This was a kinda cute feature NU had on the Admitted Students site, counting down one item a week for ten weeks.
Top Ten Reasons To Consider Northwestern Law
from the 2011 Admitted Student Guide
By now you've heard us say it a thousand times: Northwestern Law is different. We have an entire viewbook dedicated to elucidating "The Northwestern Law Difference." We have a Strategic Plan that distinguishes us from our peer institutions and that will position our graduates to be leaders in the legal and business marketplace. But what does "The Northwestern Law Difference" mean for you, the admitted student? How will it affect your experience at Northwestern Law on a day-to-day basis? Our "Top 10 Reasons To Consider Northwestern Law" will help you answer that question over the next several weeks. Check back for a new reason to consider Northwestern Law.
10: Location, Location, Location!
See that picture to the left? You’re looking south down Lake Shore Drive at a piece of the Chicago skyline. The tall building with the spires is the John Hancock Building, and if you look directly left of the Hancock, the building closest to the lake is Northwestern Law. That’s right: We’re smack dab in the middle of downtown Chicago, right on the shores of Lake Michigan.
A beautiful urban environment
Our address on Lake Shore Drive has some obvious aesthetic benefits: The east wall of our library is made almost entirely out of glass, so that you can sit at the study tables that line the windows and gaze out at the lake while you pour over your Contracts book. Schactman-Gordon Hall, a classroom commonly used for 1L courses, has two walls of panorama windows with lake views to distract you during your Torts class. The Bluhm Legal Clinic's student work space is just about the best piece of real estate you can find in Chicago, on the eighth floor of the Rubloff building, overlooking Lake Shore Drive and the entire coast of Lake Michigan. There are bike and running paths all along the picturesque lakefront for exercise enthusiasts. Beyond aesthetics, though, our location in the heart of Chicago offers important benefits for your legal education.
A vibrant legal and business community
Chicago has the second largest legal market in the country, and the Law School is located a hop, skip, and a jump from the center of it. Chicago's Loop, the legal and business hub of the city, is just a ten-minute bus or train ride away from campus. The federal and state courts are located in the Loop, as are most of the City's major law firms and legal organizations. This easy access to the Loop provides unparalleled opportunities for our students to participate in externships with judges, prosecutors' or defenders' offices, public interest organizations, corporate counsels' offices, and other similar organizations.
Kristen Knapp (JD ’10 ) externed for Judge Wayne R. Andersen in the Northern District of Illinois. She says of her experience, “I really enjoyed going to the District Courthouse two days a week during the spring of my 2L year. I loved watching the proceedings in court and getting to discuss the issues with Judge Andersen and his clerks. I was surprised by how easy it was to get downtown and back to school for my afternoon class. If the Law School wasn't located in downtown Chicago I don't think I would have been able to do the externship."
Other students have taken advantage of the externship program to work for President Obama’s office, federal district court judges, and the State Department. We even have students working on cases that are currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which is located in the Loop. There is a dynamic, cutting edge legal community in Chicago, and our students are receiving their education right in the midst of it.
A center for arts and entertainmentOur location also provides important recreational benefits for our students, too. Let’s face it: You can’t study every minute of every day! It’s important to take time off from your studies every now and then to enjoy the things that keep you sane.
As Elizabeth Mooney (JD ’10) puts it, “It’s nice having something else to ground you other than a constant barrage of school.”
Maybe you're a shopper: We're just two blocks from Michigan Avenue, home to some of the finest shopping in the city. Maybe you're a foodie: Chicago boasts over 6,000 restaurants, so there's a plethora of eateries in the immediate area to satisfy every craving and to fit every budget. If museums are your thing, we're right across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art and just a few minutes away from the Art Institute, the Field Museum, the Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium.
Whatever it is you like to do for fun and relaxation, you’ll find it in Chicago. Of course, all of our students receive a UPass, which allows them to use the CTA (Chicago’s public transit system) on an unlimited basis during the academic term, which makes it easy to explore everything Chicago has to offer.
9: Go Team!
The traditional law school experience is often very individualistic. Students go to class, they read, they outline, they study, they write papers - all on their own. Maybe there are some study groups; perhaps they talk about an interesting case over lunch; generally speaking, though, law school is not often considered a place where students collaborate on academic endeavors. Here at Northwestern Law, we think there's a better approach to legal education.
Collaboration - as a student and as a lawyer
Lawyers don't practice law in a vacuum. They don't sit in their office, alone, writing briefs or drafting agreements. Instead, lawyers collaborate. They collaborate with other lawyers, with their clients, with business people. No matter what substantive area of the law you choose, you'll find that the practice of law is very much a team effort, and Northwestern Law thinks the process of preparing to be productive members and leaders of legal teams should begin in law school.
Our classes encourage group work
We give our students the opportunity to work together on their academic pursuits. During Orientation, students begin exploring the value and methods of teamwork in the law school and legal environment. Our first-year students will work with partners on several of their Communication and Legal Reasoning assignments. The Arlyn Miner Moot Court program for first-year students is a mock appellate argument in which students present their arguments in pairs. The Lawyer as Problem Solver program emphasizes group learning. Our International Team Projects course is entirely teamwork based: students work together to develop project proposals, identify areas of study, complete their research abroad, and produce and present their final research product. The courses available to law students through the Kellogg School of Management are taught in the business school group project model.
As a more specific example, consider the Law School's Medical Innovations course. This course is a joint effort between Northwestern Law, Feinberg School of Medicine, Kellogg School of Management, and McCormick School of Engineering, all of which are outstanding graduate programs offered at Northwestern University. The students enrolled in Medical Innovations are broken down into groups of 8 people, and every group has students from each of the graduate programs. The students spend the semester working together to identify unmet medical needs in the community, develop a product to meet those needs, prototype the product, develop a business plan for selling the product, and develop an intellectual property protection strategy for their product. At the end of the course, the groups present their business plans and their requests for funding to a board of advisors.
Teamwork matters to employers
Why should you care about teamwork in law school? Well, for starters, the ability to work well as a member of a team is an attractive quality to legal employers. Lawyers work collaboratively, often with (or for) people who do not have legal training. Thus, classes like the Medical Innovations course mirror the way law is practiced in the "real world." A Northwestern Law degree is an indication to employers that you've received some fundamental training and exposure to the team work that will be required of you after graduation.
Moreover, working in a team exposes you to new perspectives and new ways of thinking. Elizabeth Mooney (JD '10) recently took a Negotions class in which her team was required to create a service plan for a non-profit organization. Elizabeth says of her experience: "My team was very diverse. We had three 3Ls, two international LLM students, and me, the lone 2L. Having so many different viewpoints and backgrounds on one team was wonderful because it led to a much broader pool of ideas from which to draw. The results we achieved as a group far exceeded anything we could have produced individually. The head of the charity we were working for was so happy with our recommendations that she asked to come to our final class to express her appreciation in person." Teamwork is a real-world skill that successful lawyers need to have, and Northwestern Law is going to help you start developing it.
Last edited by rinkrat19
on Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.