Welcome Back to Northwestern Law

August 30, 2011

Welcome back to Northwestern Law. I hope you had an enjoyable summer. As the new school year begins, I want to inform you of some key activities and events at the Law School, which I have outlined below. Also, please remember to visit our Law Calendar for more information about upcoming events.

Community Updates

Daniel Rodriguez to Visit the Law School
This weekDan Rodriguez, our incoming dean, will visit the Law School for a community welcome event on Wednesday, August 31, at 4 p.m. His visit will serve as a formal introduction to the Law School community and will consist of a program in Thorne Auditorium, followed by a reception in the Atrium. This event is open to all students, faculty, and staff.  I hope everyone will be able to attend.

New Faculty
I am pleased to welcome several new members of the Northwestern Law faculty this year:

  • Sungjoon Cho – Visiting Professor (Spring)
  • Elizabeth Glazer – Adjunct Professor  
  • Joshua Kleinfeld – Assistant Professor
  • Jeff Kwall – Visiting Professor  (Spring)
  • Sheldon Lyke – Visiting Assistant Professor (Spring)
  • Christopher Martin – Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Mary-Hunter Morris McDonnell – Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Jim McMasters – Clinical Assistant Professor
  • John Ohlendorf – Olin Fellow
  • Robert Owen – Visiting Clinical Professor
  • Leonard (Len) Riskin – Visiting Professor
  • Cristina Tilley – Visiting Assistant Professor

Facilities Update
Over the summer we have upgraded the carpeting and furniture on the second floor of the Rubloff building, as well as in several locations throughout the Library. We also have repainted several classrooms and started construction in the Levy Mayer building for a new seminar classroom on the first floor, as well as new study rooms in the basement.

Incoming Students Continue Trend of Strong Quality
The quality of our incoming classes is again very strong thanks to our unique admissions program. We continue to be the only law school that attempts to interview everyone who applies.  Our admission team, along with 25 current students and more than 1,000 alumni volunteers, interviewed more than 3,800 applicants out of more than 5,200 applicants to our various JD and LLM Programs.

Highlights of the 2011 entering JD and JD-MBA classes include:

Superior academic credentials
The median GPA is 3.8 and the median LSAT score is 170.

Strong work experience
Our student body is the most experienced among the top law schools — with 95 percent entering with at least a year of professional work experience; 79 percent entering with two or more years; and 57 percent entering with three or more years.

The most geographically diverse law school student body in the country
Our incoming students arrive from 33 states and 7 countries. 72 percent are from regions outside of the Midwest and, for the second consecutive year, the most represented state is California.

The most ethnically diverse student body among top law schools
Again, as for the past five years, more than one third of our entrants are students of color.

A range of international experiences
More than two-thirds of our incoming students have spent at least a month abroad for work or for an educational program.  

Additionally, our international LLM students represent 20 different countries; we have 73 LLM students, 26 LLM/Kellogg students, 10 LLM International Human Rights students, and 6 students enrolled in our inaugural Accelerated LLM Program class this past May. Altogether, 20 percent of our residential students have arrived from countries outside of the United States.

A number of students pursuing specialized degrees
The incoming class includes 40 full-time LLM Tax students and 2 students who will be starting the Law School portion of our JD-PhD Program with The Graduate School. 

Over the last few days and at the start of our summer term, we welcomed 264 JD and JD-MBA students (including 23 Accelerated JD students), 2 two-year international JDs, 37 transfers, and a combined 115 LLM, LLM/Kellogg , and LLM International Human Rights students. 

The Student Services team and student orientation committee planned a full schedule of events for our new students. Events ranged from community service projects to receptions to the third year of the PORTAL series (Professional Organization, Team Advancement, and Leadership). It was a great week of events, and I am delighted to welcome our new students.

Fall OCI
Employers representing more than 400 offices visited Northwestern Law to interview our students August 10-23 for our Fall On-campus Interviewing program. This represents a slight increase over the previous year’s volume of employers. Although we are pleased by this increase, the current economy continues to present employment-related challenges, and I encourage students to meet regularly with their career advisors and to take advantage of our Center for Career Strategy and Advancement’s many services and programs. 

Upcoming Events

Julius Rosenthal Foundation Lecture Series
This fall, we will welcome Kim Lane Scheppele, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and the Director of the Program of Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University, for our Rosenthal lecture series. The lecture series, entitled “The International State of Emergency: Legacies of the Global War on Terror,” will take place September 12-14.

A Celebration of the Work of Mayer Freed
On Friday, September 23 from 3 to 5 p.m., a wine and cheese reception will be held to celebrate the photos of Professor Mayer Freed, which are on display in the faculty lounge.Mayer, who passed away last fall, was a beloved member of the Northwestern Law Community for more than 30 years. 

Pope & John Lecture Series on Professionalism
On Monday, September 26 at 5:30 p.m. in Lincoln Hall, the Pope & John Lecture Series will feature Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She is the first woman to serve in this capacity and has devoted much of her work to financial consumer protection, as well as to the protection of women, children, and senior citizens. This event is free and open to the public.

Reunion Weekend
Alumni from the classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 are invited back to the Law School October 14-15 for Reunion 2011. We encourage you to mingle with alums at the Alumni Community Day Party on October 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Law Board Alumni Panels
Some of our most successful and distinguished alumni will be back on campus Friday, October 21 for the fall Law Board meeting.  As part of the Law Board’s commitment to advancing the school and helping current students, Law Board members will have a chance to interact with current students by participating on alumni panels.  This will be an opportunity for students to ask about different career paths and network with alumni.  More information will be available by the end of September.

Student Programs and Events
Students shape community life at Northwestern Law. Each year more than 50 student organizations plan and celebrate a variety of events to engage and educate the Law School community. Students not only choose topics and enlist speakers but also develop budgets and raise funds. In 2010-11, students working with our Firm and Corporate Relations department networked and collaborated with representatives from over 40 sponsor firms and corporations.

Class Gift Program
The class of 2011 achieved tremendous success with their graduating class gift campaign! In our first-ever outright gift campaign, 135 graduates across all programs made gifts to the law school.  The graduating class gifts have supported the Law School Fund and helped fund many important initiatives like portraits of diverse alumni, the Public Service Fellowship Program, the Bluhm Legal Clinic, programming, and scholarships. We sincerely thank the class of 2011 for continuing the Law School’s longstanding tradition of alumni support as they become the newest members of the Northwestern Law alumni community. If you are embarking on your final year at Northwestern Law, stay tuned for information about how you can get involved in the 2012 Graduating Class Gift Committee.