Monday, August 31, 2015

NEW Judicial Externship Opportunity with Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Lynch of the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Rockford

The Externship Program for the Western Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois provides participants with the opportunity to work with a federal bankruptcy judge and his staff at the United States Courthouse in Rockford, Illinois for one or two days a week during the 2015-2016 academic year. Externs will observe and participate in the work of chamber’s staff by reviewing legal submissions, conducting legal research, and assisting with the preparation of legal documents, such as orders. Program participants may also assist chamber’s staff with various office functions, including proofreading, telephone communications, correspondence and scheduling. Externs will be encouraged to observe trials and other courtroom proceedings, and attend pretrial settlement and mediation conferences. For more information, please view the position announcement below. This posting closes on September 24, 2015 for Fall Semester and December 4, 2016 for the Spring 2016 semester. For more information, contact Professor Maloney at For more information please see the court's official release regarding the externship

Externship Informational Meeting

A Bridge to Practice Externship (Chicago and Springfield) Informational Meeting will be held on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st from noon to 1 in room 258. Lunch will be served. Come learn about these unique opportunities on how you can spend a semester in Chicago or Springfield as a 3L while earning all your credit hours and bridging the gap between school and practice! For questions about this meeting, please contact Prof. Sheila Maloney at and to learn more about the externships please visit the Externship page on our website.

Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines

Check out these great scholarship opportunities with application deadlines coming in August and September: Apply Now!

What's New at the Law Library

What's new this Fall? Lots!

Space and Collection Changes: Over the summer, the law library staff — assisted by NIU carpenters, painters, carpet-layers, janitorial staff and a host of others — have worked hard to give the library a fresh new look with improved floor plans, collection layouts, collaborative and quiet study areas, service points, and more. Changes include:

  • New carpet throughout the library o New tables and chairs that can be easily moved for collaborative work o New portable whiteboards 
  • Enlarged study carrels in the South Wing 
  • New informal seating areas near the entrance and in the North Wing o New artwork from the NIU Art Museum's collections o Combined Circulation & Reference desks for "one stop shopping" 
  • New browseable reserves collection: popular study aids and other materials are now out on open shelves instead of kept behind the Circulation Desk 
  • The top 20 U.S. law reviews & practitioner journals are also out on open shelves for easier browsing 
  • IICLEs, the Illinois Practice Series, and Nutshells have their own designated areas instead of being scattered throughout the collection 
  • Foreign, international and comparative law materials are now all in the North Wing 
  • Most large federal sets are now in the North Wing 
  • The South Wing is now designated a Quiet Study area 
  • And last but not least, there is a new (mobile-friendly!) website

Please stop by the library to check out all the changes! We’ll look forward to seeing everyone throughout the Fall 2015 term.

Changes in Law Library Hours: In response to increasing traffic from students during the morning hours, the law library will now be open at 7:30 a.m. (Monday-Friday). The full listing of revised hours is on the law library’s website.

One-Card Access: Having trouble accessing the law library with your OneCard (after 6:00 p.m.)? Please contact Professor Clarke ( to report your OneCard issue, and she will work on getting it fixed.

Enjoy the start to your fall term and just let the law librarians and staff know if there is anything that we might do to make your studying more comfortable or to assist with your research! ~ Prof. Kuehl

Research Assistant Needed for Professor Kuehl

Professor Heidi Kuehl is seeking an RA (with full tuition waiver) for the fall and spring terms to assist with law faculty research projects. Please email Professor Kuehl at if you are interested. Interviews will be conducted with interested candidates in the next week or two.

Research Assistant Needed for Professor Vaughn

Wendy Vaughn, Clinical Associate Professor, seeks a full-time Research Assistant for 2015-2016. The Research Assistant will receive a full-tuition waiver for academic year 2015-2016. The Research Assistant will not be required to come to the clinic in Rockford. Meetings regarding research assignments will be arranged with Professor Vaughn on Mondays on campus, or at other agreed upon times.

To apply, please send the following materials to Professor Vaughn at, or fax to 815- 962-9984:
  • a cover letter, 
  • a resume, and 
  • an unofficial transcript
In order to expedite the application process and the tuition waiver, please apply as soon as possible. A decision will be made on a rolling basis as applications are received.

BLSA Informational Meeting

BLSA will hold an informational meeting on Tuesday, September 1st at noon in room 188. Come and find out more about the Black Law Students Association and why you should join us for 2015-2016. Lunch will be provided and all are welcome.

Delta Theta Phi/Public Interest Law Society informational meeting

Come to an informational meeting for Delta and PILS on Wednesday, September 2 at noon in room 188. Find out what these organizations have to offer you and what you can offer them.

KCBA Reception for NIU Law Students

On Thursday, September 3 from 5:00-7:00 p.m., at Eduardo’s Mexican Restaurant, 214 East Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, the Kane County Bar Association will be holding an NIU Law Student Reception. This event is specifically for NIU Law, so please join them for free food, drinks and great networking opportunities with local attorneys. Find out more about joining the KCBA and what benefits they can offer you.

LLSA Sponsors Bar Review

Bienvenidos, 1Ls, to NIU College of Law! LLSA is seeking two 1L Representatives. Anyone interested should submit a paragraph to by 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 3. The paragraph should tell us a little bit about yourself, why you are interested in being a 1L Representative, and how you can contribute to LLSA. Please, make sure to provide your section number with your paragraph. Afterward, come join us as LLSA will be sponsoring Bar Review at Molly's in DeKalb on Thursday, September 3 at 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Presentation on Class Preparation with Lexis Advance

This coming Wednesday, September 2 at 12:00 in room 150, enjoy free pizza on LexisNexis and find out from representative Loryn how Lexis Advance can help get you through law school. Pizza will be served at noon, with the presentation starting at 12:30. Contact Whitney Wilkinson for more details.

Federalist Society informational meeting

The Federalist Society will be holding a 1L informational meeting on Tuesday, September 1st in room 186. Please join us to find out more about our organization and how you can get involved.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Visitng French Law Students Here This Week

If you think you have been hearing French in the halls, it is because 28 French law students from the University of Bordeaux arrived last weekend to spend three weeks with us for an Introduction to the American Legal System. While here, they are having a series of classes with various members of the NIU Law faculty, visiting state and federal courts in Chicago, and exploring Springfield. Next weekend they will enjoy a free weekend in Chicago.

If you see them in the halls, please introduce yourself and say hello. They will also be at the Deans’ Picnic this Thursday. All are eager to meet and get to know American law students, so please take advantage of the opportunity.

Dean's Picnic This Week!

Dean's Picnic - The SBA and Dean Cordes invite you to join them for the annual kickoff to the fall semester. Enjoy free food, drinks and sunshine and welcome back your fellow students to the law school. The picnic will be held on Thursday, August 27th at 4:00 at the Odekirk Property right next to the IHOP on Annie Glidden Road.

Federal Public Defender Office Externship

This full-year externship is available for the 2015-2016 academic year in Rockford, Illinois. It will require a twelve-hour-per-week commitment for three hours of pass/fail credit each semester. A 711 license is not required. Under the supervision on-site by Federal Public Defender Paul Gaziano, the extern will research and write memoranda, motions and briefs for pre-trial and post-conviction issues and sentencing hearings. In addition, he or she will attend and observe various court proceedings.
Clinical Professor Paul Cain will be the faculty supervisor with whom the extern will meet on a regular basis to discuss the externship experience.

In order to apply for this externship, please submit an externship application available on the experiential learning website and the following documents to Paul Cain at by Friday, August 28. Please include the following four items as email attachments in Word or PDF format:

  • a cover letter explaining your interest in this position 
  • an unofficial transcript 
  • a resume, and 
  • a writing sample (maximum length 10 pages) 

After reviewing the submitted documents, Professor Cain will screen the applicants to select the final three candidates. He will then send their names and contact information to Federal Public Defender Gaziano, whose office will contact the three candidates to arrange for an interview and make the final selection. If you have any questions about this process or the externship itself, please do not hesitate to contact Professor Cain at or 815-962- 9980.

Student Ambassadors Needed

Hello and welcome to NIU Law Class of 2018! I wanted to introduce myself. My name is John McWard, and I am a 2L and the Graduate Assistant for the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for the College of Law. Originally from Springfield, Illinois, I ventured to the Chicago suburbs to play soccer at North Central College and graduated from there in 2014. If you ever want to talk or have any questions about the first year of law school, please come by the Office of Admissions or stop me in the hallway between classes!

Further, I wanted to extend another welcome. Each year, NIU Law brings in a group of talented individuals from all walks of life to diversify and strengthen our NIU Law student body. I am very glad you are a part of the Class of 2018.

With that being said, I am looking for motivated and passionate first-year students who are interested in becoming student ambassadors for NIU Law. As a Student Ambassador, you will be a representative of NIU Law.

Your first goal as a Student Ambassador is to share your story with us. We will ask you a series of questions (three) during a personal one-on-one interview, and you will have your photograph taken. Further, both your story and photograph will be published on NIU Law’s website under Class of 2018 Profiles.

Please see our Class of 2017 Profiles on the NIU Law website for examples and respond by either coming into the Office of Admissions or by emailing me at by no later than September 1st, 2015 if this is something of interest to you!

John H. McWard
Graduate Assistant for the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Research Assistant Needed for Professor Tokic

Professor Genevieve Tokic is seeking a research assistant for the 2015-2016 school year. Professor Tokic's research will be primarily in the area of international tax. No tax background is required; however, an interest in tax and/or comparative or international law is preferred. While any experience conducting tax research or working with OECD materials would be a benefit, Professor Tokic will work with the RA to ensure s/he receives training in the conduct of tax research. Interested students should send an email with a brief statement of interest (including any relevant research experience or other information) to Professor Tokic at

Monday, August 17, 2015

Information Regarding Scholarships and Writing Competitions

Each year, there are a number of opportunities for students to obtain additional financial assistance to help pay for the costs of attending law school. In particular, many scholarships and writing competition prizes are available, and the number of students applying for many of them is often low (increasing the chances of success for individual applicants). For a list of these scholarship and writing competitions, see the file that is being emailed along-side this week’s edition of the Docket and is made available in separate copies on tables on the first and second floor of the law school. Do not miss the many opportunities available this Fall, as indicated in those listings. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 815-753-8595 or or stop by Room 151.

Upcoming Deadlines:

Judge John R. Brown Award
Description: The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce the twenty-second annual Brown Award. The Award is in recognition of Excellence in Legal Writing in American Law Schools.
Requirements: In order to be considered, two copies of a current legal writing must be submitted. The article must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a law school faculty member or legal professional other than the author of the paper.
Award: $10,000 stipend
Deadline: August 21, 2015
More Information:

Baumgartner Law Firm – Law Student Scholarship Application
Description: The Baumgartner Law Firm is pleased to offer an annual law student scholarship to needy individuals to who are enrolled at an accredited Law School in the U.S.
Requirements: Submit an online application, short personal statement, resume, and unofficial transcript.
Award: A one-time award of $3,000.00 will be awarded to one winner to be used for tuition, books and law school expenses.
Deadline: August 31, 2015
More Information:

Welcome from the Alumni Office

Welcome to NIU Law! We have an exciting year of events and receptions planned, and we hope to see you at all or some of them. These events are great networking opportunities with our alumni and other professionals, plus there's free food and drinks. We can assist with transportation for students if needed.

Please feel free to stop by our office if you have any questions or just to say “hello.” Melody Mitchell, Director of Alumni Events and Public Relations, Jacob Imm, Assistant Director, and our graduate assistant, Krystle McNeely, are all in Swen Parson 350, at the top of the stairs in the back corner of the Marshall Gallery. Reminder to 1Ls: Please complete and return your Publicity Release Forms to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

Information on Career Opportunities & Professional Development

Welcome new students!! Welcome back returning students! This year's Graduate Assistants in the Career Opportunities & Professional Development Office are Rikkilee Moser, 3L, and Christine Beaderstadt, 2L. They will be available to help you with your resumes and cover letters. Also stop in to see them if you want to learn more about the benefits of being involved in the Public Interest Law Society (PILS). Need to meet with the GAs or with Greg? Visit Becky Leneau, the Office Manager in Room 280, to set that appointment up for you.

Attention all 1Ls! You will be assigned a mandatory orientation time, based on your class schedule, to familiarize you with our resources and services. We look forward to meeting each one of you! Keep a lookout for that information in your mailbox.

This office also publishes "Career Corner," a weekly newsletter that lists jobs, internships, career advice, upcoming seminars, and other networking opportunities. The newsletter arrives through your email, usually on Mondays (or on Tuesdays on a few occasions). Be sure to read it as there is a plethora of information and links at your fingertips — all to assist you in your educational and career goals (and hopefully to make your life a little less stressful). Be sure to adhere to the deadlines listed in this newsletter to avoid missing out on a great opportunity!