Skip to content

Archive for


Center on Wrongful Convictions — Women’s Project

Come by Lincoln Hall at the Law School later this evening (6 pm) to hear about the launch of a remarkable new project — the CWC’s new effort focused on wrongfully incarcerated women.  This program supplements in a critical way the extraordinary work of the CWC over its existence.  Sadly, the needs of justice — that is, of righting injustice — continues relentlessly.  With CWC, Northwestern can organize the work of able lawyers, students, and staff in order to make a real difference.  This particular focus on women is the logical next step in the constructive program of this peerless organization.


Data on 2012 Law School Admissions

Interesting report from ABA.  We are within the category of schools that basically stayed the same with respect to 1L enrollment — and, as previously reported, we maintained our same (high) credential medians as well as meeting our principal diversity objectives.


Interesting response to “Failing Law Schools”

From Professor Philip Schrag of Georgetown. (Thanks to Leiter Law Reports for the link).   The subject of this response is Prof. Brian Tamanaha’s book from last summer, “Failing Law Schools.”


Happy thanksgiving from Streeterville

I am thankful for all the good work and efforts of our Northwestern law community to create an environment in which our students can learn, our faculty can teach and write, and we can improve the profession.

I am thankful for all the readers of this blog.  Keep it up!

And I am thankful, of course, for the blessings of family and friends in this holiday season.



Innovations in Action: External relations as a purposive strategy

Law schools have traditionally configured their external relations programs within discrete silos.  Alumni relations deals with particular outreach (sometimes ambitious, other times more mechanical) usually in the form of receptions, reunions, and the like.  Development is, of course, about fundraising.  Career services is about placement . . . you get the point.

However, our aim is to think about the larger project of external relations as a coherent, structured, and quite purposive process of engaging with myraid stakeholders in the legal and business community about what Northwestern is about and, further, what is in it for them in partnering with our law school.  During the past year, we have moved in this more comprehensive direction in tangible ways:

  • Earlier this year, we created a new position, Assistant dean of External Partnerships, the purpose of which is to reach out to current and potential partners in law firms and in the business community in order to develop targeted initaitives which create mutual value for their organizations and our law school.  We build on the reputation of key existing partnerships, including the Securities Regulation Institute, the Corporate Counsel Institute, and the Garrett Institute, and we look to leverage nascent connections in order to create new, vibrant opportunities to work collaboratively with important legal and corporate partners.  The ADEP (Juliann Cecchi) and her staff are the point persons for these initiatives;
  • We are working with a prominent law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, to implement one of their principal objectives, that is, the creation of a special law and business forum for business leaders & C-suite executives on developments in law and business.  In this regard, we will be working with our colleagues at the Kellogg Business School to set up this program;
  • As part of our efforts to expand the work and influence of the world-class Searle Center on Law & Regulation, we are setting up an advisory board of prominent legal and corporate leaders to assist our efforts;
  • The Career Strategy office is working closely with External Partnerships to broaden our relationships with law firms, particularly mid-size law firms, in order to improve the employment prospects of our students.  We are working on targeted job fairs, some with other leading law schools, in order to expand opportunities.  Moreover, we are developing strategies to expand relationships with law firms and governmental employers in Washington DC, a major employment location by any measure;
  • Judicial clerkships:  We are ramping up considerably our efforts at judicial clerkships, by leveraging the expertise and energy of key faculty members who have developed successful strategies for clerkship placement.;

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet with distinguished law firm leaders as part of a program called the “managing partners roundtable.”  During that meeting, we were able to reflect upon the values of these kinds of purposive external relations strategies.  I am convinced that it is only through these kinds of ambitious, multidmensional, and collaborative endeavors that we can consciously expand the footprint of Northwestern Law School.


Decline in LSAT takers

According to latest data, LSAT administrations are down from 18% last year.  Several consecutive years of decline.  This is a phenomenon that, to me, is neither bad nor bad, but just reflects the difficult choices students make in the face of the contemporary legal market.  As I and others have said in various fora, law schools need to be creative and bold in dealing with these challenges.  And Northwestern Law School needs to be proactive in explaining why it represents an extraordinary value proposition in this complex environment.  We expect our law school applicants to ask hard questions of us and to expect adaptations in both our economic model and in our curricular program.  Meetings these student demands is at the core of true innovation.

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting as part of a series I can “Innovations in Action.”  These will be descriptions of some of the steps we have taken during the last year to adapt to the new normal and, indeed, steps we have taken to truly lead in the midst of this dynamic change.


Labor relations at Wal-Mart; post by Prof. Zev Eigen

Interesting commentary from NU Law labor relations expert.

Now what does he think of the Hostess kerfuffle???  Comment on Twinkiesgate?


New NU faculty hire

From an announcement I sent to Law School community earlier this week:

I am delighted to report that Professor Emily Kadens is joining the Northwestern Law School faculty, effective January 1, 2013.  She comes to Northwestern from the University of Texas where she has taught for the past several years.

Emily is that rare combination of outstanding legal scholar, devoted teacher, and peerless institutional citizen.  I am thrilled that she is bringing her talents to Chicago where she will find a welcoming professional home.  Please join me in congratulating Emily, and us, on this terrific news.


NU visit to the Twin Cities

Here in Minneapolis for visits with alumni and for reception tonight.  We have a large cadre of NU alums in the Twin Cities, working in law firm and in-house se