Leadership and Strategy

Leadership and Strategy

Letter from the Dean

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is an extraordinary community of scholars, advocates and activists.  We are diverse in our backgrounds, interests and passions. We are alike in our belief that law is a force of social justice and the bedrock of a civilized society. We are united by our commitment to rigorous thought, respectful discourse, and cooperative problem solving. My goal as dean is to nurture and strengthen this community by ensuring that we develop and promote the human capital of each member of our community.

Students are our top priority. We are constantly evaluating, exploring, and experimenting with ways to improve our student experience. As the profession changes, we need to change with it. My first priority as dean is to prepare students for outstanding careers in a changing and challenging legal profession. We have several new strategies in furtherance of this core mission.

  • Provide comprehensive wraparound support, a team-based approach to academic and career counseling

  • Strengthen clinical opportunities and encourage experiential learning, through the extensive pro bono work of our Bluhm Legal Clinic

  • Expand curricular innovation that builds practice-readiness, led by the Center for Practice Engagement and Innovation (CPEI), our curricular incubator

  • Create valuable programming with Kellogg and other University schools/departments, building off the momentum of current programming, such as the Kellogg core course offerings and our San Francisco immersion program

  • Foster a community of empowered inclusion for all our students, led by our Associate Dean of Inclusion & Engagement

  • Help students in financial need through our STAR Fund, which assists with unanticipated financial challenges

Our commitment to students does not end at graduation. In fact, improving alumni support more generally is a core priority for me and for the Law School.  Graduates no longer leave law school and stay at one firm for their entire careers. They move around — into government, into business, into tech.  My “law school for life” vision embodies our aspiration to support the professional and educational development of our alumni throughout their careers. We will do this in a number of ways.

  • Provide personalized career counseling with our first full-time career advisor dedicated exclusively to alumni

  • Expand professional development offerings, including webinars, peer groups focused around particular career milestones, and increased networking and mentorship opportunities

  • Launch an on-ramping program, designed to help our graduates who have left the profession reenter with updated skills, bolstered confidence and institutional support

Ours is a noble profession. It is lawyers who protect the powerless, preserve order and maintain a civil society. At Northwestern Law, we have much to be proud of — an outstanding faculty, one of the largest clinics in the country, a diverse and engaged student body. Yet we also have a tremendous obligation – to our students, to our graduates and to our society more generally, to always strive to do better.

It is a great privilege to take on this obligation and to work with our community in furtherance of our fundamental goal of training and supporting collaborative, creative and caring leaders of our profession and our society. 

–  Dean Kim Yuracko