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Personal Panini Pledge (triple P)

A law student wrote me earlier today expressing frustration about the fact that the credit/debit machine in Harry’s Cafe is occasionally broken and, when so, students without cash handy are unable to purchase their lunch, coffee, or other snacks.  Empathizing with her situation, I quickly extended my personal guarantee to any law student who, stuck at the cash register, wants credit from Harry’s so as to move along with their food in hand.  After extending this promise — which I have taken to calling my personal panini pledge — I immediately worried that this might end up costing me some money if students skipped out on the check and didn’t pay Harry’s (or me) back.

So, I am scrambling to ensure that we can fundraise in an amount adequate to support, hopefully with a generous endowment, this “triple P.”  Please contact the Development office to arrange your substantial financial gift!


Northwestern in the Southeast

Visiting with alums on both coasts of Florida.

In addition to the obviously lovely attractions of this spot of the world, we have been struck by the energy and vitality of this ever-growing region.  NU Law alums practicing in law and business sectors are pleased with both the quality of work and quality of life in this area.  They tell me to encourage students to think hard about south Florida when they are exploring professional options.

Also, I have been thinking hard about developing further connections between our law school and Latin America. And Miami is a fruitful launching pad for these connections.  Chicago-Miami-Mexico-Brazil . . . the ever-growing NU Law global footprint!!


Summer jobs

Interesting piece on summer job situation for law students.  NU Law’s numbers are within the range of the other top schools mentioned.


Civil rights

I have been quite wary of using this blog for comments on an expressly ideological themes.  All respect to my friends and colleagues whose blogs are about politics, public policy, even partisan electoral debates.  But this blog, which is framed around matters of interest to the Northwestern Law School family, as well as interested friends, has a different purpose.

That said, I will break this rule in this instance because, frankly, I cannot help myself.  I am speaking here of the remarkable developments of this past week in recognizing the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans, first by the decision of U.S. Court of Appeals in California invalidating the voter-approved initiative proscribing same-sex marriage and, second, the passage by the Washington legislature of marriage-equality legislation.  Simple justice, wisely executed through key institutions in our political system.

Having worked a small amount on these legal issues, and having spoken in various venues about the twists-and-turns of the same-sex marriage controversies, I cannot hide my enthusiasm about this small steps toward equal justice and anti-discrimination.  A happy week.


We’ve got some Levy-Mayer and Rubloff naming opportunities available!



Law school boring?

maybe so, and in a good way, or so says this poster on Prawfblawg.

(as an administrative law teacher myself, I have only sympathy for the Yale law prof).


Part-time law programs

going the way of the dinosaur?  Maybe so, reports NLJ.

Key question at the end is what innovations will emerge out of this movement away from such programs.  Self-interest pleading on my part says Northwestern’s accelerated JD is one answer.  Other ideas?


Wildcats triumphant!

Hoops victory on the road against U. Illinois.

Go ‘Cats!


Chicago restaurant review (times two)

Friday visit to Wicker Park neighborhood.  Lively, diverse, colorful.  Good find on our part!  Will return for further exploring.  For now, we can say good things about Mirai Sushi at 2020 W. Division St.  Reasonbly snazzy place with various Japanese delicacies on order.  Started with a Sakatini (good drink; bad name).  Lovely wife had a Passion Cucumber drink (or something to that effect).  Met with our approval.

Various menu items later (special acknowledgment of the Tuna carpaccio salad and the spicy octopus roll), we emerged with a very favorable impression of this Chicagoland sushi joint.  By all accounts, Japanese cuisine is a Chicago staple.  We will look forward to adventuring in this direction further.

Saturday visit to the Bayless temple on Clark & Illinois.  I am speaking of the casual arm of the Mexican food bazaar established by the great chef, Rick B.  We were at Xoco.  Outstanding as always.

Although the winter is mild by all accounts, it is chilly enough for our Cali-Texas sensibilities to welcome the steaming Caldo (Mexican) soups on offer.  The special version of the duck Carnitas soup was especially revelatory.  Fantastic place, casual, economical and homey, and we recommend it strongly.


Accelerated JD

Here is a text of a memo I distributed to the Northwestern Law community earlier today:

To:       Northwestern Law Community

From:   Daniel Rodriguez

Re:       AJD Program Officially Ratified

I am pleased to report that our faculty voted unanimously to approve the Accelerated JD program as an enduring Northwestern Law program at a meeting earlier this afternoon.

The Accelerated JD program (AJD) is a core initiative of the Law School’s most recent strategic planning process, called Plan 2008.  When that plan was introduced, our faculty agreed to begin the AJD program on an experimental basis subject to a review and vote for final approval after 3 years.   Today, that vote took place and the faculty officially ratified the program, thereby removing the experimental tag.

The AJD program is a key component within the Law School’s ongoing strategy.  It has received significant attention in the press and blogosphere, including this recent article in US News & World Report.  That article, which highlighted three key trends in legal education for 2012, predicted that “a number of leading law schools will follow Northwestern’s lead in the coming months and years.”  As the only program of its kind among top-tier law schools, it serves as one of many important initiatives which continue to mark Northwestern Law as an innovative leader.  As it already has in its early stages, the program attracts excellent students, similar to our traditional three-year program students, whose backgrounds and experiences greatly enrich the overall learning environment and our community.

Students in the AJD program complete the same number of credit hours as three-year JD students in five semesters over the course of two calendar years.  AJD students benefit financially from the reduced opportunity cost associated with re-entering the workforce a year sooner and by foregoing one semester of education-related living expenses.

I look forward to watching this important program flourish over the coming years and I eagerly anticipate the noteworthy accomplishments its students will achieve while here and in their future careers.