Northwestern Law School, located in the heart of Chicago, is one of the top law schools in the country, currently ranked 11th by U.S. News and World Report, tied with Duke Law. Its acceptance rate was 17.6% in 2007.
Notably, Northwestern Law is the only major law school that tries to interview each and every applicant, and the vast majority of Northwestern Law students have at least one year of work experience before entering law school.
Northwestern Law's three-year full-time day Juris Doctor (J.D.) program operates from late August to early May; there are no part-time or evening programs or mid-year entry. Northwestern Law does offer a unique 2-year accelerated J.D. program, the first top tier school to do so. For information on living accommodations, see Student Housing and Housing FAQ.
357 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Fast Facts (Class of 2012)
Class enrollment: 272
Students of color: 43%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1: 10.4
LSAT Median: 170
LSAT 25/75 Percentile: 166-172
UGPA Median: 3.7
UGPA 25/75 Percentile: 3.4-3.8
Costs and Fees (2009-2010)
Application fee: $100
Application dates: Apply between October 1 and February 15 for admission the following fall.
Applicants must submit applications online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
In addition to the application and fee, applicants must submit:
- Personal statement
- LSDAS report including LSAT score
- One letters of recommendation
For complete information on admission procedures at Northwestern Law, see Required Items.
Northwestern Law generally accepts about 30-35 transfer students a year; applicants must have completed one year in an ABA-accredited law school and, once transferred, can participate in all law school activities, including moot court, on-campus interviewing, and journals.
Transfer applicants should follow the same application procedure as for regular admission.
For more information on transferring to Northwestern Law, see Transfer/Visiting.
Degrees and Curriculum
In order to earn a Juris Doctor degree, a Northwestern Law student must earn 86 semester credit hours and complete an upper-level writing requirement. For more detailed information, see Degree Requirements.
The first-year curriculum includes Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Property, Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, and Communication and Legal Reasoning I and II.
Northwestern Law offers more than 10 study abroad programs including locations in Australia, Argentina, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Singapore, Israel, and Brazil.
Law Journals and Other Activities
Northwestern Law has six student-run journals, including the Northwestern University Law Review, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, and Journal of International Human Rights Law.
Along with many student organizations, the law school has specialized programs and centers for specific legal interests, such as the Children and Family Justice Center, Small Business Opportunity Center, and Center on Wrongful Convictions.
Bar Exam Passage Rate
A majority of Northwestern Law students take the Illinois State Bar Exam and, in 2007, achieved a 95.1% pass rate. The overall pass rate for the Illinois Bar Exam was 87%.
From the 2007 graduating class, 96.2% were employed at graduation and 99.2% were employed nine months after graduation. The median starting salary in the private sector was $135,000 and $55,000 in the public sector.
Seventy-nine percent of the Class of 2007 secured work in private practice, 9% received judicial clerkships, 7% entered the business field and 5% accepted government or public interest positions.