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NIU Law grads earn strong bar exam results in Wisconsin, Illinois

May 25, 2016
Jennifer Ohlrich

Jennifer Ohlrich

The NIU College of Law has announced the February 2016 Wisconsin and Illinois bar exam passage results for graduates who were first-time test takers.

Each year, several NIU graduates choose to take the Wisconsin bar in anticipation of practicing in the state. The Wisconsin Bar reports that all three NIU Law graduates who took the February 2016 bar passed, and have met this important qualification for practice.

This follows a strong February 2016 Illinois bar exam pass rate for NIU Law graduates of 83 percent, compared to a state average of 75 percent.

“We are delighted to receive the report of these impressive results,” said Jeanna Hunter, director of NIU Law’s Academic Success Program, which coordinates the school’s bar passage initiatives.

“Bar passage and practice readiness are critical goals for our law students and we take this preparation seriously. From the moment students walk in the door, we incorporate these skills into their early courses and continue to emphasize them throughout law school, culminating in the bar passage courses in their final year.”

NIU Law 2015 graduate Jennifer Ohlrich was one of the graduates who passed the Wisconsin bar. She had already taken and passed the Illinois bar, so she is prepared to practice in both states.

Ohlrich started her career in Illinois but was drawn back to her home state when she accepted a job from fellow NIU Law alumna Deborah Krusche-Bruck (’86) as an associate at Bruck Law Offices, S.C., in Milwaukee.

“Bar preparation is a full-time job but NIU Law prepared me extremely well for the challenges of passing the bar and the competence necessary for practice. I continue to model myself as a lawyer after alums whose success and credibility has come by way of an NIU law degree.”

Jeanna Hunter

Jeanna Hunter

Erin George is one of the 2016 NIU Law graduates who passed the February Illinois bar exam.

Immediately after passing the bar, she accepted a job as an associate at Smith & Fuller – the Wheaton, Ill. law firm of alum Jay Fuller (’95) – where she will spend much of her time in court on civil and criminal law matters.

“I was always intrigued by the trial process. NIU Law professors prepared me for the rigors of practice in a unique way – by not necessarily always giving me the answers, but encouraging me to weigh the facts and come to a conclusion on my own. I used those skills in preparing for the bar and every day in my job.”

“NIU Law’s support of our graduates doesn’t stop after they pass the bar,” Hunter said. “We look forward to continuing to provide support and guidance to these new lawyers as they enter their chosen fields – and hope they take advantage of networking with other recent and more established alumni, professors and current students.”