John Henry Wigmore Club



Individuals who give annually to the Law School at a significant level become members of the John Henry Wigmore Club, a giving society that was organized to foster and stimulate the spirit, scholarship, professional objectives, and ideals of John Henry Wigmore, the first full-time dean of Northwestern Law.

Currently comprised of more than 700 alumni and friends, Wigmore Club members gather each year in Chicago for a special recognition celebration, have their names included on the Honor Roll of Donors, and receive special event invitations and Law School communications on a preferred basis. Recent graduates are encouraged to join the Young Wigmore Club.

Matching gifts count toward Wigmore Club participation. Check here to see if your employer (or your spouse's employer) will match your gift!

Membership Levels

Founder   $25,000+  
Patron  $10,000 - $24,999
Fellow  $5,000 - $9,999
Partner  $2,500 - $4,999
Associate  $1,000 - $2,499
Young Wigmore $100 for every year since graduation (e.g., five years out of school equals a $500 contribution; six years, $600, and so on)  

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John Henry Wigmore

John Henry Wigmore served as the Law School's dean from 1901 to 1929 and as a member of its faculty until his death in 1943. Wigmore was a prolific scholar who penned the seminal Treatise on Evidence.

Prior to his time at Northwestern, Wigmore spent three years in Japan helping establish a western-style law school. He learned to speak Japanese, became competent at fencing, and played shortstop on Tokyo's first baseball team. He returned to the U.S. to join the Northwestern Law faculty in 1893.

As dean emeritus, Wigmore helped establish Chicago's Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory to help city police fight organized crime in the wake of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. The lab offered practical forensic training on subjects such as fingerprints and firearms, detecting explosives, unraveling forgeries, polygraph testing and using photography to preserve evidence.

Wigmore also published a collection of songs entitled "Lyrics for a Lawyer's Leisure."

Wigmore's old chair from the faculty room of Levy Mayer Hall sits in the office of Ron Allen, Northwestern's John Henry Wigmore Professor of Law.