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.

How do I request an Off-Campus interview?
To request an off-campus interview, you must first submit an application and indicate your wish to interview off-campus in the “Interview” section of the application. Interviews are available in most major metropolitan areas, as well as in many smaller markets. The deadline to request an off-campus interview is December 1, 2014. Please note that your application does not have to be complete by that date; just submit what you have and we’ll match you up with an alumni in your area. By “your area” we mean someone within 75 miles of your requested location.

How am I notified of my assignment?
Once your application and interview request has been submitted, our office will process your request and send you the name and contact information for your interviewer. During the peak season, this process can take 1-2 weeks. It is your responsibility to reach out to the interviewer by email to arrange the interview. We will also send your interviewer the assignment information ahead of time, so he or she will be expecting your message.

What about the interview itself?
You should treat the admissions interview like a job interview. Don’t show up wearing sweats and a t-shirt. Be professional and don’t forget your resume or your charm. Interviews typically last 30 – 45 minutes. The majority of the time will involve your interviewer asking questions of you. There will, however, be time at the end of the meeting for any questions you might have about the school, curriculum, student life, and the admissions process.

What happens after the interview?
Your interviewer will submit a report, which will be added to your application materials. If you have submitted all other required materials, your file will be made complete and will be sent to the Admissions Committee for review. Please note that it may take up to eight weeks to receive a decision, depending on the time of year. Hey……cut us some slack. It takes a long time to read through all that stuff!

That’s it!  We hope you take advantage of our unique interview program. It is a great way to sell yourself to the Admissions Committee, get all of your questions answered, and gain a little insight into Northwestern Law. Good luck!

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