Northwestern Pritzker School of Law – Acceptance Rate, Ranking, and More

A constituent school of Northwestern University, the Pritzker School of Law is an excellent law school located in Chicago, IL, separate from Northwestern’s main campus in Evanston, IL.

Established in 1859, Pritzker was the first law school in the city of Chicago. 

The law school is located on the eastern edge of Northwestern’s 20-acre urban campus, overlooking the gorgeous Lake Michigan. 

It is advantageously situated between the breathtaking lakefront scenery to the east, the lovely Gold Coast residential neighborhood to the north, and the “Magnificent Mile” on Michigan Avenue, a lively shopping district to the west.

The school offers various degree program options, including a JD, JD-MBA, JD-PhD, JD-LLM in taxation or international human rights, and a variety of other innovative joint degree programs that explore the intersection of legal studies, technology, and business.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, full-time tuition, fees, and living expenses for one year of JD program study at the Pritzker School of Law comes to $71,432. For the JD-MBA degree program, the cost of attending Pritzker is $101,142.

Pritzker School of Law is one of Northwestern University’s 12 constituent schools, across which there are over 8,000 graduate and 8,0000 undergraduate students. 

Considering the school’s many part-time students, the entire Northwestern University, including law and all other subjects, has a student body of over 21,000 students!

The law school’s total enrollment is only a tiny fraction of the entire university, with around 850 full-time students (approximately 250 per class year).

For students interested in learning more about what Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law offers, we have compiled the school’s acceptance rates, GPA and LSAT requirements, notable alumni, and so much more important information. 

Read on to see what this tremendous & legendary law school has to offer!

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Acceptance Rate

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Ivylaw, Northwestern Law Levy Mayer Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0

The acceptance rate into Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is 19%.

However, acceptance rates can fluctuate considerably from year to year depending on the number of applications the school receives in a given admission cycle, the strength of that year’s applicant pool, and many other factors. 

In August 2021, Pritzker offered admission to just 249 of the 1,691 students who applied, making the acceptance rate for that particular year 14.7%. 

Of the students who were offered admission to the School of Law during the 2021 admission cycle, only about 23% ultimately decided to accept the offer and enroll at the school.

This drop in acceptance rate compared to figures reported in previous years can be partially explained by the increased number of applications being submitted in recent years, in line with national trends in law school enrollment rates.

One unique aspect of Northwestern’s law school admissions that prospective students should be aware of is that the school strongly recommends that applicants visit campus to attend an interview with the Admissions Committee. 

A 97% majority of students who were accepted to Pritzker during the most recent application cycle took part in this distinctive element in the law school’s admission process, suggesting that the optional interview is crucial to increasing one’s odds of acceptance. 

As a result, applicants should ensure that they do their homework regarding what kind of questions they can expect to be asked, how they should dress, and any other relevant details.

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law GPA & LSAT Requirements

The median undergraduate GPA of students in Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s incoming 1L class of 2023 is a 3.77 on an unweighted 4.0 scale. 

This means that although Pritzker does not have a specific minimum GPA requirement, being a competitive applicant to the school requires a pretty strong academic background.

The bar for admission into Northwestern’s law school is also set high in the LSAT. 

As with GPA, Pritzker does not mandate a particular minimum LSAT score for students to be considered for admission, but the average accepted student in the most recent application pool scored 168. 

The bottom 25% of accepted students earned an LSAT score of 163, while the top 25% received a 169. With these numbers, one can see that Pritzker is quite discerning in selecting only the best students.

Other requirements for admission include submitting a written personal statement as a part of the application bundle, as well as a current resume summarizing all personal, academic, and professional experiences that are relevant to who the applicant is as a prospective law student. 

All applicants must also submit at least one letter of recommendation from a former professor or university-level instructor. 

In addition, applicants must submit complete post-secondary transcripts listing all institutions attended, courses taken, and grades earned. This can be done through the LSAC’s credential assembly service online.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $75 due at the time of applying, although fee waivers are available.

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Notable Alumni

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Rubloff Building
Ivylaw, Northwestern Law Rubloff Building, CC BY-SA 4.0

Having been one of the nation’s best law schools for well over 150 years, it is no surprise that there are a number of notable alumni speckling the history of the Pritzker School of Law at Northwestern. 

Pritzker’s Alumni Association was formed all the way back in 1888, at which point there were 867 members in the organization. Today, Pritzker’s alumni network consists of over 17,000 members across 90 countries around the world.

One of the many notable alumni of Pritzker Law is Elbert H. Gary, co-founder and former president of the U.S. Steel Corporation. 

Completing his law degree at Pritzker in1868, this esteemed graduate is the namesake of Gary, Indiana.

Another remarkable Pritzker alum is Harold Washington, who earned his JD from Pritzker in 1952. 

After completing his legal studies, Washington went on to be elected the first African American mayor of Chicago in 1983. 

Washington is only one of the many notable public figures who studied at Pritzker before making history by being the first person of a historically underrepresented group to earn a particular achievement. 

Another example is Ada Kepley, who, upon graduating from Pritzker in 1870, became the first American woman to earn a law degree.  

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Ranking

According to the 2023 edition of US News and World Report’s annual list of best law schools, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is ranked #13 in the nation. 

It is considered a tier one law school, a designation that refers to schools that are consistently ranked in the top 14 nationally and therefore enjoy higher employment placement rates than other schools.

Northwestern’s School of Law is highly-ranked in general, but the school is known to be especially excellent in a few particular areas. 

For one, Pritzker is tied for #3 best in the nation in terms of best tax law program offerings. In addition, it is tied for being the fourth best law school in the US for studying dispute resolution law.

Pritzker also happens to be a particularly great choice of law school for students interested in research. 

The law school is home to more interdisciplinary research faculty than any other law school or university in the country. 

One of the features of Pritzker that makes it such a strong school is its extremely small class sizes.  

The Pritzker School of Law has the third lowest student-to-faculty ratio among all law schools in the United States, with just under five students per faculty member.

The School of Law also boasts a highly well-educated faculty, with over 50% of professors holding Ph.Ds and regularly making meaningful contributions to scholarship in their respective fields of expertise. 

This further strengthens the school’s program offerings, allowing students to gain valuable mentorship and knowledge from leading legal experts.

Should You Apply to Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law?

There are a ton of different factors that future law school students would be wise to consider when deciding which of the many fantastic law schools out there they should apply to. 

Application fees can add up very quickly, and no one wants to spend their valuable time crafting the perfect personal statement and filling out millions of forms to apply to a school that is ultimately not a terribly good fit anyway. 

To save yourself time, money, and headaches, it is wise to look at how each school of interest measures up to others out there. 

For example, location plays a huge role in shaping student experience at a school, so looking at a college’s locale is a great way to assess how happy you will be there. 

Being nestled in the heart of Chicago, Pritzker gives students close proximity to this bustling urban center and hub for the finance industry.

The third largest city in the country, the Windy City is home to one of the largest legal markets in the country, offering tons of employment and community service opportunities. This makes it a great place to attend law school.

It is also important to consider what your priorities are as a student, since every school has its areas of relative strength and weakness. 

As discussed earlier, Pritzker is the strongest in the areas of tax law and dispute resolution, as well as research.

In short, Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law is among the very best worldwide; nearly any aspiring lawyer or legal scholar would find themselves fortunate to open the mailbox with its acceptance letter.