Faculty Research & Achievement

Northwestern University School of Law has a rich tradition of faculty excellence. Throughout our history, our faculty members have been engaged in major public policy debates, and that tradition is alive and well today. Northwestern Law has faculty addressing and speaking out on cutting-edge legal issues ranging from medical malpractice reform to the emergence of the constitutionality of health care reform legislation to intellectual property’s transformation in a digital age, and much more. It is our diversity of interests and expertise that distinguishes us.

That diversity carries over to the kinds of scholarship represented on our faculty. Northwestern has a remarkably interdisciplinary faculty. We have faculty working at the intersection of law and many other disciplines, including economics, psychology, philosophy, political science, sociology, and history. We have distinguished legal theorists as well as one of the strongest cohorts of empirical scholars in any law school. One of the notable features of our faculty is the high degree of scholarly collaboration between faculty who come to the scholarly enterprise with different kinds of training and different methodologies.

Together, our faculty members combine to form what is, we believe, the most eclectic and balanced mix of legal scholars among our nation’s law schools. Their diverse mix of expertise and research methodologies allows them to bring a unique perspective to both their scholarship and teaching. And our more than 30 clinical faculty members provide one of the most comprehensive clinical programs anywhere through the 13 centers and more than 20 clinics of our Bluhm Legal Clinic.

We also have one of the lowest student-faculty ratios, so our students enjoy an unusual amount of individual access to these scholars, even after graduation.

Northwestern Law students have access to the most interdisciplinary research faculty in the nation. No other law school can boast as high a percentage of PhD-trained faculty members. The following charts show the comparative percentages among several top law schools and the distribution of Northwestern Law's research faculty with PhDs by discipline. Northwestern Law has the highest percentage (47 percent) of full-time research faculty with social science PhDs in the nation.

Percentage of Full-time Research Faculty with PhDs

Graph with percentages of full-time research faculty with PhDs


Northwestern Law Research Faculty PhDs by Discipline
Political Science 4
Psychology 3
Math 1
Philosophy 2
International Relations 1
Economics 6
Sociology 1
Business 2
History 1