Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: maesepedro on March 08, 2008, 02:05:45 PM

Title: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: maesepedro on March 08, 2008, 02:05:45 PM
I'm returning the PNW and want to school in Oregon.  If I were concerned purely with ranking, I wouldn't necessarily even ask anyone to break down Oregon's three schools but if anyone has any first-hand, salient distinctions to offer up in narrowing down a choice between the 3, that would be great.
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: siski on March 08, 2008, 02:56:42 PM
What sort of law are you interested in?
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: sirbarron on March 08, 2008, 03:09:48 PM
I attend L & C, which I like very much, but I've heard from Willamette transfers to L & C that Willamette has a forced purge at the end of every year and that they just didn't enjoy it there at all. Sorry for the confusing sentence.
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: maesepedro on March 09, 2008, 09:14:08 PM
thanks for the feedback sirbarron.  i wouldn't mind being next door to tryon park either.  do you find as many transfers from oregon as you do willamette?  that purge at willamette does make you wonder if each student is properly stewarded their first year.  siskiyoumtn, i'm pretty interested in international law but am also entertaining the notion of public advocacy / defense work...given the green tendencies of u of o and l&c, neither overwhelmingly jump out v willamette in the direction i'm heading.  plus, professorially, i don't know of many great distinctions between the three.  it doesn't seem like l&c or oregon are necessarily going to put that many more people into portland than willamette within similar class rankings so maybe it just boils down to quality of life, pdx v salem v eugene, especially considering i hope to work in oregon. anyway, i'd be interested to hear more about your experience in sw portland, sirbarron.   
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: cisforcookie on March 10, 2008, 04:08:43 AM
i have heard that the hiring market in the pacific nw for lawyers sucks. it's not a large legal center, and there are many students from top-ranked schools who want to move there for lifestyle reasons, so it can be very competitive. best of luck to you.
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: nikos13 on March 10, 2008, 10:41:21 AM
i have heard that the hiring market in the pacific nw for lawyers sucks. it's not a large legal center, and there are many students from top-ranked schools who want to move there for lifestyle reasons, so it can be very competitive. best of luck to you.

I have also heard this over and over...which is pushing me away from attending L&C
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: Clayton on March 10, 2008, 11:49:20 AM
I wish I had the OP's choice.

Accepted at Willamette, waitlisted at Oregon, deferred at L&C.


I have to make a decision for either Texas Tech or Willamette. Which means either staying in Texas for the rest of my life or moving to the pacific NW. UofO is my top choice.
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: bangadingdong on March 10, 2008, 12:57:33 PM

Clayton:

Even if you go to Texas, you don't have to stay there for the rest of your life.  Law School + 3-5 years to get your feet wet with practical experience.  Then you can move and have a shot at getting a job elsewhere.

From everything I've heard, your alma mater matters less and less after the first few years after school.  I mean, it would still be great to have a top 14 on your resume for all eternity, but your experience and professional references will mean more.

Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: sirbarron on March 10, 2008, 02:43:59 PM
You know I'm sure there are kids from highly ranked schools coming into Portland and taking jobs away from Oregon school kids, but I just haven't seen this, certainly not enough to comfirm that if you graduate from L & C you'll be behind T14ers. I've not met many attorneys here that were from out of state. The legal market is small but I'd say L & C places just as well, if not better, than big out of state schools. By the way, L & C has been a great experience for me and I've really enjoyed living in the city.
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: Clayton on March 10, 2008, 10:46:35 PM
I really want to live in the PNW, but it's hard choosing Willamette over Tech because Tech has the better law school.
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: UCLAStarshield on March 10, 2008, 11:44:05 PM
Yeah, I only applied to UO, as a backup in case I decide to stay in Oregon (living in Eugene now).

Earlier today I spoke with a partner at one of Portland's largest law firms, and one of Vault's top 5 in the PNW.  He  mentioned that they always recruit from L&C, Willamette, and UO, because they are Oregon schools and their students learn Oregon laws.  However, they also recruit from T25 schools.  Do they have a preference?  No.  They care more about your ranking at the schools than if you're from a T25 or in Oregon.

One thing he mentioned off hand, that I'm sure has in impact on why we don't see Portland or Seattle over-run with T25 lawyers: lower pay.  The PNW is usually less expensive to live than many parts of the country.  PNW firms are not offering the 160-170k you'd earn in bigger markets.

Just some thoughts.
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: willamette on April 01, 2008, 07:18:28 PM
I think UCLAStarshield makes a good point.  Think about your salary coming out and the loans you will have to take.  If money is not an issue LC gives you great opportunities.  It is the largest school in Oregon (I think) and it seems like the alumni network is big in portland.  Most of the interview teams you encounter in portland will have at least 1 or 2 "LCers."  Willamette and UofO also have alum networks, but my personal opinion is that there are generally more people around who went to LC.

If you want to work in govt. consider Willamette - keep in mind that you may end up commuting to Salem if you want to live in Portland.  You can click on my name and look at other posts I have made about Willamette (I am a "trolling" student who is enjoyng my studies at willamette and happy with the opportunities available) 

Also, I think only 5 or 6 2ls this year from Willamette were hired in the uber firms (50+) in Downtown portland.  They only interview the top 25 percent (out of around 140 students), so the hiring rate for those who are able to interview is usually somewhere around 10-20 percent (not very good).  I dont know anything about Lewis and Clark, but I do know that one of the people who attended Willamette for the first year (probably for very little money) was able to transfer to Lewis and Clark did land a job in one of the "top" firms.  Maybe this was the same person sharing thier negative views of the school they left.  I do not imagine many transfers have all positive things to say about thier ex :)

Does anyone know how many people were hired at firms with more than 50 attorneys in Portland from the Lewis and Clark 2l class? I could be wrong, but I think the Oregon average for OCI in the fall for 2ls is around 10-15 percent (keep in mind that this is 10-15 percent of the 25 percent that are eligible to apply).  I heard from an unreliable source that the big firms let the top 30% apply from other schools.

When you are choosing a school add up all of the loans you are going to have to take out and look at your chances for ending up in the top 5-10 percent of the class in order to compete for a high paying job.  If you do not get hired by one of these big firms you can expect to make very little during the summer and, after graduation, work for 30-50k (this is a guesstimate) a year until you can "lateral" to one of the big firms.

These boards often talk about BIGLAW a lot when considering schools.  Frankly, very few students in Oregon follow this path (high paying summer with an offer at the beginning of the 3l year).  Think about what you will do if you are part of the rest.  The loans will be the same, regardless, and your co-workers may be people who chose lower ranked schools and have a lot less to pay off.

Another perk about Lewis and Clark is that the US Attorney office in Portland hires 4 or 5 students a year to work there.  If you are interested in Federal Criminal work this looks like a great opportunity. There also seem to be quite a few smaller firms that hire part time school year - full time summer for lewis and clark clerks -- the school also has a good judicial clerkship network.  they also have a cool business clinic that is in downtown portland.

good luck -- once again -- look long and hard at the loans - think about what else you could do with the money -- and choose a law school that will provide the best and most cost efficient experience. Think about other experiences too, it is not too late to go to art school, music school, culinary school, or europe...
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: El_Che on April 01, 2008, 07:57:32 PM
Thanks for the post willamette, lots of good info on there :)
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: cyberslap on April 06, 2008, 08:59:27 PM
I would reiterate most of Willamette's comments.  I'm a 2L at willamette and have had great success - I work at a top Portland firm (100+ attorneys) and don't feel bad at all about attending Willamette.  Here are a few musings about my experience:

- Professors are top tier (90%+ graduated from T14 schools in the top of their class and held prestigious jobs out of school) and generally care about students.  Like most professors, if you just go talk to them they're more than willing to be very supportive.  I went to a smaller undergraduate school and was used to very close relations with professors, but I think some of my classmates from larger schools who aren't used to just saddling up to professors have a bit harder time feeling supported as students.

- Students are a mixed bag - about 50% are quite dedicated and have fairly defined career paths...they go after what they want and have generally achieved that.  The other 50% seemed to have gone to law school because they didn't know what to do next.  I've heard a similar environment exists at U of O.  Can't speak to L&C.

- Willamette is definitely #1 in Oregon if you're looking for government expertise...between the Law and Government program and the capitol/Supreme Court across the street, the opportunities for experience during school are endless.  My good friend worked for the governor, and almost everyone I know who wanted to clerk for a Supreme Court or Court of Appeals judge got an externship with no problems.

- L&C has a geographical edge with getting into the portland jobs market.  If you go to Willamette and want to work in Portland, I would recommend living in South Portland/North salem/Keizer and commute (about 35-50 mins for me living in South Portland).

- Hey, we're back in the Third Tier...and only about 20-30 spots behind Oregon in absolute terms...so no more malaise about being in the 4th tier :).

- Since Willamette is Third Tier, scholarships for good academic incoming 1Ls (especially from different geographical regions than PNW) are excellent.  And, after a good first year my scholarship was upped by $8000...so there is a drive to retain good students.

- Also, since Willamette is Third Tier and doesn't get the world's best students, your chances of being in the top 20% (and therefore your employment chances) are better....this makes a HUGE difference with employers...and they generally don't distinguish between rankings of students from UofO, Will, and L&C.

- The administration seems driven to raise Willamette's stature....whether students/professors believe in the steps take is another thing altogether.   And, the proof is that in terms of bar passage, quality of students accepted, etc...from the time Symeoniedies (Dean - sp?) started at Willamette, they've gone up most years.  We had a bad hiccup year with employment/bar numbers a few years ago, but the trend has generally been up.
Title: Re: Lewis&CLark v Oregon v Willamette?
Post by: willamette on April 07, 2008, 06:51:11 PM
keep in mind. cyberslap is the exception, not the norm.  Most of those who attend Willamette will not walk into 100+ attorney firms (unless you commit a terrible crime and need a really good lawyer).  As is inferred in the post - cyberslap is very good at networking both inside and outside the school.  Look at Willamette from the perspective that you may end up in the top 20 percent, but if you do not -- there are still many opportunities.