Northwestern Expands International Program

Northwestern University's Law School

Northwestern University’s Law School

The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is about to become more global.
Building on a decade-long executive master of law program with Spain’s IE University Law School, the two schools will partner for two new degree options, Northwestern Law announced yesterday (February 15). The first will be a joint bachelors of law (LLB) from IE Law School and a masters of law (LLM) from Northwestern Pritzker. The second will be a joint JD-LLM program in which students may earn the JD at Northwestern’s Chicago campus and the LLM at IE’s Madrid campus.
“We welcome this expanded partnership with IE Law School because of the new opportunities for students it creates,” Northwestern Pritzker Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez said in a prepared release from the school. “Northwestern is already a leading provider of legal education for international attorneys seeking to understand U.S. law and business. International students and lawyers are integral members of our community, and we are delighted that our U.S. students now have yet another way to study in international legal environments.”
The joint LLB-LLM program is a revolutionary take on international legal education. Undergraduate students will spend the first of four years in Madrid earning the LLB portion of the degree. The degree will culminate at Northwestern’s Chicago area-based campus where students earn an LLM. Graduates may then practice law in any European country. After becoming a lawyer in any “Continental European” country, students will qualify to sit for New York state’s Bar exam.
For the JD-LLM program, students spend the first two years of the three year degree at Northwestern earning the JD before spending the third and final year at IE earning the LLM. The IE portion of the degree will focus on international and business comparative law.
Of course, Northwestern already offers accelerated Executive LLM programs in Chicago, Madrid, Seoul and Tel Aviv. Those programs take about an academic year to complete and focus on international and business law. The Madrid program, in particular, comes with a Certificate in Business Administration as well as the LLM.
While the legal education remains unstable, Northwestern continues to prove an innovative option for top applicants looking at a law degree. Just last October, the school announced an incredibly generous $100 million gift from Chicago’s Pritzker family. In addition to the school’s name change to the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, the school will establish a new entrepreneurial law center and certificate and degree programs.

Northwestern’s expanded commitment to international law is certainly a step in the right direction towards establishing itself as an international law competitor. Still, applicants keen on international law should take a look at Tipping the Scales’ top programs and law schools for international law. It’s no surprise schools in New York City and Washington D.C. are sprinkled across the list, though law programs at the University of Michigan, Duke University and the University of California-Berkeley also populate the list.


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