4 Ways To Make The Most Of A Northwestern Law Campus Visit

by Donald Snead and Taryn Nakamura

One of the best ways to get a feel for Northwestern is to visit the campus. Here’s a to-do list to get the most out of your visit. Especially if you’re traveling from across the country, you don’t want to leave saying, “I should have done that!”

Northwestern Law School is actually a separate campus from the main university campus in Evanston. Sometimes students don’t realize this, and they are surprised to find out that Northwestern Law School is in downtown Chicago. Law students are still welcome to use the facilities and take classes at the main campus, but the downtown Chicago campus will be their home base.

1. Take A Campus Tour


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One of the best ways to get a feel for Northwestern is to visit the campus. Here’s a to-do list to get the most out of your visit. Especially if you’re traveling from across the country, you don’t want to leave saying, “I should have done that!”

Northwestern Law School is actually a separate campus from the main university campus in Evanston. Sometimes students don’t realize this, and they are surprised to find out that Northwestern Law School is in downtown Chicago. Law students are still welcome to use the facilities and take classes at the main campus, but the downtown Chicago campus will be their home base.

1. Take A Campus Tour

Campus tours start at noon. For a student-led tour, visit during the Fall or Spring while classes are in session. On off-seasons, you’ll be on your own. Also be aware that no guided tours happen on Wednesdays.

2. Sit In On A Class

While planning your visit, take a look at the class schedule posted on the admissions website. If there are particular classes you’re interested in, note the time and plan accordingly. Friday afternoons generally have fewer classes, so a morning or early afternoon visit would be wise.

Arrive a few minutes early to notify the professor that you’ll be sitting in on their class. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the hot seat if the professor calls on you to answer a question.

While in class, pay attention to the teaching style. If it’s discussion-based, how do students interact? Would you be intimidated or eager to contribute in this environment?

3. Schedule An Interview

If you plan on doing the interview, this is a great time to schedule it. Unless you’re just scouting the school and making a list of schools to apply to, you can request an on-campus interview at the Northwestern admissions page: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissions/applying/oncampusinterview.html.

At your interview, you’ll find an additional information resource—your interviewer. Your interviewer is not just there to grill you. You can ask any questions you have about the campus, student life, classes, and more.

4. Tour The Neighborhood

After the guided campus tour ends, Donald suggests that you take your own tour of downtown Chicago:

“It’s especially important to get a sense of the neighborhood because you don’t have direct access to resources available on the larger main campus. It’s more of a grown-up tour, as opposed to visiting a college for undergrad.  You need to find out where the supermarkets are, and where the best places to live would be.”

Because of the law school campus’ location, which predominately includes Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping and Northewestern University hospital, many students elect to live in one of Chicago’s many neighborhoods, such as Wicker Park, Bucktown or Garfield Park. Thanks to the city’s transit system, students can even move to neighborhoods further north of the downtown area, such as Lincoln Park, Lakeview, or Wrigleyville, and still commute easily to campus.

Donald preferred being on a separate campus from the main Northwestern University campus. There was more of a professional feel to the school because no undergraduates were present.

Touring the area around the campus is just as important as touring the campus itself. When you’re at Northwestern Law School’s campus, make sure you ask questions on the tour, sit in on interesting classes, and explore the neighborhood. This could be your home for the next three years. Ask yourself, “Can I see myself here?”

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