Academic Career Programs

Academic Career Programs

The market for law teaching has become increasingly competitive, and the need for comprehensive career preparation has become an essential - if often overlooked - area of training.

Northwestern Law understands the importance and necessity of this training, and offers an extensive series of programs that helps prepare individuals for careers in academia. We also actively recruit students who demonstrate special interest and promise in legal academics and offer generous scholarships to qualified individuals.

Two Northwestern Law programs give law students an idea of what life as a legal scholar entails. Our Owen L. Coon/James A. Rahl Senior Research program gives third-year students the opportunity to work closely with our distinguished faculty, exploring answers to challenging questions of doctrine and policy. Launched in 2008, the Northwestern Law Scholars Program provides students with the theoretical and methodological skills necessary for careers in legal teaching.

Northwestern University also offers the most integrated JD-PhD program in the country. Open to a small number of students who intend to pursue an academic career and whose teaching and research will be enriched by both a JD and a PhD, the program provides participants with a more effective way of earning the two degrees than through consecutive degree programs.

Finally, Northwestern Law offers a series of positions in our Visiting Assistant Professor program (VAP). These positions function similarly to post-doctoral programs, permitting scholars to make progress on research and teaching prior to entering a tenure-track position.