Category Archives: Student Life

Welcoming New Students

Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez“I envy each and every one of you in the journey you are about to begin as a law student. This is a wonderfully interesting, intellectually rich and rewarding experience and I encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities the deep and broad study of the law affords. You will engage with complex issues in your readings and your class discussion. And I want to stress to you that the issues you study and chew over relentlessly really matter. The study of law is the study of the structure and contents of rules and institutions which foster a civilized society.” — Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez, from his address welcoming new students to Northwestern Law. (A .pdf version of the address can be downloaded from this link.)

MSL welcomeDean Rodriguez welcomed new students to the Master of Science in Law (MSL) program. This year’s entering MSL class—the second class of this new program—is 50 students strong; students have diverse professional backgrounds, from neurobiologists to mechanical engineers, chemists, and information technologists.

Sarah O’Rourke SchrupAs an introduction to some of the exciting hands-on work taking place at the Bluhm Legal Clinic, Sarah O’Rourke Schrup, director of the Appellate Advocacy Center, along with four alumni, shared their experience of working on Kingsley v. Hendrickson, a case heard by the United States Supreme Court earlier this year. From research, to drafting briefs, to participating in moots, the alumni described the experience as “one of a kind.”

“The study of law is demanding, it’s exciting, it’s grueling, it’s difficult. It’s going to rewire your brain and make you question yourself and the world. And that’s a good thing.” –Student Bar Association President Marco Minichiello, speaking to incoming students as part of yesterday’s opening convocation ceremony. Watch the video:

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman

Today we welcomed over 300 new JD, JD-MBA, JD-PhD, and LLM students to campus with an opening convocation ceremony that included remarks from Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez and president of the Student Bar Association Marco Minichiello (JD expected 2017). Pictured here: Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, administering the Northwestern Law Pledge of Professionalism.

Shannon BartlettShannon Bartlett, Director of Diversity Education and Outreach, kicked off the Law School’s 2015 new student orientation by hosting a series of events for diverse students. Shannon leads the Office of Diversity Education and Outreach, which offers support and mentorship for members of underrepresented communities at the Law School. In her talk—pictured above—she discussed Law School life and culture, tools for working through interpersonal challenges, and techniques for building community.

Destiny PeeryThe day’s activities included an introduction to the Socratic Method by Professor Destiny Peery. A graduate of Northwestern Law’s JD-PhD program, she teaches courses on criminal law and race, social science, and the law.

Meet an Alum: Vishal Kampani MSL ’15


Name: Vishal Kampani        

Program: Master of Science in Law (MSL)

Hometown: Doha, Qatar

Prior Education: Texas A & M University. College Station, Texas. Major: Biomedical Engineering. Class of 2008. University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. Major: Electrical Engineering. Class of 2005.

Pre-MSL Program Professional Experience: I worked for General Electric Health Care (GEHC) in Cleveland, Ohio for six years. My positions with GEHC included: Lead Coil Design Engineer; Lead Coil Integrator and Safety Engineer. I was a design engineer of RF coils, a medical device, for MRI systems. A coil functions similar to a radio antenna.    

Chicago Neighborhood You Live In: Streeterville

Any Extracurricular Activities You Participated In: I assisted the MSL program administrators in educating prospective MSLers on the program and its benefits. I also served as a student representative at faculty/staff meetings at which we discussed possible ways to enhance the MSL curriculum going forward.

Why You Chose Northwestern Law’s Master of Science in Law Program: To differentiate myself from all the engineers and MBAs in the job market. I wanted to carve a unique entrepreneurial and corporate job pathway. Finally, I believed the MSL would help me develop confidence in legal and business decision making and teach me to assess opportunities and risks.

Favorite Thing About Northwestern Law’s Master of Science in Law Program: Student diversity!

The team projects and class simulations not only gave me a chance to apply the technical course concepts, but also receive invaluable feedback from peers and professors.

One Piece of Advice for Incoming MSL Students: In addition to taking classes in areas of your interest, take some classes in areas that you have little knowledge of to broaden your horizon. This may spark your interest in a new field.

Summer Plans or Post-Graduation Plans: I am going to join a small MRI coil design company as the Director of Engineering. This role involves the responsibilities of a traditional engineering manager as well as managing the company’s patent portfolio and communicating directly with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The employer gave me this job offer 15 months in advance in large part because they were convinced that the MSL curriculum would teach me the knowledge and skills I needed to excel in this role.

Q&A with Assistant Dean Susie Spies Roth

graphic-SpiesRothSusan_v2011-01-13;010114Susan Spies Roth holds the position of Assistant Dean of Student Services and Academic Excellence, a position that is unique among top law schools. Assistant Dean Spies Roth sat down with our office to tell us more about the work that she does for our program in addition to her experiences as both an alumnus and dean.

So tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a double purple — I attended both college and law school at Northwestern. I graduated with a double major in French and psychology in 2001 from the Evanston campus and then taught French for two years. After that, I returned to Northwestern where I graduated from the Law School in 2006. It was the best three years of my life, and I would repeat it over again if I could!

Upon graduation, I clerked for Judge Kenneth Ripple of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and then worked in the general litigation group at Sidley Austin here in Chicago for two years. I then came back to Northwestern Law and now serve as the Assistant Dean of Student Services and Academic Excellence in addition to being a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law.

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Meet a Student: Marie Salter, JD ’15

Technolutions SlateName: Marie Salter

Program: JD ’15

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Undergraduate Institution and Degree Program(s): Washington University in St. Louis, History and Creative Writing

Pre-Law School Professional Experience: Teach for America — 10th grade English Teacher

Chicago Neighborhood You Live In: Lakeview

Law School Activities: Wigmore Follies, Journal of International Law and Business, Latino Law Students Association

Why You Chose Northwestern Law: Northwestern Law won me over because of the people here! My fellow students are not only smart and talented, but are also from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Everyone has a different story and we benefit from sharing those experiences! I also loved the idea of going to school in the city. It’s an amazing place to be a student with all the city has to offer — art, music, nightlife, and public transit to get to all of it! It’s also a great boon for your career, since law firms and legal organizations are easily accessible for networking.

Favorite Thing About Northwestern Law: Northwestern Law truly allows you to carve your own path. My class schedules have reflected my personal interests from year one. I’ve taken real estate and environmental classes every year, and when I finally ran out I was able to craft my own senior research project working with my favorite professor on a topic I’m really passionate about!

One Piece of Advice for Incoming Law Students: Don’t forget to be a person as well as a law student. There are tons of ways to explore your personal passions while still focusing on school. I love music, so I’ve been involved with Wigmore Follies since my 1L year and it’s an amazing outlet for those things. I would be a worse student if I didn’t get to sing and dance a little too! No matter where you go to school, don’t ignore the things that matter to you.

Summer Plans or Post-Graduation Plans I’ll be joining the Real Estate Department at Katten Muchin Rosenman in Chicago. Before starting at my firm, I’ll also be doing a fellowship at Alliance for the Great Lakes, an environmental organization.

Public Interest Law Group Kicks Off a Week of Events

Northwestern Law’s Public Interest Law Group, a student organization dedicated to providing information about substantive issues and professional opportunities related to public interest law, has organized a week of panels and discussions January 12-16.  Experts in areas ranging from the minimum wage to juvenile justice, including several Northwestern Law alumni, will convene to discuss recent developments in the field.

Find more information on our website and on instagram!

Meet a Student: Paloma Naderi, AJD ’16

Paloma Naderi” After working in a big law firm as a Legal Assistant, I was already sure about my career goals before I entered law school and knew that the AJD program would allow me to start achieving those goals as soon as possible. While the three-year students were engaged in their 1L summer jobs after a full year of classes, I was entering the classroom for the first time, completing a full schedule of courses in just three months, and was ready to interview for summer associateships right alongside them in the Fall On-Campus Interviewing Program.

Aside from the great benefit of being able to quickly transfer my passion for working in law into the legal job search, the employers I interviewed with responded with enthusiasm to the program’s rigorous pace and our cohort’s ambition and drive in completing it.  While the first summer of the program was challenging, I was able to start the fall semester with courses that truly interested me, taking electives and immersing myself in clinic experiences just four months after beginning law school.

For the hard-working student with clear career goals, the AJD program is a smart and rewarding choice that will allow them to hit the ground running on their legal careers the moment they walk through the door.”

You can learn more about the AJD program on the Northwestern Law website.

The Northwestern Law Community Stands Together for Social Justice


We are proud to attend the university that graduated the first female law student in the country, a university whose Bluhm Legal Clinic played a role in abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, and a university that last century welcomed Black law students from their segregationist home states, students who went on to do great things for their communities. Let us continue to be on the forefront, and leverage the unique position we are in as law students to effect change. Let us stand together against injustice, against discrimination, and against oppression in all cities, in all states, and in all countries.

– Student Bar Association

Learn more on the Northwestern Law website.