Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

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A'nold
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby A'nold » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:48 am

Thanks everyone..........I just hope and pray that UConn came through for my financial aid wise (I think I'll be getting their aid package tomorrow). Ahhhhhhhhh! I'm so nervous.

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kimber1028
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby kimber1028 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:37 am

Good luck!!! UConn will probably give you the resources after graduation to pay back those loans, though, whereas Willamette may not. :wink:

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Mulliganstew
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby Mulliganstew » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:44 am

FWIW, Willamette seems to have self esteem problems considering they called me asking why I wanted to go there once they found out my Feb LSAT score. They essentially left a message saying "We're not sure why you'd come here. Please call us back to convince us you're serious."

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A'nold
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby A'nold » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:49 am

Mulliganstew wrote:FWIW, Willamette seems to have self esteem problems considering they called me asking why I wanted to go there once they found out my Feb LSAT score. They essentially left a message saying "We're not sure why you'd come here. Please call us back to convince us you're serious."


+1. I told them location and they threw $ at me. At least that part was nice.

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wardboro
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby wardboro » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:23 pm

A'nold wrote:
wardboro wrote:Anecdotal, but I have a good friend there who went in on a full scholarship, but lost it all after the first semester. He thought the stacked all the scholarship students into the same section. If he had known this going in, he would have chosen to pay (in-state) sticker at our local T2. He'll end up paying quite a bit more in the end for much worse job ops.



Hmmm.....thanks. I wonder how hard said student worked because with a full-ride his numbers must have been pretty good and the median LSAT there is like a 154 and the GPA like a 3.2. I know people say not to count on anything but hitting top half at a school with these MEDIAN numbers should have been cake for your friend. I know I will get grief for this but all personal evidence (law school evidence through many, many avenues) have pretty much lined up with this train of thought. Now, if you are a scholly student at like GW I can see why counting on the top 1/3 or something like that is risky because there are so many capable/intelligent students there and the subjectivity can be massive. But at a school like Willamette someone with a 153 LSAT and a 3.1 GPA (on average) probably has some major RC, Logic, and writing problems IMO that an overqualified student could easily trump on test day. Disclaimer: if they put in the effort to learn the black letter laws as well as practiced taking tests.


Maybe you didn't read my post clearly. In law school they have sections (or some variation on that) where the same students end up in the same classes for the whole semester. If you put all of the scholarship students in the same section, and your scholarship is contingent on staying in the top third, guess what...only 1/3 of the scholarship students keep their scholarships. You're graded against the people in your section, not the school at large. It's a crappy thing that some schools do. I'm not 100% sure that was the case, but that was my friend's general impression.

So the moral of the story is that in a situation like this, you're not competing against the median students, you're competing against the smartest students. I also think that it's dangerous to think that because you have X numbers that you'll end up on top of the class. IMHO a scholarship that requires staying in the top 1/3 is a first-semester/year scholarship only. I'd never take one at a school I didn't feel 100% comfortable paying sticker at for the remainder of your time. You never know where you'll end up based on your numbers (this is based on personal experience. I wasn't a slacker, I did the practice tests and I STILL ended up below where my LSAT/GPA combo places me in relation to the rest of the class.)

Honestly, Idaho is probably a lot less expensive and a lot less risky. You get in-state equivalency scholly for 1L, and you're paying next to nothing for 2L and 3L. You get lazy just one semester during 2L at Willamette, lose that full scholarship, and even one year of tuition is the same price as all 3 years at Idaho. Moscow is near Pullman which is another (larger) hopping college town (WSU) so it's not totally isolated. Reputation-wise, I think that Idaho is probably a better school, though neither is an academic powerhouse.

I hope this is helpful.

willamette
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby willamette » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:40 am

there is a decent discussion about Willamette here:
http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prel ... 16.10.html

Are you sure you really want to go to law school?

Some Willamette students transfer after the first year. here is a link to the people chosen to summer at Miller Nash (a large firm in Portland). Notice that 3 out of 4 were from Oregon schools. This year and last year a student who attended Willamette was one of the summer clerks at Miller Nash.

--LinkRemoved--

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A'nold
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby A'nold » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:45 am

To helpful dude above this stupid guy^: I would need to place in the top 55%, not top 1/3 FWIW. I totally get what you're saying though.

To troll guy: comments like "are you sure you want to go to law school?" do not pertain to me. I have been accepted to a t1 and some t2's with significant money. I would be going to Willamette virtually for free and just wanted to get a feel for what the school's rep is locally. I have no "pie in the sky" amibitions about life. Troll on.

willamette
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby willamette » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:01 am

yup - I'm a troll. I don't think that makes my comments (the ones I made the other forum about Willamette) any less valid. You'll notice my same username in the other forum.
Around this time I look at forums and see what people are saying about the school I chose to attend. The question about whether you really want to go to law school is actually a serious one. Three years from now, as you wrap up your 3rd year, you may be making the same statement to other people considering the path. The opening of the book "Law School Confidential" gives the same speech.

Where you were accepted will not matter much in a few months unless you are the type that brings it up in a conversation. I think it might be a creative touch to put where you were accepted on a resume -- just list the schools at the bottom :)

Oregon is a small community, very small. Feel free to ask any specific questions about Willamette in making your choice. My experience has been good and bad. It sounds like you will do well wherever you go. Just be ready for your goals and perspective to change. If you want to work for the gov. it is really nice to be able to walk across the street to the various govt. buildings in the area.

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platicus
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby platicus » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:58 am

My brother-in-law goes to Willamette and pretty much hates it... He was given a pretty decent scholarship but lost it quick. I applied there but only because i had a fee waiver, and the location would be nice. Oh, and the attrition rate, according to my b-i-l, is 20% for each year. Not 10%.
http://willamette.lawschoolnumbers.com/ So, scholarships are going to be much harder to keep than at other schools. I did like the feel of campus when I visited however. What happened to McGeorge? you were so gung-ho about it...

GOrion
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby GOrion » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:24 pm

After having read a lot of your postings on here, I am becoming slightly more nervous about my likely decision to attend Willamette. My LSAT was good my GPA was not. I applied to the NW schools (GU, Idaho, U of O, Lewis and Clark, and Willamette) According to all statistics I have found Willamette has a fairly high placement percentage for jobs. (93%) I'm not looking for a high powered position, more a rural community set up. Is the job scene really that tough coming out of Willamette and would I be better served in attending say Idaho for that reason?

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wardboro
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby wardboro » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:28 pm

What I wrote about Idaho to the OP (a couple 3 posts up) probably applies to about anyone. If you're just looking at small-time rural justice, I think Idaho is a great choice. It's cheap, and at least will place you in Idaho. If you lose your scholly at Willamette, you could be on the hook for a lot of money. Idaho is cheap, and I think residency for 2L and 3L is pretty easy. Good luck with your decision.

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kimber1028
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby kimber1028 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:37 pm

GOrion wrote:After having read a lot of your postings on here, I am becoming slightly more nervous about my likely decision to attend Willamette. My LSAT was good my GPA was not. I applied to the NW schools (GU, Idaho, U of O, Lewis and Clark, and Willamette) According to all statistics I have found Willamette has a fairly high placement percentage for jobs. (93%) I'm not looking for a high powered position, more a rural community set up. Is the job scene really that tough coming out of Willamette and would I be better served in attending say Idaho for that reason?


If you're looking for a government job or a job in Salem, Willamette will serve you well. The primary issue with Willamette's placement is that its grads are competing with UO and L&C grads for limited jobs in Portland. In that regard, I think that Idaho is known to have better placement, simply because there aren't a lot of competing law schools in the area (other than Gonzaga, which is also a T3). Of course, there are graduates from Willamette that have done well; I know one here in Portland who has a great corporate IP job, but he was on Law Review and in the top 5% of his class. I don't know how common that type of success is for the average Willamette grad, though.

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beaverfuzz
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby beaverfuzz » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:08 pm

I am a current Willamette 1L. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them.

Zarcita
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby Zarcita » Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:24 pm

I just went to the Willamette admitted students day. I found it really informative, the staff and professors friendly and approachable and the mock contracts class was pretty good although some people just don't know when to shut up! In talking with many of the 1Ls -they have paying jobs lined up for summer. I have been admitted to all the Oregon schools and I am seriously leaning towards Willamette, but that's because I am interested in Government work. It also helps that they have the state's highest bar passage and small class sizes with a 13:1 ratio. In one of the info Q & A panels a guy frankly asked about attrition and percent of people who loose their scholarships. They explained the attrition percentage is based on the small incoming class size (comparatively speaking to other law schools) so what is a normal amount seems like more. The admissions person also said that approximately 30% loose their scholarships. There are many things to consider but ultimately you should choose the best fit for you, both personally and financially.

djh
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby djh » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:59 am

Zarcita wrote:I just went to the Willamette admitted students day. I found it really informative, the staff and professors friendly and approachable and the mock contracts class was pretty good although some people just don't know when to shut up! In talking with many of the 1Ls -they have paying jobs lined up for summer. I have been admitted to all the Oregon schools and I am seriously leaning towards Willamette, but that's because I am interested in Government work. It also helps that they have the state's highest bar passage and small class sizes with a 13:1 ratio. In one of the info Q & A panels a guy frankly asked about attrition and percent of people who loose their scholarships. They explained the attrition percentage is based on the small incoming class size (comparatively speaking to other law schools) so what is a normal amount seems like more. The admissions person also said that approximately 30% loose their scholarships. There are many things to consider but ultimately you should choose the best fit for you, both personally and financially.


Arizona has a similar class size and their 1L attrition rate was 0%. Just saying...

djh
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby djh » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:07 am

GOrion wrote:After having read a lot of your postings on here, I am becoming slightly more nervous about my likely decision to attend Willamette. My LSAT was good my GPA was not. I applied to the NW schools (GU, Idaho, U of O, Lewis and Clark, and Willamette) According to all statistics I have found Willamette has a fairly high placement percentage for jobs. (93%) I'm not looking for a high powered position, more a rural community set up. Is the job scene really that tough coming out of Willamette and would I be better served in attending say Idaho for that reason?


Be really careful taking these numbers at face value. When a school says they have 93% of grads who have secured jobs, it does not necessarily mean they are legal jobs or even related. Someone who is working in "Business or Industry" could be both in house council for Microsoft or flipping burgers at Wendy's, and one is considered to be working in "Academia" if they are a part time RA. Also, everyone who responded to say what type of employment they are currently in did not necessarily give their salary info, so median/average salaries are also suspect. Ask specific questions about these numbers. Remember, first and foremost these are places of business; treat them as you would a car salesmen.

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Tehpokerstar
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby Tehpokerstar » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:29 pm

i was at the Willamette admitted students day as well. The dean can barely speak english! I felt everything he said about the school could be applied to any other (better) school. Plus the teacher for Contracts class was so snooty and ripped on people for not knowing whats important (although expected). Willamette has a nice facility, nice people(sorta) but I just can't seem to pull the trigger on this school. Willamette's third fiddle in a small legal market makes schools like Golden Gate justifiable to attend!

Zarcita
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby Zarcita » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:33 am

Tehpokerstar wrote:i was at the Willamette admitted students day as well. The dean can barely speak english! I felt everything he said about the school could be applied to any other (better) school. Plus the teacher for Contracts class was so snooty and ripped on people for not knowing whats important (although expected). Willamette has a nice facility, nice people(sorta) but I just can't seem to pull the trigger on this school. Willamette's third fiddle in a small legal market makes schools like Golden Gate justifiable to attend!


Seriously? Just because someone has an accent they can barely speak English? :roll: Also in terms of the contracts class, I don't think he was rude at all. I think he was honest and trying to show people you cant just go to a law school class and offer your opinion. No one cares, especially the court. Additionally if you recall, the only time he got a little tough is when people kept saying something was in the case that was not. He just asked them to find what they were stating as fact. If you think thats mean I hope you toughen up before next fall. Further classifying Willamette with Golden Gate is absurd. Willamette is not perfect, far from it, however clearly it works well for some people.

djh wrote:Arizona has a similar class size and their 1L attrition rate was 0%. Just saying...


Good point, I will ask admissions about the attrition and point to that ASU info..did you get it from LSN?

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Tehpokerstar
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby Tehpokerstar » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:05 pm

Oh I understand! The reason I thought he was harsh was because he talked over a few people. But then again, I should expect that. Don't get me wrong, I was just amused at the number of gunners already there and pretending to know what they are talking about. Did you volunteer to speak? Where were you sitting?

The professor was hilarious at times, so I'll give him kudos for entertaining me ;) just kiddingg!!

willamette
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby willamette » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:40 pm

I am going to guess the contracts prof was Runkel. He can be short with students, but he covers the information very well and is straight forward about what he expects on the exam.

My two cents on Willamette and job prospects: It seems like you need to have a plan and backup plans when you attend the school. Here is one that I think might work. Keep in mind, this is very Willamette specific and I am sure there are many ways to do this. This is what I would do if I were repeating law school under some horrific "groundhog day" scenario.
1. First semester - in order to get a summer job you have to focus on your classes. Without belaboring these points, you should place equal emphasis on 1) properly preparing for class and outlining 2) networking with second and third year students for past notes and outlines and 3) practicing actual exams before thanksgiving. (consider taking Leews)
2. Second semester - start looking for clerkships. The best way to do this is to talk with upper level students and find out what they are doing. Many students get jobs because the past clerk points them in the direction and mentions something to the employer. The Department of Justice usually hires a large number of clerks, as do the DA offices in the region. As a backup you should be prepared to work as an extern - the DOJ hires externs and some judges will hire externs.
3. Third semester. If you got a DOJ job you will be working through the school year and likely until you graduate. Similar situation for DA's offices. This is also the time to run the gauntlet of OCI (on campus interviews). Ultimately 5-10 people get jobs through OCI out of the 30-40 that participate, so good luck. I think this ratio is pretty common across Oregon schools. THIS SEMESTER IS A GOOD SEMESTER to look into externships with the DOJ or with the Oregon Supreme Court/Oregon court of Appeals / Marion County DA - these are great experiences and literally two blocks away from campus. If you did not work for the summer it is a great way to put legal experience on your resume. It also gives you a chance to check out the public sector jobs without making a 1 year or more commitment.
4. Fourth Semester - not many private jobs unless you find out by word of mouth. Be sure to talk to professors, they sometimes have contacts. This is when the DA's offices and Public Defenders interview for Rule 9 jobs. These usually run through the summer and your third year. The upside is you get to be a real attorney (negotiate and conduct jury trials) the down side is that you will be working and handling trials while attending/skipping classes. The DA and defender jobs come from Clark County (Vancouver), Multnomah County (Portland), Marion County (Salem) and Washington County (Beaverton).
5. Fifth and Sixth semesters - many people have clerkships by this point, others participate in clinic or externships to get legal experience. Word of mouth and the occasional posted job are the main avenues for post school employment. At this point a quick survey of 3rd year students would show that almost everyone has some unique story as to how they found a job and/or what they intend to do after school.

In short - the opportunities are available through Willamette, but your performance in school, your ability to make friends and network (a skill required for any career), and your choices/luck during law school will be the key factors in finding a job. It is arguable that Oregon and Lewis and Clark have larger alumni networks and therefore provide more opportunities; however, all comments about this seem anecdotal. All three schools have alumni spattered throughout Oregon.

feel free to ignore the common sense statements in this post and focus on the region specific information.

djh
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby djh » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:36 am

Zarcita wrote:
Tehpokerstar wrote:i was at the Willamette admitted students day as well. The dean can barely speak english! I felt everything he said about the school could be applied to any other (better) school. Plus the teacher for Contracts class was so snooty and ripped on people for not knowing whats important (although expected). Willamette has a nice facility, nice people(sorta) but I just can't seem to pull the trigger on this school. Willamette's third fiddle in a small legal market makes schools like Golden Gate justifiable to attend!


Seriously? Just because someone has an accent they can barely speak English? :roll: Also in terms of the contracts class, I don't think he was rude at all. I think he was honest and trying to show people you cant just go to a law school class and offer your opinion. No one cares, especially the court. Additionally if you recall, the only time he got a little tough is when people kept saying something was in the case that was not. He just asked them to find what they were stating as fact. If you think thats mean I hope you toughen up before next fall. Further classifying Willamette with Golden Gate is absurd. Willamette is not perfect, far from it, however clearly it works well for some people.

djh wrote:Arizona has a similar class size and their 1L attrition rate was 0%. Just saying...


Good point, I will ask admissions about the attrition and point to that ASU info..did you get it from LSN?


University of Arizona, not ASU. I got it from (http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchRes ... BA4832.pdf) but I think LSN reports the same.

GOrion
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby GOrion » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:43 am

I also was at the preview day. This is purely my feeling so feel free to disregard if you like.
I thought the professor was simply professional. He did not treat the "class" with kid gloves but I don't think it would be a good education if he did. In fact I was one of those who spoke up and received a less than warm fuzzy but very appropriate reaction from the professor when I ever so rudely tried to interject at a later moment. Overall I went away mildly embarrassed of my actions but with a strong feeling for the school and its potential for my future.
Correct me if this is a naive statement, but I feel I can get back what I put into my education and I'll get what I'm looking for.

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Tehpokerstar
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby Tehpokerstar » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:40 pm

let me guess you were that guy in the back-row, the bald one?

GOrion
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby GOrion » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:57 pm

No I was stage right. beard kinda short.

On a different note: I'm planning on being In Alaska over the summer. The book list won't be available until I will already be far too remote to receive mail. Does the book list change drastically from year to year? and if not can anyone shed some light on books I should be looking for at a discounted price? Any info would be very helpful.

gatorchomp
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Re: Tell me all you know about Willamette Law School.........

Postby gatorchomp » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:58 pm

Willamette - I read your posts on LSD from last year. Thank you for the helpful insider info. Your comments are the only ones on either site concerning willamette that are not hearsay and hasty conclusions drawn from USNEWS "circular" rankings (I call them "circular" because they resemble logical circularity, such as in a 'begging the question' argument-- they rank schools mostly on entering student LSAT, but students with high LSAT's go to the higher ranked school, etc. BTW - CalHastings was once in the top20, didn't report one year, fell out of the top 20, and haven't been back since due to "circular rankings"-- how's that for a quick indictment?!)

I performed some pretty in-depth research on the three oregon schools. I share the results here:


I searched Martindale-Hubbell for working Oregon attys from each school:

Willamette 1,449
Oregon 1,733
L&C 925

This is pretty surprising, Willamette with THAT many more alum working as lawyers than L&C. Even more surprising is the result of taking into account the number of JD's each school graduates each year. Willamette graduates around 150, L&C around 225, and Oregon around 170. These are the numbers most relevant to prospective 1Ls who want to know what their chances of become an attorney in Oregon actually are.

There's another atty grading service, AVVO. AVVO grades are as follows:

Willamette: 6.91
Oregon: 6.92
L&C: 6.77

Again, surprising. Looking at things from the "real world" end of it, Willamette seems no less adequate than the other Oregon schools.

Ok, so, employment, schempschployment, right? How about quality of education?

Well, I looked at the course offerings, and they are extremely comparable between all three schools. In fact, I didn't find a single class at L&C or Oregon that I would want to take that was not offered at Willamette. Look for yourself!

Then, I looked at the libraries. At Lewis&Clark, there are 385 library seats for 719 law students. Reading that, I can instantly see the hassle I would go through EVERY time I need to use the library (which would also be at the same times most students will need it)-- the lines, crowdedness, the frustration at the people who aren't actively using their space. Willamette's library, while having more than twice the square footage, has 492 seats for 424 students. Think maybe that sounds more pleasant? I thought so.

Also, L&C has many more titles and pubs in their library, but when you subtract the more than 50% that are specifically for IntProp law and add in the Willamette student's easy access to state supreme court law library, among others, and perspective rains again; Willamette appears even better.

Willamette also appears to have a greater proportion of professors who graduated from the T14, whereas L&C tends to have professors who graduated from L&C.

So why does USNEWS rank the schools the way that they do? I mentioned it at the top of this little diddy, it's the median LSAT, which I have already explained evidences a vicious cycle where USNEWS rankings reinforce themselves. Also don't forget the "prestige" ratings, where lawyers and law school faculty that don't know much about Willamette, but still have an interest in their school coming out ahead will tend to grade them down, for analogous example, see: the coaches college football poll by USAToday. BTW, the prestige ratings are also circular, as people often vote based on what the schools previous rankings have been. It is an imposed reality, not an inherent one. How did L&C get in the lead? Well, I think we see why every time some person who really doesn't know much comments on Willamette Law-- it's in Salem--yuck! L&C is in Portland--yeah! Exactly.

Another issue I have is with the "harsh" curve that everyone whines about. My feeling is that you want an enforced curve, because you want your class rank to be reflective of you, your talents, and your efforts. What if you're attending L&C, and you get the hard professor for a class that someone else gets the "everybody gets a gold star" professor for? Then a student who really didn't do as well as you will get a better grade, a higher class rank, and better job prospects. A forced curve makes sure we're comparing apples to apples. As an average interviewer who doesn't have any legal networking connections, I need to be able to distinguish myself by my class rank. L&C scares me because it seems a lot more like "chips falling where they may," then building my own bridge to a solid career. Add to all of this the fact that at Willamette I will mostly be up against students who are not accustomed to performing at the same high academic level that I am. My undergrad GPA (which I know was earned in difficult courses I purposely took in order to challenge and educate myself) well exceeds that of my average entering fellow classmate. While that doesn't really mean much, what's that old saying in basketball-- "you still have to go out there and put the ball through the hoop," I still like my chances there versus going up against a group containing a much greater proportion of people who are accustomed to achieving at or above the level that I am. LSAT scores are just plain irrelevant. If they truly spoke of a person's ability, there would not/could not be such a variance in one person's scores (mine, for example), because ability doesn't change.

One more thing, kind of irrelevant. Both Willamette and L&C are very prestigious private universities. But, Willamette law is a part of Willamette university's campus, while L&C law is separate from their campus. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see that Willamette will be much more comfortable (physically and aesthetically speaking, of course).

If you are not considering IntProp law or Envirnomental law, I would think twice before choosing L&C over Willamette.

I've neglected to discuss UOregon, mostly because L&C and Willamette are much more comparable. UOregon clearly stands as its state's best law school, I don't care what USNEWS says.

So, yeah, I'd feel very good about going to Willamette Law-- as an entering 1L, I certainly do. I also think Gonzaga gets the short-end in relation to SeattleU, but that's another diddy.




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