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At A Glance

Northern Illinois University College of Law

NIU College of Law offers its students a broad perspective of the law through high quality academic programs and well-respected faculty, practical skills training, and a cooperative learning environment with personalized attention. By providing students with rigorous course work and challenging summer and enrichment programs, NIU prepares its students to competitively enter the legal profession immediately after graduation.

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Northern Illinois University College of Law's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 331
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 147 - 153
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 2.81 - 3.39
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 86.67%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 81.35%
In State Tuition $19,811
Out of State Tuition $35,129

Overview

Overview

About Northern Illinois University College of Law

NIU College of Law offers its students a broad perspective of the law through high quality academic programs and well-respected faculty, practical skills training, and a cooperative learning environment with personalized attention. By providing students with rigorous course work and challenging summer and enrichment programs, NIU prepares its students to competitively enter the legal profession immediately after graduation.

Reviews

As the only public school found within the environs of the greater Chicago area, NIUers are released into Illinois’ sea of graduating law students equipped with a solid education at a fraction of the price. Known for its commitment to fostering a sense of community and responsibility and pointing its students in the direction of public service jobs, NIU places a high value on pro bono work and makes a number of “public interest stipends” available to its students each summer. The school “has placed a special empha­sis on diversity, both amongst its faculty and its student body,” and it shows in the number of “divergent viewpoints” that are represented both in and out of the classroom. Professors are themselves one source of these divergent viewpoints, with many stu­dents claiming that “some of the professors are amazing while others clearly enjoy the benefits of tenure.” While the vast majority of professors “are well above average” and “do a very good job,” offering students a high level of approachability, many students claim to have had a few instructors who were below par. “Simply reciting material straight from the textbook is not teaching,” observes a first-year student. For the most part, however, students are happy with the quality of teaching at NIU and say that the school is very good at balancing theory with practice. “A number of the professors go out of their way to expand on topics illustrated in the text and to relate their real-world experiences to the matters at hand. The professors as a group make themselves accessible to students who have issues that need to be discussed,” affirms a student. “The faculty and administration practically begs students to come in and talk to them.” Other students would like to see a broader spectrum of courses offered. Although some students have grumbled about “1970s decor,” the school recently repainted and refurnished several on-campus buildings, including the law library and the student lounge. One of the greatest resources offered to NIU students, many of whom are older, is the Career Opportunities Office, which “will definitively help you get started toward your career,” especially if you're at the top of your class and looking to get into “big law.” Though some students speak of the disadvantages facing NIU grads—particularly the distance of the school from Chicago proper—others are reassured by the Career Opportunities Office’s strong networking prospects, which complement the school’s well-established and reputable clinic and externship programs. “We have a lock on many state attorney and public defenders offices now, and an incredible number of alumni in the judiciary. If you want to be a government trial lawyer in Illinois, this is definitely the school to go to.” As an exiting student avers, “The price was right, and if you are willing to do the work you can get a good education.”

- The Princeton Review

Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 116

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

JD/MPA. Other simultaneous enrollment options can be structured for students admitted to other graduate programs. Normally these programs are completed in 4 - 5 years.

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 36
Full-Time Faculty 19
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 9
Part-Time Faculty 8
Faculty Gender 55% Male
44% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 16 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 56% Male
44% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 77%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0%
Multi-racial 1%
Hispanic/Latino 8%
Ethnicity Unknown 2%
Black or African American 8%
Asian 4%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

In-State

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $19,811 Same as On-Campus
Housing N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $19,811 $19,811

Out-of-State

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $35,129 Same as On-Campus
Housing N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $35,129 $35,129

Financial Aid

95% Graduate students receiving financial aid (loans and grants)

$28,729 Average financial aid amount

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision:

Average Age Admitted: 26

Application Fee: $50

Incoming Class

Northern Illinois University College of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 147 - 153
LSAT Part-Time 156 - 156
LSAT Total 147 - 153

Northern Illinois University College of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 2.81 - 3.39
Part-Time 3.26 - 3.37
Total 2.81 - 3.39

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Undergraduate GPA

Important: Recommendations, Personal Essay

Admission Requirements

Required: Resume, Standardized Test Scores, Recommendations, Undergraduate GPA, Personal Essay

Optional: Work Experience, Extracurricular Activities, Interview, State Residency

Rankings

Rankings

U.S. News & World Report

#111 National Liberal Arts Colleges High School Counselor Rankings
#148 National Liberal Arts

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 90%
First Time Pass Rate 87%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 89%

Campus Recruitment

Number of Employers Recruiting on Campus 12
First Year Recruitment Time Summer
Second Year Recruitment Time Summer

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 81%
Average Starting Salary $47,584
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 32 41%
Firm Sized 11-25 4 5%
Firm Sized 26-50 0 5%
Firm Sized 51-100 1 1%
Firm Sized 101-250 2 3%
Firm Sized 501+ 1 1%
Business Industry 16 21%
Government 8 10%
Public Interest 3 4%
Academia 5 6%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 2 2%
Unemployed, Seeking 6 7%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 1 1%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
WI 3%
CO 3%
IL 85%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of Northern Illinois University College of Law include:

  • Honorable Patricia Martin-Bishop - Presiding Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Dr. Kenneth Chessick - Chair of the Northern Illinois University College of Law Board of Visitors
  • Cheryl Niro - Senior Strategy Advisor at American Bar Association
  • Kathleen Zellner - Founding Partner, Law Offices of Kathleen T. Zellner

Associations & Memberships

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