Northwestern Announces JD-MBA Professorship, $3MM Funding, and Support of JD-MBA Program

Earlier today, I received an email from the Dean of the law school, Dean Van Zandt, and he gave some really good news. He announced that General Dynamics recently made a $3 million donation to Northwestern Law and the Kellogg School of Management. The donation was in made in honor of General Dynamics recently retired CEO, Nicholas D. Chabraja, who as Northwestern law alum worked at the intersection of business and law for many years.

This gift is the first of its kind and will fund a joint professorship between the Law School and the Kellogg School of Management. Doing so, it will provide the support needed to bring Bernard Black to come teach at both campuses here at Northwestern (Northwestern Law and Kellogg). Bernard Black is really accomplished, it’s great we were able to get him here at Northwestern. The donation also will provide support for the JD-MBA program here, which is amazing news for us current students. As usual it’s great to see Northwestern leading the way in the JD-MBA space. The JD-MBA program here is currently the largest and most integrated joint law and business program in the world and the first to introduce a three-year format.

For more details on the donation and the professor, check out the email from the Dean below. To see the press release that Northwestern put out today CLICK HERE. For more information on Northwestern’s JD-MBA program, CLICK HERE.

To: Northwestern Law Community
From: David E. Van Zandt
Re: $3 Million Gift to Fund Nicholas D. Chabraja Professorship

I am delighted to let you know that the Law School and the Kellogg School of Management have received a $3 Million gift from General Dynamics to honor the retirement of Nicholas Chabraja JD’67 from his position as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.

This gift, the first of its kind, will fund a joint professorship between the Law School and the Kellogg School. It also symbolizes the increasingly integrated fields of law and business and will solidify the strong relationship between the Law School and the Kellogg School and our concerted efforts to prepare students for careers in which these two disciplines converge. The donation also will provide support for our JD-MBA Program, the largest and most integrated joint law and business program in the world and the first to introduce a three-year format.

I am also pleased to announce that Bernard Black will be appointed as the first Nicholas J. Chabraja Professor. Bernie will officially join the Law School in September 2010 with a joint appointment in the Finance Department at the Kellogg School of Management.

Since its formation in 1952, General Dynamics has grown to become one of our nation’s leading defense contractors, specializing in aerospace, combat systems, marine systems, information systems, and technology.

Nicholas Chabraja, also a 1964 alumnus of Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, has enjoyed a distinguished career since graduating from the Law School in 1967. From 1997 until this past June, Nick served as General Dynamics’ Chief Executive Officer and became the longest-serving chief executive among the nation’s top five defense contractors. Since stepping down, he has remained as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of General Dynamics. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Nick held several other important positions at General Dynamics, including Vice Chairman (1996-1997); Executive Vice President (1994-1996); and Senior Vice President & General Counsel (1993-1994). Before his career at General Dynamics, Nick was a litigation partner at the law firm of Jenner & Block for 22 years. In 1986, he was also appointed Special Trial Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nick has been a consistent supporter of the Law School and is a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees.

Bernard Black, a nationally-recognized expert in corporate law and finance as well as health care regulation, currently serves as the Hayden W. Head Regents Chair for Faculty Excellence at the University of Texas School of Law, a professor of finance at the McCombs School of Business, and co-director of the Center for Law, Business, and Economics at the University of Texas.

Prior to these appointments, he was the George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford and, prior to that, he was a law professor at Columbia Law School, counsel to a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, an attorney at Skadden Arps in New York, and a clerk for the Hon. Patricia Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Black has also served as a policy advisor to the US government as well as several countries throughout the world, including Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, South Korea, Mongolia, and Vietnam. He has authored or co-authored numerous books and scholarly articles. He received a BA from Princeton, an MA in physics from Berkeley, and a JD from Stanford Law School.

We are extremely grateful to General Dynamics for their generous gift. Please also join me in congratulating Bernard Black as the inaugural holder of this endowed professorship and Nicholas Chabraja on his retirement from a career that has been truly extraordinary.

Saturday, October 24th, 2009 Business School, Law School

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7 Comments to Northwestern Announces JD-MBA Professorship, $3MM Funding, and Support of JD-MBA Program

October 24, 2009

Hi Jeremy, I am taking a class taught by Professor Black this semester and he is just great! This is wonderful news for Northwestern. UT made a big mistake when they declined to offer Prof Litvak tenure. (Prof Litvak–who is married to Prof Black–left UT to begin teaching at Northwestern Law this semester.)

October 24, 2009

@P2P–Based on his profile, professor Black seems very accomplished. I am excited to have him at Northwestern and hope to be able to take a course with him while here. I also think that this news is proof of growing support for JD-MBA programs.

Law School Podcaster
November 1, 2009

I think you will find our newest podcast interesting. One of the guests is Dean Van Zandt.

The title is

Deciding Whether to Pursue a JD and an MBA: When it Makes Sense to Go "Two For One."

November 2, 2009

@LawSchoolPodcaster–Thanks for your recent comment about Dean Van Zandt. I'll be sure to check out your new podcast shortly.

November 10, 2009

Hi Jeremy, I am applying to the jd/mba program for the fall of 2010. I hear its a great program. Since you are already enrolled in the program, I have a 2 part question for you –
1) How important is the GMAT score for this program? I scored a 670 (q51, v31 [99% on quant]. What chance does someone with that score stand?
2) How many foreign nationals are in the jd/mba program?

I have frequented the jd/mba website and the kellogg website, but have never found a jd/mba class profile. It would be great to hear from a current student there. Thanks!

Jeremy C Wilson
November 14, 2009

@Pras Thanks so much for writing. I agree, the program is fantastic and am happy to discuss that further. In regards to your technical questions, I will respond in a separate email.

[…] year, Northwestern Announced the first JD-MBA Professorship, which not only came with $3MM funding made in honor of General Dynamics recently retired […]

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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