Established in 1859, what is now Northwestern Pritzker School of Law was the first law school founded in the city of Chicago. During the century and a half since, it has served as a leading institution of legal education and research, and has produced a number of alumni who have gone on to distinguished legal, political, academic, and business careers.
During World War I, Northwestern faculty, students, and alumni were heavily involved in the war effort, and the Law School was represented by 365 affiliated servicemen in all branches of the military. So many students enlisted in the service that enrollment decreased by more than one-third in 1917, and others participated in the Officers Training Camps and the Student Army Training Corps on campus.
This period was also a turning point in the history of American legal education. Northwestern was on the forefront of a movement toward a more formal and rigorous law school program, including stricter entrance requirements and a proposal for a four-year law curriculum. This curriculum was slated to apply to classes beginning in the fall of 1918, but the demands of war made this impossible, and all changes were postponed until the war was over.