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Ohio Northern University

Ohio Northern University, originally founded in 1871, is a selective, private, comprehensive university, comprising five colleges (Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law) with high-ranked arts, sciences and professional programs.

The school's bucolic, scenic campus rests on nearly 342 acres in the village of Ada, Ohio (population 5,582). Its location provides a quaint small town atmosphere that complements the friendly environment found on campus, while still offering some of the finest restaurants, shopping and culture the midwest United States has to offer just a short drive away. Located in northwest Ohio, Ada is 69 miles from Toledo, Ohio, to the north, 80 miles from Columbus, Ohio, to the south and 15 miles to Lima, Ohio to the west.

The university currently has more than 3,500 students from more than 20 countries and 40 US states. The university boasts over 650 faculty and staff of which over 80% of faculty have PhD or terminal degrees. Current student/faculty ration is 12:1 allowing for close personal teaching and interaction between teachers and students and has been named in Colleges of Distinction (2011), a guide profiling America’s most distinguished teaching-centered colleges and universities.

Ohio Northern University is consistently devoted to developing a greener University environment. The SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) have developed a list of tips that can be used by those wishing to reduce their carbon footprint. There are also on-site wind turbines that generate almost 10% of the University’s electricity and there are 3 University Green Organizations. In recognition of ONU’s green efforts, the Arbor Day Foundation honored ONU for a second straight year as a 2010 Tree Campus USA university for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship.

The law school

Founded in 1885, and previously known as the Warren G. Harding College of Law, the Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law is the second oldest of the nine Ohio law schools and a founding member of the Ohio League of Law Schools. In 1973, the law school was renamed in honor of Claude W. Pettit, a judge and former dean of the college.

The College of Law is housed in Tilton Hall, located on the campus of Ohio Northern University. The School offers more than 9 legal clinics in areas ranging from bankruptcy, environmental law, corporate transactions and municipal government as well as an off-campus legal clinic in Lima, Ohio. Law students also have an opportunity to participate in judicial externships during the summer as well as for academic credit.

Annually, the college enrolls more than 320 students from more than 40 states in its full-time JD and LL.M. programs. ONU Law alumni have gone on to become judges in 15 states, serve in the United States Senate, as State Attorneys and federal and district judges.

The College of Law is committed to equality of opportunity in legal education and has an expressly written ONU Law Diversity Statement.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the 2010/11 academic year were just under $45,000.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a recognized law degree and have been admitted to the Bar in addition to at least 2-5 years experience working in the fields of democratic governance and rule of law. Applicants must also submit recommendations, a personal letter and CV and complete an interview either in person or via telephone. Prospective students who do not have English as their first language, or who have not completed a significant portion of their degree in English, must also achieve a PBT TOEFL score of 600 or higher, a CBT TOEFL score of 250 or higher or a IBT TOEFL of 100 or higher.

The Program

LLM in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law

The LLM is open to young lawyers who are already active in the field of governance and rule of law and can demonstrate an active commitment to working towards the implementation of law reforms that support stable democratic institutions and rule of law in a free-market economy. The course is aimed at lawyers whose first degree was earned outside of the US with 2 to 5 years experience in public or non-profit sectors. Lawyers from developed democracies are welcome although the focus is on lawyers from transitional democracies. The course is particularly suitable to those seeking more in-depth understanding of international democracy and governance reform. The yearly intake is small and competition for the few available places is intense.

Students are expected to complete 24 credits during one year of study. Courses available include American Legal System, Comparative Constitutional and Administrative Law, Competitiveness and Corruption, Rule of Law and Legal Issues in Transitional Democracies to name a few. There are also 4 intense weekend seminars under the guidance of prominent scholars or practitioners aimed at allowing maximum student interaction with recognized experts in an informal setting. There are also organized field trips to local city courts and councils as well as to the state capital for observation and discussion with the Supreme Court, state legislature and other governmental institutions.

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