Northwestern School of Law announces largest ever fundraising campaign

Ally Mutnick, Managing Editor

Northwestern School of Law announced a $150 million campaign last week, with just more than half of the funds allotted for student financial aid.

The campaign, which is the largest in the law school’s history, has already hit $67 million in donations. The school has promised $80 million to increase financial aid and help offset the “serious issue” of student debt.

“While a first-rate legal education remains an expensive proposition, we remain committed to reducing the overall financial burden on our students,” Daniel Rodriguez, dean of the School of Law, said in a news release. “This is important to maintain our competitive position — and it is simply the right thing to do.”

Rodriguez has taken other steps recently to decrease law students’ financial burden. The law school’s tuition only increased by 3 percent for each of the last two academic years. It was the school’s smallest tuition bump in 40 years, the dean said. In March 2013, Rodriguez promised to increase student financial aid 25 percent over the next two years.

The law school fundraising goal, which has no specified end date, is part of the University’s $3.75 billion “We Will” capital campaign announced in March. The law school campaign will also set aside funds for social justice projects, curriculum revamps and law-technology initiatives.

The law school received its largest-ever donation in December when NU trustee Neil Bluhm (Law ‘62) donated $15 million. Another NU trustee, J. Landis Martin (Kellogg ‘68, Law ‘73), and his wife donated $10 million to the law school in July 2013.

The school’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, named for Bluhm, is expected to get $15 million from the campaign. Another $10 million is earmarked for global initiatives.

The School of Law’s last fundraising effort raised $78 million and lasted from 1997 to 2003.

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