Recent Developments


NIU Law Launches Bold Matching Campaign for Student Success

Dean Jennifer RosatoDean 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. Support of these initiatives by alumni and friends of the law school will have a substantial impact on the College of Law, improving the skills our law students need to be excellent lawyers, and providing valuable opportunities for new graduates,” said Dean Rosato.

Support for this campaign will directly benefit NIU Law students in three important ways:

  • Through our summer internship initiative, which provides financial assistance to students and allows them to gain valuable career experience;
  • By providing bar prep assistance for graduates so they are able to devote their full efforts to study for the exam and increases first-time pass rates; and
  • By awarding post-graduate fellowships to enhance the career opportunities for our graduates in the first year of practice.

“In my years as Dean of the College of Law, one theme resounds when I speak to our alumni,” Dean Rosato added.  “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.”

Participation in this matching gift challenge will provide invaluable opportunities for our students and young alumni by offering financial support at a time when they most need it.

Make your gift today before the December 31, 2013 deadline.


The Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program

Kenneth C. ChessickEstablished in 2007, the Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program is named for Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick, a 1984 graduate of the NIU College of Law.  A prominent trial attorney and surgeon, Dr. Chessick contributes to the program using monies awarded from successful litigation of his cases.  Each of the scholarships in the program is named in honor of one of his clients.

Through this program, Dr. Chessick seeks to reward student achievement and inspire changes to improve the justice system for injured individuals. The Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program includes the Hope Moller Scholarship Award for the Study of Tort Law; the Lakisha Sarden Scholarship Award for the Study of Civil Procedure Law; the Jacob Baker Scholarship Award for the Study of Constitutional Law; the Dan DeWilde and Andrea DeWilde Award for the Study of Evidence Law; and the Justin Pettway Award for the Study of Trial Advocacy and Ethics.

Kenneth and his wife Ellen Chessick have devoted themselves to student academic success for many years.  The Chessick Scholarship Program is among several generous gifts bestowed by the Chessicks to NIU Law. A sizable donation in 1999 was used to create the Kenneth C. Chessick Legal Training Skills Center, which opened at the law school in 2004. Incorporating a state-of-the-art courtroom, smart classroom, and deposition room, the Center is designed to introduce students to today’s technology being utilized in the courtroom.

Dr. Chessick’s service to the University also includes his active participation as a member of the NIU Law Board of Visitors as well as the NIU Foundation Board of Directors and its Audit Committee.  In 2001, he was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the NIU Alumni Association.  With successful careers in both the medical and legal professions, Dr. Chessick concentrates his legal practice in medical and hospital negligence and personal injury. His firm, The Law Offices of Kenneth C. Chessick, M.D., in Schaumburg, Ill., has achieved record verdicts at trial and settlements in excess of $100 million.

Please click below to learn more about each of the awards in the Chessick Program:


George M. Shur Student Scholarship

George M. ShurGeorge M. Shur, who served as general counsel for Northern Illinois University from 1983 until his retirement in 2003, established the George M. Shur Student Scholarship in 2010.  His thoughtfulness and generous donation of a $20,000 gift to the College of Law was given to directly benefit the students.

“Every year for the past 20 years, I had two students from the law school that worked in my office as law clerks," said Shur.  "My success was due, in a large part, to the efforts and abilities of the quality students from that program.” George received the Honorary Law Alumnus Award in June 2012.  He passed away in November 2012 and is remembered as a friend, problem-solver, peacemaker, and avid supporter of education.

The annual $2,500 scholarship will be given to an eligible third-year student who excels in Constitutional Law courses.  Donations to this scholarship will continue to extend the award as funds remain available.