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NIU Law earns Top 50 national ranking for diversity

February 26, 2015

Cover of preLaw: Most Diverse Law SchoolsNorthern Illinois University College of Law has been named to the Top 50 list of the most diverse law schools in the country – by preLaw and The National Jurist magazines.

These diversity rankings take into account the percentage of students of color in the student body and faculty at each law school in the nation, comparing those figures to the national percentage
in the general population.

NIU Law was also named to this list in 2012, the last time these diversity rankings were released by Pre-Law and The National Jurist.

“I am proud that this year, as in years past, we continue to compare exceptionally well against the national averages for faculty and student diversity,” said Jennifer Rosato Perea, dean of the NIU College of Law.

As one of only four Latina law school deans in the nation, Rosato Perea has experienced first-hand the value of diversity to all students and professors.

Our students and faculty come from a wonderfully wide range of backgrounds and life experiences and, as the only public law school in the greater Chicago area, we work tirelessly to foster an inclusive environment that more closely mirrors the world in which our graduates will practice.”

Similarly recognized for its diverse faculty and student population by the Princeton Review, NIU Law proudly reports nearly 40 percent of its full-time faculty members are racially and ethnically diverse. The NIU Law student body is 26 percent students of color.

The school has also been named to the top lists for diversity amongst Latina/o students and African-American students by Lawyers of Color, a minority legal organization which examines job placement rates for graduates, as well as percentages of minority students and faculty, in determining its own rankings.

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The Pre-Law and National Jurist magazine rankings are similarly designed to identify the schools that do the best job at identifying and graduating students of all races, thereby increasing the likelihood of capitalizing on different voices in the classroom.

With an enrollment of only 300 students, NIU Law is the smallest law school in Illinois. This “small by design” philosophy highlights one of the school’s core strengths.

“We offer a close-knit, collegial community where students know and interact personally with the deans, other administrators, and all of their professors,” Rosato Perea said. “And it is the personal interaction with those who are different from us that helps us become more open and accepting.”