Northern Illinois University College of Law Highlights
Academic Year 2012-2013: A Focus on Engagement

College of Law Successes

  • NIU Law received a $1.5 million grant in partnership with the nonprofit Resolution Systems Institute to develop a mediation program for foreclosure cases in Kane County.  Visiting Professor Alan Boudreau was hired to supervise students in the new mediation clinic.
  • Appointed distinguished members to the Board of Visitors: Kelli M. Childress, Kane County Public Defender; Vincent F. Cornelius (’89), The Law Office of Vincent F. Cornelius; Hon. James F. Holderman, U. S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; Leanne Ebert Murphy, Commercial Services Director/Law Department, Walgreen Co.; Janet A. Pioli (’84), Shareholder, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione; and Dr. Denise Schoenbachler, Dean, NIU College of Business.
  • Faculty approved the new NIU Law/Hesed House Community Law Center, a medical-legal partnership clinic that will open in Aurora, IL in Fall 2013 and begin taking clients in Spring 2014. The Clinic was developed in partnership with Hesed House, a comprehensive homeless resource center, and Aunt Martha’s Health Center.
  • The 1L Mentoring Program began in Fall 2010 and still strong with 88/106 students participating this year.
  • Former Gov. James R. Thompson was the 2013 Commencement speaker and received an Honorary Degree.
  • Partnered with the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and held a listening conference at the College of Law on May 1, 2013. The event featured Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and Justice Robert R. Thomas of the Illinois Supreme Court, and focused on improving access to justice for the poor and vulnerable.
  • NIU Law was named as a Best Value Law School in the October 2013 issue of the National Jurist based on average debt, employment rate, tuition, and bar passage rate.
  • NIU Law was named one of the top 50 most diverse law schools in the nation in the November 2012 issue of the National Jurist magazine.
  • NIU Law ranked among the top law schools in the nation for students interested in pursuing careers in public service or public sector jobs in the January 2012 issue of the National Jurist.
  • NIU Law was ranked among the top law schools in the nation for limiting tuition increases to less than $10,000 from 2000 to 2010 according to the Spring 2012 issue of the National Jurist’s preLaw magazine.

Faculty Successes

  • Professor Marc Falkoff has a monthly column, Criminal Convictions, in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.  Other faculty, including Professors Amy Widman and Morse Tan, has also been featured as guest columnists.
  • Hired Professor Michael Oswalt, who is teaching labor and employment-related courses and Library Faculty Karl Pettit and Annie Mentkowski.
  • Dean Rosato was honored with a 2013 the Distinguished Leadership Award from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White during the Secretary’s 2013 National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration for her career in law and in legal education, her legacy as a professor and scholar, and her many leadership roles.
  • Visiting Professor Justice Jack O’Malley (ret), Illinois Appellate Court, who teaches lawyering skills, remedies, and white collar crime, was featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Student Successes

  • National Latina/o Law Student Association Moot Court Team placed second in the nation at recent competition held in New Mexico and won best respondents brief and best oralist in preliminary rounds.
  • Faculty approved four new certificate programs: criminal practice and civil advocacy will go in effect for the Class of 2014; and business law and international law will go into effect for the Class of 2015.
  • Faculty approved a state/local government semester-long externship that will begin in Spring 2014.
  • Expanded clinical offerings to include a new Juvenile Justice Clinic in Rockford, IL, where supervised law students represent youth in delinquency proceedings and youth involved in school expulsion proceedings.
  • Continued Professionalism Program for first-year students sponsored by Cherilyn (’78) and Michael Murer to further integrate professionalism earlier into the curriculum. The program consists of six lectures featuring prominent legal practitioners and academics discussing cutting-edge ethical issues.
  • Expanded Academic Success Program and other initiatives to maximize student success, including bar passage.  In addition, offered voluntary program to all third-year students for credit.
  • Provided more summer learning opportunities, including courses, externships, and APPLE assistantships in judicial placements for Summer 2013.  Twenty-two students studied in Agen with Co-Directors/Professors Dan Reynolds, Dave Gaebler, and David Taylor.
  • Led by the Student Bar Association, NIU Law won the Best Law School category in “Lawyers Feeding Illinois,” a food and fundraising drive and competition held by the Illinois State Bar Association to benefit people in Illinois who are facing hunger.

Alumni Successes

  • Rick Felice (’79), currently President-elect of the ISBA, will become the President in 2014.  Vincent Cornelius (’89) was elected Third Vice-President of the Illinois State Bar Association.  In 2016, he will become the first the first African-American President of the 32,000 member organization in its 136-year history. 
  • Hon. Patricia M. Martin (’85) was appointed by President Barack Obama as a member of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.
  • Hon. Melissa Olivera (’97) was appointed an administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board.
  • Alumni Council launched its Class Agent Project in effort to keep alumni more engaged with law school.
  • Recent judicial appointment of Hon. David Carlson (’01) in Will County brings the number of current and/or retired alumni judges to 87.

University Collaborations

  • Board of Visitors hosted a day-long workshop in April 2013 exploring various collaborations between the College of Law and other Colleges (including joint degree programs). Participants included Provost Raymond Alden, Deans from the Colleges, and a number of other top University administrators.
  • Hosted a day-long Health Policy Program, in collaboration with Colleges of Law, Business, Engineering the Health and Human Sciences at the NIU-Naperville campus on October 29, 2012.