Northwestern Holds No. 2 Spot in National Law Journal Rankings

February 27, 2012

View the NLJ list of "Go-To" Law Schools

Read the NLJ article and view the supplemental table that recognizes the law schools that provide the “biggest bang for the buck.” In this cost-benefit analysis, Northwestern is mentioned as being “near the top of the list,” along with the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Harvard.  Based on the interactive table,  Northwestern is ranked 2nd on this metric as well. 


To: Northwestern Law Community

From: Dean Dan Rodriguez

Re: Northwestern Law #2 in The National Law Journal’s 2012 Rankings

I am pleased to report that The National Law Journal (NLJ) has tabbed Northwestern Law School as the nation’s No. 2 “go-to” law school in its just released 2012 rankings.

This annual NLJ listing identifies the 50 law schools with the highest percentage of 2011 JD graduates hired by NLJ 250 law firms. In total, 52.1 percent of our 2011 graduates accepted positions with NLJ 250 firms. Last year, we held the 8th spot with 44.4 percent of our 2010 graduates going to these same firms.

With this most recent result, we have ranked in the top five on this measure for five of the past six years (and always in the top 10 during the same period).

The list of “go-to” law schools was compiled from recruiting information that law firms provided on The National Law Journal’s annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms.

Additionally, The National Law Journal “identified firm favorites – the schools where NLJ 250 firms recruited the most graduates.” Northwestern Law is the favorite of 3 firms (Baker & McKenzie, Kirkland & Ellis, and McDermott Will & Emery) and we are exceeded only by Harvard on this listing.

While the difficult economy continues to present immediate challenges to students hitting the job market, our consistently high position in this ranking is a testament to our strong reputation. This is the second time this year that we have placed very highly in an employment-based ranking. In the fall, The Princeton Review designated Northwestern Law No. 1 for Best Career Prospects.

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

1. University of Pennsylvania (56.9)
2. Northwestern (52.1)
3. Columbia (51.7)
4. Harvard (48.9)
5. Stanford (48.1)
6. University of California – Berkeley (45.9)
7. University of Chicago (45.3)
8. Duke (40.6)
9. New York University (40.1)
10. University of Virginia (39.8)
11 Cornell (38.3)
12. University of Southern California (32.9)
13. University of Michigan (31.5)
14. Georgetown (31.1)
15. Yale (29.8)