Earlier this week, The Princeton Review released its annual Best Law Schools guide, and I am pleased to report that Northwestern Law once again has placed at or near the top in a number of categories, including the #1 spot for Best Career Prospects—a position we have held for 6 of the 10 years that The Princeton Review has published these rankings.
The Princeton Review compiled the lists based on surveys of 19,500 students attending 169 law schools during the 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 academic years. According to its site, the survey asked students about their school’s academics, student body and campus life, and their career plans.
I am delighted by our strong showing in several important categories and am particularly pleased with the consistency of our Best Career Prospects ranking over time. These results serve as a ringing endorsement of the many features that embody the Northwestern Law Difference—our outstanding students and faculty, our collaborative culture, our innovative programs, the effective manner in which we educate and prepare students for their careers, and the myriad ways our alumni positively impact society.
I also would like to thank our Career Strategy Center team for the services and counsel they provide to our students and graduates—they have done an exceptional job.
As this article in Forbes explains yet again, the employment picture for recent law grads is not rosy. There has been a fundamental shift in the hiring market for legal talent, and it is incumbent upon us in legal education to acknowledge, understand, and respond to this evolution. I’ve written about this a lot on this blog because the legal job market—and in particular, jobs for Northwestern Law graduates—continues to be a major focus of my efforts. I appreciate the acknowledgement of our efforts from the students who responded to The Princeton Review’s survey, and want to stress that we will in no way “rest on our laurels.” There is much yet to be done.
Today and tomorrow the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth will host the Fourth Annual Research Roundtable on the Law and Economics of Digital Markets. Peter DiCola, Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern Law, and Shane Greenstein, Kellogg Chair in Information Technology at the Kellogg School of Management, organize this ongoing roundtable series. The papers presented will include both economic studies of the transition to digital retail of music and legal studies of how copyright law and contract law intersect in the digital environment. This is a unique forum for business economists and legal scholars to come together to discuss the radical changes to the copyright industries brought about by new technology. It’s fascinating work.
Peter and Shane have brought together an interesting and important group of scholars for this event—a complete list of participants and roundtable papers can be found on the Searle Center website.
UPDATE: Great coverage from ABC News on the visit.
Robert Downey Jr. is in Chicago today promoting his new film, The Judge, which opens this weekend. He stopped by the Law School to discuss the movie with our students.
Third-year student Leesa Haspel and I moderated the Q & A. Because the character Robert plays in the film is a Northwestern Law graduate, Leesa kicked it off by asking how he prepared to play a lawyer. His response? “Well, first of all, I tried to get on the other side of the bench.” The discussion that followed was by turns thoughtful and irreverent, ranging in subject from the production of The Judge, to the actor’s craft, to what makes a great lawyer.
The Q & A was videorecorded, and I invite you to watch it here.
It was great having Robert here – I now count him among our alumni, even if he only played one on the silver screen.
Enjoyable week in Madrid, visiting with students and faculty in our joint executive LLM program with IE. I co-taught two classes with The Hon. Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit. The program is an excellent opportunity for students around the world to get an intense education in law & business.
Here are pictures of students and Prof. Jim Lupo, in class and at a dinner held at the Real Madrid soccer stadium.
Visiting this week in Madrid with our partner law school, IE, with whom with have a joint LLM program focusing on international business law. In addition to co-teaching with Judge Margaret McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals, I will be joining with the students of our program, a diverse cohort from many continents and countries.
The IE program, like our programs in Tel Aviv and Seoul, is run on an executive format and gives students the opportunity to learn from top professors (from Northwestern and the host schools) and develop focused expertise on subjects valuable to future legal (and business) careers in which exposure to American and international legal concepts, principles, and doctrines are increasingly important.
It was a great pleasure to host the 2014 Northwestern Law Alumni Awards yesterday, and I’m pleased to share with you some of the highlights:
The Dean’s Legacy Award went to the Honorable John Paul Stevens. His award was presented by Kate Shaw, his former law clerk.
Carter Phillips addressed the crowd after receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Volunteer Service Award was presented to Paul Meister.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented Tina Tchen with the Dawn Clark Netsch Public Service Award; your faithful blogger is there on the right.
The Emerging Leader Award was presented to Todd Belcore by Cindy Wilson, Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Externships.
The Dean’s Partnership Award was presented to the Kenneth F. and Harle G. Montgomery Foundation. Pictured here: Tom Geraghty, Professor and Director of the Bluhm Legal Clinic, with Cynthia Kobel and Walter Bell, who accepted the award on behalf of the foundation.
It was a great event – thanks to everyone who joined us for the celebration, and to our award winners, for all they do for Northwestern Law.
Yesterday, Northwestern Law launched a historic fundraising campaign.
Motion to Lead: The Campaign for Northwestern Law will raise $150 million for financial aid, curricular innovation, law-business-technology programs, social justice initiatives, the Bluhm Legal Clinic, global projects, and the new Center for Practice Engagement & Innovation. This campaign will build the philanthropic support that will enable us—with creativity, energy, and innovative thinking—to address the challenges facing legal education. These challenges are inextricably bound up with the future of the legal profession, and how we prepare our students for that future. Our students have high expectations of us, as they should. We are taking bold steps to meet and exceed these expectations. This campaign is an example: it is the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history. We have already raised $67 million toward our very ambitious goal. (To put that in historical context, our last campaign raised a total of $78 million.) Developing the resources that will enable us to leverage our existing assets and create new ones is an essential obligation because in the future it will not be enough to be merely excellent. In the future, the best law schools will be different in ways that make a difference. And that is our plan.
In the coming weeks, I’ll discuss more—much more—about the specifics of the campaign and the Law School’s strategic plan on this blog. I look forward to sharing that with you.
My colleague, Leigh Buchanan Bienen, who is first and foremost an expert on (and agitator for) capital punishment reform, just published a book about Florence Kelley—labor activist, political reformer, and 1895 Northwestern Law alumna. Kelley’s tireless efforts to reform labor laws, particularly for women and children, had a profound impact on working in the United States.
Florence Kelley and the Children: Factory Inspector in 1890s Chicago, focuses on Kelley’s life in Chicago in the 1890s, during which time she served as Chief Factory Inspector for the State of Illinois. A woman in a job like that was all but unheard of in those days, but so was a woman earning a law degree. Kelley put her legal education to good use in her lifelong efforts to change labor laws. She battled legislation challenging the Illinois factory inspection law all the way to the Supreme Court, and won. She was one of the contributors to the 1908 Brandeis Brief, which combined legal argument with scientific evidence and changed American jurisprudence forever, and she worked on other labor-law cases heard by the nation’s highest court. She was an appellate rock star in an age when women couldn’t vote.
The book is more than a just a history, though. Using biographical elements from her own life and work, Leigh draws interesting parallels between the struggles of the labor movement of the late 19th century and the events that led to the end of capital punishment in Illinois just a few years ago. Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here, describes the book in this way: “In these pages, Leigh Bienen offers a worthy tribute to Kelley and draws intriguing parallels to the struggles of today.”
My congratulations, and my thanks, to Leigh!