Northern Illinois University College of Law

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Northern Illinois University
College of Law
Swen Parson hall again.JPG
Swen Parson Hall
Established 1975
School type Public
Dean Mark Cordes[1]
Location DeKalb, Illinois, U.S.
Enrollment 281[2]
Faculty 30
USNWR ranking 144
Bar pass rate 85% (2017)[3]
Website law.niu.edu
ABA profile Profile

Northern Illinois University College of Law (NIU Law) is one of three public law schools in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the only public law school in the greater Chicago area. The College of Law was founded as the Lewis University College of Law in Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1975. It became part of Northern Illinois University in August 1979, and in 1982 moved to the DeKalb campus, taking up residence in Swen Parson Hall. The College of Law offers the Juris Doctor degree in both full-time and part-time programs.

According to NIU Law's 2015 ABA-required disclosures, 59.4% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation (57.4% when excluding sole practitioners).[4] According to the National Association of Law Placement employment report, 89.8% of the NIU Law Class of 2015 were employed as of ten months after graduation.[5]

The campus is located just over an hour from Chicago in the suburban setting of DeKalb, Illinois. The law school is housed within Swen Parson Hall, the former NIU library.

Employment[edit]

According to NIU Law's 2015 ABA-required disclosures, 59.4% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage-required employment nine months after graduation (57.4% when excluding sole practitioners).[4] Nine months after graduation, 75.2% of the NIU Law Class of 2015 was employed in full-time, long-term, J.D. advantage, bar passage required, or professional positions.[4] According to the National Association of Law Placement employment report, 89.8% of the NIU Law Class of 2015 were employed as of ten months after graduation.[5] NIU Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 17.8%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2015 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[6]

Costs[edit]

The cost of tuition and fees at the NIU College of Law for the 2016-2017 academic year is $22,130 for in-state students and $38,385 for out-of-state students[7] (In contrast, the average tuition for other Illinois law schools in 2015 was more than $45,000.).[8] The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at NIU College of Law for the 2014–2015 academic year is $40,564 for Illinois residents and $56,500 for out-of-state students.[9] Most out-of-state students establish residency during the first year and qualify for lower tuition in the second and third years.[10] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $159,680 for residents and $222,932 for out of state.[11] The average debt load for graduates in the Class of 2014 who borrowed at least one loan was $77,182.[12] The national average debt load in 2013 was $109,746.[13] Students can obtain a significant amount of financial assistance through the university and law school in the form of research and graduate assistantships, which normally provide waivers in the amount of full or partial in-state tuition, although some provide waivers in the amount of out-of-state tuition.[14]

Student organizations[edit]

The College of Law has twenty-five registered student organizations. These include the Student Bar Association, which governs all other student organizations, and activity-based organizations including the Northern Illinois University Law Review, Moot Court Society and Trial Advocacy Society. Other prominent student organizations include the American Constitution Society, Black Law Students Association, Christian Legal Society, Environmental Law Society, Federalist Society, Gay-Straight Alliance, Latina/o Law Student Association, Public Interest Law Society and Women's Law Caucus.[15]

Northern Illinois University Law Review[edit]

The Northern Illinois University Law Review is a student-edited journal that publishes articles designed to assist the legal community and to stimulate critical discussion of current legal, policy, and social issues.[16] The review publishes three issues per year, with the third issue being dedicated to a specific legal or social issue the membership has collectively decided to highlight.

Referred to as the "Symposium" issue, this issue is released in conjunction with a one-day conference composed of presentations, round-table discussion, and keynote addresses by experts on the Symposium topic.

  • 2016 - Legal Implications of Social Media: Hashtag First Amendment & Ethics
  • 2015 – Medical Marijuana Legalization, A Growing Trend: Social, Economic and Legal Implications
  • 2014 – Shelby County v. Holder: A New Perspective on Voting Rights
  • 2013 – Eavesdropping and Wiretapping in Illinois
  • 2012 – The Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis: A Discussion of Current Issues, Trends, and Solutions
  • 2011 – Which Way Home: A Symposium on Human Trafficking
  • 2010 – What it Means to be a Lawyer in the Digital Age
  • 2009 – The Modern American Jury
  • 2008 – Emerging Issues in Election Law
  • 2007 – Medical Malpractice: Emerging Issues and the Effects of Tort Reform
  • 2006 – Current Issues in Child Custody Law
  • 2005 – Emerging Issues in Equal Protection
  • 2004 – Domestic Violence and Victimizing the Victim: Relief, Results, Reform
  • 2003 – The 21st Century Trial Lawyer: A Lawyer's Guide to Electronic Evidence Presentation and Case Management
  • 2002 – Hot Topics in Dispute Resolution: What Advocates, Neutrals, and Consumers Need to Know
  • 2001 – Defense Strategies in Death Penalty Litigation
  • 2000 – Land-use, Agricultural, and Environmental Law

Moot Court Society[edit]

The Moot Court Society is a student-run organization whose purpose is to further the advancement of appellate advocacy.[17] It draws its members from those students who have participated in the Lenny Mandell Moot Court Competition, which is offered to second-year students, or other co-curricular moot court competitions. The competition is named for former Associate Dean Lenny Mandell, who served as faculty advisor for the Moot Court Society for over 30 years.

Members participate in the formulation of the Moot Court problem, the administration of the program, and the judging of arguments in other programs. They are also eligible for membership on teams which participate in regional and national competitions.

Trial Advocacy Society[edit]

The Trial Advocacy Society is a student-run organization committed to developing trial advocacy skills and preparing students to become effective trial lawyers.[18] This mission is achieved through a variety of activities, which includes hosting student competitions, such as the 1L Closing Argument Competition and the 2L Mock Trial Competition, as well as through other events including educational seminars, guest speakers who are prominent jurists and trial lawyers within the community, and hosting social events focused on trials and the development of trial skills.

The Trial Ad Society also sends student teams to compete in both the National Trial Competition and the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition.

Legal skills training[edit]

In the first year of law school, NIU College of Law students take two full-year, required courses, Basic Legal Research and Legal Writing and Advocacy. The two courses employ coordinated, real-life exercises.

In Basic Legal Research, techniques of using both manual and computer-assisted legal research tools are taught. Beginning with analyzing a factual situation in order to develop a legal research strategy, students will learn how to locate and use secondary sources, case law, statutory and legislative history material, and administrative regulations.

In Legal Writing and Advocacy, students develop skills through a series of intensive writing exercises culminating in an oral argument.[19][20]

Clinics[edit]

Various clinical experiences are offered each semester at the Clinical Law Center on the DeKalb campus and the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford, Illinois. In addition, in 2013 the College of Law began a clinical partnership with Hesed House and Aunt Martha's Health Center in Aurora, Illinois that focuses on the legal issues that may contribute to health problems in the area’s indigent population.[21]

At these clinics, students represent clients under the direction of well-qualified supervising attorneys. The clinical courses each have a classroom component in addition to the practice experience. They are taught by members of the College of Law faculty in conjunction with the supervising attorneys. These classes bring academic and practical worlds together, addressing a range of issues students experience in their cases, from honing legal skills, to exploring issues of substantive law and procedure, to considering real-world issues of professional responsibility and ethics.

Clinical opportunities[edit]

  • Civil Justice Clinic[22]
  • Criminal Defense Clinic[23]
  • Foreclosure Mediation Clinic[24]
  • Health Advocacy Clinic[25]

Public interest service[edit]

In 2016, rankings released by preLaw magazine recognized NIU College of Law as one of the top law schools for delivering graduates to public service careers (specifically in the category of prosecutors/public defenders).[26]

NIU Law has been ranked first in the nation for government placement according to U.S. News & World Report. Approximately one-third of its graduates choose a career in public interest,[27] including 93 alumni in the judiciary.[28]

In 2001, the college received the Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service Award.[29]

Leadership[edit]

Eric Dannenmaier became dean of the NIU College of Law in June 2016 after serving as a professor; dean's fellow and Grimes fellow; director of JD Graduate Programs and director of the Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources Law Program at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. In December 2013, Dean Dannenmaier was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation. The commission was created under the NAFTA agreement among Canada, Mexico, and the United States to promote regional environmental cooperation and enforcement of national environmental laws within the three countries.[30]

Marc Falkoff is the associate dean of the NIU College of Law. Dean Falkoff joined the NIU College of Law faculty in 2006. His primary research and teaching interests are in the rule of law and the practice of public interest law. Since 2004, he has represented a number of prisoners being held by the U.S. military at Guantánamo Bay on suspicion of involvement with terrorism. The book of prisoner poetry he edited – Poems from Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak – was a bestselling anthology and has been translated into a dozen languages.[31]

Kathleen Coles became the associate dean for student affairs of the NIU College of Law in 2013. She has taught Corporations, Securities Regulation, Non-Profit Organizations, Payment Systems, and Introduction to Lawyering Skills, along with seminars dealing with financial crises. Before joining the NIU faculty, Dean Coles practiced law for fourteen years in New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.[32]

Rankings[edit]

In 2016, National Jurist magazine ranked the NIU College of Law eleventh in the nation in graduates being hired by firms with 100 or fewer attorneys, making it one of the best law schools in the nation at landing its graduates into small-firm practices.[33]

As part of the National Jurist magazine's September 2015 "Best Value Law Schools" study, NIU College of Law was named among the sixty-four featured law schools on the list, based on employment, tuition, cost of living and indebtedness upon graduation.[34]

In 2015, Law School Transparency rated the employment prospects for graduates of the NIU College of Law as the fourth-best among Illinois-based law schools, ahead of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, DePaul University College of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law and the John Marshall Law School (Chicago).[35]

In 2015, NIU College of Law was listed by National Jurist magazine as one of only thirty-eight law schools in the nation experiencing double-digit improvements in graduate employment rates from the previous year.[36]

History[edit]

The NIU College of Law was founded as the Lewis University College of Law on November 2, 1974.[37] Due to a lack of funding to meet ABA requirements, the Lewis University administration began looking for an institution to transfer the law school to. Administrators from both NIU and Lewis University initially met in 1978 to discuss the transfer of the law school from Lewis University to NIU.[38] Although there had been talk for quite some time of establishing a law school at NIU there had yet to be any real progress made. NIU and Lewis University began working on a proposal to submit to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) in 1979. The IBHE rejected the proposal necessitating legislative action.

Illinois Senators David C. Shapiro and Philip J. Rock introduced Senate Bill 719 on April 12, 1979 to the Illinois Senate.[39] Senate Bill 719 provided the legislation necessary for the law school transfer of jurisdiction from Lewis University to NIU and funding to support the law school at NIU. After passing in the Illinois General Assembly, Senate Bill 719 was approved by Governor Thompson on June 26, 1979 and signed into law as Public Act 81–37 the next day.[40] Effective August 1, 1979, Lewis University College of Law would become Northern Illinois University College of Law. In the Fall of 1982, after more than 7 years in Glen Ellyn, the NIU College of Law moved into its newly remodeled space within Swen Parson Hall on NIU’s main campus in DeKalb, IL.[41] On August 11, 1982 the American Bar Association gave full accreditation to the NIU College of Law.[42] The College of Law was admitted to the American Association of Law Schools on January 22, 1985.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://northernpublicradio.org/post/niu-law-dean-administrative-leave
  2. ^ "Prospective Students – NIU – College of Law". Niu.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  3. ^ "Consumer Information – NIU – College of Law". Law.niu.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  4. ^ a b c "ABA Employment Summary Report". 
  5. ^ a b "NIU College of Law Quick Facts.". November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Northern Illinois University Profile". 
  7. ^ "Tuition, Fees, and Budgets". law.niu.edu. November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ "The average law school tuition for the state of Illinois can be calculated by visiting the ABA's required disclosures site (linked here), adding the total tuition for all nine Illinois-based, ABA-accredited law schools and dividing that number by nine.". November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Tuition, Fees, and Budgets". 
  10. ^ "Residency Information for Tuition Purposes – NIU – Northern Illinois University". Reg.niu.edu. 2015-10-18. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  11. ^ "Northern Illinois University Profile". 
  12. ^ "Admissions & Financial Aid Quick Facts". Law.niu.edu. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  13. ^ "Grad Debt Programs | Top Law Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools". Grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  14. ^ "Assistantships- NIU – College of Law". Niu.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  15. ^ "Student Organizations - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  16. ^ "NIU Law Review". November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Moot Court Society". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  18. ^ "Trial Ad Society - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  19. ^ "Basic Legal Research – NIU – College of Law". Niu.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  20. ^ "Legal Writing and Advocacy – NIU – College of Law". Niu.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  21. ^ "NIU College of Law Launches New Legal Clinic in Partnership with Aurora Homeless Shelter – Aurora Beacon-News". Chicagotribune.com. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2015-10-18. 
  22. ^ "Civil Justice Clinic - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  23. ^ "Criminal Defense Clinic - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  24. ^ "Clients and Cases - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  25. ^ "NIU College of Law Health Advocacy Clinic - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  26. ^ "NIU Law Named One of the Top Schools for Public Service - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  27. ^ "Admissions & Financial Aid Quick Facts". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  28. ^ "Graduates in the Judiciary - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  29. ^ "Booras Receives Award". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Eric R. Dannenmaier - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  31. ^ "Marc D. Falkoff - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  32. ^ "Kathleen L. Coles - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  33. ^ "NIU Law Receives Three "Best of" Accolades From National Jurist/preLaw Magazines - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  34. ^ "NIU Law Repeats as One of the Best Value Law Schools in the Nation - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  35. ^ "Illinois Report". www.lstreports.com. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  36. ^ "NIU Law Listed Among Schools with Most Improved Employment Rate - NIU - College of Law". www.niu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  37. ^ Monat, William R. The Achieving Institution: A Presidential Perspective on Northern Illinois University. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, 2001. Pg. 110.
  38. ^ Monat, William R. The Achieving Institution: A Presidential Perspective on Northern Illinois University. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, 2001. Pg. 108.
  39. ^ Monat, William R. The Achieving Institution: A Presidential Perspective on Northern Illinois University. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, 2001. Pg. 126.
  40. ^ Monat, William R. The Achieving Institution: A Presidential Perspective on Northern Illinois University. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, 2001. Pg. 132.
  41. ^ Monat, William R. The Achieving Institution: A Presidential Perspective on Northern Illinois University. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, 2001. Pg. 140.
  42. ^ Monat, William R. The Achieving Institution: A Presidential Perspective on Northern Illinois University. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, 2001. Pg. 141.
  43. ^ Monat, William R. The Achieving Institution: A Presidential Perspective on Northern Illinois University. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, 2001. Pg. 143.

External links[edit]