Our Mission

The Pritzker Legal Research Center fulfills the complex and diverse research and educational information needs of the faculty and students of Northwestern Law. With a staff that puts the needs of faculty and students first and an inspirational facility that encourages expansive intellectual inquiry, collaborative work, and dedicated study, we provide an exceptional research and learning environment.

We provide innovative patron services; implement creative uses of technology to access, manage, and communicate knowledge; and build and maintain an outstanding collection of legal and interdisciplinary research resources necessary to support an internationally renowned faculty and intellectually curious student body.

Our Name

The Pritzker Legal Research Center is named in appreciation for a very generous gift from the Pritzker family, the Chicago family that is known internationally for its philanthropy. The Pritzkers' generosity provides significant support to institutions of higher education and libraries generally, and Northwestern University in particular. Jay A. Pritzker (1922-1999) was graduated from Northwestern University in 1941 and Northwestern University School of Law in 1947. Jay’s wife Cindy Pritzker and the Pritzker family honored the Law School by allowing the law library to be rededicated as the Pritzker Legal Research Center in 1999.

The Pritzker Legal Research Center combines library collections from the Elbert H. Gary Library of Law, the Owen L. Coon Library, and the American Bar Association's William Nelson Cromwell Library. Elbert Gary was a founder of the United States Steel Corporation, and the city of Gary, Indiana is named after him. He was graduated from the Union College of Law (predecessor to Northwestern University School of Law) in 1868, and provided the funds to establish the Elbert H. Gary Library of Law in 1925. Owen Coon was graduated from the Law School in 1919, served on the Northwestern University Board of Trustees, and endowed several scholarships at Northwestern. The Owen L. Coon Library was established in 1960. The American Bar Association's Cromwell Library was established in 1954 from a bequest of William Nelson Cromwell to the ABA upon his death in 1948. William Nelson Cromwell was a founder of the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

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