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At A Glance

Willamette University College of Law

The course of study at Willamette University College of Law is based on full-time attendance for six semesters, in three academic years. Students seeking a J.D. are required to complete at least 90 hours of credit, 75 of which must be in letter-graded classes. Students must maintain a minimum of 10 hours of credit each semester. Students also must complete a writing requirement during the second and third years and maintain a 2.30 grade point average (GPA). Recipients of Willamette University College of Law scholarships must maintain a 2.90 GPA to renew their annual scholarships.

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Willamette University College of Law's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 386
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 151 - 156
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 2.78 - 3.42
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 72.62%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 86.0%
Tuition $34,690

Overview

Overview

About Willamette University College of Law

The course of study at Willamette University College of Law is based on full-time attendance for six semesters, in three academic years. Students seeking a J.D. are required to complete at least 90 hours of credit, 75 of which must be in letter-graded classes. Students must maintain a minimum of 10 hours of credit each semester. Students also must complete a writing requirement during the second and third years and maintain a 2.30 grade point average (GPA). Recipients of Willamette University College of Law scholarships must maintain a 2.90 GPA to renew their annual scholarships.

Reviews

Willamette University College of Law is “a smaller school in the Pacific Northwest,” “in the state capital city” of Salem, Oregon. Highlights here include an exemplary legal research and writing program. A JD/MBA program allows students to earn both degrees in four years. There are three journals, six specialized clinics, and a broad externship program. Certificates are available in dispute resolution, business law, international and comparative law (reportedly “wonderful”), law and government, and sustainability law. Study abroad programs in Hamburg, Germany; Quito, Ecuador; and Shanghai, China are another big hit. Students also laud their surroundings. “The facilities at Willamette are, by far, among the best,” they say. The “beautiful building” is located on the peaceful and collegiate-looking campus of the larger university. Classrooms are recently renovated and modern. “You have access to the library 24/7,” too, which can be an invaluable perk when finals roll around each semester. Classes are definitely on the smaller side, and they’re generally “entertaining.” “The greatest strength of Willamette Law has to be the faculty,” relates a 2L. “The faculty is knowledgeable, accessible, and seems to generally enjoy teaching students—an extremely valuable trifecta.” The “very helpful” top brass gets a lot of love as well. “The school’s administration works as effectively as possible,” says a 3L. “They are very focused on getting us to pass the bar,” agrees a happy 1L, “and very focused on getting us a job post graduation.”Course scheduling is probably the biggest single source of frustration among students. After the first year, it can be hard to get into the classes you want (and occasionally need). The fairly strict grading curve comes in for some grief as well. “Grade deflation” is alive and well, and a handful of 1Ls at the bottom of the class at Willamette are inevitably asked to leave each year. On one hand, it’s an intimidating situation. On the other hand, it “will really help motivate.” When the time comes to get a job as an actual attorney, there’s good news and bad news for newly minted Willamette alums. On the minus side, the generally mild climate and the culture of Oregon are both professionally appealing for many people. Competition for jobs (especially in Portland) is fierce because the legal market is not huge and a lot of transplant lawyers want to work in the state. On the plus side, the law school here is “down the street from” the Capitol building and various courts. Consequently, students have “fantastic access” to state legislative bodies, state courts, and state agen­cies. “Great networking opportunities” and prospects for practical experience outside of school abound. Students can “cooperate with the judicial process” in ways that students at the other two law schools in the state cannot.

- The Princeton Review

Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 123

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

Joint degree with Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management (4-year JD/MBA) BA JD (accelerated 6 year undergraduate degree/JD program) with Willamette University 3+3 (accelerated 6 year undergraduate degree/JD program) with Oregon State University

Specialty Law Programs

  • Government Services

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 42
Full-Time Faculty 27
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 4
Part-Time Faculty 11
Faculty Gender 73% Male
26% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 13 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 60% Male
40% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 75%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1%
International 1%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Ethnicity Unknown 6%
Black or African American 1%
Asian 6%
American Indian or Alaska Native 2%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $34,690 Same as On-Campus
Housing N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $34,690 $34,690

Financial Aid

97% Graduate students receiving financial aid (loans and grants)

$48,081 Average financial aid amount

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision: March 1

Average Age Admitted: 26

Incoming Class

Willamette University College of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 151 - 156
LSAT Part-Time 154 - 163
LSAT Total 151 - 156

Willamette University College of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 2.8 - 3.42
Part-Time 2.37 - 3.47
Total 2.78 - 3.42

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Recommendations, Undergraduate GPA, Personal Essay

Admission Requirements

Required: Standardized Test Scores, Resume, Recommendations, Undergraduate GPA, Personal Essay

Optional: Interview, Extracurricular Activities, Work Experience, State Residency

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 71%
First Time Pass Rate 73%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 77%

Campus Recruitment

Number of Employers Recruiting on Campus 30
First Year Recruitment Time Summer
Second Year Recruitment Time Summer

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 86%
Average Starting Salary $54,500
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 40 37%
Firm Sized 11-25 10 9%
Firm Sized 26-50 3 9%
Firm Sized 101-250 1 1%
Firm Sized 251-500 1 1%
Business Industry 16 15%
Government 17 16%
Public Interest 2 2%
State Clerkship 2 2%
Academia 4 4%
Unknown Employer Type 2 2%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 8 6%
Unemployed, Seeking 5 4%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 5 4%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
CA 4%
WA 11%
OR 71%
International 1%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of Willamette University College of Law include:

  • Amanda Marshall - US Attorney for the District of Oregon
  • Mark Prater - Chief Tax Counsel, US Senate Committee on Finance
  • Virginia Linder - Justice, State of Oregon Supreme Court
  • Jay Inslee - Governor, State of Washington
  • Lisa Murkowski - U.S. Senator, State of Alaska

Associations & Memberships

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