Dean Dan Rodriguez Welcomes Back Students for Spring Term

January 09, 2012

Welcome back to the Law School for the Spring semester.  I hope everyone had a restful holiday break and a happy new year.  I am looking forward to 2012, and the beginning of my service as the Law School’s new dean, with excitement and enthusiasm.  This year promises great things for our Law School community.  Despite the continuing challenges of a difficult economy and a rapidly changing legal profession, we have much for which to be thankful and about which to be optimistic at Northwestern Law.  We also have a number of exciting activities taking place at the Law School this spring, which are outlined below. Here is to a great 2012 in the windy city!

Upcoming Law School Events

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, January 9-16
In recognition of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Law School’s and Feinberg School’s DREAM Committee has assembled a week of events to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. The celebration will include the MLK Lecture Series, centered on civil rights issues, as well as public service projects throughout the week. On MLK Day, January 16, the series will conclude with a keynote presentation featuring “A Conversation with Dr. Benjamin Carson,” world-renowned African American neurosurgeon and activist. Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun Times will moderate the keynote lecture.
Lawyer as Problem Solver, January 12 and 19
First-year JD, JD-MBA, and LLM students will participate in our unique and award-winning Lawyer as Problem Solver program on January 12 and 19 (4:00-6:00 p.m.). Lawyer as Problem Solver is a central component of Northwestern Law's continuing commitment to introduce and develop legal and business skills essential for students’ professional careers. As part of the Lawyer as Problem Solver program, students also have the opportunity to work with faculty who do not normally teach first year classes. This year’s Lawyer as Problem Solver program will consist of several modules, including Client Counseling and Interviewing; Communication in a Legal Setting; Negotiation and Conflict Management; Improvisational Skills for Lawyers; and Understanding Financial Data. A networking reception for first-year students and attorneys from sponsoring firms will be held in the Atrium on January 19 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Bluhm Legal Clinic to Host Supreme Court Candidates Forum, January 26
Northwestern Law will host the Illinois Supreme Court Candidates Forum on Thursday, January 26, at 5:00 p.m. in Thorne Auditorium. The forum provides a venue for law students, faculty, and the public to learn about the experiences and platforms of state Supreme Court candidates. Featured candidates include Justices Joy Cunningham, Aurelia Pucinski, Mary Jane Theis, and Judge James G. Riley.

Spring 2012 On-Campus Interview (OCI) Program, January and February
The Center for Career Strategy and Advancement is sponsoring a small Spring OCI program in late January and early February 2012. For details, visit the Career Strategy Center on-campus recruitment page. Bidding for Spring OCI opens at noon on Friday, January 6, and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11.

Meet the Employers Night, March 29
On March 29, the Career Strategy Center will host its annual Meet the Employers Night. This event provides an excellent opportunity for first-year JD and JD-MBA students to meet legal recruiters and alumni from law firms and other employers prior to the fall OCI bidding period.

49th Annual Julius H. Miner Moot Court Competition, February 6 - March 2
Preliminary rounds for the 49th Annual Julius H. Miner Moot Court Competition will occur February 6, 9, 13, and 16.  More than 80 second-year students are expected to compete in this prestigious competition. The final round will take place March 2 at 3:00 p.m.
Global Village, February 10
Join the Northwestern Law community for our annual celebration of culture, presented by international JD, LLM, LLM/Kellogg, and SJD students on Friday, February 10, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Atrium.  The evening will feature home-cooked food from all over the world, international music, presentations, international attire, and artistic performances.

Trienens Visiting Judicial Scholar, March 28
Judge Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, will visit the Law School as the 2012 Trienens Visiting Judicial Scholar. Established in 1989 by partners of Sidley Austin to honor Howard J. Trienens JD ’49, the Trienens Visiting Judicial Scholar program exposes students and faculty to perspectives on the judicial process and contemporary legal issues through lectures and other programs by leading jurists.

Diverse Admit Day and Accelerated JD Open House, March 2
On Friday, March 2, the Admissions and Diversity Education and Outreach teams, along with a student committee, have planned a full day of activities and events to welcome and recruit admitted Accelerated JD and diverse applicants to the Law School community.

International Team Projects (ITP), March 12-25
International Team Projects allow students to gain firsthand experience in international legal and business environments through a combination of semester-long research, an intense two-week field study abroad, and a final group project. This year's ITP groups will conduct research in the following countries: 

*South Africa
*New Zealand/Fiji

Additionally, fourteen students will take an alternative Spring Break trip March 10-18 to volunteer with the Mississippi Center for Justice in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Leadership Retreat, April 6-7 (subject to change)

SBA Executive Board members and other student organization leaders will take part in the seventh annual Leadership Retreat. Planned by the SBA Student Services committee and chaired by Kelly Hollingsworth JD ’13 and Lauren Caisman JD ’13, the retreat includes sessions on team building and event planning, presentations to faculty and administrators, and more. 

Dean Dan Rodriguez Installation and Chair Ceremony, April 12
In April, the Law School will honor several faculty members who have been named to endowed chairs. We will combine this chair ceremony with the installation of our new dean and Harold Washington Professor of Law, Daniel B. Rodriguez. Alumni, faculty, students, and staff are invited to attend the ceremony, which will take place in Lincoln Hall on Thursday, April 12, at 4:00 p.m.

Spring Law Board Meeting, April 13-14

The Law Board will meet for the second time this year in April. The Board, which is comprised of graduates and friends of the Law School who are distinguished members of the bar, the business world, and the government and not-for-profit sectors, advises the faculty and administration on the future course of the Law School.

Admitted Students Weekend,
April 13-14
The Law School will welcome more than 100 admitted students to Admitted Students Weekend, April 13-14. The Student Admissions Committee and our Admissions Office staff have planned a weekend of events to introduce and recruit admitted students to Northwestern Law.  

2012 Graduation Week, May 7-11
The graduation committee, chaired by Minnie Kim JD ’12and Becca Felsenthal JD ’12, is busy working with the Student Services team to plan this year's Graduation Convocation, which will take place Friday, May 11, at the Chicago Theatre. The ceremony’s featured speaker will be Jerry Reinsdorf JD’60, Chairman of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls.  The graduation committee is planning additional graduation week activities to celebrate the Class of 2012. Stay tuned for details.

Check out my blog, Word on the Streeterville, at