Fast Facts for Prospective Students

law student in a classroom talking with other students

What Prospective Students Should Know About Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Choosing the right law school is an important first step in launching your professional career. There are many factors to consider, including which school will best prepare you for leadership and impact at this moment of change in the legal profession and society.

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is such a school. A longstanding leader in innovative legal education, Northwestern Pritzker Law takes an interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching that provides its graduates with needed cross-cutting knowledge and skills. The Law School offers a wide range of innovative courses, clinics, and interdisciplinary programs spanning law, business, technology, social justice, and more. We work closely with practicing lawyers to develop cutting-edge training in leadership, professional identity, and technology. This approach enables us to graduate bold, multidimensional, and adaptive thinkers who will thrive in today’s rapidly evolving legal landscape.

Whether you want to pursue a career in the private sector, public interest, government, or academia, we have you covered. As we reported to the ABA, nearly 99% of our 2023 graduates were employed as of March 15, 2024. In addition to our extremely strong record in placing students in top law firms, we also have extensive resources for public interest students that include a dedicated Public Interest Center, guaranteed summer stipends, bar prep support, loan forgiveness, and post-graduation fellowships. We prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything we do, and we are committed to building a supportive, inclusive community together.

As you move through the application process, we encourage you to reach out to our Northwestern Pritzker Law community.

JD Application Deadlines

  • Early Decision: November 15, 2023
  • Regular: February 15, 2024

View deadline information.

LLM Application Deadline

  • January 15, 2024

Learn about our interview program for JD and LLM applicants.

student studying
Student Characteristics and Admissions

The student body includes many talented individuals from all walks of life, many of them having additional talents and careers before joining the Law School. They include numerous athletes, musicians, actors, dancers, debaters, investment bankers, accountants, teachers, journalists, military veterans, and much more.

JD Entering Class

  • 241 Students
    • 227 JD
    • 12 JD-MBA
    • 2 JD-PHD
  • Median LSAT: 172
  • Middle 50% LSAT: 166-174
  • Median UGPA: 3.92
  • Middle 50% UGPA: 3.66-3.97
  • Average age: 25
  • 55% Women
  • 52% Students of color (including international citizens)
  • 18% First-generation college students
  • Students come from 37 states and the District of Columbia. Candidates also include citizens of Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mauritius, and Venezuela.

Full 2023 Class Profile »

Law students at a Northwestern University football game in Evanston
The Student Experience

The Law School has more than 40 student organizations, plus seven student-run academic journals. These groups are leaders in organizing lectures, panels, and other events at the Law School each year.

The Law School is based in vibrant downtown Chicago – a dynamic location that fosters innovative opportunities with law firms, courts and the public and private sector. At the same time, students can draw on the vast resources of Northwestern University in Evanston, one of the top research institutions in the world.

Through the Law School's West Coast Initiative, students also have the opportunity to take courses in San Francisco, LA, and Seattle that provide immersive study into tech, entertainment, and sports law.

Faculty
Faculty

  • Resident Faculty (full-time): 135
  • Other Faculty: 126 (adjuncts/visitors from practice, lecturers, etc.)
  • Librarians: 11

        Data reported to the ABA for 2023

Northwestern Pritzker Law leads in interdisciplinary and social justice research and teaching.

Most interdisciplinary research faculty in the nation — over 50% with PhDs  — who produce impactful scholarship.

Two professors are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 13 are members of the American Law Institute. 

law school classroom
Academics 

  • More than 400 courses offered each year
  • Bluhm Legal Clinic includes 12 centers and more than 20 clinics
    • 90% of students from each graduating class participate in the Bluhm Legal Clinic
  • 4 dual-degree programs
  • 14 study abroad programs
  • Innovative interdisciplinary offerings include:
    • Law and Technology Initiative in partnership with Engineering connects faculty, students, practitioners, and business leaders to created needed innovation.
    • Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Concentration prepares students to lead at the interface of law, business, and technology.
    • Innovation Lab brings together students from multiple disciplines to create innovative technology solutions.
    • The West Coast Initiative offers students opportunities to build their professional acumen and networks in three programs: L.A. Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law & Business Semester; San Francisco Immersion Program (technology and entrepreneurship); and the Seattle Tech-Law Experience 
  • Students benefit from a three-floor library that includes thousands of volumes and volume equivalents and offers panoramic views of Lake Michigan 

students studying
Financial Aid

Students who received scholarships and grants in 2022-23: 530

Financial Aid Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

Law School alum outside of McCormick Hall
Employment

Northwestern Pritzker Law was ranked No. 1 in Law.com’s 2024 Go-To Law Schools: Big Law. We have been ranked in the top 5 for 13 of the 17 years of this ranking.

The Princeton Review ranking rated Northwestern Pritzker Law No. 8 for Best Career Prospects. We have ranked in the top 10 for Best Career Prospects every year since this ranking debuted in 2008. We also have been ranked No. 1 six times during that period. These rankings are based on student and administrator surveys. 

Above the Law — which focuses on employment outcomes — ranked Northwestern Pritzker Law No. 8 in the Top 10 Law Schools for 2023.

JD Class of 2023

  • 10-month employment rate (includes graduates employed in full-time, long-term positions that require bar passage or where the JD degree provides an advantage, as well as those pursuing a graduate degree): 97.8%
  • 93.9% of students employed at graduation (same type of positions as above)
  • Median private sector starting salary: $225,000
  • Median public service starting salary: $73,295
  • 600 grand total Northwestern graduates clerking during the ten-year period from 2014 through 2023 terms, including 6 SCOTUS clerkships
    • 262 total clerkships (immediately following graduation) 
    • 338 total alumni clerkships (a year or more after graduation)

Law alums
Alumni

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is traditionally well-represented in the U.S. government, including among U.S. attorneys, federal judges, and state attorneys. Current and former U.S. Congressional Representatives are graduates of the Law School. 

Outside of government, alumni pursue a range of private sector, public interest, and non-profit careers.

We have more than 19,000 alums in over 90 countries. 

Prominent alumni include:  

Courtney Armstrong (JD-MBA '97)
President, Business Affairs and Administration at Paramount Pictures 

Neil Bluhm (JD '62)
Managing Principal of Walton Street Capital LLC 

Sharon Bowen (JD-MBA '82)
Chair of the New York Stock Exchange 

Ruben Castillo (JD '79)
Chief Judge of the United States District of Northern Illinois

G. Marcus Cole (JD ’93)
Dean of Notre Dame Law School 

Faith Gay (JD '86)
Founding Partner of Selendy & Gay PLLC 

Ernest Greer (JD '91)
Co-President and Managing Regional Partner of Greenberg Traurig 

Arthur Goldberg (JD ’30)
United States Supreme Court Justice 

Ada Kepley (LLB 1870)
First woman to receive a law degree in the U.S.

Joan Larsen (JD '93)
United States Court of Appeals Judge, Sixth Circuit 

Joan Lefkow (JD '71)
U.S. District Judge of the District of Northern Illinois, Chicago

Robert Todd Lincoln (LLB 1866)
Son of President Abraham Lincoln 

Lanny Martin (JD '73)
Founder and Managing Director of Platte River Equity 

Newt Minow (JD '50)
Chair of the Federal Communications Commission

Dawn Clark Netsch (JD '52)
Illinois Comptroller and State Senator

Carter Phillips (JD ’77)
Supreme Court and Appellate Lawyer, Partner at Sidley

J.B. Pritzker (JD '93)
Governor of the State of Illinois 

Pat Quinn (JD '80)
Governor of the State of Illinois 

Jerry Reinsdorf (JD '60)
President & Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox 

Michael Sacks (JD-MBA '88)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Grosvenor Capital Management 

Sherrese Smith (JD '96)
Managing Partner of Paul Hastings 

Justice John Paul Stevens (JD '47)
United States Supreme Court Justice 

Mark Walter (JD '85)
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Guggenheim Capital 

Honorable Horace Ward (JD '59)
Federal District Judge and Civil Rights Pioneer 

Harold Washington (JD '52)
Mayor of Chicago

Jim Thompson (JD '59)
Governor of the State of Illinois

public service program student volunteersExperiential Learning and Social Justice

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is located in vibrant downtown Chicago, home to leading global law firms, international businesses, and a welcoming community. This makes experiential learning, internships, externships and a variety of clinical legal opportunities easily accessible for our students.

In the Bluhm Legal Clinic, one of the most diverse and comprehensive clinical programs among the country's law schools, students gain direct experience representing clients, while also working with faculty to challenge the fairness of legal institutions and propose solutions for reform. Typically, 90% of students participate in Bluhm Legal Clinic programs during their time at the Law School.

Through our Public Interest Center, students can access financial support to do public interest work during and after law school, and take advantage of a wide range of pro bono and public service opportunities.

The West Coast Initiative offers new opportunities to current and future law students, alumni, and corporate and law firm partners in three key West Coast markets touching a cross-section of locally relevant industries – whether it be in the technology entrepreneurship environment of San Francisco or Seattle, or the entertainment and sports industries of Los Angeles.

Through the Center for Racial and Disability Justice, a first-of-its-kind center dedicated to promoting justice for people of color, people with disabilities, and individuals at the intersection of race and disability, students can participate in collaborative and interdisciplinary work, drawing connections among departments at Northwestern University and the greater Chicago community.

classroomDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Northwestern Pritzker Law is com­mitted to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for every member of our community, and to taking concrete action to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as well as social and racial justice. Some examples of that action include:

  • Hosted an annual First-Generation Pre-Law Conference and Pathways to the Legal Profession Conference for prospective law students
  • Funded 10 student-led DEI initiatives designed to promote diversity and inclusion within our community
  • Launched a new accessibility working group composed of students, faculty, and staff
  • Collaborated with Upward Bound and Chicago Public Schools to host over 250 high school students at the Law School as part of a new pipeline initiative
  • Facilitated visits by four students to nine minority-serving institutions to share their experiences and paths to law school with prospective students
  • Collaborated with alumni affinity groups to strengthen connections between current students and alumni with shared identities
  • Developed new DEI-related programming, including around disability inclusion, American Indian law, racial disparities in healthcare, and Día de los Muertos
  • Organized a staff visit to the DuSable Museum of African American History in honor of Juneteenth
  • Curated training programs to members of the Law School community relating to implicit bias and cultural competency

McCormick Building
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Rankings

Well-formulated rankings and other publicly available data can be useful in comparing law schools and deciding which schools best meet prospective students’ educational and career aspirations. Rankings are for 2023 unless otherwise noted.

Princeton Review's Law School Rankings
  • No. 8 for Best Career Prospects
  • We have ranked in the top 10 for Best Career Prospects every year since this ranking debuted in 2008, and have been ranked No. 1 six times during that period.
Above the Law’s Top 50 Law School Rankings
  • Ranked No. 8
Law.com’s 2024 Go-To Law Schools: Big Law
  • Ranked No. 1
  • We have been ranked in the top 5 for 13 of the 17 years of this ranking.

law student in a classroom talking with other students
Resources and Support

Student Services
Career Strategy Center
Alumni Information
Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Office of Financial Aid