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Northwestern Law School: Admissions Stats & How to Get In

June 14, 2023


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 01/22/23

If you’re interested in joining a leading law school in social justice teaching and learning, read on to learn more about getting into Northwestern Law School. 

The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is located in downtown Chicago, allowing students to begin their legal journey in a bustling commerce, law, and business hub. 

With connections to large law firms, corporations, courts, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, Northwestern students are given an abundance of opportunities to kickstart their legal careers and become excellent attorneys.

If you’d like to join this law school located in an ideal environment for opportunity, read on to find out everything you need to know about getting into Northwestern Law School!

Northwestern Law School Application Checklist

Interested applicants must submit the following as part of their application to Northwestern Law:

  • Personal Statement: This statement helps the committee learn more about you, your personal and professional goals, and the influences that have confirmed your decision to pursue a legal education.
  • Resume: Your resume should include relevant post-secondary professional, academic, and extracurricular experience you have. 
  • Standardized Test Scores: Students can submit their LSAT score, GRE score, or both. 
  • Letters of Recommendation: Students must submit at least one letter of recommendation from someone who can speak on their character and potential. Northwestern prefers letters of recommendation from supervisors or employers over professors. 

While you should put effort into each component of your application, it is worth noting that Northwestern considers your letters of recommendation to be the least important aspect of your application.

This is because letters of recommendation are generally always positive and generic, making it challenging to distinguish which candidates are the most qualified.

However, if you can get letters with specific examples about your character and work ethic, your letter of recommendation can actually help your admission chances.

Northwestern Law School Acceptance Rate

Northwestern Law School’s acceptance rate is 13.9%, reflecting the prestige of this law school. With an aim to admit the most well-rounded students, this school expects all applicants to be well-rounded and have notable accomplishments through relevant work and extracurricular experience! 

LSAT Scores

With the expectation of students to be accomplished, Northwestern requires high LSAT scores from applicants. The LSAT score of accepted students is 167-172, with the median being 171.
For applicants who would rather write the GRE, Northwestern accepts GRE scores instead of the LSAT or in addition to the LSAT. 


Similarly, interested students need high GPAs to be considered competitive candidates. Students should aim to maintain a GPA between 3.60-3.93. 

Class Profile

To get a better understanding of the types of applicants Northwestern accepts, here’s the 2021 JD class profile:

Source: Northwestern

While you should use these statistics to better understand your chances of admission, these statistics alone aren’t all that go into the admissions committee’s final decisions! If you don’t have the same scores as the 2021 class, you’ll just have to put in extra work on the other components of your application!

Northwestern Law School Deadline Dates

As you begin preparing your application to Northwestern Law School, there are specific dates to keep in mind:

Source: Northwestern

Be mindful of these deadlines to ensure you apply to Northwestern on time!

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Tuition & Fees

Like most law schools, attending Northwestern Law School is expensive. Tuition costs $71,432 a year and is only expected to increase in the coming years. 

Luckily, Northwestern recognizes the financial burden of these costs and has an extensive scholarship program that gives students grants based on their financial need and academic merit.

Northwestern School of Law Ranking

Considering its low acceptance rates and high tuition costs, Northwestern Law School’s rankings are no surprise. It ranks 13th as one of the best law schools in the nation, fourth in the nation for dispute resolution, and third for tax law.

Tips to Get Into Northwestern Law School

Tips on how to get into Northwestern Law School

If the admission statistics are making you second guess if you should apply to Northwestern, here are some helpful tips that can increase your chances of getting in!

1. Consider Taking a Gap Year

While you’re likely eager to get into law school to begin your legal journey as soon as possible, taking a gap year can make you stand out as an applicant. There’s a reason the average age of students joining Northwestern is 25. 85% of all applicants have one or more years of full-time work experience. 

Northwestern strongly considers work experience in the admissions process, so you might want to take a gap year to gain valuable full-time experience to help you stand out as an applicant! While your work experience does not have to be law-related, it should give you good leadership, collaborative, and project management experience.

2. Consider Applying Early

When you submit an early application to law schools, you usually have a higher chance of getting in. Admissions committees are more lenient since these applications are binding, meaning you can’t accept any offers from other schools if you receive them. 

If you’re set on attending Northwestern Law School and are sure you won’t change your mind, this is an excellent option to increase your admission chances.

3. Pay Attention to the Details!

According to Northwestern Law School officials, the biggest mistake they see in law school applications is students using the wrong school name in their personal statements. For instance, they’ll say, “I’m interested in attending (insert wrong school name).” 

Officials call this a kiss of death because it’s a surefire way to get rejected from Northwestern. It shows a lack of attention to detail and most importantly, a lack of dedication to the school since the students are clearly rehashing the same sentiments to each school they’re applying to.

With this being said, make sure to pay attention to detail and review your application as much as you can.

4. Leave the Comedy to The Professionals

While students believe using humour in their personal statements will make them stand out, Northwestern officials say it’s best to leave the punch lines out of your essays. Since various admissions members will review the statements, what one person may find humorous may be offensive to another. 

Avoid humour altogether in your personal statement to err on the side of caution.  

5. Travel!

Northwestern is also interested in knowing which extracurriculars students pursue in their free time. Travelling internationally for work, volunteering, or for leisure can help applicants stand out, according to Northwestern officials. 

By exposing themselves to different cultures, justice systems, and perspectives, students may be more prepared for law school and contribute diverse perspectives to the student body.

6. Ace Your Interview

Of course, you should ace your interview regardless of which law school you apply to. However, since Northwestern Law tries to interview all of its applicants, they expect you to wow them during your interview.

While the interview is optional, you should definitely do it! The interview is an online video interview where students will have to record their answers to questions in a set amount of time. Students will be interviewed on a platform that provides practice questions to help students prepare and feel more comfortable during the interview.

This interview allows the school to gauge your interest in the school, law, and learn more about your accomplishments and future goals. Ensure you practice common interview questions and dress to impress!

7. Use Trusted Resources

There’s no better way to maximize your chances of getting into Northwestern Law School than enlisting the advice and support of past admissions committee members or alumni that know exactly what law schools are looking for!

FAQs: Northwestern Law School

For those of you that still have questions, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about getting into Northwestern Law School. 

1. Is Northwestern Pritzker a Good Law School?

Yes, it is a high-ranking law school and has a renowned, progressive legal education that is constantly revised to better prepare students for real-world law.

2. What LSAT Score Do I Need For Northwestern?

You should aim to score between a 167-172 on your LSAT to get into Northwestern. 

3. Is Northwestern Hard to Get Into?

Yes, it has a low acceptance rate of 13.9% and high expectations of its prospective students.

4. What Is Northwestern Known For?

Northwestern ranks third in the nation for its tax law program, making it most well-known for this area of law.

5. What Makes Northwestern Law School Different?

Law schools are generally believed to be extremely competitive environment, where students must compete with their fellow classmates in order to excel. However, Northwestern has a collegial, non-competitive environment that is key to the success of its students. 

Additionally, Northwestern places great emphasis on work experience in applicants. They almost exclusively enrol students with post-graduate work experience. Northwestern also does their best to interview almost every applicant to give them a fair chance at admission. 

6. What GPA Do I Need for Northwestern?

You should maintain a GPA between 3.60-3.93 to be considered a competitive candidate. 

7. How Many Letters of Recommendation Should I Submit?

Since the letters of recommendation are the least important part of your Northwestern application, it’s better to secure one strong letter of recommendation rather than several generic letters.

Final Thoughts

Northwestern Law School dedicates itself to providing students with the best education to prepare them for successful and substantial legal careers. Gaining admission to this top-ranking school is sure to set you on the right path to excel in your legal career!

If you’re looking for more guidance on how to get into the law program of your dreams, Juris experts can give you valuable resources to create a compelling, differentiated application that’ll maximize your chances of getting that acceptance letter!

Schedule A Free Consultation

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