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NIU Law ranks high for black students

December 19, 2013
Marishonta Wilkerson

Marishonta Wilkerson

The NIU College of Law was named among the top five regional law schools for black students in the 2014 Lawyers of Color “Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools” edition.

“Our goal at NIU Law is to create a community that is open, collaborative, inclusive and supportive of our students’ success,” said Jennifer Rosato, dean of the College of Law. “This recognition is special and rewarding as we continue with our ongoing mission and values of diversity and access.”

As the only public law school in northern Illinois, and the only Illinois-based law school to make the list from the Midwest region, Lawyers of Color based their selection criteria on a number of factors including affordable tuition, high percentage of black students in its population, employment figures, distinguished alumni, GPA and LSAT scores of admitted students, and the schools’ local environments.

Jennifer L. Rosato

Jennifer L. Rosato

“I am grateful to be fulfilling my dream of going to law school and attending NIU Law where the faculty and staff provide a warm and supportive learning environment,” said second-year law student Marishonta Wilkerson.

Active in various organizations, Wilkerson currently serves as president of the Black Law Students Association. “The black law students here share a strong sense of community and usually form immediate and long-lasting bonds from the first week of orientation,” she said.

Long committed to its core values of diversity, public service, engagement and access, NIU Law is consistently recognized for having a student body and faculty reflective of broader society.

Represented by a 22 percent minority student body, 48 percent people of color tenured-track faculty and 43 percent women, the College of Law has received a number of diversity honors in recent years from the U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Council on Legal Education, among others.

In the November 2012 edition of National Jurist, NIU Law was named one of the most diverse law schools in the nation; and in its January 2012 edition, the College of Law was named a Top 20 law school for public service.

NIU Law also continues to be at the forefront of addressing the important concern of affordability of legal education and reduction of law school debt. Other notable accolades include being ranked among the top 45 public law schools in the nation based on value by the National Jurist.

The 2013 Best Value Law Schools study took into account certain criteria based on bar passage rate, average indebtedness, employment rate and tuition for in-state residents.

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