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357 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
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w. <IT>www.law.northwestern.edu<RO>

School of Law

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In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M., S.J.D., and LL.M. with a certificate in management; LL.M. in Taxation; LL.M. in International Human Rights; 2-year J.D. for students with a foreign law degree. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 10 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./D.E.S.S. (Juris Doctor with Science Po in Paris, France), J.D./LL.M. (Juris Doctor/Master of Laws in Taxation and International), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), and J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy).

The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, international law, litigation, dispute resolution, law and social policy, and academic career track. In addition, clinics are open to second- and third-year students. A sequence of simulation-based courses offered in the second year include Clinical Trial Advocacy and Pre-Trial Litigation, as well as case-based instruction. Students also take clinically based Evidence, which presents the principles of evidence in the context of simulated cases. Course credits vary between 3 to 4 hours. Students can represent clients through the Children and Family Justice Center, Small Business Opportunity Center, Center for International Human Rights, Center on Wrongful Conviction, Investor Protection Center, MacArthur Justice Center, and the Appellate Advocacy Program. Seminars are offered in legal history, civil rights litigation, race relations, and other areas. Through the Owen L. Coon/James L. Rahl Senior Research Program, a third-year student may earn up to 14 credits for advanced research under the personal supervision of 1 or more faculty members. Completion of this project fulfills the graduation writing requirement. Directed reading and research, supervised by faculty members, is available to second-year students. Practicum’s consist of a 10 to 12 hours per week field work component, and a weekly 2-hour seminar. Practicum’s are available in the areas of corporate counsel, judicial, mediation, public interest, and criminal law. Annually, the Rosenthal Lecture Series brings preeminent figures in law and related fields to the school. The Pope and John Lecture on Professionalism deals with ethics and professional responsibility. The Howard J. Trienens Visiting Judicial Scholar Program brings leading jurists to the school to lecture on legal issues and to meet informally with students. Study abroad opportunities include Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium; Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tel Aviv University, Israel; Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina; Bond University, Australia; University of the Andes in Chile, Bucerius Law School in Germany, National University of Singapore, University of Lucerne in Switzerland, and Instituto de Empresa in Spain. Tutorial programs are offered through the Dean of Students on an individual basis. The Director of Diversity Education and Outreach provides academic admission, placement counseling, and other supportive services. The most widely taken electives are Evidence, Business Association, and Estates and Trusts.

To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 86 total credits, of which 29 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.25 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Communication and Legal Reasoning, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of a senior research project and Legal Ethics. The required orientation program for first-year students is 1 week before classes begin. First-year students register and receive class assignments, meet with their faculty advisers, tour the school, and attend team building and diversity workshops as well as social functions.

In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.25, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and Professional Skills and Perspective electives.


In the fall 2007 first-year class, 4821 applied, 850 were accepted, and 238 enrolled. Sixty-nine transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 98; the median GPA was 3.7 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 20; the highest was 100.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include academic achievement, life experience, and personal interview. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are interviewed.

The application deadline for fall entry is February 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $80, 1 letter of recommendation, and r

Financial Aid

About 85% of current law students receive some form of aid. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and the Need Access Financial Aid Application Form. The aid application deadline for fall entry is February 1. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application before April 30 if all required documents are received by the Office of Admission and Financial Aid before the February 1 deadline.


About 46% of the student body are women; 36%, minorities; 8%, African American; 18%, Asian American; 9%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from the Midwest (30%). The average age of entering students is 26; age range is 21 to 40. About 6% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 13% have a graduate degree, and 94% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 99% remain to receive a law degree.

Student-edited publications include the Northwestern University Law Review, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business, Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, Journal of International Human Rights, Journal of Social Policy, and the newspaper, The Pleader. Annual moot court competitions are the Arlyn Miner First-Year Moot Court Program, Julius H. Miner Moot Court, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court, and William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court. Other competitions are the John Paul Stevens Prize for academic excellence, Lowden-Wigmore Prizes for best student paper in international law, Arlyn Miner Book Award for the best brief by a first-year student, Harold D. Shapiro Prize for best student in an international economics relations class, the West Publishing Company Awards for scholastic achievement, and the Nathan Burkhan Memorial Competition for best paper on copyright law. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include Order of the Coif; Amnesty International; Feminists for Social Change; National Lawyers Guild; The Federalist Society; ABA-Law Students Division; Diversity Coalition; SERV (Student Effort to Rejuvenate Volunteering); and Wigmore Follies, an annual student-run variety show.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is no summer session. Transferable summer courses are not offered.

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