Assistantships

There are three types of assistantships available at NIU College of Law: research, graduate, and Rhoten A. Smith assistantships. After their first years, students can be considered for research assistantships in NIU College of Law, or for graduate assistantships within other NIU departments. Assistantships, research or graduate, 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. 

Normally, assistantship applications are processed during late spring for positions starting the next fall.  Applications are processed in the early fall for positions starting in the spring.

Law students should note that tuition waivers affect the student’s financial aid budget. The tuition waiver reduces the total student loan eligibility amount.

Types of Assistantships


Research Assistantships

  • Research Assistants work with law faculty engaged in scholarly pursuits. They build important relationships with members of the legal academy and hone their research and writing skills. They work for the faculty member for 7-14 hours per week during the academic year. By doing so, they also significantly defray their tuition expenses: they typically receive either a full or partial in-state tuition waiver.
  • After their first years, law students can be considered for research assistantships within NIU College of Law. A student should submit a Research Assistantship Application (hard copies are available in the NIU College of Law Office of Admissions & Financial Aid) to a professor with whom he or she would like to work.

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Graduate Assistantships

  • Many Graduate Assistants also earn a monthly stipend to help offset living expenses. Graduate Assistants work in departments here at NIU Law as well as in offices throughout the greater NIU community (e.g., in the student legal services office, the university counsel’s office, the office of the ombudsman, and the student housing office). They work 10-20 hours per week during the school year or up to 40 hours per week during the summer. These assistantships provide tuition waivers in the amount of full or partial in-state or out-of-state tuition and often receive a stipend to offset living expenses.
  • Students seeking Graduate Assistantships should contact the Office of Human Resource Services at http://www.hr.niu.edu/ServiceAreas/Grads/.

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