College of Law ranked in top 10 nationally for diversity


The “jewel in the Midwest” was ranked among the top 10 in Princeton Review’s 2009 Edition of Best 174 Law Schools for having the most diversity among faculty.

Guadalupe Luna, interim associate dean of NIU’s College of Law, refers to the college as “the jewel.”

“I call it the jewel in the Midwest because people barely know about it,” Luna said. “Sometimes you wonder when students are walking around the campus, if they even know the College of Law exists.”

This is the fifth straight year that NIU ranked among the top 10. People of color make up nearly 40 percent of the College of Law faculty, with women making up nearly 40 percent as well.

“Look at the law schools across the country,” Luna said. “Just go to the web page and look up the faculty members. You will not see a diverse faculty group.”

The benefits to a diverse faculty are evident to third-year graduate law student, Craig Boston.

“The biggest benefit it brings is that the more diverse your faculty, the richer and fuller your learning experience is,” Boston said. “People from different backgrounds experience things from a different perspective, and so it adds to the conversation we have in class because people from different backgrounds have seen the same thing differently.”

Faculty recruitment is also heightened since NIU is acknowledged as a top diversity program. Law professor Robert Jones said the rich diversity helps attract both faculty and students.

“One of the reasons I came here was because of the diversity among the faculty,” Jones said. “I would think it helps bring law students, too. It’s important to have other faculty that you can relate to.”

Boston agrees. He chose NIU over DePaul, Loyola and John Marshall because of his admiration for the diversity.

Luna knows why that is.

“This school made an effort,” she said. “It’s a public institution. It serves the public, and it went out of its way to make sure they kept their eyes open for talented people of color and women.”