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Office of the Dean

Message from Dean Richard Bales

ImageWelcome to ONU Law

The College of Law at Ohio Northern University is a very different kind of law school. Here’s what you get from ONU Law that you won’t find anywhere else:

  1. Success. If we accept you, we expect you to succeed. We are committed to providing the academic, bar-passage, and social support to ensure that this happens. We are invested in you through graduation and beyond.
  2. Community. We offer a sense of community available at only a handful of the country’s other law schools. Our low student-to-faculty ratio ensures that you become strongly connected to fellow students, faculty, and staff. Faculty members and staff know you well enough to be personally invested in your success. Nearly every law student lives within walking distance of the college. They socialize, study, and travel together. Come see for yourself the difference community makes.
  3. International Experience. It’s almost impossible not to gain a significant international experience at ONU Law. With our LLM in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law program, our Icelandic student-exchange and summer-abroad programs, our January course work in Cambodia and London, and our large cohort of international students, we offer a different kind of international experience. Many other law schools offer LLM degrees or international programs, but we’re the only law school in the country focusing on promoting the rule of law abroad – on international public service, government reform, fighting corruption, and investing in the developing world. Our foreign students are far more diverse than foreign students at other law schools. They come from every corner of the developing world and are committed to returning home to do government-reform and public service work. And the experiences we provide to our American students pursuing a joint JD/LLM degree are far more diverse than traditional study-abroad programs: You will work on the ground, all over the world, promoting the rule of law. At ONU Law, “international law” is not just a series of classes – it’s our commitment to encouraging all of our students to become citizens of the world.

The underlying principle of all of these unique attributes is service. Faculty serve students through total commitment to their education, students serve each other by building a strong and lasting community, and together we provide service to citizens worldwide. Americans often believe that the rule of law is only a problem in countries run by dictators or in which corruption is rampant. At ONU Law, we see similar problems here at home every time a person is denied access to justice because he or she can’t find or afford a lawyer. Many of our students volunteer in the community or participate in our Legal Clinic for the underserved. The American students in our JD/LLM program spend summers in Malawi, Laos and Albania working on government reform projects. Our foreign LLM students fulfill a two-year post-graduation commitment to do public service work in their home countries. And an extraordinary percentage of our graduates become prosecutors, public defenders, judges, and leaders in all levels of government. ONU Law students come to law school because they want to make the world a better place, and they leave with the training and experience to accomplish that.