NIU Law Welcomes the Class of 2015
August 29, 2012
DeKalb, Ill.--Wide-eyed, excited, and optimistic best describes the new class of incoming students on August 13, as they stepped through the doors of Swen Parson Hall. The NIU Law Class of 2015 spent the next week forging relationships with their classmates, getting to know faculty and staff, familiarizing themselves with the extended NIU campus, and beginning to identify as professionals.
The Class of 2015 includes 114 new students, including individuals from a wide variety of regions, backgrounds, and kinds of experience. As per tradition, Dean Rosato welcomed the new class, providing words of wisdom to carry with them from the first day of law school all the way to the last. She emphasized the importance of professionalism and encouraged the students to find their own identities, not just as individuals but as a class.
“Orientation is one of my favorite times during the academic year – and also the most important. It embraces the new students as part of our close-knot community and eases their transition to law school,” said Dean Rosato.
The week was highlighted by an address from Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, sponsored by the Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism. Chief Justice Kilbride spoke on the importance of maintaining civility and devotion to the public good in all legal practice, as well as holding up the rule of law as an ideal to be pursued and something in which to take pride. He then administered the Oath of Professionalism as the students commit themselves to moral and ethical constancy in their pursuit and throughout their legal careers. The professionalism session concluded with a series of small group sessions facilitated by practicing attorneys and judges, in which the students were confronted with ethical dilemmas cases and asked to examine their own personal values and how they will apply to their work as lawyers.
Orientation week also placed a heavy emphasis on the importance of networking as an aspect of professional development. Networking events included a seminar on best practices in career networking, panel discussions with students and alumni, and a reception at the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford where student met area alumni, attorneys, judges, public figures, and were introduced to clinical programs. The new students also got a feel for how their classes and tests will proceed over the next three years through mock class sessions and a mock exam on the final day of the orientation.
As their first week of orientation in the law school environment drew to a close, the first-year students stood prepared to begin their journey to the bar. They now have a new place to call home, friendly faces to lean on as they go, and plenty of preparation for the hard work ahead.
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