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Laurel RigertasLaurel A. Rigertas
Associate Professor of Law

B.S., James Madison University
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Phone: (815) 753-1680
Room: 197B


Associate Professor Laurel Rigertas joined the NIU law faculty in 2006. She teaches professional responsibility, torts, advanced torts, and a mindfulness course for law students. She also coordinates the first-year course, “Introduction to the Legal Profession: History, Culture and Values." Professor Rigertas’ research and scholarship focuses on the legal profession, particularly in the areas of ethics, professionalism, and access to the legal system.

Prior to joining the NIU law faculty in 2006, Professor Rigertas practiced complex commercial litigation as a partner with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Chicago, which she joined in 1999 as an associate. She has litigated cases at the trial and appellate levels in both federal and state courts, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. Professor Rigertas began her law career in 1997 at Jenner & Block in Chicago, where she also focused on complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining the NIU law faculty she also taught as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Professor Rigertas graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1997. There she was a member of the honorary scholastic society, Order of the Coif, and served as articles editor of Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice.

Faculty News for Professor Rigertas

Recent Activities

  • Fellow, Educational Interventions to Cultivate Professional Identity in Law Students, National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism (NIFTEP) Fall Workshop, Mercer University School of Law (October 6-9, 2016).
  • Speaker, Mindfulness and Thriving Legal Practices Conference, University of Colorado Law School (August 2016).
  • Speaker, Introduction to Mindfulness for Lawyers, Kane County Bar Association's 2016 Elder Care, Disability & Mental Health program on Personal Wellness in the Legal Profession (May 2016).
  • Panelist, Changing Landscape of Litigation: Evolving Requirements, Illinois State Bar Association’s Allerton Conference (May 2015).
  • Panelist, One Stop Shops: Multiple Service Providers and the Unauthorized Practice of Law, American Bar Association’s 2nd Unauthorized Practice of Law School (April 2015).
  • Speaker, Re-conceptualizing Supervision of Nonlawyer Legal Professionals to Increase Access to Justice.” Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy’s symposium Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Criminal Justice Act (February 2015).


  • The Twenty-First Century Delivery of Legal Services: Thoughts for Legal Education, 1 Ind. Tech L. Rev. 1 (2016).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • Collaborations between Lawyers and New Legal Professionals: A Path to Increase Access to Justice and Protect Clients, 24 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 539 (2015).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • The Legal Profession’s Monopoly: Failing to Protect Consumers, 82 Fordham L. Rev. 2683 (2014).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • USA: Regulating Non-Lawyers to Close the Access to Justice Gap, 16 Legal Ethics 384 (2014).
  • How Do You Rate Your Lawyer?: Lawyers’ Responses to Online Reviews of Their Services, 4 St. Mary’s J. Legal Mal. & Ethics 242 (2014).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • The Supreme Court and Recusals: A Response to Professor Lubet, 47 Val. U. L. Rev. 939 (2013).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • Post-Watergate: The Legal Profession and Respect for the Interests of Third Parties, 16 Chapman L. Rev. 111 (2012).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • Stratification of the Legal Profession: A Debate in Need of a Public Forum, J. Prof. Law. 79 (2012).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • Lobbying and Litigating Against "Legal Bootleggers"- The Role of the Organized Bar in the Expansion of the Courts' Inherent Powers in the Early Twentieth Century, 46 Cal. W. L. Rev. 65 (2009).
    | SSRN | PDF |

Other Activities

  • What Can Mindfulness Offer Lawyers?, Kane County Bar Ass’n Bar Briefs 47 (April 2016).
  • Panelist, The Future of Access to Legal Services in a Changing Legal Market, Indiana Tech Law School symposium on the Future of the Legal Profession and Legal Education (November 2014).
  • Presenter, How Do You Rate Your Lawyer?: Lawyers’ Responses to Online Reviews of Their Services, 13th Annual St. Mary’s Law Journal Symposium on Legal Malpractice & Ethics (February 2014).
  • Panelist, Until Civil Gideon: Expanding Access to Justice, jointly sponsored by Fordham Law School’s Urban Law Center, Urban Law Journal, and Feerick Center for Social Justice (November 2013).
  • The Future of the Legal Profession’s Monopoly Colloquium, Fordham Law School (October 2013).
  • Featured, "Women in Law 2013," Chicago Lawyer, 2013. 
  • Quoted, "Reforms are Rolled Back," Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2012. 
  • Speaker, The Legacy of Watergate: Reform 40 Years Later, The Chapman Law Review Symposium (January 2012).
  • Access to Legal Services – Current Issues, Northern Illinois University Law School Homecoming CLE Program, Presenter (October 2010).
  • Technology and Legal Marketing: An Ethical Perspective, Northern Illinois University Law Review Symposium, Presenter (April 2010).
  • Confronting the Challenges of Persons Who Are Mentally Ill:  Best Practices and Remaining Issues in the Law, Northern Illinois University Law Review Symposium, Presenter  (April 2009).
  • Laurel Haskell, The Rule of Man: A Film Recommendation Leads to a Father's Enduring Lesson, A.B.A. J. Wkly. Newsl., July 22, 2008 (Finalist for the 2008 Ross Essay Contest).
  • Pushing the Boundaries: Balancing the Letter and the Spirit of Professionalism, Address at DuPage County Bar Association CLE Program on Ethics (Sept. 20, 2007).
  • Lawyering in the 21st Century: The Electronic Age and Ethics, DuPage County Bar Association CLE Program (January 2007).

Areas of Expertise

Professional Responsibility, Torts, Lawyering Skills

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