20 Things You Didn’t Know About Northwestern University Law School


Northwestern University Law School is among the top-rated law schools in the nation. It is a part of Northwestern University. The law school is a professional graduate school catering to the academic needs of students interested in pursuing careers in the judicial system. Whether you’re considering becoming a lawyer or judge, it’s an option for helping you achieve the required preparation to take and pass the bar exam to become a practitioner within the legal system. If you’re learning about the school, here are twenty things you probably didn’t know about Northwestern University Law School.

1. The Northwestern University Law School has its name

Wikipedia reports that Northwestern University Law School is also known as the Pritzker School of Law. The name distinguishes the school as a division or department within the University. The school began under a different name. It was known as the law department under the Old University of Chicago not long after its inception. They changed the name to Union College of Law upon cementing its affiliation with Northwestern University. The name changed again in 1891 when the law school came fully under the control of Northwestern University. The school was named Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in October of 2015 after J.B. Pritzker donated the sum of $100 million to the further development of the law school.

2. Northwestern University Law School is nearly two centuries old

Northwestern University Law School first opened its doors in 1859. The school has a long and storied history. It is the first law school to serve students in Chicago, Illinois, established by founding director Henry Booth. It swapped affiliations from the Old University of Chicago to Northwestern University. It took years for the school to come fully under the control of Northwestern, and many names changed before it became known as the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

3. Northwestern University Law School had humble beginnings

The first class of the Northwestern University Law School opened with just 23 students enrolled. The school was small, and it was the only law school in Chicago at the time. It opened its doors to offer a new method for training lawyers through standardization of academic coursework and training versus the old way of learning the trade through apprenticeships under practicing attorneys. The school has a place in the history of the Illinois judicial system.

4. Northwestern University Law School publishes six scholarly journals

Students from various academic programs peruse scholarly journals for special projects and research papers. Northwestern University Law School is the official sponsor of six of these legal journals. The journals originating at Northwestern University Law School are Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, Northwestern University Law Review, Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Journal of Law and Social Policy, and Journal of Human Rights.

5. Students get hands-on experience publishing the law journals

The six law journals published by Northwestern University Law School are all student-run. The scholarly legal journals provide jobs for student staff members who earn their places on the journals by participating in writing competitions. Other means of selecting staff include editing competitions, consideration of first-year grades, and publishable notes or comments on a topic about the law. Each journal staff member enters the contests. Only the top-ranking students are selected. Students must have completed their first year of law school for eligibility.

6. Northwestern University Journals are over a century old

Some of the NWULS journals go back over a century. For example, in 1906, the Northwestern University Law Review released its first publication. The journal started as the Illinois Law Review. It began with a few famous contributors and editors. The names include the former dean of Harvard Law School, Roscoe Pound as editor. Others include Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court, Daniel Walker, governor of Illinois, Robert A. Sprecher, Jude of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, USSC Justice Arthur Goldberg, Newton Minow, former chairman of the FCC, and Adlai Stevenson, presidential candidate.

7. Northwestern University Law School Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology is the most widely cited

Northwestern University Law School is the home of the most cited and read publication on the planet today. More people read this law journal than any other in the world. The journal comes in second place in subscriptions for the United States. Dean John Henry Wigmore founded the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology in the year 1910. Publication of the journal commenced just four years after the founding of the Northwestern University Law Review.

8. Northwestern University Law School is still adding to its list of publications

One of the most important aspects of any law school is the research components and the information available to students. Northwestern University Law School shines in this regard. Although it’s the home of some of the oldest legal journals in the nation, it is also dynamic and progressive, adding to the collection of publications as new research topics emerge within the legal arena. For example, the most recent publication started in 2003. the Journal of International Human Rights rose from a semi-annual Symposia and Speaker series sponsored by the school. It covered law topics including sociology, religion, political science, public policy, international relations, and human rights. The name was changed to the Journal of Human Rights, shortened in 2016.

9. Northwestern University Law School is among the top 14

LSAT Max confirms Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law is one of the top law schools in the United States. It ranks high among the T-14 group identified by the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings and has consistently remained at the top since reporting in 1987. Northwestern University Law School has a long history of excellence.

10. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is fully accredited

If you’re looking for a law school with full accreditation by the ABA, Northwestern Univerity Law School falls under that category. The school is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, and it is also fully accredited by the American Bar Association. The Pritzker School of Law is competent in preparing students to take and pass the bar exam to become certified professionals within the legal system in Illinois.

11. Northwestern University School of Law offers professional graduate degree programs

The law school has a range of professional degree programs for students. You may choose Master of Law programs emphasizing international human rights or taxation. The school offers Executive LLM programs in Tels Aviv, Israel, Madrid, Spain, Seoul, Korea, and Chicago, Illinois. The programs serve students who may be interested in studying abroad. Northwestern Law also offers various doctoral-level degree programs such as JD-MBA, JD-LLM in International Human rights, JD LLM in Taxation, and other JD degree programs.

12. Northwestern University School of Law has an exceptional and old clinical education program

Clinical education programs are essential for law students. They provide students with hands-on opportunities in real-life situations. The first clinical-educational opportunities opened in 1919. They were part of the curriculum of the program. Since that time, the clinical program has grown and evolved to meet student needs. A legal clinic for the school opened in 1969, led by two attorneys. It’s blossomed into the Bluhm Legal Clinic, recognized as one of the nation’s most comprehensive legal clinical programs. Most students participate in a minimum of one clinic or more. Students actively participate in the clinics to help with real-life legal cases.

13. Northwestern University Law School values diversity

A notable aspect of Northwestern University Law school is its commitment to maintaining a diverse student background. Students accepted into the law school come from a healthy mixture of minority populations, embracing those from diverse backgrounds. The student population is inclusive and welcomes first-generation college students, various ethnic backgrounds, gay, lesbian, transgender students, older students, parents, veterans, students with disabilities, and other eligible students. Northwestern University Law School values a diverse community where learning outside of academe takes place among real people with different life experiences and points of view. Students can freely share.

14. Northwestern University Law School graduates notable professionals

The list of alumni who studied at Northwestern University Law School and graduated is long. Some noteworthy business people, attorneys, public servants, and other notable professionals are alumni. Sharon Bowen graduated in 1982 with her JD MBA, becoming the first African American commissioner with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. John Paul Stevens, former Supreme Court Justice, graduated in 1947. Ada Kepley was the first American woman to earn her degree in law from Northwestern in 1870. The co-founder of U.S. Steel Corporation, Elbert Gary, graduated with his LLB in 1868. Chicago’s first African American mayor Harold Washington earned his JD in 1952 from the school, and several others are products of the law school.

15. Northwestern University Law School has grown over the years

The law school has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings in the mid-1800s. The school now employs 141 full-time faculty with more than 100 lecturers and adjunct professors. Over half of the tenure track faculty earned their Ph.D. degrees. The campus encompasses 20 acres near Lake Michigan in Chicago. It’s conveniently located in the downtown area to give students access to the amenities of the city. To the school’s credit, the student-to-faculty ratio is low. It’s 3:6:1. What this means is that faculty have more time to spend with each student individually. It’s among the lowest ratios which is another great selling point for the school. Students who have questions can interact with faculty instead of becoming a face in a crowded lecture hall.

16. It’s getting harder to get into Northwestern University Law School

Northwestern University Law School is a highly competitive institution that only takes students who meet the eligibility requirements. There are just so many openings and they’re all spoken for several times over. The admissions committee carefully reviews each application to ensure that the most qualified students earn their place in the law programs offered at the school. W Top named Northwestern’s law school one of the hardest to get into in 2016. They ranked the school as the tenth hardest with an acceptance rate of just 22.6 percent of all applicants. The median GPA was 3.77 and LSAT Score was 168 for successful candidates. The numbers have decreased over time with the acceptance rate in 2019, dropping to 19.3 percent of all students who applied for admission. It’s now rated as the 9th hardest school to get into, according to Public Legal.

17. Test Score averages are higher

On top of lower admission acceptance rates, the median LSAT and GPA scores have also increased for students accepted to Northwestern University Law School. The median LSAT score rose from 168 in 2016 to 169 om 2019. The median GPA of students rose from 3.77 to 3.84. These figures tell us that it’s getting harder to get into Northwestern University Law School and competition is getting more intense.

18. Northwestern University School of Law is expensive

Attending Northwestern University School of Law is expensive. When compared with 194 other full-time law schools, the tuition rates are twice higher for variances in in-state and out-of-state rates for tuition. It ranks number eight for charging the highest full-time tuition for students at $64,402 per year.

19. Northwestern University School of Law graduates have good employment prospects

Northwestern’s law school prepares students to go into the legal and other professions to earn high salaries. The school ranked as number one for the highest median starting salary among its graduates. Students earn a median starting salary of $180,000 per year. It ranks number nine for employment within 10 months of graduation. (1.9 percent of graduates are employed full time. 85.9 percent were employed at the time of graduation. Graduates working in the public sector earn a median salary of 460,518 for a ranking of # 28 in public sector salary earners.

20. Northwestern University School of Law prepares students to pass the bar exam

The law school has a decent bar passage rate among its first-time test takers. It ranks as number 21 with a passage rate of 93.5 percent. The figure far exceeds the overall bar passage rate of 79 percent.

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