Monthly Archives: October 2014

Off-Campus Interviews: What’s the Deal?

Northwestern Law is one of the only law schools in the US to encourage applicants to conduct an admissions interview as a part of the application process. Although not required, we do “strongly encourage” applicants to interview (read: do it if you can).  We understand that not everyone has the time or means to travel to Chicago during the application filing period, so we also offer off-campus interviews across the United States and in some international locations, through our Alumni Interview Program. Since law school interviews are rare, and alumni interviews are even less common, you may be wondering, “how the heck does this work”? Well, here’s the scoop.

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Why Early Decision?

“Northwestern Law is my first choice.” “Northwestern Law is my dream school.” “If admitted, I would accept immediately.”

We hear things like this all the time, yet, to our surprise, many of the applicants who say them do not take advantage of our Early Decision program. We’re not sure whether applicants are unfamiliar with the option entirely or decide that Regular Decision feels safer than the binding commitment that comes with Early Decision, but if you’re an applicant who would confidently make one of these remarks, you should apply Early Decision!

Don’t get us wrong, Early Decision is not for everyone. Many applicants, for good reason, want to weigh all of their law school options before committing to a particular school. That being said, if you have thoroughly researched all of your options and decided that Northwestern Law is the best fit for you, there is high upside to applying Early Decision and virtually no downside.

What is the upside? The biggest upside is the guaranteed $50,000 per year scholarship that comes with Early Decision admission. Not only that, but to maintain the scholarship for all three years of law school, you must simply stay enrolled as a Northwestern Law student. This means no GPA requirements, no class rank requirements, just registering for classes each semester and showing up. Our Early Decision scholarship is also the only scholarship we award exclusively on the basis of merit.

You’re probably thinking this all sounds great but the process must be extremely competitive. True. Strong academics, work experience, and interpersonal skills are even more important when we’re handing out acceptance letters and $150,000 scholarships. However, this should not discourage you from throwing your application in the Early Decision bucket. Here’s why.

Even if you are not admitted through Early Decision, there is a good chance you’ll be placed in the Regular Decision pool for further review. At this point, applying Early Decision can only help you. First, you may receive an expedited decision, as the Admissions Committee has already reviewed your application ahead of most others in the pool. Second, interest in Northwestern Law is one of many factors we consider in the Regular Decision admissions process, and having applied Early Decision signals a level of commitment that can be a difference-maker. We want applicants who want us!

Finally, if you noticed we said virtually no downside above, let us explain. It is technically possible that you could be part of a small percentage of applicants who apply Regular Decision and receive a scholarship that exceeds $50,000 per year. In that case, there would be a downside. However, it is also possible that you could receive a smaller scholarship offer (remember, it is a separate process in which we look at both need and merit). Nothing is a guarantee, except the Early Decision scholarship.

If you decide the Early Decision option is for you, remember that an interview is required (pay attention to the deadlines, and a completed application is due by December 1. For more information, visit our website or email.

Outside Scholarship Update

We consistently receive notifications about outside scholarships available to prospective or current law students. We post them all to our website, but the amount of information there can at times be unwieldy. So we’ll be posting the most recent outside scholarship information we receive on the blog as well!


FASPE: FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics), in collaboration with The Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, is now accepting applications for a fellowship that uses the conduct of lawyers and judges during the Holocaust and in Nazi Germany as a launching point for an intensive two-week summer program on contemporary legal ethics.  Fellowships include an all-expenses-paid trip from New York to Berlin, Krakow, and Oświęcim (Auschwitz) where students work with leading faculty to explore both legal history and the ethical issues facing practicing attorneys today.  All program costs, including international and European travel, lodging, and food, are covered.

Mark T. Banner Scholarship: This scholarship is part of The Richard Linn American Inn of Court’s commitment to fostering the development of intellectual property lawyers of high ethics, civility and professionalism, and especially those from diverse backgrounds.

The recipient of the scholarship receives $5,000 to be applied to their legal education.  This scholarship is available to law students who have entered into a JD program at an ABA-accredited law school in the United States and who will continue in that program through the Fall semester 2015. Continue reading

Weekly Update: Recruitment Schedule

This week, we’ll have Northwestern Law representatives all over the country and even in Europe! And don’t forget, detailed information about recruitment events can be found here.

Monday, October 20, 2014:

  • Assistant Director Render will be at Duke University.
  • Shannon Bartlett, Director of Diversity Education and Outreach, and a student representative with be at the Houston Forum.
  • Director Gapasin will be speaking at a panel at Stanford University.
  • Senior Associate Director Kwak will be in Paris, France to discuss our LLM program opportunities.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014:

  • Director Gapasin will be speaking at a panel at the University of California – Berkeley.
  • Senior Associate Director Kwak will be in Brussels, Belgium.

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Weekly Update: Recruitment Schedule

On almost any given day in the Northwestern Law Admissions Office, folks call, email, or walk into the office wanting to speak with a staff member, or more likely a member of our Admissions Committee. However, an often easier method of tracking us down is to meet us as we travel around the country each summer and fall. We’ll typically have a representative at any LSAC Forum, but we also travel to college campuses to speak on panels and attend law fairs around the US. If you want to ask those burning admissions questions without the hassle of traveling to our office in Chicago, stop by and visit us when we’re at a location near you.

You can find our full recruitment schedule here. But we’ll also be posting our travel schedule for each week on the blog. This week we’re heading to the northeast!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

  • Dean Lee will be at the Barnard-Columbia Law School Fair.
  • Director Gapasin will speak on a panel at Princeton University.

Friday, October 17 – Saturday, October 18, 2014

  • Dean Lee, Director Gapasin, Senior Associate Director Kwak, and Assistant Director Bohnsack will be at LSAC’s New York Forum. Stop by and say hello!