Frequently Asked Questions

The LSAT:

1. What is NIU College of Law's LSAT code?
2. How can I obtain LSAT registration information?

3. Does NIU College of Law accept the June LSAT for admission in August of the same year?
4. Is there an LSAT preparatory program taught at NIU, and where can I get information?
5. Should I take an LSAT preparatory program?
6. Does NIU College of Law average my LSAT scores if I take the LSAT more than once?

Application Process:

7. How much is the application fee?
8. Does NIU College of Law offer an application fee waiver?
9. What are the application requirements?
10. What additional application requirements are there for international students?
11. May I request an interview with the admissions committee?
12. How do I attach an addendum to my application?
13. What if I forgot something when I submitted my application?
14. My contact information has changed. What should I do?

The Timeline:

15. How long does it take for a decision to be made once my file goes to the admissions committee?
16. Are applications accepted after the April 1st deadline?
17. How long does it take to obtain in-state resident status?
18. My file has been in review for over 5 weeks. Whom should I contact for help?
19. How will I be notified of my final decision from the admissions committee?

Weighing Your Options:

20. What does being put on the waitlist mean?
21. I have been put on the waitlist: should I submit additional materials?
22. If I am admitted, can my admission be deferred?
23. If I am neither admitted nor taken off the waitlist, can I be reconsidered for the next year?

Academic Programs:

24. How long does the part-time option normally take? How does it work?
25. Does NIU College of Law offer evening classes?
26. Does NIU College of Law offer classes at any of NIU’s satellite campuses?
27. How is the first year of classes set up?
28. How do I register for classes?
29. What types of experiential learning opportunities are available to students?
30. Does NIU College of Law offer an LL.M program?
31. What criteria must be met in order for me to be considered for transfer or visitor admission?

Student Life:

32. What type of programming occurs during orientation? Is it mandatory?
33. Are there apartments close to campus?
34. Where can I park on campus?
35. Is there on-campus transportation available for students?
36. Is employment feasible during the first year of classes?
37. Does NIU College of Law offer free Internet and e-mail service to its students?
38. Do NIU College of Law students have access to other NIU facilities such as the Holmes Student Center and the Student Recreation Center?
39. Why types of student organizations can I join while at NIU College of Law?

Contacting Us:

40. What is NIU College of Law's mailing address?


1. What is NIU College of Law's LSAT code?

1559.

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2. How can I obtain LSAT registration information?

You can contact the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) by accessing their website at www.lsac.org or by calling (215) 968-1001.

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3. Does NIU College of Law accept the June LSAT for admission in August of the same year?

Yes, NIU College of Law does accept the June LSAT prior to August entry. However, since we do not receive the scores until late July, people taking the June LSAT should have all othe documentation submitted well in advance of taking the test. An almost complete application will ensure that as soon as your scores are available, they can be acted upon by the admissions committee. If possible, all financial aid forms should also be submitted well in advance of the test.

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4. Is there an LSAT preparatory program taught at NIU and where can I get information?

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - External Programming at NIU (not part of NIU College of Law) offers a prep course for the LSAT. You may contact them by calling (815) 753-5200 or by visiting the website http://niu.edu/clasep/testprep/lsat/index.shtml.

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5. Should I take an LSAT preparatory program?

The most important advice we can give you is to make sure you take several weeks or months to prepare for the LSAT. Take the test as if you could only take it once. There are prep materials with sample exams available for self-study. You must ultimately decide if you are a good "self-studier" or if you need the more structured environment of a prep program.

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6. Does NIU College of Law average my LSAT scores if I take the LSAT more than once?

We use the highest LSAT score. If there is a significant difference in your scores, however, the admissions committee may desire further information. If there is a significant discrepancy in your scores, we suggest that you submit an addendum explaining the difference.

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7. How much is the application fee?

The application fee is $50, paid electronically through Law School Admission Council (LSAC). 

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8. Does NIU College of Law offer an application fee waiver?

Yes, as of Monday, February 11, 2013, NIU Law will waive the application fee for those students applying to start the first year of the J.D. program in Fall 2013. The application fee for NIU Law is normally $50. As you complete your application to NIU Law via the Law School Admission Council's website, the NIU Law application fee will be automatically waived.

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9. What are the application requirements?

See our Apply/Check Status pages.

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10. What additional application requirements are there for international students?

In addition to the LSAT, which everyone must take, international students must take the TOEFL unless they are from English-speaking countries. The only exception to this rule is for an international student who has obtained a bachelor's degree in the United States. NIU College of Law follows the standards set by the NIU Graduate School. For more information, please visit http://www.niu.edu/grad/international/english_proficiency.shtml.

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11. May I request an interview with the admissions committee?

No. The admissions committee is focused on reading files and does not arrange interviews. However, if you wish to pay a visit to the law school to learn more about the programs or to ask any questions, you are welcome to schedule a visit. Please see Plan Your Visit/Contact Us.

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12. How do I attach an addendum to my application?

Please add an additional page to your personal statement. Please include proper headings.

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13. What if I forgot something when I submitted my application?

Incomplete applications will not be sent to the admissions committee. If you are missing your personal statement or your resume, you may mail/e-mail them to our office. If you are missing transcripts or letters of recommendation, you must submit them through the CAS.

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14. My contact information has changed. What should I do?

Please e-mail lawadm@niu.edu, and we will update your file.

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15. How long does it take for a decision to be made once my file goes to the admissions committee?

One important thing to remember is that your file will not go to the admissions committee until it is complete. It is your responsibility to make sure your application is complete. Once complete, your file is first reviewed by the Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, and then it goes to the admissions committee. The review process can take anywhere from two to five weeks.

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16. Are applications accepted after the April 1st deadline?

Yes, we do accept applications after the April 1st priority deadline. We encourage applicants to submit their applications as early as possible so that we can start advising them about financial aid and other concerns. The main downsides to submitting a late application are that the class may already be filled and that many of the scholarship opportunities will no longer be available.

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17. How long does it take to obtain in-state resident status?

At NIU College of Law, it normally takes only 6 months. An individual who resides in a state other than Illinois must have proof that he/she has been residing in Illinois 6 months prior to the beginning of the semester. Acceptable items of proof include a driver's license, a mortgage, or a lease. The final determination of residency is not made by NIU College of Law but by the main university Office of Registration and Records. For example, if a student chooses to move to Illinois a few weeks prior to the beginning of orientation, he/she may be eligible to qualify for in-state tuition for his/her second semester.

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18. My file has been in review for over 5 weeks. Whom should I contact for help?

First, check your online status to see if your file has been completed. If not, please check to make sure that all of your materials have been submitted properly. If your application is complete, please contact the NIU College of Law Office of Admissions & Financial Aid.

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19. How will I be notified of my final decision from the admissions committee?

All decisions will be automatically updated via the online status checker. Additionally, you will be mailed a copy of your decision letter.

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20. What does being put on the waitlist mean?

An individual's placement on the waitlist is an indication that the individual has the potential to be a law student at NIU College of Law. The admissions committee takes individuals off of the waitlist periodically, up until one week before classes start. Individuals on the waitlist are not ranked. When the decision is made to select someone from the waitlist, all files are reviewed.

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21. I have been put on the waitlist: should I submit additional materials?

Yes. You may submit updated transcripts, notices of promotions, updated resumes, additional letters of recommendation, new LSAT scores, or any other relevant documents. Please submit everything but LSAT scores directly to the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid. LSAT scores will be automatically updated via the CAS.

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22. If I am admitted, can my admission be deferred?

Yes. Although all requests are reviewed on an individual basis, and although there is no guarantee that a deferment will be offered, most requests are approved. To be considered for a deferment, an admitted applicant must submit a letter of request to the Director of Admissions & Financial Aid before the start of orientation, indicating why he/she wishes to defer admission.  If the deferral is granted, a full deposit is required to hold a seat in the next year's class.

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23. If I am neither admitted nor taken off the waitlist, can I be reconsidered for the next year?

Yes. Just resubmit your application and required materials.

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24. How long does the part-time option normally take? How does it work?

Please see Part-Time Student Apply/Check Status.

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25. Does NIU College of Law offer evening classes?

NIU College of Law's classes are offered only during the day.

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26. Does NIU College of Law offer classes at any of NIU’s satellite campuses?

No, NIU College of Law only offers classes at the DeKalb campus.

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27. How is the first year of classes set up?

The first-year class is divided into two sections of approximately 55 students, and each of these sections is divided into three or more legal writing sections and even smaller legal research sections. First-year students are assigned randomly to sections, and they are on campus with these sections Monday-Friday. For a current course schedule, please see http://www.niu.edu/law/academic/class_lists.shtml.

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28. How do I register for classes?

You are automatically enrolled in your first-year courses. Your booklist and course schedule are available a few weeks prior to orientation.  You will be given detailed instructions when it is time for you to register for upper-level classes.

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29. What types of experiential learning opportunities are available to students?

NIU College of Law offers students a number of externships and clinical courses. Externships allow students to gain practical experience under the supervision of a practicing attorney or judge and with the guidance of a faculty member. For more information, see http://www.niu.edu/law/academic/second_third/externships.shtml. In a clinical course, a student will work with and be taught by staff attorneys at the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford, Illinois. For more information, please see http://www.niu.edu/law/clinic/clinic_courses.shtml.

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30. Does NIU College of Law offer an LL.M program?

No. NIU College of Law does not offer an LL.M program.

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31. What criteria must be met in order for me to be considered for transfer or visitor admission?

Please see Transfer and Visitor Student Apply/Check Status.

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32. What type of programming occurs during orientation? Is it mandatory?

Orientation is mandatory for first-year students, and it occurs the week prior to the start of fall classes. It will provide a broad overview of law school programs and services.  For more information, see Orientation.

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33. Are there apartments close to campus?

NIU is ringed by various apartment complexes.  Prices and types of accommodations vary widely. We encourage anyone considering these options to ask the complex managements if they have quiet or graduate student complexes, so that you are not interrupted by the activities of undergraduates who might not be as dedicated to their studies. For more information, please contact Off-Campus and Non-Traditional Student Services.

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34. Where can I park on campus?

If you plan to park on campus, you are required to purchase a parking sticker. More information about on-campus parking can be found at http://niu.edu/parking.

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35. Is there on-campus transportation available for students?

As a student at NIU College of Law, you can ride for free on the Huskie Line bus line. It travels all over campus and the city of DeKalb, including the surrounding shopping facilities. See http://www.huskieline.com/ for more information.

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36. Is employment feasible during the first year of classes?

NIU College of Law discourages first-year law students from working on anything other than their studies. American Bar Association regulations state that any full-time law student should not work more than 20 hours per week during the school year and 40 hours per week during the summer.

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37. Does NIU College of Law offer free Internet and e-mail service to its students?

Yes. Prior to or during orientation, students will receive their personal NIU e-mail addresses from Information Technology Services.  Students have wireless access throughout NIU College of Law.

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38. Do NIU College of Law students have access to other NIU facilities such as the Holmes Student Center and the Student Recreation Center?

Yes. NIU College of Law students have the same privileges and access as NIU undergraduate students.

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39. What types of student organizations can I join while at NIU College of Law?

For more information, see Student Organizations. Additionally, visit the NIU College of Law blog at http://niucollegeoflaw.blogspot.com/.

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40. What is NIU College of Law's mailing address?

College of Law
Northern Illinois University
Office of Admissions & Financial Aid
Swen Parson Hall, Room 151
DeKalb, IL 60115

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