Friday, November 21, 2014

Important Information Regarding Spring 2015 Registration

Registration for spring semester will open at 7:00 am on Monday, Nov. 24, for third-year students. It will open at 7:00 am on Tuesday, Nov. 25, for second-year students. First year students will be registered automatically by the Office of Budget and Records sometime in December. Schedules and other information can be found at the registration page on the NIU Law website.

Registration for most courses is conducted through MyNiu. Make sure that you know how to use the MyNiu registration tools. Wait lists are available for most courses. Self-registration is not available for clinics, externships, directed research, or co-curricular competition credits. To enroll in any of those courses, you must contact the instructor.

Part-time students who have not yet completed all first-year courses must do so by the end of their fourth semester. If you are a part-time student and still need to take one or more first-year courses, you must see Dean Coles to get registered in those courses because you cannot register yourself for first-year courses in MyNiu. However, part-time students must register for their upper-level courses in MyNiu.

If you have questions concerning the schedule, course selection, or the registration process, please feel free to contact Dean Gaebler.

Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines

This document contains scholarships and writing competitions with deadlines from now through January of 2015. Please contact the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid for more information.

Scholarships and Writing Competitions (.pdf)

Administrative Announcements

  • Safety Measures: Recently, there have been a few incidents in which money or property has been taken from student mail folders and open lockers. If anyone has any knowledge of who might be responsible, please let one of the deans know as soon as possible. If you witness or learn of any additional incidents, please also let one of the deans know as soon as feasible, and if the incident occurs after business hours, please contact the university police directly by calling 911. As always, please be cautious with personal possessions and do not leave them unattended and always secure your offices when you leave, even for a few minutes. The safety of law students and other members of the law school community is very important to us. To ensure we are doing all we can (not because of any incident), the administration is continuing to review security measures relating to the safety of both persons and property at the law school. Please let one of the deans know if you have any suggestions for improving security in our community. To increase mail security, the student mail folders have been moved into the law library. They are now located near the computers across from the reference desk. As indicated, access to the law library during evening hours requires use of a new NIU OneCard (prox card). 
  • Academic Policies and Procedures: The Student Handbook continues to undergo extensive revisions and in the future will be limited to academic policies and procedures. Until those revisions are completed and (where relevant) approved by the faculty, all academic policies in the 2012 Student Handbook continue to remain in effect, except as modified or expanded in addenda posted after July 2012 or in notices and other communications distributed to the students. It is anticipated that the new edition of the Student Handbook will be issued in spring or summer 2015. Information about other policies, procedures and personnel is available from the departments involved and on the NIU Law web site.

Important Library Access Information

If you have not already done so, please obtain your new NIU OneCard in order to have evening access to the law library. To obtain the new card, go to the OneCard office in the lower level of the Holmes Student Center, identify yourself as a law student and ask for the prox card. The office is aware of this upgrade and has a list of all students. As long as you have your current working NIU OneCard there should be no charge associated with upgrading to a new prox card. If you do not have your NIU OneCard, the OneCard office will charge you a $25 lost card fee. Once you have received your new prox card, please contact Professor Clarke at and provide her with your name and the six-digit number on the back of your card.

Please get the new prox card as soon as possible. The evening library employees should not be regularly interrupted to provide access into the library. This is, among other things, a safety issue. Beginning January 12, 2015, the first day of the spring semester, if a student does not have his or her card, she or he will not be allowed into the library in the evening. If you have any questions regarding these procedures and deadline, please see Professor Clarke.

Part-Time Employment Opportunity at Hesed House

Hesed House is the second largest Homeless Shelter in Illinois and is located in Aurora at 659 South River Road. Hesed House offers emergency shelter to about 160 guests per night, maintains a Transitional Living program where individuals can make the transition between being homeless and permanently housed, and offers various services including case management, veterans assistance, free medical services, and free legal services. We are currently looking for a new Legal Clinic Coordinator for our Hope Legal Clinic. This is a flexible part-time position (about 10-20 hours a week) and pays $10.00 an hour.

The position of Legal Clinic Coordinator has historically been occupied by a law student. Duties of this position include doing client intake, referring cases to volunteer attorneys, and recruiting attorneys to volunteer with the Hope Legal Clinic. This position provides an opportunity to network with local attorneys, gain experience at applying legal knowledge to real life facts, and work with the homeless community. To apply for the position, please send a resume to Karen Whitney at

Sign up now for a spring externship

Externship Applications are now being accepted. Whether you want to extern with a judge, a nonprofit or government agency, or in the criminal court system, we have programs available for you! Students rave about their off-campus experiences, and employers love to see that you have real experience working on real cases.

Please complete the application (available in the Faculty Office and online). Applications are due by MONDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2014. Applications may be turned in after that date, but only as space permits. Please contact the externship faculty with any questions:

Sheila Maloney, Civil Externships, Director of Externships,
Lenny Mandell, Criminal Externships,
David Taylor, Judicial Externships, Huskie Athletic Externship,
Paul Cain, Juvenile Courts Externship,
Gwen Jordan, Innocence Project Externship,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Important Message to 3Ls Regarding Graduation

MAY 2015 GRADS: An important email to confirm status of graduation requirements and credit audit was sent out (via Z# email address) to all 3Ls who are on course to graduate this coming May. If you have not already done so, please check over this data and respond back to Julie in Room 285 ASAP to verify if this information is, or is not, correct.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Final Exam Rescheduling

Exams are just around the corner! If you have two exams scheduled on the same day or three exams scheduled on three consecutive calendar days, you are entitled to reschedule. To set up the rescheduling, please submit a signed and completed Petition to Reschedule Exam to Associate Dean Coles in Room 276.

Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines

Center for Alcohol Policy Essay Contest
Description: The CAP Essay Contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of state alcohol regulation and its implications for citizens across the United States. The topic for this year’s contest is: “As states contemplate the legalization of prohibited products, like marijuana, what are some lessons policymakers and regulators can learn from the movement to end alcohol Prohibition in the 1930s?”
Requirements: Submit Essay
Award: $5,000-1st place; $2,500-2nd place; $1,000-3rd place
Deadline: November 17, 2014
More Information:

Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition
Description: Law Students are cordially invited to submit to the International Section an article concerning any area of public or private international law or practice.
Requirements: Write on any area of public or private international law.
Award: $2,000 and publication of the article to the New York International Law Review.
Deadline: November 21, 2014
More Information:

South Suburban Bar Association Henry A. Gentile Memorial Scholarship
Description: Law students who are residents of the south suburbs of Cook County and are interested in practicing in the south suburban area are cordially invited to apply to the Henry A. Gentile Memorial Scholarship.
Requirements: Resume, brief cover letter (200 words or less) explaining why you want to practice in and around the south suburbs, and must be able to attend the South Suburban Bar Association’s Holiday/Installation Dinner on December 5.
Award: $1,500
Deadline: November 27, 2014
More Information: Email for a copy of scholarship memo.

SBA Spring 2015 Class Registration Panel

Room 170 (Riley Courtroom), Tuesday, Nov. 18, 12:00 - 12:50

Come to gain guidance from your fellow students on best practices for signing up for your classes for next semester. Free pizza will be provided!

Federalist Society/ILSA Panel

All members of the law school community are invited to a panel event: "Are International Laws U.S. Laws?" The speakers are David Moore, Professor of Law at BYU, and Heidi Kuehl, Associate Professor of Law here at NIU College of Law. We hope to see you at noon on Wednesday, November 19, in Room 188.

Final 1L Professionalism Session This Week

Attention all 1Ls: Attend the final required 1L Professionalism Series session of the semester on Wednesday, November 19, from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m., in the Riley Courtroom, with optional dinner afterward in the Marshall Gallery.

The speaker will be Mary Brigid Hayes (formerly Mary Brigid Kennedy), who was working for the Illinois Attorney General in 1991 when she was asked to write the government's brief in the Rolando Cruz case. She resigned her position because she could not in good conscience ask the Illinois Supreme Court to affirm Cruz's conviction. She will be talking about this case, the ethical obligations of prosecutors, the pressures prosecutors face, and the importance of maintaining the public trust in the criminal justice system.

BLSA Thanksgiving

The annual Black Law Student Association Thanksgiving dinner will be held this Thursday, November 20, from noon to 2:00 p.m. in the Marshall Gallery! Tickets are $10 a person and can be purchased from any BLSA member, Alex Chapman in the Office of Admissions, or by emailing Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the dinner. Come and enjoy great food before heading home for the break!

Spring Clinical Law Program Applications Now Being Accepted

Thinking about taking a clinic this spring?

The COL’s experiential learning program currently offers four clinical courses: the Civil Justice Clinic, the Foreclosure Mediation Clinic, the Health Advocacy Clinic, and the Juvenile Justice Clinic. These clinics offer students the chance to work with actual clients in a variety of settings on litigation, transactional and alternative dispute resolution matters.
The Clinic Application Form is now available online and in the Faculty Office. Applications are due for Spring Term 2015 by Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the clinical faculty if you need any additional information about one of the clinics.

Anita Maddali, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Clinics,

Paul Cain, Clinical Associate Professor, Juvenile Justice Clinic,

Wendy Vaughn, Clinical Assistant Professor, Civil Justice Clinic,

Colleen Boraca, Clinical Assistant Professor, Health Advocacy Clinic,

Alan Boudreau, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor, Foreclosure Mediation Clinic,

Modified Library Hours for Thanksgiving Break, Reading Period and Final Exams

Thanksgiving Break--
November 26 (Wednesday): 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
November 27 through November 29th (Thursday - Saturday): Closed
November 30 (Sunday): Noon - 11:30 p.m.

Reading Period & Final Exams (Mon. Dec. 1 - Wed. Dec. 17)--
December 1 through December 5 (Monday – Friday): 7:30 a.m. - Midnight
December 6 (Saturday): 8:30 a.m. - Midnight
December 7 (Sunday): 10:00 a.m. - Midnight
December 8 through December 12 (Monday – Friday): 7:30 a.m. – Midnight
December 13 and December 14 (Saturday – Sunday): 10:00 a.m. – Midnight
December 15 – December 17 (Monday – Wednesday): 7:30 a.m. – Midnight
December 18 (Thursday): 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
December 19 (Thursday): 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Pro Bono Opportunities for Winter Break

  • The Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling: CAIJS is a national organizing campaign seeking the end of the automatic shackling of children in delinquency court. The indiscriminate shackling of youth unnecessarily humiliates, stigmatizes, and traumatizes them. The
    practice impedes the attorney-client relationship, chills juveniles’ constitutional right to due process,
    runs counter to the presumption of innocence, and draws into question the rehabilitative ideals of the
    juvenile court. CAIJS always has memos, policies, and research to be completed. All this work can be done remotely. For example, one memo CAIJS would like to work on would discuss the authority of judges over their own courtrooms. Many judges across the country appear to defer to court security too often. If you are interested please contact Prof. Paul Cain at
  • The Clemency Project 2014: The Clemency Project seeks volunteers to assist federal prisoners in seeking early release from unfairly long sentences for non-violent offenses. The Clemency Project includes lawyers and advocates from the Federal Defenders, the ACLU, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the ABA and the NACDL. Law students are needed to provide legal research and to assist volunteer attorneys in preparing clemency petitions. To participate, you will be required to view a fivehour training program which is available on the Internet. You may volunteer by visiting their website or by e-mailing
  • Winter Break Student Pro Bono (Volunteer) Opportunities: The holiday season is just around the corner. Get out of the cold and spend your winter break doing good on a volunteer adventure that makes a difference. Experience the true meaning of "it is better to give than receive" by joining one of GoEco's volunteer projects. GoEco has selected some great projects that will take your winter break from ho-hum to life-changing! For example, among many other opportunities, work at a Wild Cat Sanctuary in South Africa; teach and serve the community in Goa, India; “Teach & Beach” in Koh Samui, Thailand; or assist with Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica. For more information, contact:, or go directly to GoEco’s website.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Representation in Mediation Competition - We Want You!

This year, the College of Law is looking to field two teams in the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition. Each team consists of two students, who alternate between playing the role of the attorney and playing the role of the client. The regional rounds of the competition take place in February and March 2015. The final rounds take place at the ABA Dispute Resolution Annual Conference in Seattle in April. More information has been e-mailed to all NIU Law students.

There will be a brief information session on the Representation in Mediation Competition on Monday, November 17, 2014 at Noon in Room 290C. Videos and Representation Plans are then due in the Faculty Office (Room 190) by 4:00 PM on Tuesday, November 25, 2014. A selection committee consisting of two or more professors will review the videos and Representation Plans. The committee will choose four students to participate in the regional competition, as well as up to two alternates. Teams will be announced by the end of the day on December 3, 2014.

If you have additional questions about the Representation in Mediation Internal Competition, please feel free to contact Professor Boudreau at

Monday, November 10, 2014

Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines

Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies
Description: This scholarship program was created by all Major League baseball players, seeks to recognize and support the efforts of graduate and/or law students dedicated to improving the lives of workers.
Requirements: Application Form, Resume, one letter of recommendation (from academic or labor/workers’ rights practitioner), writing sample that demonstrates a commitment to the union movement.
Award: $10,000
Deadline: November 10, 2014
More Information:

EXTENDED - Jerold S. Solovy Diversity Scholarship Award
Description: This scholarship will be awarded to a student who actively advocates for diversity within the Chicago area legal community and works to bring focus to those who do pro-bono work within their community.
Requirements: 3.8 GPA, Application, Resume, Transcript, two letters of recommendation, and an Essay explaining your commitment to advocating for diversity in the legal profession or your experience as a diverse student. Recipient must be able to attend awards dinner on Dec. 2nd, 2014.
Award: Amount varies
Deadline: November 12, 2014
More Information:

EXTENDED - Public Interest Advocate Scholarship Award
Description: This scholarship will be awarded to a law student who is interested in pursuing a career in public service or a student who is actively involved with a nonprofit agency that represents the needy and the underprivileged.
Requirements: 3.5 GPA, Application, Resume, Transcript, two letters of recommendation, and an Essay explaining your commitment to advocating for diversity in the legal profession or your experience as a diverse student. . Recipient must be able to attend awards dinner on Dec. 2nd, 2014.
Award: Amount varies
Deadline: November 12, 2014
More Information:

EXTENDED- Disabled Law Student Scholarship Award (DLSSA)
Description: This scholarship was established with the support of attorney Stacy J. Campbell, and her fiancé Dr. George F. Viamontes. This scholarship will be awarded to a disabled law student who is attending an accredited law school in the Chicago area.
Requirements: Application, Resume, Transcript, two letters of recommendation, and an Essay explaining your commitment to advocating for diversity in the legal profession or your experience as a diverse student. . Recipient must be able to attend awards dinner on Dec. 2nd, 2014.
Award: $500 or more
Deadline: November 12, 2014
More Information:

The Richard Linn American Inn of Court Mark T. Banner Scholarship for Law Students
Description: Areas of interest must be in Intellectual Property Law, must prove academic merit, leadership qualities, community involvement, and be a member of a historically under represented group in IP law (including race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability)
Requirements: Application Form, Resume, Transcripts, References, Essay
Award: $5,000
Deadline: November 12, 2014
More Information:

ASECA Annual Securities Writing Competition
Description: Awards prizes for outstanding papers in the field of securities law. Award winners will be invited to attend ASECA’s Annual Dinner in Washington, DC on February 20, 2015. Travel and lodging expenses for the first place award winner will be reimbursed by ASECA up to $1,000 in actual expenses.
Requirements: Write on any subject in the field of securities law.
Award: $5,000-1st place; $3,000-2nd place; $2,000-3rd place
Deadline: November 15, 2014
More Information:

SBA Town Hall Meeting

Attention all students: An SBA Town Hall Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 12, at noon in the Riley Courtroom (Room 170). Come and learn what is happening in the law school and share your thoughts and ideas for improvements!

BLSA Meeting

BLSA would like to remind students that the next general meeting will be on November 12 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 188. All are encouraged to attend as we will be discussing the annual BLSA Thanksgiving Dinner. Food will be provided.