Telephone: (815) 753-1067



ABA Approved Since 1978


The Northern Illinois University College of Law marked its twenty fifth year in 1999. It was established at Lewis University in Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1974, was acquired by Northern Illinois University in 1979 by authorization of the Illinois General Assembly, and was moved to NIU’s DeKalb, Illinois campus in 1982. In that year, the College of Law was fully accredited by the American Bar Association and became a member of the Association of American Law Schools in 1985.


The College of Law is the only public law school in the Northern tier of Illinois and is within easy driving distance of the major population centers of Chicago, its rapidly growing western suburbs, and Rockford. It operates a full-time day program with a part-time option and maintains an enrollment of approximately 297 students. A foreign summer program on Comparative and European Union Law has been established in Agen, France. Summer school classes are offered.


A highly qualified and diverse student body and faculty is a source of great pride to NIU’s law school. The 2008 entering class had an enrollment of 97, selected from an applicant pool of 1165. The median undergraduate G.P.A. of this class is 3.22 and the median LSAT is 153. Eighty-three percent of the class are Illinois residents, 43% are women, and 11% are students of color. For the 2007-2008 academic year, the College of Law had a full-time, tenure-track faculty of 16, excluding the dean, associate dean, and the director of the law library. Thirty-eight percent of the tenure-track faculty are of color, and 38% are women.


The College of Law is committed to providing students with numerous opportunities to develop law practice skills. Clinical courses, courses in Lawyering Skills, Trial Advocacy, and Mediation Practice are offered every semester. Courses with drafting components such as Estate Planning, Business Planning, and a variety of seminars are regularly offered. Additionally the law school has a legal clinic located in Rockford, IL. Clinic students represent clients under the supervision of an attorney in a range of matters which allows them to apply legal and professional responsibility principles learned in class to real life settings. Finally, the law school has numerous externship opportunities for students wherein they can gain practice experience working for judges and other public officials.


The College of Law is dedicated to providing students with the latest in technology-based learning. Through a generous contribution by alumnus Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick (’84), The Kenneth C. Chessick Legal Skills Training Center was opened in March 2004. The Chessick Center, which features a high-tech hearing room, Smart Classroom, and deposition room, provides technology-enhanced training for law students. Modeled after the United States Federal Courts, the Center incorporates a flexibility that allows for various practice skills scenarios, including mediation and hearings. Wireless internet, touch-screen controllers, teleconferencing, document cameras, drop down projection screen, and future videoconferencing capability are just a few of the Center’s highlights. The Chessick center will introduce students to today’s technology being utilized in the courtroom, technology that they can expect to use frequently in their future legal careers.


The College of Law prides itself on its strong co-curricular programs. The Law Review publishes three issues each year and has sponsored symposia on Dispute Resolution, Death Penalty Litigation, Minority Recruitment and Retention, Land Use, and Environmental Law. The NIU College of Law has sponsored programs on International Trade, Agricultural Law, Legal and Judicial Ethics, Medical Negligence Trials, and Collective Bargaining in recent years. The College also participates in several regional and national moot court, trial advocacy, client counseling, and negotiation competitions. In addition to these external programs, there is a strong intramural moot court program in which approximately half of the second year class participated.


NIU College of Law’s David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library contains over 252,709 volumes and volume equivalents, including the laws, court reports, and other primary source materials for the federal government and all 50 states; regulations and selected agency government documents, and most major legal treatises, texts and looseleaf services. It also provides access to LEXIS and WESTLAW, computerized full-text on-line services for legal and law-related information, and participates in an inter-library loan system that provides access for its users to materials located in other law libraries in the region. In addition to providing support for law students, faculty, and the larger university community, the law library is an important resource for the legal community in northern Illinois.


The NIU College of Law has developed a national reputation for the commitment of its students and graduates to public service and public interest law. Law students volunteer thousands of hours each year through the Pro Bono Students network of opportunities. As an acknowledgment of this commitment, the College of Law received the National School Award from Pro Bono Students America.


Interim Dean: Malcolm L. Morris (815) 753-1068

Budget & Records: Roberta (Robin) Boyes (815) 753-6580

Admissions: Bertrand J Simpson, Jr. (815) 753-9487

Financial Aid: Sandra Polanco (815) 753-9485

Career Services: Greg Anderson (815) 753-0589

Alumni Events: Melody Mitchell (815) 753-1027




JENNIFER ROSATO, (Law Professor), born Easton, Pennsylvania, October 2, 1961; admitted to bar, 1987, Pennsylvania and U.S. District Court, District of Pennsylvania. Education: Cornell University (B.S., 1983); University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., 1987). COURSES:Family Law, Bioethics, Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility. Email:jrosato @


ELVIA R. ARRIOLA, (Law Professor), born Los Angeles, California, March 2, 1951; admitted to bar, 1985, New York; 1996, Texas. Education: California State University (B.A., 1980); University of California Berkeley (J.D., 1983); New York University (M.A., 1991). COURSES: Gender and Law, Domestic Abuse Clinic, Family Law, Latino Studies. Email:earriola @


JOHN R. AUSTIN, (Law Professor), born New York, New York, November 17, 1951; admitted to bar, 1983, Illinois. Education: Queens College (B.A., 1973); Indiana University (M.L.S., 1976); DePaul University (J.D., 1983). COURSES: Legal Research. Email:jaustin @


JEFFREY M. BROWN, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1991, Georgia. Education: Davidson College (B.A., 1986); University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1991). COURSES:International Law Commercial Paper, Law & Emerging Democracies.


THERESE A. CLARKE, (Law Professor), born Illinois, 1968; admitted to bar, 1993, Illinois. Education: Loyola University (B.B.A., 1989); Dominican University (M.L.S., 1997); The John Marshall Law School (J.D., 1993). COURSES:Legal Research.


KATHLEEN LOUISE COLES, (Law Professor), born Portland, Oregon, January 10, 1949; admitted to bar, 1978, New York; 1982, Washington, D.C.. Education: College of William & Mary (B.A., 1971); Oxford University, Somerville College (M.A., 1988); University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1977). COURSES:Business Organizations, Agency, Commercial Law, Securities Regulation. Email:kcoles @


MARK W. CORDES, (Law Professor), born Portland, Oregon, December 20, 1950; admitted to bar, 1980, Oregon. Education: Portland State University (B.S., 1975); Willamette University (J.D., 1980); Stanford University (J.S.M., 1983). COURSES:Property, Land Use, Environmental Law, Real Estate Transactions. Email: mcordes @


MARC FALKOFF, (Law Professor), born Malden, Massachusetts, December 11, 1966; admitted to bar, 2002, New York and U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit; 2003, U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York; 2005, District of Columbia, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, District of District of Columbia, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second and District of Columbia Circuit; 2006, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois and U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit. Education: University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 1988); University of Michigan (M.A., 1990); Brandeis University (Ph.D., 1997); Columbia Law School (J.D., 2001). COURSES: Criminal, Criminal Procedure, Federal Courts.


DAVID B. GAEBLER, (Law Professor), born Lowell, Massachusetts, April 11, 1948; admitted to bar, 1973, Wisconsin. Education: Harvard University (A.B., 1970); University of Wisconsin (J.D., 1973). COURSES: Contracts, Sales, Secured Transactions. Email:dgaebler @


LEONA S. GREEN, (Law Professor), born Pine Bluff, Arkansas, November 9, 1951; admitted to bar, 1976, Illinois. Education: Northwestern University (B.A., 1973; J.D., 1976). COURSES:State and Local Government, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Employment Discrimination. Email:lgreen @


ROBERT L. JONES, (Law Professor), born 1966; admitted to bar, 2000, District of Columbia and California. Education: New York University School of Law (J.D., 1998). COURSES:Conflict of Laws, Civil Procedure, Antitrust. Email:rljones @


FRANK LIMA, (Law Professor), born New Bedford, Massachusetts, August 30, 1974; Education: Boston University (B.A., 1996); Simmons University (M.S.L.I.S., 2001); Western New England College (J.D., 2005). Email:flima @


GUADALUPE T. LUNA, (Law Professor), born Dallas, Texas, February 23, 1949; admitted to bar, 1987, Minnesota. Education: University of Minnesota (B.A., 1981; J.D., 1985). COURSES: Remedies, Agricultural Law, Landlord Tenant, Property. Email: gluna @


LEONARD B. MANDELL, (Law Professor), born Willimantic, Connecticut, December 6, 1950; admitted to bar, 1976, Massachusetts; 1983, Illinois; 1989, Florida. Education: University of Connecticut (B.A., 1972); Boston College Law School (J.D., 1976). COURSES: Appellate Advocacy, Criminal Externship, Appellate Defender Clinic. Email:lmandell @


MALCOLM L. MORRIS, (Law Professor), born New York, N.Y., December 21, 1948; admitted to bar, 1972, New York; 1973, Illinois. Education: Cornell University (B.S., 1969); State University of New York at Buffalo (J.D., 1972); Northwestern University (LL.M., 1977). COURSES:Property Damage, Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates, E-Commerce. Email:mlmorris @


SHARON L. NELSON, (Law Professor), born Chicago, Illinois, March 8, 1957; Education: Northern Illinois University (B.A., 1979); University of Illinois (M.S., 1983). Email:slnolson @


JEFFREY A. PARNESS, (Law Professor), born Providence, Rhode Island, August 8, 1948; admitted to bar, 1975, Illinois. Education: Colby College (B.A., 1970); University of Chicago (J.D., 1974). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Evidence, Administrative Law, Advanced Civil Procedure, Illinois Civil Practice, Conflict of Laws, Federal Courts, Privacy. Email:jparness @


DANIEL S. REYNOLDS, (Law Professor), born Duluth, Minnesota, August 5, 1946; admitted to bar, 1975, Nebraska. Education: University of Nebraska (A.B., 1968); Creighton University (J.D., 1975). COURSES: Contracts, Corporations, Securities Regulation, Agency/Partnership, Legal Profession. Email:danreynolds @


LAUREL RIGERTAS, (Law Professor), born Boston, Massachusetts; admitted to bar, 1997, Illinois and U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Education: James Madison University (B.S., 1992); University of Minnesota (J.D., 1997). COURSES: Torts, Lawyering Skills, Professional Responsibility. Email:lahaskell @


LAWRENCE SCHLAM, (Law Professor), born New York, N.Y., October 24, 1942; admitted to bar, 1968, Illinois. Education: City College of New York (B.B.A., 1964); New York University (J.D., 1967). COURSES:Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law, State Constitutional Law, Civil Rights Litigation. Email:lschlam @


LORRAINE A. SCHMALL, (Law Professor), born Chicago, Illinois, February 16, 1950; admitted to bar, 1981, Illinois. Education: University of Illinois (B.A., 1971); Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A., 1974); George Washington University (J.D., 1981). COURSES:Criminal Law, Labor and Employment Law, Health Law, Law and Feminism. Email:lschmall @


DANIEL M. SCHNEIDER, (Law Professor), born Cincinnati, Ohio, September 13, 1948; admitted to bar, 1973, Ohio; 1978, New York; 1992, Illinois. Education: Washington University (A.B., 1970); University of Cincinnati (J.D., 1973); New York University (LL.M., 1976). COURSES: Federal Income Tax, Business Tax, International Tax, Elder Law, Business Planning, Tax Policy Seminar. Email: dschneider @


DAVID H. TAYLOR, (Law Professor), born Chicago, Illinois, March 9,1953; admitted to bar, 1981, Illinois. Education: Duke University (B.A., 1976); Washington University (J.D., 1980). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Lawyering Skills, Debtor/Creditor Remedies, Evidence. Email:dtaylor @


GARY L. VANDERMEER, (Law Professor), born Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 12, 1949; Education: University of Illinois (B.A., 1971); Western Michigan University (M.S.L., 1980); Northern Illinois University (M.A.P.A., 1985). Email: gvandermeer @


JOHN A. WALTON, (Law Professor), born Chicago, Illinois, October 24, 1954; admitted to bar, 1987, Colorado; 1991, District of Columbia. Education: Illinois State University (B.S., 1976; M.S., 1978); Northwestern University (J.D., 1986). COURSES: Agency and Partnership, Business Organization/Corporations, Lawyering Skills, Sports and Entertainment. Email:jwalton @