Press Release

The Honorable Melissa M. Olivero (’97)
Named College of Law Outstanding Alumna

April 30, 2014

DeKalb, Ill. – The Honorable Melissa M. Olivero, an Administrative Law Judge for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and 1997 graduate of the Northern Illinois University College of Law, was presented with the College of Law Outstanding Alumni Award by the NIU Alumni Association at an awards ceremony held at NIU on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Judge Olivero has served with the NLRB’s Division of Judges since September 2013. She transferred to the Board from a similar position with the Social Security Administration. One of only 40 such judges in the country, she has authority to docket, hear, settle, and decide unfair labor practice cases nationwide.

“My job as a federal administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board is challenging and complex. But the education I received at the NIU College of Law prepared me well for these challenges,” said Olivero during her remarks.

Judge Olivero has previously served as a trial attorney with the Peoria office of the NLRB. She also spent several years as a criminal prosecutor in LaSalle County, Illinois and in private practice in the Chicago area. In addition, she served in the United States Army and Army Reserve as a platoon leader and company commander, attaining the rank of captain before her honorable discharge.

“The NIU Law Community is extremely proud of Melissa's accomplishments over the years and most recently as an administrative law judge for the NLRB,” said NIU Law Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea. “Melissa’s devotion to her professional career and service to NIU Law makes her an exemplary alumna.”

NIU Law has consistently delivered graduates to the public forum – as nearly one-third of its graduates have followed careers as public defenders, prosecutors, and judges. Close to 90 NIU Law graduates serve or have served in the judiciary across the nation – which means, nearly one out of every 40 graduates has become a judge.

Judge Olivero serves as Chair of the Illinois Valley Community College Board of Trustees. She was recently appointed to the Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association. She is a member of the National Association of Women Judges, the Federal Administrative Law Judges’ Conference, the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, the American Legion, and the Zonta Club of the LaSalle-Peru Area. From 1998 to 2013, she served as a member of the NIU College of Law Alumni Council.

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

mmitchell@niu.edu