U of Oregon

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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U of Oregon

Postby usuaggie » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:46 pm

not a lot of talk on here about Oregon. Any current/former students?

I'm curious about:
why is the quality of life high?
is the student body competitive?
quality of professors?
career placement/assistance by the school?
ability to leave to washington/cali for a job?
is it worth the tuition?
what other schools would you compare it to?


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Re: U of Oregon

Postby yo! » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:11 pm

Well, since we seem to be answering eachother's threads and no one else seems eager to help, I'll give my .02. I have visited Eugene, done some research about the school, and have an app in myself. So my advice is probably worth what you are paying for it, but here goes:

I'm curious about:
why is the quality of life high? I thought it was extremely high. When I was there, it seemed like a pretty fun college town with beautiful surroundings. And Portland isn't very far away. For me, it is a nice change from the dry and dusty San Joaquin Valley, where I have always lived.

is the student body competitive? Can't help here. But my guess is no.

quality of professors? Don't know from first hand experience, but they seem to be solid. If you want to know their credentials, request information from the school and they will mail you a pretty nice catalog.

career placement/assistance by the school? It is something that the school advertises, but you'd be better off talking to a student/alum to answer this.

ability to leave to washington/cali for a job? Virtually none as far as I know. But you could probably leave after working for a few years and gaining some experience.

is it worth the tuition? I think so, because tuition is relatively cheap. But most on here don't believe any T2 school is worth sticker. It depends what you want out of law school. You won't likely become rich as an Oregon grad, but you can survive and pay off your loans eventually. They have a LRAP program if you are considering public interest work.

what other schools would you compare it to? In which way? For ranking, just look at other schools in the USNWR 70-100 range. The most obvious comparison is Lewis & Clark, which appears better in most ways. However, it is more expensive and harder to get into.


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Re: U of Oregon

Postby duckfan00 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:41 pm

Additionally...Solid choice if you are interested in Environmental law career...

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Re: U of Oregon

Postby kimber1028 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:13 pm

I'm a 1L at Oregon, and I would be happy to answer some of your questions.

Why is the quality of life high?

Oregonians are laid back, and the school reflects that. There is a lot of natural beauty here, and students have the opportunity to escape the school and relax in the outdoors. That being said, it rains quite a bit, so some don't get out much during the majority of the year. I've also noticed that students here make family and friends a high priority, even though we're busy, so students tend to have a more balanced lifestyle than I would imagine prevails at other law schools.

Also, Eugene is a good town to go to school in. It's large enough to have fun, but small enough to focus. I've found that Eugene really offers the best of both worlds academically and socially, and I found that true in undergrad here as well as my first semester of law school.

Is the student body competitive?

No. The student body tends to be more cooperative than anything. During the semester, a lot of kids were out sick, and fellow students helped with notes and stuff as much as possible. There are a lot of study groups here, though I didn't personally participate in one. There is definitely a collaborative attitude among the students in general, and the sections in particular. We also didn't have too many outspoken gunners, though we definitely have students who want to do well and are working tremendously hard behind the scenes. I felt like most of the people (in my section, at least) worked really hard all term; there were only one or two people who kind of slacked off.

Quality of professors?

Fantastic. I was extremely impressed with our professors. The vast majority are T14 educated, yet accessible enough to answer students' questions whenever necessary. The laid-back Oregon attitude translates to professors, too, for the most part - many aren't overly formal, and they aren't as intimidating as I expected them to be in the beginning. A lot of my professors last term have written supplements and so forth, and are recognized nationally as experts in their fields. LRW is more difficult here than at other schools, but the LRW professors go above and beyond to teach the nuances of writing that you'll need to know for practice. I was told by a professor at the school that we come out of 1st semester LRW better prepared for research and writing than she was when she graduated from CLS.

Career placement/assistance by the school?

The Career Services office here is as helpful as you'd like them to be. You will have to exert the effort, though. We have access to Symplicity, and there are several CS events to attend each semester for info on specific areas of practice as well as general job info. A counselor will also meet with you to go over job prospects, resumes, etc. if you schedule an appointment after November 1st. Overall, I think CS does a fair job, though I'm not certain they're as actively involved with students' job searches as some schools are.

Ability to leave to Washington/Cali for a job?

It's rare, but it happens. The problem with WA is that it's a small legal market, and most jobs will be taken by UW/Seattle grads, with UW having a distinct advantage over the rest of the PNW law schools. CA is oversaturated with attorneys due to the number of law schools it has. If you perform well, you'll probably be able to practice in those states, but if you aren't highly ranked, I'm not sure it would be a possibility without at least some work experience first. If you have contacts in WA/CA who could help you with employment, that's the best way to get into those markets. CS will focus mostly on Oregon jobs, though Simplicity has listings around the country. You will have to do most of the legwork to get summer jobs in those states, as CS won't have much information about offerings outside OR.

Is it worth the tuition?

Yes. I would actually pay more to go to school here v. another T2 school at sticker. Based on conversations I've had with attorneys in Oregon and the quality I've seen at the school, UO is underpriced for its reputation and the value received. An in-state student will save $10,000/yr here v. the OR private schools, and an out-of-stater will still save a significant amount of cash attending UO v. a private school. Unless you have the opportunity for hefty scholarship money from another T2, I think UO is a good way to cut expenses. The LRAP program is great, if you're interested in PI work. If you perform well, you can actually make quite a bit coming out of UO by working at a firm, but your chances will of course be dependent on grades (think Oregon firms only and top 20%).

What other schools would you compare it to?

L&C is the obvious choice, since the OR market is basically made up of L&C and UO grads, with some Willamette kids sprinkled throughout. Personally, I think that UO is better than L&C because of its professors, legal writing program, tuition rates, and atmosphere. I was less than impressed when I sat in on a few classes at L&C - the professors I saw personally were monotonous and apathetic. I have experienced the opposite at UO, where I actually enjoyed going to the majority of my classes each day. The LRW program is ranked #6 in the nation, which is more helpful than most people know. The tuition rates are low. The main difference in atmosphere at L&C v. UO, IMO, is that L&C struck me as a commuter law school - when I visited, most of the people I talked to lived in the suburbs and just traveled to L&C for class. At UO, there is more of a connection to the campus, and most students spend a significant amount of time here. That may not matter to many, but it was important for me.

I also visited Seattle and thought about attending school there, but I found UO to be better for me personally. One thing quite different about Seattle (and L&C, for that matter) v. UO is that the scholarship renewal requirements are much more difficult than at UO. Seattle requires that you stay in the top third of your class, while UO simply requires a 2.0, which is good academic standing. The curve here is a 2.7, so it ensures that virtually everyone can keep their scholarship for all three years.

As far as Willamette, don't consider it if you got into UO. There is forced attrition, a scholarship won't make up for the lack of employment prospects, and most Oregon firms focus on recruiting from UO, L&C, UW, and T14s, meaning that Willamette grads often get left in the lurch unless they were top 5% or something.

Let me know if you have any additional questions!

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