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!
I’m very pleased to share with you today’s announcement of the Robin Chemers Neustein Law School Visiting Professorship. Robin earned her JD-MBA from Northwestern in 1979; she serves on the Board of Trustees and is a great friend of the University and the Law School.
Her gift allows us to bring noteworthy visiting scholars to the Law School. The first of these is Morton Horwitz, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History Emeritus at Harvard Law. Morton is the author of a very important book, The Transformation of American Law, 1780–1860—which won the 1978 Bancroft Prize. He also wrote The Transformation of American Law, 1970–1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy and The Warren Court and the Pursuit of Justice. These works secured his place as a leading scholar of American Legal History.
This semester he will teach a seminar entitled American Legal History: the Warren Court, and, together with Professor Nadav Shoked, a course on the History of Economic Regulation. He is a terrific addition to our community of scholars, and as it happens, several of us on the faculty—myself, Nadav, and Stephen Presser—studied with Morton, back in the day, at Harvard.
Morton is the first of many extraordinary scholars we will bring to Northwestern Law as a result of Robin’s generosity. Her gift will enrich our teaching and scholarship in innumerable ways.
We have a number of significant events coming up this week at Northwestern Law.
On Thursday evening, we will be launching the public phase of our comprehensive funding campaign. We will join with over 200 alumni, faculty, students, staff, and friends to celebrate NU Law and to look ahead to our great fundraising objectives. Please check out the Law School’s campaign website for up-to-date information about our campaign. (And, of course, news about our campaign will be featured on this blog).
On Friday, we will honor a number of distinguished law alumni at our second annual awards ceremony. We are especially pleased to welcome home Justice John Paul Stevens.
That same day, we will meet with our Law Board, the alumni advisor group to the Law School. I look forward to updating this group about the progress of our strategic plan.
On Friday afternoon and through Saturday, we will host our all-alumni weekend, with several programs and panels and also a Q & A session with me about the Law School. Finally, on Saturday night, we will celebrate with many alumni their reunions. We welcome back all our alumni from Chicago and around the world.
International law and law and economics expert, and one of my colleagues here at Northwestern Law, Eugene Kontorovich has been tracking the phenomenon of “gaolbalization” for a few years now. Earlier this week he published an update on The Volokh Conspiracy that is well worth a read.
Along with our entering JD and LLM students, we welcome a new group of students to Northwestern Law School: the inaugural class of our new Master of Science in Law (MSL) program. These students are scientists, engineers, and medical professionals who will study the foundations of law and regulation in a one-year program that focuses on intellectual property & patent law, regulatory analysis & strategy, and business law & entrepreneurship. The 30 members of our MSL entering class come from a diverse mix of backgrounds and interests – all share in common that they want to combine their technical expertise with legal and business skills so that they can work effectively at the interface of law, business, and technology/science.
In the days/weeks ahead, I will share more about the MSL program and the innovative curriculum we are providing to MSL students. For now, though, I wanted to give you a sense of who are the students in the MSL program – the trailblazing souls who will set the tone for the MSL program for years to come.
By the numbers:
18 full-time and 12 part-time students
15 women and 15 men
Average age: 30
50% have advanced degrees, with 4 PhDs, 1 PharmD
One-third from life sciences, one-third from engineering, last third split between medicine, chemistry, and technology.
Two-thirds have work experience after their undergraduate or advanced degrees.
Two-thirds are from US; one-third are international students, representing China, India, and Mexico.
To give you a better sense of who is in the MSL program, let me detail the backgrounds of some of our MSL students here:
- A patent agent who did her undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania in Bioengineering and has been working as a patent agent for the past 8 years.
- A research scientist at Northwestern who an MS in Immunology & Microbiology from Rush University.
- A recent undergraduate from USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering who studied Chemical Engineering and Nanotechnology and is interested in management consulting and private equity.
- A student who just finished his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Iowa and is interested in becoming a scientific advisor or technical specialist.
- A recent undergraduate from Tongji University in Shanghai, China, who studied Software Engineering and did an internship at eBay.
- A student who graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in integrative biology who is interested in public health and the future of health care and medicine.
- A research assistant professor at the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute who has his PhD in Neurobiology.
- A student who recently earned his Master’s in Civil Engineering and a Master’s in Architecture from the University of Illinois who wants to design, engineer, and construct super insulated buildings.
- A student who earned his BS in Biomedical Engineering in Mexico and wants to start his own medical device company
- A student from India with a BS and MS is Biotechnology who wants to help researchers avoid legal obstacles surrounding their discoveries and inventions.
- A pharmacist who would like to work in the pharmaceutical industry and be involved with the process of making medications available to the public.
- A person with a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A & M who has been working as a Safety & Regulatory Engineer.
- A student with a master’s degree in Urban Planning & Policy, who is a legal operations manager at a technology company.
- A data assistant at Northwestern University who is interested in becoming more involved with scientific research and grant administration.
- A student who started his own software company and has earned degrees in Product Design and Development and Values-Driven Leadership.
- A lab manager at the Lurie Cancer Center who has an MS in Biotechnology from Rush University.
- A Histology Technologist in the Pathology Core Facility at Northwestern.
- A Post-Approval Monitoring Coordinator in an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
- A consultant with an MBA and a Master’s in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.
- A PhD in Neuroscience who is a compliance analyst in a University Conflict of Interest office.
- A Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist at a construction products company with an undergraduate degree in Biology.
One thing that these students have told us is that the program really “hit the spot” for them – these are people interested in the intersection of law, business, and technology who are happy to have found a program that is specifically tailored to their exact interests. We are happy that these students found their way to our program and look forward to a productive and exciting year with them.