Northwestern Pritzker Law Reunion Weekend 2023 Welcomes Back Law School Alumni and Celebrates an MSL Milestone


After Law School Alumni Alumni Weekend
Law School Reunion Gathering

Accented by purple lanyards and big smiles, nearly 1,400 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law alumni convened on campus October 26-28 for reunion weekend.

The festivities kicked off Thursday afternoon with the first installment of Knox Conversations, a series established to create space for an open exchange of ideas, public debate, and discourse.

Northwestern Pritzker Law senior lecturer Jason DeSanto moderated a discussion between political commentator and senior advisor to President Barack Obama David Axelrod, vice president of political strategy for Crooked Media Shaniqua McClendon, and former senior advisor to President George W. Bush Karl Rove. In front of a packed house at Thorne Auditorium, the panel addressed election contesting, the spread of misinformation, and the country’s increased distrust in American institutions.

Each speaker expressed concern over American disillusionment and fears about misinformation. “If most people don’t believe in it, there is no value for them to participate in our democracy,” McClendon said. Rove acknowledged that even though citizens’ faith in the system may waver, participation continues to climb. He noted that voter turnout and registration have increased yearly since 1996 [excluding 2012]. “That says something to me that we have an enduring faith that we have a responsibility as Americans to participate and change.”

Other events from the reunion included a back-to-school classroom session with professors Esther Barron and Steve Reed of the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center and a Council of Judges meeting with active federal and state judge alumni and alumni career advisors. There were also cultural engagements mixed in, including a private tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art and a tour of the Law School’s buildings and unique art collection.

Before alumni gathered for Friday’s welcome reception in Martin Atrium and informal class gatherings at local hot spots, Dean Hari Osofsky held a Dialogue with the Dean in which she shared updates on the school and discussed issues of interest to alumni. Her updates included our Law School’s exceptional metrics: the entering J.D. class has the highest median LSAT (172), highest median GPA (3.92), most racial diversity (51%), and highest percentage of first-generation college students (18%) in the history of our law school. The class of 2022 had 98.5% employment ten months after graduation, placing the Law School fifth in the country.

In terms of fundraising, alumni and friends made FY23 the school’s strongest fundraising year since Governor and M.K. Pritzker’s naming gift in 2015-16. “We also launched new alumni groups over the last two years, including our Alumni Affinity Groups, Alumni in Academia, Council of Judges, and Northwestern Lawyers,” Dean Osofsky noted.

The rest of the weekend included receptions and gatherings for classes celebrating milestones, dating back to the class of 1973, and programs celebrating the Master of Science in Law (MSL) program’s 10th anniversary. MSL alumni attended mentoring and networking events and mini-courses on bioethics, trademarks, entrepreneurship, and corporate law.

View photos from the reunion weekend welcome reception: