Press Release

NIU Law Launches Bold Matching Campaign
for Student Success

November 15, 2013

DeKalb, Ill. -- Dean Jennifer Rosato is pleased to announce that the College of Law has received a matching gift challenge from an anonymous donor to match up to $25,000 in new and increased gifts made by December 31, 2013.  Donations raised in this campaign will be used for key efforts to increase student success.

Student success continues to be a priority of NIU College of Law and the University with the ultimate goal of enhancing their experiences, their preparedness, and their marketability. The following initiatives have been developed in order to continue creating opportunities for law students and alumni: paid summer internships, bar prep assistance, and post-graduate fellowships. Alumni support of these initiatives will have a substantial impact on the College of Law, improving the skills NIU Law students need to be excellent lawyers, and providing valuable opportunities for new graduates.

Summer Internship Initiative

Internships provide valuable law-related experience for NIU Law students, making them more prepared for practice, marketable and -- in many cases -- these positions turn into full-time employment after graduation. Because most internships are unpaid, students often have to forgo these positions to take a paying, non-legal job or take on additional debt to support themselves.  Alumni contributions to the Internship Initiative would help with the goal of providing assistance to at least 25 students, each qualifying for up to $2,000 based on 300 hours of work during the summer.

Bar Prep Assistance

The bar exam is the final hurdle before a graduate can begin his or her one’s career as a practicing lawyer. The first-time pass rate is important not only for NIU Law graduates, but also for the reputation of the law school given the importance of bar passage in both ranking and recruiting efforts. Due to the College of Law's small number of graduates, even a small increase in the number of successful bar-takers would have a significant impact on the overall pass rate.  Alumni contributions to Bar Prep Assistance would help raise sufficient funds to offer four students a stipend of $5,000 for the summer bar review period, and allow them to devote their full efforts to prepare for the exam.

Post-Graduate Fellowships

Full-year, post-graduate fellowships directly enhance the career opportunities of NIU Law graduates by employing and mentoring young alumni in their first year of practice. The decline in employment opportunities for new graduates has increased interest in these fellowships, which are viewed as providing a viable alternative to traditional sources of employment. The College of Law is pleased to announce that the Illinois Bar Foundation has agreed to provide $25,000, which must be matched by NIU Law, to fund a post-graduate fellowship during 2014-2015. NIU Law is one of three law schools in the state given this opportunity. Alumni contributions would be used as a matching gift towards the Post-Graduate Fellowship and enhance students’ opportunities beyond graduation.

"In my years as Dean of the College of Law, one theme resounds when I speak to our alumni," said Dean Rosato.  "That theme centers on the fact that NIU Law is a special place where students are challenged to do their best in a supportive, collegial environment.  Alumni participation in this challenge is another way to encourage our students and young alumni by offering financial support at a time when they most need it. Their success is our success."

Click here to make your gift today.

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For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Alumni Events & Public Relations
(815) 753-9655 or mmitchell@niu.edu