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November 11, 2013

Washington DC alum club–fall visit

by Dan Rodriguez

washingtondc2I had the good opportunity to meet with a large cohort of DC alums last Friday at the Dolly Madison House.  The DC alumni club welcomed this spirited group and we enjoyed a nice evening reception.

As always, a highlight for me was the opportunity to have a dialogue with the group about the Law School and its ambitions and activities.  I noted that the reactions of the many law school leaders I had been working with in the past several months in connection with my work on behalf of the Association of American Law Schools could be broken into four categories:  (1) Nothing has significantly changed.  We are just fine and we will ride out this current, temporary set of difficulties by doing exactly what we have been doing all along; (2) The sky is falling and we need to scramble for cover; (3) Change is profound and, in order to adjust rapidly to the standard ways of doing business, we need a panacea, a new program, economic model, etc., which, as soon as we adopt it (whatever the “it” is), we will be able to right this sinking ship; and (4) While change is significant and important, we must, in adapting, stay true to who were are.  We need to be innovative to be sure, but also have a clear, firm commitment to the fundamentals of educational excellence.

Naturally, I described the ways in which Northwestern is working within the structure of this fourth category.

DC alums were excited about this new alumni club and were excited and supportive about the state and direction of the Law School.  We are proud of all our alums who, in our nation’s capital, are doing extraordinary things in law, business, and government.  This area is an extraordinary, vibrant place to live and work and we will continue actively to reach out to DC alums with both social events and substantive programming.

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