Serving the Needs of the Community

A primary emphasis at NIU College of Law is to build upon our emerging reputation as a law school that embraces multi-cultural awareness as well as service in the public sector. 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 servic /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.

Pro Bono Activities

At NIU College of Law, we are committed to encouraging pro bono publico legal services. Students who successfully complete a cumulative 60 hours of approved pro bono service will receive a notation on their transcript.  Various forms of scholarships, stipends, and other grants are designated for the support of students performing voluntary services.  For purposes of the College of Law Approved Pro Bono Service Recognition, Pro Bono Service is defined as follows:

I. Legal or law-related work for the benefit of:

a) persons of limited means or underserved populations, or

b) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means or underserved populations, or

c) individuals, groups or organizations, or governmental units and agencies seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or

d) charitable, religious, civic, or community organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, or

e) educational organizations; or

II. Pro bono service includes only voluntary work which is uncompensated and for which academic credit is not received.  Reimbursement of reasonable expenses or receipt of scholarships, stipends or other grants designated for the support of students performing voluntary services shall not be considered compensation.

Volunteer Activities

In addition to legal community service activities through the clinics and pro bono work, there are a variety of other volunteer opportunities throughout the College of Law's student organizations and community service projects. Our students have varying degrees of availability for extra projects based on their personal lives and academic schedule, therefore we work with community nonprofits and public agencies to find volunteer opportunities that meet the needs of all interested students.

Continuing Legal Education

The College of Law offers continuing legal education opportunities such as the annual Law Review Symposium throughout the year.