What is LawBrain?
It's a living legal community making laws accessible and interactive. Click Here to get Started »

Northwestern University School of Law

From lawbrain.com

Northwestern University School of Law was the first law school in Chicago, Illinois. Northwestern Law was established in 1859 as the Old University of Chicago’s Union College of Law.



Northwestern University School of Law was the first law school in Chicago, Illinois. Northwestern Law was established in 1859 as the Old University of Chicago’s Union College of Law. In 1873, the Union College of Law came under the partial management of Northwestern University, and the school became a full-fledged member of the University in 1891. The Law School is located in beautiful downtown Chicago, adjacent to Lake Shore Park and Lake Michigan.

Northwestern Law School admissions are extremely competitive when compared to other top law schools in the country. With over 3000 applicants interviewed in 2010, only 270 received admission.. The median LSAT score is a 170 and the median undergraduate GPA is a 3.8 for the current incoming class. Attending Northwestern doesn’t come cheap, with an average tuition per year being $49,444 for the JD (Jurist Doctorate) program. The school does offer an accelerated JD program which begins in the summer term costing $28,322.

Northwestern Law offers a number of different degrees and programs of study, from primary JD degree programs to Master in Laws (LLM) programs to visiting or exchange programs to executive and professional education programs. Known as a top tier business school, the Kellogg School and Northwestern University's School of Law offer the only integrated JD/MBA program. The JD/MBA gives students a thorough grounding in both management and law. Northwestern Law also offers an LLM program which attracts international students from around the world. The nine-month general LLM program offers outstanding graduates of foreign law schools an opportunity to expand their knowledge of American law and legal processes, continue their studies in international law, and engage in comparative legal research.

Students may apply for a position on one of the Law School's six student-run scholarly journals, such as the Northwestern University Law Review, Journal of Criminal law and criminology, Journal of International Business, and Journal of law and social policy to name a few.

Northwestern Law students have access to the most interdisciplinary and highly-credentialed research faculty in the nation. No other law school can boast as high a percentage of PhD-trained faculty members. The faculty includes a former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, a leading expert on race, gender, and the law; an author of more than 50 books on tax law; the coauthor of the most frequently cited book in legal scholarship; the first American attorney to argue before the European Court of Human Rights; and the senior author of the most widely-used casebook on American legal history.


The Law School ranks #11 among the top law schools in the country and in areas of specialty, #2 in Environmental Law, #4 in Tax Law and #7 in Trail Advocacy according to the U.S. News World Report.

What They Are Saying

Northwestern Law has one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in the country at 9.1:1; bested only by Yale and Stanford. The school boasts that is has the highest percentage of PhD-trained faculty members of any law school, about 47% of the research faculty have social sciences PhDs.


A Northwestern professor clearly pushed the envelope last month when he allowed a live sex demonstration in an optional after-class session. The demonstration was not a mistake, nor does it degrade a Northwestern education in any way. The demonstration, which featured a sex toy used on a naked woman, fell well within the bounds of the academic freedom vital to any university worth its salt. Under that rubric, professors are free to generate controversy, to push students to question what they think they know, so long as there is an educational purpose.

Notable Professors

  • Karen Alter, Professor, Political Science.
  • Olufunmilayo Arewa, Associate Professor of Law.
  • Bridget Arimond, Clinical Professor of Law.
  • David A. Dana, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
  • Karen L. Daniel, Clinical Professor of Law.
  • Jason DeSanto, Senior Lecturer.
  • Shari Seidman Diamond, Howard J. Trienens Professor of Law.

Notable Alumni

  • Dalveer Bhandari, Justice, Supreme Court of India.
  • Jerry Springer, former Mayor of Cincinnati, television talk show host.
  • John Paul Stevens, United States Supreme Court Justice.
  • Adlai Stevenson, former Governor of Illinois.
  • Richard Tallman, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge.
  • Harold Washington, first black Mayor of Chicago (1983–87).



FindLaw AHK