Northern Illinois University College of Law

Northern Illinois University College of Law

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Basic Information

Don’t let its small size fool you; the Northern Illinois University College of Law — which has less than 300 students — has a lot going for it. Take its campus, for example, which provides enough housing for each and every one of those students. The tuition cost is relatively low as well, at just over $22,000 for residents, meaning a low graduation debt level compared to other schools in the region. 

One of just three public law schools in Illinois, it's located in DeKalb, which is an hour from Chicago, so you can take a short road trip to catch Cub games if you wish. First-year students are enrolled in two mandatory, full-year courses: Basic Legal Research and Legal Writing and Advocacy, which use real-life exercises to help them develop legal analysis and intensive writing skills.

"Our number one goal at NIU Law is student career success. Through a program of academic rigor, practical skills training and hands-on learning opportunities, our students are prepared to excel in a number of legal settings,” said Dean Mark Cordes. “And our smaller size facilitates not only a strong sense of community among students, faculty and staff, but also allows for the individual attention essential for academic and professional development.”

The school earlier partnered with Hesed House and Aunt Martha’s Health Center in Aurora to provide clinical opportunities for students wishing to get involved with indigent health issues in the area.


Admission Profile
Application Deadline: 
Application Fee: 


Financial Aid Deadline: 


75th Percentile1523.44
25th Percentile1482.75
Financial Profile
Tuition Part-time
Living Expenses
Median grant$16255
Percent receiving grants48.00%
Estimated net tuition
Employment & Bar Exam Profile
Post-grad employment 86.60%
NJ Employment72.90
Bar Passage59.21%
Academic Profile
Best Law Schools 2018: Best Value: 
Business, Corporate, Banking
Criminal Law and Procedure
Employment and Labor Law
Family Law/Child & Family
Human Rights
Intellectual Property Law
International Law
Public Interest/Social Justice