John Thornton

Clinical Associate Professor of Law


John Thornton is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Professor Thornton specialized in complex commercial litigation, practicing law at Jenner & Block LLP; Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz, PC; and at a Chicago litigation boutique. He received a BA from Notre Dame, a Masters in Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he taught English as a Second Language, and a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Professor Thornton’s book, U.S. Legal Reasoning, Writing, and Practice for International Lawyers (LexisNexis 2014, now Carolina Academic Press), won the Global Legal Skills Award in 2015, and he is the Chair of the AALS Section on Graduate Programs for Non-US Lawyers.

Selected Publications

  • U.s. Legal Reasoning, Writing, And Practice For International Lawyers (LexisNexis 2014) (now Carolina Academic Press).
  • 2008 Developments in Illinois Employment Discrimination Law, Employment issue, Vol. 23 Andrews Litigation Reporter 8 (November 18, 2008) (with Alan W. Nicgorski).
  • Record Retention and Litigation Holds for Financial Institutions, The Review of Banking & Financial Services (June 2006) (with Bruce A. Radke).
  • Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions, in Chapter 9, Illinois Institute For Continuing Legal Education, Business & Commercial Litigation, 2007 edition (with Gregory J. Scandaglia, William J. Ryan, and Bradley D. Hergott).
  • Winning the Battle of the Forms, Illinois Bar Journal (July 2008) (with William J. Ryan).


  • BA magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame
  • MA, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • JD, Northwestern University

Prior Appointments

  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Associate, 2006-2009, Scandaglia & Ryan
  • Associate, 2005-2006, Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz, PC
  • Associate, 2002-2005, Jenner & Block LLP
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Lecturer, 1985-1999, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • English as a Second Language Instructor, 1983-1985, Truman College Refugee Program

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