition, first-year grades, and a publishable note or comment on a legal topic.

Reviews

Located “in the heart of Chicago,” Northwestern University School of Law has a first-rate “national reputation” for “developing practical skills” and offering “world-class” clinics that give students “unbelievable” opportunities to work on “real cases.” Many here agree, “It’s hard to imagine getting a better mix of academic rigor and practical job training anywhere else.” Other highlights at NU include study abroad programs all over the world, a highly touted JD/MBA program, and lots of “self-scheduled exams.” One demerit is the “legal writing program” that students wish was “a pass/fail class” due to the “incredible amount of work” it requires. Northwestern’s “brilliant” and “very friendly” faculty is made up of “nationally and internationally renowned scholars” who have “a great sense of humor.” Students have “an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the best, starting right at the beginning.” “My classes and instruction have ranged from very good to simply outstanding,” relates a 2L. “I’d go so far to say that my Constitutional Law class was one of the most intellectually stimulating courses I’ve encountered.” Professors are “accessible” and “seem to really enjoy talking to students outside of class.” “It is not uncommon for them to stop me in the hallway and chat about a class topic, my journal comment, or even college football,” explains a student. For the most part the administration is “receptive to student concerns” and “always approachable.” “Everything goes pretty smoothly,” and the atmosphere is “not very bureaucratic,” though some note that “change is very slow to come” in regards to “accommodation for disabilities.”Students happily report, “If you do even moderately well in your 1L classes at Northwestern, you’re going to have legal employers knocking down your door.” “You’d be hard-pressed to find someone coming out of NU to a less-than-excellent job.” “Most of us start out at big firms,” adds a 1L. “The Chicago firms just love NU students.” However, some students complain, “There should be a greater emphasis on public interest career choices,” as “not everybody wants to go to a big law firm upon graduation.” The architecture here is “nice, consisting of both old, more traditional buildings, and a newer building.” “A quiet atmosphere prevails” and the “gorgeous” library overlooks Lake Michigan. Also, trust us: Lincoln Hall is exactly what a law school classroom should look like. While “good,” the classrooms could use some “updating,” and “There aren’t enough areas to study.” Also, “lighting conditions” in the library are “bad,” and though “wireless Internet continues to improve,” it can still be “insufficient and annoying.”

- The Princeton Review

Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 284

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Graduates Last Year: 47

Description: An advanced, professional study of tax law and taxation procedures in U.S. or Canadian jurisdictions affecting individuals and corporations.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graduates Last Year: 168

Description: A program that prepares lawyers educated outside the United States to understand U. S. or Canadian law and jurisprudence.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

JD-MBA - 3 years JD-PhD - 6 years JD-LLM International Human Rights - 4 years JD-LLM Tax - 4 years LLM/certificate in management (Kellogg) -- 1 year

Specialty Law Programs

  • Corporation Securities
  • Environmental
  • Human Rights
  • International
  • Taxation

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 164
Full-Time Faculty 94
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 12
Part-Time Faculty 58
Faculty Gender 64% Male
35% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 8 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 53% Male
47% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 57%
Multi-racial 4%
International 6%
Hispanic/Latino 8%
Ethnicity Unknown 7%
Black or African American 5%
Asian 13%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $53,468 Same as On-Campus
Housing $14,040 N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $67,508 $53,468

Financial Aid

85% Graduate students receiving financial aid (loans and grants)

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision: February 15

Average Age Admitted: 26

Application Fee: $100

Incoming Class

Northwestern University School of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 164 - 171
LSAT Total 164 - 171

Northwestern University School of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 3.38 - 3.84
Total 3.38 - 3.84

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Undergraduate GPA

Important: Personal Essay

Also Considered: Recommendations

Admission Requirements

Required: Standardized Test Scores, Recommendations, Undergraduate GPA, Personal Essay

Optional: Work Experience, Extracurricular Activities, Interview, State Residency

Rankings

Rankings

The Princeton Review

#6 Best Classroom Experience
#7 Best Career Prospects
#7 Best Quality of Life
#8 Most Chosen By Older Students

U.S. News & World Report

#5 Regional Universities Midwest Undergraduate Teaching Rankings

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 81%
First Time Pass Rate 93%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 85%

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 91%
Average Starting Salary $160,000
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 11 4%
Firm Sized 11-25 6 2%
Firm Sized 26-50 5 2%
Firm Sized 51-100 9 3%
Firm Sized 101-250 7 3%
Firm Sized 251-500 11 4%
Firm Sized 501+ 127 47%
Business Industry 38 14%
Government 13 5%
Public Interest 13 5%
Federal Clerkship 19 7%
State Clerkship 6 2%
Academia 2 1%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 2 1%
Unemployed, Seeking 12 4%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 9 3%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
CA 12%
NY 16%
IL 43%
International 1%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of Northwestern University School of Law include:

  • Matt Ferguson - CEO, Careerbuilder.com
  • Carter Phillips - Managing Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
  • Jerry Reinsdorf - Owner, Chicago Bulls and White Sox
  • Ada Kepley - First American woman to obtain a law degree
  • John Paul Stevens - Supreme Court Justice

Associations & Memberships

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