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North Wing Open House & CLE Programs

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Come celebrate the grand reopening of our library’s north wing and attend free CLE programs! Check out our flyer for the event for more details.

Please RSVP online to one or all three events by February 9th.

Introduction to Mindfulness for Lawyers

Professor Laurel Rigertas
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  
PCLE: 1 hour (professionalism credit approved)
NIU College of Law, Riley Courtroom

This course introduces lawyers to mindful meditation. The course defines mindful meditation, discusses some of the science and research about its benefits, and introduces participants to a basic mindfulness exercise. The course also discusses how mindfulness can aid various lawyering skills and, in particular, explores how it can support the legal profession’s goal of civility.

Challenges of Working with Vulnerable Populations: Practical Tips for Representing Clients Facing Homelessness, Mental Illness or Addiction

Professor Colleen Boraca & Ryan Dowd (’03)
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
PCLE: 1 hour (professionalism credit approved)
NIU College of Law, Riley Courtroom

Many attorneys work with vulnerable populations throughout their career, especially in pro bono work. Specific ethical issues arise when working with clients facing homelessness, mental health and addiction issues. This course will start with an overview of the culture of poverty and the possible implications upon representation, particularly the hurdles to developing trust between an attorney and client. Presenters will also discuss the role of a lawyer and potential confidentiality challenges in working with vulnerable populations. Presenters will then examine ethical implications of working with clients facing mental health issues and provide tips for working with clients. Finally, other challenges to working with clients facing homelessness, mental illness or addiction (habituation to punishment and crisis mode) will be explored.

Presenter Ryan Dowd has spent most of his career as executive director of Hesed House, the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois. He has also been executive director of a nonprofit law firm for immigrants and an international human rights organization. In addition, he teaches college classes at several universities and trains various professions (librarians, social workers, security guards, etc.) on how to work with difficult homeless individuals. He received his J.D. and Masters in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University.

North Wing Open House Reception

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
NIU College of Law, Marshall Gallery

Join us for light hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Tour the library’s north wing, which has been reconfigured to provide more private study areas, collaborative space and student organization meeting space.


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Phone: 815-753-8595
Swen Parson Hall 151

General Information

Admissions Information: 815-753-8595
Swen Parson Hall 151

Other Questions: 815-753-1068
Swen Parson Hall 270

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