Eager, nervous and enthusiastic, the Class of 2013 began their law school experience on August 9th with a week of orientation. Designed as a means of presenting students with the information essential to success in law school, orientation allowed students to cover a lot of ground in only a few days, including learning their way around Swen Parson Hall, meeting new classmates, faculty and staff, and taking the Oath of Professionalism.
With 136 students, the Class of 2013 is one of the largest classes in recent years. Excited to begin her second year as dean, Dean Rosato welcomed the new class, encouraging the students to ask lots of questions and to embrace the collegial, family atmosphere provided by NIU Law.
One of the week’s highlights included the visit of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride. He addressed the students on “Professionalism in the Practice of Law” and then administered the Oath of Professionalism. Justice Kilbride reminded students to focus on ethics over personal gain, encouraging them to protect their integrity above all else. Following his remarks, students participated in small group discussions on professionalism and ethics facilitated by members of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism.
Orientation week also included a number of valuable networking exercises and opportunities. After a discussion on the importance of career networking, students enjoyed a game of Mingle Bingo, where they became better acquainted with each other, students leaders, faculty, and staff. Students also visited the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford where they learned about the Clinic’s programs and took a tour of the facility. In addition, the students were greeted during a reception by a host of prominent NIU Law alumni and members of the Rockford community including judges, state’s attorneys, public defenders, sole practitioners, and lawyers in local firms.
As the week of introductions, case discussions, mock exams and events comes to a close, the first-year students are ready to begin their journey toward becoming lawyers in earnest. Orientation has afforded them a great deal of comfort with their new home away from home, as well as important insight into what it means to be a law student. NIU Law waits anxiously to discover what these bright students will accomplish after their three-year journey.