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 has a lot going for it. Take its campus, for example, which provides enough housing for each and every one of its students. The tuition cost is relatively low as well, at just over $21,000 for residents, meaning a low graduation debt level compared to other schools in the region. Its debt for the class of 2013 was only $76,575.

It’s one of just three public law schools in Illinois, located an hour from Chicago. 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.”

In 2013, the school 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.

The National Jurist previously recognized the school as one of the best public interest programs in the nation, as well as one of the Best Value Law Schools.

Admission Profile
Application Deadline: 
Application Fee: 


75th Percentile1513.33
25th Percentile1452.79
Financial Profile
Tuition Part-time
Living Expenses
Median grant$16255
Percent receiving grants58.00%
Estimated net tuition
Employment & Bar Exam Profile
Post-grad employment 86.60%
NJ Employment72.90
Bar Passage76.05%
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