Apply to NIU Law
Applicants to the College of Law must submit the NIU Law online application, which is available through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
We encourage you to apply before the priority submission deadline of April 1. We will accept applications after the priority deadline, provided that space is still available.
To be eligible for admission to the College of Law, you must:
- Have earned bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
- Have a valid Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score
- Be registered with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
- Have completed or be in the final year of your undergraduate degree program
Application Process Steps
- Register to take the LSAT
Create your LSAC account at LSAC.org and register to take the LSAT.
- Register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
In addition to registering for the LSAT, all applicants to the College of Law must register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Registration with CAS streamlines your application process by only requiring you to submit your official transcripts and letters of recommendation once to LSAC. LSAC will then forward your LSAT score and CAS report to NIU Law and all other law schools to which you apply.
- Submit the Electronic NIU Law Application
The NIU electronic application for admission is available from the LSAC website. All application materials (personal statement, resume and any addendum) must be submitted electronically, attached to the application.
- Submit your personal statement
Submit your personal statement as an attachment to your application. We recommend the personal statement be about two pages in length, double-spaced. Content should include discussion of how your personal, academic and/or professional experiences have motivated you to pursue a legal education. Keep in mind that we do not conduct interviews. Think of your personal statement as your written “interview” with the admissions committee.
Applicants who wish to explain any circumstances surrounding their applications, such as GPA or LSAT score, may do so within a brief addendum. The addendum should be uploaded following the personal statement.
- Submit letter(s) of recommendation directly to LSAC
Submit at least one letter of recommendation to the LSAC letter of recommendation service (which is part of your LSAC CAS registration). While we only require one letter, up to four letters of recommendation will be accepted. The Admissions Committee strongly recommends that at least one letter come from a professor or academic dean at your college or university.
- Submit your resume (optional)
We encourage you to submit a resume detailing professional work experience, work experience during college and/or internship/externships and any extracurricular leadership experience and community service.
- Register to take the LSAT
Applications will only be forwarded to and reviewed by the Admissions Committee when all required documentation has been received by the NIU College of Law Office of Admissions. Applicants are responsible for communicating with the Office of Admissions and for completing each requirement of the application process.
International Applicant Information
In addition to the LSAT, which every applicant 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.
If you have completed coursework or earned degrees from international institutions, you should submit your international transcripts through LSAC's Credential Assembly Service. This service is included in the standard Credential Assembly Service fee. International transcripts received will be sent to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) where the transcript will be authenticated and analyzed. The data will be assembled into an International Credential Evaluation document that contains AACRAO's summary, copies of the transcripts (and translations, as necessary) and a TOEFL score, if applicable.
LSAC will incorporate the applicant's International Credential Evaluation, TOEFL score and associated documents into the CAS report. While the NIU College of Law strongly encourages international applicants to submit international transcripts to CAS, detailed credential evaluation reports will also be accepted from Educational Credential Evaluators, World Educational Services or from any other member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.
The detailed transcript evaluation must indicate that the degree earned from a foreign institution is the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree.
Transfer and Visiting Applicant Information
If you have completed coursework in the J.D. program at another ABA-accredited law school, you may apply for admission as a transfer student, or as a “visiting student” and transfer your NIU Law earned credits back to your home law school. The NIU College of Law does not grant credit for coursework earned at non-ABA accredited law schools or law schools outside of the United States.
Applicants seeking transfer admission to NIU College of Law must submit the following materials through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and register with the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS):
- Electronic Application
- Personal Statement
- Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report
- Law school transcript (including spring semester grades)
- Letter of good standing from all previously attended law programs
- Class rank (if available)
- One letter of recommendation from a law professor (one is required, but up to four can be submitted)
- A resume is strongly recommended, but not required
A few important things for transfer applicants to note:
- We recommend that you submit your application at least one month prior to the semester in which you intend to enroll.
- If you are admitted for the fall semester you may choose to begin your studies during the preceding summer session if admitted prior to the start of that session.
- After you are admitted, you will meet with the Dean of Students to determine which credits will transfer. Grades below a C or its equivalent will not be accepted for transfer credit.
- You will be given a class rank equivalent to the rank you would hold in the class with which you will graduate, which will be added to the same rank otherwise given to a non-transfer student so as not to change the class rank of any non-transfer student. Thus, whatever rank you hold, there will be a non-transfer student in the same class with the same class rank.
- You are eligible for on-campus interviewing and for all services provided by the Office of Career Opportunities.
Policies and Disclosures
Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender expression, gender identity, age, marital status, national origin, disability, status based on the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA), or status as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran. Further, the Constitution and Bylaws of Northern Illinois University provides for equal treatment regardless of political views or affiliation and regardless of sexual orientation. Inquiries concerning application of Title IX, Section 504, and other statutes and regulations may be referred to Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance, 1515 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, IL 60115, telephone 815-753-1118. The College of Law believes that a diverse collegial environment best serves its educational and professional goals, and thus particularly encourages applications from members of traditionally underrepresented groups.
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
NIU provides information regarding campus security, personal and fire safety, including topics such as: crime prevention, emergency response procedures and crime reporting policies, in addition to crime and fire statistics for the most recent three calendar years. The Annual Security Report containing security and safety information is available from the NIU website or by contacting the University Police and Public Safety Department at 815-753-9628 to receive a hard copy. The Annual Fire Safety Report is also available from the NIU website or by contacting the Environmental Health & Safety Department at 815-753-0404 to receive a hard copy.