Day At Northwestern Law 2010 Kick-Off

In my view, nothing is more important for any organization than making the right people decisions.  That’s not only true for business, banks, and law firms, but also for graduate schools, including law schools. Most schools go about this differently because different schools value different pieces of the application and so they look for different things from applicants. Ideally, most schools hope that all admits would eventually choose to attend, but realistically they know only some of them will.  And that’s why schools have admitted student weekends.

Shortly after I was admitted to Northwestern Law, I came out to Chicago for Day at Northwestern Law (DANL), which is the law school’s version of “Admit Weekend.” When I originally was accepted to various business school and law school programs, I decided it would be beneficial to visit all the campus before actually making my final decision on attending business school. The rewards from visiting schools were numerous. I saw people who might be in my class the next year, met a large number of people, learned more about the individual programs, and ultimately found comfort in my final decision.

In the end, I’m quite happy with my choice to come here to the Northwestern JD-MBA program. It’s been an interesting and challenging experience so far at the law school and it sounds like my time at Kellogg will be just as fun. But I have found the two environments to be quite different. And that difference is also evident in the admissions process.

As it turns out, in law school, the yield rates (i.e. number [those who accept offers] / [total number of offers]) are much lower than business school rate. So there are more people at those weekends that may not be in your class. This has more to do with the application process than anything else. In law school, applicant tend to apply to far more schools. That’s because the applications are more standard, need less personalized information, are often shorter, and even cost less money. So applicants can crank out more applications and usually end up with more choices as a result, which means more schools get “NOs” from students.

As such, it seems as though for some law students, the admit weekends may be pretty important. While some students pick law schools entirely based on ranking, many get comfortable with a certain range of rankings, and after that look more at program, fit, and culture, some of which weigh that more highly than ranking. For the latter group, and hopefully to convince some in the former group, schools have events like DANL.

DANL 2010 just kicked off on Friday.  They had a pretty interesting day of events, met alumni, met other admits, and had a few sessions during the day. As part of that, a few students came to my Con Law and Property classes. They also took part in a dinner at a local restaurant “Zoo Life” and came to the annual year end show, put on by a group of law students.

Today, they have a jam-packed schedule since it’s the weekend, where more students can help. Schools usually jam as much into the schedule as possible, and it begins bright and early before 9am.  Though it will be interesting to see how many admits make the 9am deadline considering I saw a number of them out pretty late the first night.

These sorts of events are a good way for Northwestern, and all schools, to do some recruiting and increase yield. Given the volume of admits and events though, it’s indeed a group process to make that happen. Conventional human capital theory says that recruitment is most effective as a team sport.  As soon as you have one teammate, then the workload splits 50-50. With two teammates, it’s 33-33-33.  Then 25-25-25-25. And so on. This is especially important when in admissions recruitment and at events like DANL, where you want to hit a critical mass, reach out to more and more people, give everyone a chances to ask questions and uncover information, and have someone there with experiences in everything NU Law.

I’m personally here helping out this weekend too. I’m doing what I can to help speak to the JD-MBA admits and other admits who want to discuss careers issues.  In fact, I’m helping at a careers table today during the fair in just a bit.  I personally had a lot of fun at my admit weekends (mostly MBA schools), and I even had a blast going back to DAK (Kellogg admit weekend) this year as a law student.  So I guess this is my way of giving back.

Peer support is pretty big at Northwestern, so giving back is pretty easy.  And when you have one person who wants to get involved, that mentality often cascades throughout the school, or at least through the club, and in the end you may end up with a lot of people who want to pitch in and help.  And at that point, you go from 25-25-25-25, to 1-1-1 … which is ideal. It’s the whole idea that a team working together can accomplish a lot more than the sum of its individual capabilities.

In this case, we can share more information, and help people make more informed choices about coming to Northwestern Law next year.  After all, the more committed students we have here the better off we are. We can improve our events, curriculum, and networks, and we can bring the students and alumni more opportunities. In the end, those things are better for everyone.

But as for DANL. We’ve only made it one day so far, so still have a bit more work to do to pull that off. In fact, I have to leave now to help at the activities fair.  I’m part of the Careers Committee here and given the economic environment, I suspect we’ll have a good number of admits with questions about recruiting.  After that, I plan to sit on a JD-MBA panel. I’ll fill you in on how everything turns out.

Saturday, April 10th, 2010 Admissions, Law School

2 Comments to Day At Northwestern Law 2010 Kick-Off

April 11, 2010

Jeremy, first off, I love your website. Very informative. Also, thanks for your initial recap. I look forward to hearing about the rest of the weekend and to your other posts.

Jeremy C Wilson
April 11, 2010

@Anonymous Thanks so much for your comment. Glad you will continue to visit my site.

Leave a comment

Join the conversation

Join the conversation



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.


Share your education story

Share your education story

Thank you Chicago for the nomination

Thank you Chicago for the nomination

Apply to Join MLT

Apply to Join MLT

Apply to Join NLC

Apply to Join NLC

Learn about the JD-MBA program

Learn about the JD-MBA program

Please Vote

Register To Vote

Twitter Feed


The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
April 2010
« Mar   May »
Get Adobe Flash player