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Northern Illinois University (College of Law)




Northern Illinois University College of Law is a young and dynamic school celebrating its 25th anniversary year. The school offers its diverse student body a broad perspective of the law through high-quality programs and practical-skills training taught by well-respected, dynamic faculty of equal diversity. The campus is located just over an hour from Chicago in the tranquil suburban setting of DeKalb, Illinois.

A primary emphasis at NIU College of Law is to build upon our emerging reputation as a law school that embraces multu-cultural awareness as well as service in the public sector. At the College of Law we believe that today's complex and multi-cultural world offers greater opportunity for diversity in the legal profession. At the College of Law we celebrate our commitment to diversity, as reflected by the students, faculty, and alumni. We are dedicated to not only providing quality legal education for the benefit of all, but also to fostering a sense of life-long responsibility towards public service and awareness.

Although a majority of our graduates enter private practice, we also continue to rank near the top among law schools in placing students in public service and public interest jobs. We continue to facilitate such public service /public interest placement for interested students through specialized curricular offerings, focused externship opportunities and the development of a JD/MPA joint degree option. The College seeks to instill a commitment to public service in all students during law school, beginning a lifetime evolving commitment to use their legal education for public interest, no matter what the particular practice setting. Thus, all students are encouraged to engage regularly in pro bono activities, and the College of Law provides a number of "public interest stipends" each summer to support students in full-time public interest work.

The primary purpose of the College of Law is to train effective lawyers through a program of quality legal education. Such training must be both intellectually rigorous and broadly conceived, with the aim of preparing students for both today's and tomorrow's global legal environment. Recognizing that the study of law is itself a professional specialization, the primary course of study is of a general nature, providing students with a broad base of exposure and problem solving abilities that equip them for a lifetime in the law. To accomplish these aims, the curriculum imparts not only a broad theoretical basis, but provides for the intensive development of analytical and communicative skills. At the same time, the College seeks to ensure that students have the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge of legal specializations by identifying curricular tracks supporting practice specialties.

Integral to the accomplishment of this purpose is our continuing commitment to facilitate access to the legal profession by members of traditionally underrepresented groups. It is an objective of the College to reduce the historic deficit of traditionally underrepresented groups on law school faculties and in law school student bodies, to aid in countering the effects of societal discrimination, to increase the number of lawyers who will practice in communities currently underserved, and to obtain the educational benefits that flow from a diverse faculty and student body.

In service of the College's primary purpose, the College has identified and continues to develop three special areas of emphasis:

PRACTICE COMPETENCE:
The College places special emphasis on developing practice competence on the part of its students, with the goal that students can graduate fully prepared to practice law. Such an emphasis not only recognizes the placement settings our graduates currently enter, but also responds to the legal profession's growing demand, generally, for more skills training in law schools. This requires a comprehensive focus on professional skills and professional ethics throughout all three years of education, with simulation courses and externship opportunities in the second and third year. One aspect of this is a continuing commitment to provide all interested students with separate courses in both pre-trial and trial practice. We continue to explore ways to incorporate substantial skills components into other courses and to enlarge and enhance the externship opportunities currently offered our students.

PUBLIC SERVICE/ PUBLIC INTEREST:
A second emphasis is to build upon our emerging reputation as a college of law whose graduates have strong inclinations toward employment in public service / public interest. Although a majority of our graduates enter private practice, we also continue to rank near the top among law schools in placing students in public service and public interest jobs. First, we must continue to facilitate such public service /public interest placement for interested students through specialized curricular offerings, focused externship opportunities and the development of a JD/MPA joint degree option. Second, the College must seek to instill a commitment to public service in all students during law school, beginning a lifetime evolving commitment to use their legal education to serve the public interest, no matter what the particular practice setting. Thus, all students are encouraged to engage regularly in pro bono activities, and the College provides a number of "public interest stipends" each summer to support students in full-time public interest work. Third, the College must seek to promote an active interest in its students in pursuing issues of social justice, both by providing opportunities for such work during law school, and integration of such a perspective, where possible, throughout the curriculum.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION:
The College also endeavors to provide special opportunities to students in the increasingly important field of dispute resolution. To this end, in addition to the school's courses in pre-trial and trial practice, the College offers courses in mediation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution areas. These courses provide students with an opportunity to gain expertise in dispute resolution that can be brought to bear in almost any distinct practice setting. Because these skills are increasingly valuable in the practice of law, the College will consider expanding curricular offerings in the dispute resolution area to include externship or clinical experiences and academic programs that will be made available to both students and practitioners.



School name:Northern Illinois UniversityCollege of Law
Address:Swen Parson Hall, Room 276
Zip & city:IL 60115  Illinois
Phone:800-892-3050
Web:http://law.niu.edu
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