Accelerated JD Program Officially Ratified

February 03, 2012

Northwestern Law faculty voted unanimously to approve the Accelerated JD program as an enduring program at a faculty meeting on February 3, 2012.

The Accelerated JD program (AJD) is a core initiative of the Law School’s most recent strategic planning process, called Plan 2008.  When that plan was introduced, Northwestern Law faculty agreed to begin the AJD program on an experimental basis subject to a review and vote for final approval after 3 years.   The vote at the February faculty meeting officially ratified the program, thereby removing the experimental tag.

The AJD program is a key component within the Law School’s ongoing strategy.  The program has received significant attention in the press and blogosphere, including a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, which highlights three key trends in legal education for 2012 and predicts that “a number of leading law schools will follow Northwestern’s lead in the coming months and years.” 

As the only program of its kind among top-tier law schools, the AJD program serves as one of many important initiatives which continue to mark Northwestern Law as an innovative leader.  As it already has in its early stages, the program attracts excellent students, similar to our traditional three-year program students, whose backgrounds and experiences greatly enrich the overall learning environment and our community.

Students in the AJD program complete the same number of credit hours as three-year JD students in five semesters over the course of two calendar years.  AJD students benefit financially from the reduced opportunity cost associated with re-entering the workforce a year sooner and by foregoing one semester of education-related living expenses.