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Chicago legal market: information and insights from key players

Recommended is this article (pdf) in The National Law Journal about the state of the legal market in Chicago.  Overall theme, to me, is highly positive about state of Chicago market, but with the wise cautions befitting the dynamic condition of the legal market generally.

Not a large amount of focus on entry-level hiring, although, naturally, this turns on larger matters concerning legal business and competitive pressures.  Law students and alumni, particularly “younger” alumni, who are especially focused upon hiring patterns and business climate, would benefit from a close look at this dialogue.

Comments (attributed, constructive, and civil) are welcome.


Wildcats shout out to Law School

during yesterday’s great victory against Boston College.

We were pleased to join with alumni and friends at the NU Law tailgate.


Go Wildcats!

as we take on Boston College today in football.


Award for Prof. David Scheffer

Congrats to David, who ably leads our Center for International Human Rights, for this extraordinary honor.


Northwestern Law in Detroit

I am pleased to be joining several enthusiastic NU Law alums in the Motor City!  We are proud of the many distinctions our grads have made in this vibrant, hardworking, quintessentially American city in the Midwest.  While we will agree to disagree about the Tigers and White Sox (who are currently battling for American League supremacy), we celebrate our Northwestern-Detroit connections.  And we look to our Detroit brothers and sisters for continuing support of our law school and, significantly, for valuable employment opportunities for our students.

We will be at the Detroit Athletic Club downtown for any Detroit alums who wish to join us tonight at 6 pm.


Cry for Justice

Check out this remarkable video about Prof. Sandra Babcock’s (of Northwestern’s Center for International Human Rights) incredible work in Malawi, Africa.

This extraordinary work brings together squarely the justice mission of the Center, the intrepid engagement of brilliant lawyers such as Sandra and her colleagues, and the imperative of training law students for valuable public service careers.

Do take a few minutes to watch this incredibly powerful video.


Welcome to the windy city


This week, we kicked off orientation for our new JD, AJD, JD-MBA, and LLM candidates.  It was my first Northwestern Law orientation as well.  Our incoming students bring with them a diverse array of experiences. They include accomplished athletes, musicians, artists, actors, engineers & scientists, doctors, computer programmers, financial managers, accountants, teachers, consultants, entrepreneurs, government policy researchers, committed volunteers for the disadvantage, and more.

Since the majority of our new students come from regions outside the Midwest (hailing from 35 states and more than 25 countries), I thought this would be a good opportunity to share with them some of what I have learned about the City of Chicago.  The information offers varying degrees of utility, and appears in no particular order.

  1. Chicago streets are laid out on a grid system, with Madison and State Streets acting as the x and y axes, respectively.  If an address is 800 north, this means it is 8 blocks north of Madison.  Similarly, an address that is 400 west means it is 4 blocks west of Madison.  Chicagoans employed logic before there was GPS.
  2. Chicagoans are unwaveringly loyal to their sports teams, regardless of inclement weather conditions or mediocre records.  That being said, one cannot be both a Cubs fan and a White Sox fan.
  3. Chicago is Gotham in both Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight).



  1.  The origin of Chicago’s Windy City nickname is a topic of some debate.  While many attribute it to the city’s weather (and it can be windy), most historians claim that it originates from Chicago’s loquacious politicians of the late 19th century.  The coining of the phrase is most widely attributed to Charles A. Dana, a New York Sun editor who contested Chicago as a viable contender to host the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
  2. Chicagoans and the rest of the world differ on their pronunciation of Goethe.  While reference to the German author is “Gurrr-tuh,” many Chicagoans pronounce the street “Go-thhee.”  (The fact that the Chicago Transit Authority calls it by its German pronunciation seems to have done little to sway the masses.)  Correcting a Chicagoan’s pronunciation of the street does not make you sound well-read; more likely, it makes you sound like you’re not a local.

(thanks to our new special assistant, Kate Schulte, herself a Chicago native, for her help with this post)


New academic year is here!

but where oh where did the summer go?

Welcome to all new Northwestern law students.  And welcome back to rising 2Ls and 3Ls.  We hope the summer period was restful, productive, and happy.  We are delighted to welcome you back.

I look forward to the coming year with eager anticipation of what is before us.  We plan ambitiously for interesting events and programs and, of course, for a curriculum that is consistently vital, challenging, and well suited to the challenges of a dynamic profession.  And, of course, things will happen that we cannot yet anticipate.  In the midst of all of that, I hope all members of our Northwestern community will keep firmly in mind our commitment to maintaining the kind of special, supportive community which is our Law School’s hallmark.

Naturally, I urge you to keep up to date on this blog.  After a bit of a hiatus, I look forward to contributing news, viewpoints, and perspectives and sharing information with our community and with other interested readers.  I hope it will be regular reading material.  And, whenever sensible, I will open up the comments thread for your insights and reflections (though please only non-anonymous, constructive comments).