Northwestern Law Dean Daniel Rodriguez is stepping down

Daniel Rodriguez, who oversaw one of the most successful fundraising campaigns ever for a law school, will be stepping down as dean of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.

Rodriguez led the law school in a historic fundraising campaign. “Motion to Lead,” launched in 2014, which has raised nearly $220 million to date, just $30 million shy of the campaign’s total goal. Contributions include a J.B. Pritzker and M.K. Pritzker’s $100 million naming gift, the second largest gift to any law school. 

“As dean, Dan Rodriguez has done an exceptional job of leading the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law with strength, innovation and passion at a pivotal time in the legal profession,” Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro said. “He has done extraordinary work to transform the curriculum of the law school, ease the financial burden on law students and enhance the reputation of the school.”


 $220 million raised during Rodriguez's tenure as dean.


“I have a deep appreciation and admiration for Dan Rodriguez’s six years of extraordinary service in leading the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law,” Provost Jonathan Holloway said. “Under Dan’s leadership, the law school has thrived. From the historic Pritzker naming gift to groundbreaking educational programs and new world-class faculty to record fundraising levels in the current campaign and a rising global reputation, the law school has never been stronger and its future has never been brighter.”

Rodriguez informed the law school administration of his decision to step down as dean earlier this summer.  He intends to rejoin the Northwestern Law faculty as a professor following a one-year sabbatical during the 2018-2019 academic year. 


"Our commitment to innovation has enabled us to move the needle."

- Dean Daniel Rodriguez


“I am proudest of mobilizing real change in educational programming, maintaining our commitment to excellence and rigor while also leveraging our great reputation to establish bold new models of professional education for a changing world,"  Rodriguez said. "Our commitment to innovation has enabled us to move the needle, and I look forward with eager anticipation to the law school’s next chapter.”

Before his appointment as Northwestern Law’s dean in 2012, Rodriguez was one of the star professorial recruits at the University of Texas School of Law. The former dean of University of Texas, Larry Sager, was forced to resign in 2011 after it came to light that he has used forgivable loans to recruit 20 law professors.

Prior to that, Rodriguez was dean at the University of San Diego School of Law. He started his academic career as law a professor at University of California, Berkeley.