News Releases

Northwestern Law Holds No. 1 Spot in NLJ

A MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN

To: Northwestern Law Community

From: David E. Van Zandt

Re: National Law Journal “Go-to” Schools


The National Law Journal (NLJ) has published its 2010 ranking of schools with the highest percentage of 2009 graduates hired by NLJ 250 law firms. I am pleased to share that Northwestern Law holds the No. 1 spot. This is the third consecutive year that we have ranked in the top 5 (we were 5th in 2008 and 2nd in 2007).

The list of “go-to” schools was compiled from recruiting information that law firms provided on the 2009 NLJ 250, the National Law Journal’s annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms. As the article indicates, 2009 saw a definite decline in first-year associate employment at the nation’s 250 largest law firms, so the percentages are down across the board this year.

While the difficult economy continues to present immediate challenges to students hitting the job market, our placement in the top spot on this list is a testament to our strong reputation. This is also a reflection of the tremendous efforts of our entire Career Strategy Center team. This is the second time this year that we have been ranked No. 1 in an employment-based ranking. In the fall, Princeton Review ranked Northwestern Law No. 1 for Best Career Prospects.

During the past decade, a major component of our strategy has been to study the changes in the legal marketplace, to solicit employer feedback, and to adapt our programs and policies to ensure that our graduates are prepared for their careers better than those of any other law school. Based on our existing plans and the changes we have already implemented, I am optimistic that we will continue to rise in these and other rankings in future years.

For your information, the top 15 law schools are (percent hired by NLJ 250 in parentheses):

1. Northwestern Law (55.9)
2. Columbia Law School (54.4)
3. Stanford Law School (54.1)
4. University of Chicago (53.1)
5. University of Virginia (52.8)
6. University of Michigan (51)
7. University of Pennsylvania (50.8)
8. New York University (50.1)
9. University of California, Berkeley (50)
10. Duke Law School (49.8)
11. Harvard (47.6)
12. Vanderbilt (47.1)
13. Georgetown (42.8)
14. Cornell (41.5)
15. University of Southern California (41.3)

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog makes mention of our ranking. To read the full story, click here.


Posted: February 23, 2010