Oregonians have long known that they live in a special state. Stunning natural beauty, no sales tax, great coffee, and more than 150 breweries all provide compelling reasons to make Oregon your home. The rest of the nation is hip to the secret though, and the popular show 'Portlandia' has helped the state draw interest from across the nation as a destination for the trendy.
If you are interested in studying law in Oregon there are several options. The schools costs are quite similar, but each school is located in a different city and some schools have a strong reputation for a particular kind of legal practice.
The following article provides an overview of Oregon's three American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools and provides some basic information to help you determine which school is the right one for you.
Lewis and Clark Law School is located in Portland, the state's largest urban center, though the school grounds are adjacent to a forested state park. The school is known for its environmental law program, and the school's part-time program is also widely respected. Previously the highest ranked school in the state by U.S. News & World Report's annual law school rankings, since 2012 the school's overall rank has plummeted. The administration insists that this is due to declines in the job market for lawyers overall, though the University of Oregon's rankings have remained relatively constant through the same period.
Although this may be cause for some concern there are still compelling reasons to choose to study at Lewis and Clark, particularly its location in Portland.
The University of Oregon School of Law is the only state funded law school. It is located in Eugene, the state's second largest city. The school is currently the highest-ranked law program in the state, yet strangely, it also has the lowest post-graduation employment figures.
The University of Oregon will be most attractive to students interested in pursuing the public interest side of environmental law. A concentration and LLM are offered and the school hosts an annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference and has student groups, alumni, and other organizations that focus on environmental issues and activism.
Willamette University College of Law is located in the state capital, Salem. It is the lowest-ranked of the state's accredited law schools. However, post-graduation employment figures for Willamette are often as strong or stronger than its competitors. Furthermore, the school's longstanding Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program is widely respected.
Continue Planning Law School
Choosing a school is just the first of a number of important decisions you'll make in the process of completing your education and getting a start in your career as a lawyer. Along the way you'll want tips for succeeding in your courses, preparing for the bar exam, and choosing a satisfying area of practice. FindLaw's Law Students section includes articles to help you find the right answers to these and other important questions.