Message from the Dean

Welcome to the Northern Illinois University College of Law. 

I’m very excited to lead the law school during the next year.  I have been at the law school since 2006 and I continue to be inspired by our mission to prepare students to become effective, creative, and ethical lawyers who can serve the evolving legal needs of their communities.  We do this by emphasizing rigor in the classroom, providing excellent training in skills, and offering our students numerous opportunities for practical training through our clinics and externships.  This combination allows our students to develop the key skill that all good lawyers need – the ability to help people address their legal problems.  We also have small class sizes that allow for closer connections between students, faculty, and administrators.  Our small size allows us to get to know and mentor each student through his or her professional development.

As the oldest public law school in the Chicago area, NIU College of Law is particularly proud to have been routinely named a top law school nationally for diversity, value, and careers in public interest and government service.  As a public law school with a tradition of public service, we encourage students to aspire to become ethical leaders in the legal profession and to maintain a deep concern for justice in the communities in which they practice, regardless of their practice area.  Students can begin to develop this commitment while at NIU College of Law, including through our clinical opportunities that serve communities with vulnerable populations that have only limited access to legal representation.

The alumni of NIU College of Law are the embodiment of our mission.  Our accomplished alumni serve their communities as practicing lawyers in both the private and public sector.  They are also ethical leaders in their communities.  They have leadership positions in law firms, bar associations, government, private companies, and community organizations.  Over 100 of our alumni have served as judges.  Our alumni are also generous with their time and many of them serve as mentors to our law students.

I encourage you to spend some time on our website to learn about our programs, our excellent faculty, and our community. You can also follow us on Facebook.  If you are interested in applying to the law school, I highly recommend that you contact our admissions office to learn about opportunities to visit us in person.  As a small and supportive community, we love meeting our applicants in person.

I look forward to meeting you,
Laurel Rigertas
Interim Dean
Northern Illinois University College of Law
Phone: 815-753-1380
Email: lrigertas@niu.edu