Dean Van Zandt’s presentation was thoughtful and thought-provoking. He analyzed a number of recent reforms made by leading law schools. He also explained the changes that Northwestern Law School has made to its academic program.
One of his most interesting tidbits was the starting salary that would constitute a “break-even point” for going to law school. In other words, what salary would you have to earn upon graduation in order to make going to law school an economically rational decision?
If you have friends at Northwestern Law School, there’s no need to worry about them. This morning’s situation with a gunman — er, man with a gun — has been resolved, without incident or injury.
Here’s the latest update from the Northwestern University website (at 1:30 p.m. Chicago time):
Chicago campus buildings open
All buildings on Northwestern’s Chicago campus, including all Law School buildings — Rubloff, Levy-Mayer and McCormick — are now open. An intensive search of the buildings on the Chicago campus was conducted but no one matching the description of the man reported with a gun was found. The investigation into the incident is continuing.
A recap of events, a description of the man, and commentary from Northwestern law students, after the jump.
Sometimes I find myself recycling my own material. I’ll make a joke in front of one group of friends, they’ll laugh, and I’ll use the same joke in front of a different group of friends. The second audience can’t know that I’ve already used the joke with a different audience, lest I be exposed as uninteresting and comedically lazy. One time I told the same joke at the same person’s birthday party two years in a row. Not good.
But I learned an important lesson, one I’m sure that an NYU visiting professor is also about to learn. While at Northwestern, this professor gave out practice contracts questions to his class there. This year at NYU, the professor decided to use some of the exact same practice questions, but this time on the actual exam.
Obviously, the students who had seen the practice questions had a huge advantage over the students who did not. That’s probably why the NYU administration got involved.
The email from Vice Dean Liam Murphy, after the jump.
On Friday, we told you that the Northwestern Law School Student Bar Association wanted people to watch their language come exam time. In a letter to all students, the SBA told the student body about the kind of language that would not be tolerated:
Therefore, to be clear, saying things like “that’s so gay”, “that exam raped me”, or any racial or sexual epithet, are inappropriate and unacceptable. Accordingly, we ask that every student be cognizant of the critical role you play in maintaining NUSL’s vibrant diverse, collegial and supportive student culture and refrain from using such language.
The response to the SBA’s email has been overwhelming. Over the weekend, Above the Law readers offered every version of “This [protected class] exam [violated me sexually] in my [orifice of choice]” known to man. If the SBA’s letter was meant to inspire civility and tolerance, it was an epic fail.
Which Northwestern SBA members have taken responsibility for the letter? Which students want to stand by the opinions the board disseminated school-wide?
So far, none of the Northwestern SBA members claim responsibility for the message. In fact, finding a Northwestern student representative is more difficult than finding a job in this depressed economy. Above the Law reached out to the SBA president, but he has not responded to our request for comment.
It’s a bit surprising that after so publicly asking the student body to keep it clean, the SBA is suddenly keeping very quiet. Shouldn’t they use this as an opportunity to disseminate their message to a larger audience?
Others at Northwestern are talking, however. And tipsters tell us that this isn’t the first time that the current SBA has sent around a plea for civility in speech. Details after the jump.
It’s exam time. As we all know, stressed out law students tend to have colorful phrases about difficult exams. There’s a common, sometimes sexually charged vernacular. “That exam raped me,” or “I made property my bitch,” are things you’re likely to hear on campus around this time.
Well, the Student Bar Association at Northwestern University School of Law wants students to watch their language this exam period.
After the jump, check out the warning Northwestern students received from their student representatives.
A couple of days ago, we mentioned the new Super Lawyers Law School Rankings. The list ranks law schools by their number of Super Lawyer alumni. At the time, we noted that a potential flaw with the magazine’s methodology was that it is just looking at raw numbers. The rankings aren’t adjusted for class size. Northwestern Law placed #18 on the list. That’s not too bad if you care about things like rankings. The school placed higher than other traditional Top-14 law schools like Stanford, Duke, and Cornell.
But Northwestern Law Dean David E. Van Zandt does care about rankings. He cares about them a great deal. And while #18 is certainly respectable, it wasn’t quite enough for Dean Van Zandt. Here’s part of his email to Northwestern law students:
As you know, I am a proponent of rankings in general and believe they provide a useful source of consumer information for applicants as well as employers. While their methodology needs improving, I applaud Super Lawyers Magazine for developing a ranking that is based on career performance outputs.
So — in a brilliant exercise of Descartian rationale — Dean Van Zandt changed the list. He (or somebody that works for him) went and changed the methodology to make Northwestern look even more awesome.
Let’s check out Super Lawyers according to Van Zandt after the jump.
Kate McLaughlin will be the youngest 1L at Northwestern Law School this fall, at just 19 years old, reports the Orange County Register.
McLaughlin, who graduated from high school at 12 and from UC San Diego at 17, rocked the LSAT (score: 174) and is going to law school because she wants to save the world:
McLaughlin is not sure yet what she wants to do with her law degree, but hopes it will help her to be more effective in lobbying for the social causes she feels passionately about – feminism, combatting racism, equal rights for gays and lesbians, and international humanitarianism.
“I’m an idealist; I want to change the world,” she said. “I bleed blue; I’m a Democrat. I’m an ardent feminist. I’m big on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights – Prop. 8 was a big issue for me.”
[S]he says being a lawyer isn’t at the top of her to-do list. Rather, she wants to be a science fiction writer…
We’re all for law school — and who are we to say what McLaughlin should do? — but, frankly, we sort of share McLaughlin’s worry about not having time to do the things she’s interested in. How about making a run in the science-fiction world and then heading to law school a bit down the road?
McLaughlin’s not the first especially young one to head to law school. After the jump, we give you a round-up of other barely pubescent law school students and how they’ve fared. One of them has fared especially well — her life might be turned into a TV sitcom about life as an underage lawyer, starring Hilary Duff.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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