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Paul J. CainPaul J. Cain
Clinical Professor

B.A., Colorado State University
J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center

Phone: (815) 962-9980


Paul J. Cain is a clinical professor in the College of Law’s Clinical Faculty. Professor Cain teaches the Criminal Defense Clinic. He joined the Northern Illinois University College of Law in September 2003. During his teaching in the clinical program at NIU, Professor Cain has also taught the Mediation Clinic, the Elder Law Clinic, the Domestic Abuse Clinic, and the Juvenile Justice Clinic. In addition to clinical teaching, Professor Cain has taught Lawyering Skills, the pre-trial simulation course.

In 2009, prior to becoming a clinical faculty member and while a member of the supportive professional staff, Professor Cain received a Certificate of Recognition from the Northern Illinois University Supportive Professional Staff Council for making important contributions to NIU or to the profession outside of regular job duties. This award is given annually to 25 supportive professional staff of the 800 university-wide supportive professional staff.

Prior to teaching at NIU, Professor Cain taught as a visitor in the clinical program at the University of Denver College of Law. At Denver, Professor Cain directed the Externship Program for two years, taught in the Civil Clinic for one year, taught part-time in the Criminal Defense Clinic and co-taught a Wrongful Conviction course. Professor Cain began his teaching career as a visitor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic. At Case Western, Professor Cain taught in the Criminal Defense Clinic for one year and in the Civil Clinic for one year.

Prior to teaching, Professor Cain practice civil and criminal law for eighteen years in central Ohio. He began his career with legal services, then practiced with small firms before opening his own practice.

Professor Cain is currently first vice-president of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys where he also chairs the Law Professor Committee and the Juvenile Law Committee. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Prof. Cain has served on various committees of the Winnebago County Bar Association and the 17th Judicial Circuit Court Family Violence Coordinating Council. Professor Cain has also been a mentor in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court Mentoring Program.

Curriculum Vitae

Faculty News for Professor Cain

Recent Activities

  • Quoted in DeKalb Daily Chronicle article “Judges in DeKalb County seek to reform bail practices”, published October 4, 2106.
  • Volunteer as Industry Expert, Alignment Rockford Academy Expo at BMO Harris Center, September 29, 2016.
  • Cited, article by Georgette Braun dealing with the issue of shackling of juveniles in Illinois and local courts, August 14, 2016.
  • Gave Testimony, Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee, regarding proposed rule on shackling of juveniles for court appearances, July 8, 2016.
  • Guest, Celebrity Court Radio, discussing the “Slenderman” case,, August 16, 2015.
  • Cited, article in NIU Newsroom discussing probate law and process in wake of public controversies surrounding deceased celebrities such as Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks, radio personality Casey Kasem and comedian Robin Williams, February 25, 2015.


  • Doing the ‘Right’ Thing: An Analytical Model Examining the Interplay between Ethical Professional Conduct, Morality, and Justice, 10 T.M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clinical L. 149 (2008).
    SSRN |
  • A First Step Toward Introducing Emotional Intelligence Into The Law School Curriculum: The ‘Emotional Intelligence and the Clinic Student’ Class, 14 Legal Educ. Rev. 1 (2004).
    SSRN |

Areas of Expertise

Clinical Legal Education, Juvenile Justice, Criminal Law

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Swen Parson Hall 151

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