NIU student studies towards undergraduate degree while in law school


Courtesy of Emma Grace Redmond-Mattucci

Emma Grace Redmond-Mattucci poses in front of Swen Parson Hall. The College of Law is located in Swen Parson Hall.

DeKALB — The Northern Illinois University community is made up of a diverse, hard working student group with a variety of interests. Emma Grace Redmond-Mattucci has used the university’s resources to study her own.

Redmond-Mattucci is currently a senior participating in the accelerated law program at NIU. This program allows a student to begin participating in a law program while still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Redmond-Mattucci is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business; she has already completed the required courses to fulfill her bachelor’s degree in business with her remaining courses going towards a law program. Emma expects to graduate from NIU this semester.

According to College Values Online, business is the seventh most valuable major a college student can pursue and is also considered one of the most flexible. Redmond-Mattucci said this flexibility has helped her while pursuing her law degree.  

She said, “business classes toward the end mirrored law classes. We looked at a lot of cases, very similar to law class including debriefing the rule of law.”  

While her business classes have been very helpful with her law program, Redmond-Mattucci must use a different approach while pursuing her law degree.

Redmond-Mattucci said that “business was more straightforward, law classes are a puzzle, you are given two pieces of puzzle and you have to find the rest.”

Law and business are two degrees that give a wide variety of options post-graduation. “I see this as an opportunity to try all fields before settling myself in,” Redmond-Mattucci said. “I want to go into criminal prosecution, also opening my practice as a criminal defense attorney.” 

“I love it (being a law student), type A, competitive environment, meeting a lot of amazing people,” Redmond-Mattucci said. 

Redmond-Mattucci said her favorite part about law school so far is getting her final grades back since she gets to see her hours of studying pay off. 

According to Own Your own Future, law is the tenth most difficult degree to pursue. 

Many students face difficulties while pursuing a law degree, Redmond-Mattucci has also faced struggles on her journey. “There was a period where personal life gave me a reality check. I wondered if I could compartmentalize my personal life and school,” she said.

Jon Briscoe, College of Business professor, said Redmond-Mattucci is a great student and a critical thinker. Redmond-Mattucci was chosen to help Briscoe with his research by interviewing people who have achieved career success with the goal of seeing if their career choice makes them feel good about themselves. 

“She has been very helpful with the research, has no problem asking questions, very helpful,” Brisoe said.