About The Clinic

Housing more than 20 clinics within 14 centers, the Bluhm Legal Clinic is widely recognized as as one of the most comprehensive and effective clinical programs in the country. Through Northwestern Law’s clinical program, students gain direct experience representing clients and fine-tune their skills as advocates. Students also work with clinical faculty and staff to challenge the fairness of our legal institutions and to propose solutions for reform.

Typically, 90 percent of students from each graduating class participate in the Legal Clinic during their time at Northwestern Law. Students work side-by-side with esteemed faculty. Our professors emphasize giving students strong litigation, negotiation, and transactional skills in their direct representation of clients. It is common for Bluhm Clinic students to gain practical experience early on that their peers may not achieve until several years into practice.

The clinical faculty is composed of nationally recognized scholars who are diverse in background and perspective. More than thirty clinical professors at Northwestern Law combine classroom instruction with hands-on experience for more than 200 students who take clinical courses each year.

Each year, hundreds of clients receive assistance from Bluhm Legal Clinic students. The range of clients served is wide reaching including teenagers tangled in an unjust juvenile legal system and entrepreneurs in need of affordable legal advice. As students gain unparalleled hands-on, real-world experience, they also can dramatically improve the lives of those they serve.

Clinical education at Northwestern dates back to the Law School’s beginnings. An innovative program developed by Dean John Henry Wigmore in 1910 with the Chicago Legal Aid Society evolved into the Legal Clinic, which opened its doors in 1969 with only two staff attorneys. In 2000, the Clinic was named for Northwestern University trustee and alum Neil Bluhm, and today the program is one of the most diverse and comprehensive among the country’s law schools. 

The Bluhm Legal Clinic is internationally recognized for its involvement in legal reform, and for advancing the goal of providing a skilled, ethical, and public-spirited legal profession integral to a society that values and promotes justice. 

Clinic Brochure (pdf)
History of Clinical Education at Northwestern Law (pdf)