Welcome back to Northwestern Law. I hope you had an enjoyable summer. As the new school year begins, I want to inform you of some key activities and events at the Law School, which I have outlined below. Also, please remember to visit our new Law Calendarfor more information about upcoming events.
Over the last few days, we have introduced a new class of JD and LLM students to our community, including 216 JD students, 28 JD-MBAs, 2 two-year international JDs, 36 JD transfers, 73 LLMs, 10 LLMs in International Human Rights, and 50 LLM Tax students and 1 SJD. In addition, 3 students in our JD-PhD program start the Law School portion of the program this fall. They are joining 31 LLM/Kellogg students and our second class of 30 tudents in our Accelerated JD program, which we launched last May.
The Student Services team Student Bar Association and SBA committees planned a full schedule of events for our new students. Events ranged from community service projects to receptions to the third year of our PORTAL series (Professional Organization, Team Advancement, and Leadership). It has been a great week of events, and I am delighted to welcome our new students.
I am pleased to welcome several new and distinguished members to the Northwestern Law faculty this year:
In addition we also welcome visiting professor Len Riskin, a Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law at the University of Florida.
Incoming Students Continue Trend of Improved Overall Class Quality
The quality of our incoming classes continues to improve thanks to our unique admissions program. We are the only law school that attempts to interview everyone who applies. Our admission team, along with 25 current students and more than 1,000 alumni volunteers, interviewed more than 3,900 of our 4480 applicants to the various JD and LLM Programs.
Highlights of the 2010 entering JD and JD-MBA classes include:
• Superior academic credentials
The median GPA is 3.8, which is our highest ever and the median LSAT score is 170.
• Strong work experience
This is our most experienced student body ever — and the most experienced among the top law schools — with approximately 97 percent entering with at least a year of professional work experience, 88 percent with two or more years, and 64 percent with three or more years.
• The most geographically diverse law school student body in the country
Our incoming students represent more than 35 states, with 73 percent of the incoming class from outside the Midwest, with the largest percentage of students coming from the West. Approximately 5 percent of our entering students this year come from outside the United States (includes 2-year international JDs.
• A range of international experiences
69 percent of our incoming JD students have spent at least a month abroad for work or for an educational program.
Our entering LLM students in the various programs are also very strong:
• Strong global representation
Our international LLM students represent 34 different countries; we have 73 LLM students, 31 LLM/Kellogg students, and 10 LLM International Human Rights students and 1 SJD student.
• A number of students pursuing specialized degrees
The incoming class includes 41 full-time LLM Tax students and 3 JD-LLM Tax students, and 10 JD-LLM IHR students.
Overall, about 20 percent of our students in the residential degree programs come from outside the United States.
Despite the struggling economy, employers representing more than 360 offices, an 8% increase over 2009, visited Northwestern Law to interview our students August 11-24 for our Fall On-Campus Interviewing program. Our innovative admissions and educational model also continues to resonate with potential employers. Nevertheless as the economy continues to rebound, the short-term will continue to present employment-related challenges, and I encourage students to meet regularly with your career advisor, to take advantage of our Center for Career Strategy and Advancement’s many services and programs.
Justice Sotomayor to Visit Law School
I am honored to announce newly appointed Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as this year’s Howard J. Trienens Visiting Judicial Scholar. In addition to various scheduled activities, Justice Sotomayor will participate in a discussion with the Northwestern Law community followed by a question and answer session on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.
Julius Rosenthal Foundation Lecture Series
This fall we will also welcome renowned scholars Theodore Eisenberg and Sherri Lynn Johnson, both of which are professors of Law at Cornell University, as a part of the Julius Rosenthal Foundation Lecture Series. The series on Capital Punishment will take place from September 14-16.
Pope & John Lecture Series on Professionalism
On Wednesday September 29 at 5:30 in Lincoln Hall, the Hon. Alexander M. Sanders Jr., will speak to the Northwestern Law Community on “Real Life Case Studies in Political Correctness.” Judge Sanders is the former Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals and has taught law for 25 years as a member of the adjunct faculty of Harvard Law School. This event is free and open to the public.
Brodsky Family Northwestern JD-MBA Fund Lecture
Mary Schapiro, the 29th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will speak on Tuesday November 9th as part of the Brodsky Family Northwestern JD-MBA Fund Lecture. This Fund supports the joint JD-MBA program offered by Northwestern University School of Law and the Kellogg School of Management.
Alumni from the classes of 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005 come back to the Law School Oct. 1-2 for Reunion 2010. Mingle with alums at the Alumni Community Day Party on Oct. 1 from 5:30-7:30 pm.
Student Programs and Events
Students play an important role in shaping life at Northwestern Law. Each year more than 50 student organizations plan and celebrate a variety of events to engage and educate the Law School community. Students not only choose topics and enlist speakers but also develop budgets and raise funds. In 2009-10, students working with our Firm and Corporate Relations team raised more than $175,000.
Class Gift Program
I am pleased to report that the Class of 2010's Graduating Class Gift effort was a success. The Class of 2010 secured a record-breaking 227 pledges totaling $104,950. The Committee achieved the challenge goal I issued of securing 2010 pledges by April 15, which will support the Law School Fund. More than $12,000 was raised towards the Evans Crowder Scholarship, which helped the class earn a $10,000 matching gift from Alumnus Garry Crowder. An amazing 44 student donors made commitments of $1,500 over the next five years, qualifying them for membership as a Young Wigmore in our John Henry Wigmore Club giving society.
This year we aim to increase the participation rate for the 2011 Class Gift by reaching out to students from each of our many programs. Stay tuned for information about how you can get involved in the 2011 Graduating Class Gift Committee.
As you may have noticed, we have made several improvements to our facility this summer, including a new conference room on the second floor of Rubloff, (just inside the entrance to the Library) , updated carpet, chairs, lighting, and sound systems in various classrooms in Rubloff, along with ceiling repairs and painting in the Law Library.