The third of Illinois’ public law schools and the youngest is Northern Illinois University College of Law in DeKalb. It’s one of the smallest law schools in the U.S., with a total enrollment of 265. Its attributes are a very low resident tuition of $22,130 and proximity to Chicago and its suburbs, while offering students a small-town rural setting to learn.
The University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana Champaign is one of the best public law schools in America, and easily the best option in Illinois. Established in 1897, the “downstate” school offers strong academics, an excellent network of 11,000 alums and leadership dedicated to making the school’s future as strong as its past.
Heading to Carbondale, Ill., was a turn home during the Law School Road Trip. Growing up near Champaign-Urbana, SIU was always known as a party school, and for its proximity to Marion prison. The intervening years have not been kind to the region, which is resolutely hardscrabble.
Each of Louisiana’s four law schools is incredibly connected, but Tulane is tops. That’s partly why it places vastly more graduates in Big Law jobs, while having the edge in most employment categories.
Loyola University New Orleans – College of Law is in challenging times, facing shrinking class size and tight budgets from its parent University. The school has – like other Louisiana law schools – produced its share of power brokers, including from the Landrieu family, one of whom – Judge Madeleine Landrieu ’87 – was recently announced as the next Dean.
For students applying to law school today, the history of a law school may or may not be instructive. But sometimes looking to the past can tell us a bit about today. Take the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, for example.
Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center produces Southern politicians, judges and lawyers by the bushel – not to mention James Carville, Russell Long and current governor John Bel Edwards. And its grandeur beckons.
The mission and achievements of Thurgood Marshall are impressive: It has produced 40 percent of practicing African-American lawyers in Texas, 17 percent of African-American lawyers in the U.S., and has graduated more than 1,000 Hispanic lawyers.
The University of Houston Law Center has a great student-to faculty ratio, offers a great alumni network (hello Star Jones!), has strong employment stats and a deep sense of mission.