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Author Topic: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?  (Read 7863 times)

Naliamegod

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 05:46:10 PM »
Salem is the capital, so if you want to get involved in Oregon State politics then thats a good place to be.

willamette

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2008, 10:59:07 PM »
I will soon be a 3L at Willamette.  I applied and attended back when it was a tier 3.  That said, few people I talk to outside of the applicant and academic pool noticed the drop or care about the tier issue - the same number of students got jobs at "big law" as before the school was a tier 4. While I would concede that Salem is not a good playground for an undergrad student or a Law student that needs to get away (see other discussions about nearby attractions as rebuttal).  Willamette Law is an excellent playground for real legal experience.  The Law schools sits within walking distance from (1) the department of justice (usually hires heavy for jobs and externships) (2) the Oregon Supreme and Appellate courts (also hire a number of externs for both supreme and appellate court judges) and (3) the legislature (for students that like that arena) and (4) the Marion County courthouse.  Also, the Oregon Law commission is housed at Willamette (they won the bid out of the three schools and they are remodeling a new building).  Anybody that wants trial, appellate, or govt. experience has a great opportunity to find work.  I have not conducted a study, but I think it would be safe to say that over half of any class works at one of these institutions during their time at WUCL.  From class you can walk 5 minutes to watch a criminal trial or 5 minutes to watch oral appellate arguments, or 5 minutes to watch "legislative stuff."

As with any law school, your experience will be up to you, your ability to handle uncertainty and fatigue, and what you want out of law school.  Keep in mind that the class selection and curve may not be up to par with other schools, but these drawbacks (I think) are outweighed by the excellent professors (both full time and adjunct) and the opportunities available to those who work hard and network a little.

I like the cafeteria.

ColvilleWA

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2008, 11:53:11 PM »
If you look at partner listings in Portland firms, You can find just as many Willamette Grads as LC and UO Grads.  Go to Willamette.

colleenwallaw

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2008, 12:51:51 PM »
I'll be a 1L at Willamette this fall. I just moved to Salem from NY a couple of months ago, and really like the campus and Oregon in general. Anyone else planning on starting in August?

maesepedro

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2008, 01:34:51 PM »
thinking about it...i drove through salem's "downtown" earlier this week on a trip out west...needless to say, the greyhound station and the local kohl's as focal points left a little to be desired.  :-\

i'm sure there's more of a funky / hip row of coffeehouses etc. somewhere near campus that i missed, right??  given that the school was pretty empty due to spring break, i'm not sure it was the best frame through which to picture life in salem as a 1L...

colleenwallaw

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2008, 02:20:35 PM »
Granted I come from a town of 5,000, I have enjoyed living in Salem the short time I've been here (I'm currently working full time for OR state government, which seems to look highly on Willamette Law from what I can tell), and haven't felt deprived of too much. But its definitely overshadowed by Portland, which is ~45 minutes away.  I feel like that could be to my advantage in that I won't be too distracted by the surroundings and will be better able to buckle down and study. Also the cost of living is CONSIDERABLY cheaper than in Portland. There are quite a few coffee houses downtown, and there is a student run bistro on campus right across the road from the law school thats convenient enough. But Salem is really dead this week, b/c both the university and all of the schools are on break- it's not usually this quiet :).

willamette

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2008, 01:53:35 PM »
Willamettesucks has provided an interesting perspective.  Let me see if I can summarize and respond (I feel a little silly responding to the flame, but I am looking for a way to avoid studying this morning for a little while - I already read slashdot):

1) Partners at Portand firms attended Willamette like 10 years ago.
---this is insightful, and I have to agree.  I guess Willamettesucks would like you to know that you will not become partner immediately following graduation if you attend Willamette. So, if you want to be hired as partner right after you graduate(would you call this "first year partner"?). Remove Willamette from your list.   Better advice might be that it is hard to break into large firms or get hired as a summer associate from Willamette.  I am not sure if it is "harder" than the other schools in the PNW (I imagine UW has a serious edge).  Oregon is a competitive legal market and very few people make it through Fall On Campus interviews (OCI) with a job.  I am not sure how this compares to other schools, but I think OCI results are similarly dismal at other schools (correct me with facts if I am wrong).  However, I am always surprised to find out how many people have jobs in smaller firms and with the department of justice, Marion county, and other local government entities.  Legal jobs do not rely on merits as much as I imagined, wherever you go you may need to use soft factors to get hired (friends, family, church, clubs, bars, myspace, facebook, professors, buddies, enemies, and ANY other connection you can identify).

2) Professors complain about the treatment of students at Willamette.
--- I agree.  Take this statement and place it in context.  Professors likely could be commiserating with students that come into their office and complain about the school.  Chances are these student do not sit well on the curve.  Law school is filled with people who can be critical and sometimes judge others.  Correction, life is filled with people who can be critical and sometimes judge others.  In my experience you can expect the same amount of meanness, niceness, complainingness, discontentedness, and willamettesucksedness at Willamette as many other schools (no facts or stats to back this up, just a hunch).  Law school is hard, the going will be tough wherever you attend.  I would like to see an empirical study indicating that professors complain less at other schools in the PNW.  Either way, the professors at Willamette are (1) smart (2) have an open door policy (3) and will openly discuss almost any topic with a student: the law, positive things, and negative things.

3) The curve is steep and some students get kicked out.
The cited 30% rate probably includes students who transfer, decide not to return, and leave for personal reasons.  Either way, I can't soften this one.  It does happen.  I think Willamette should allow students to get a JD even if it is substantially likely they are not going to pass the bar.  I also think that upper division electives should not be curved.  This is because I am taking a lot of upper division electives right now.  You will have to work hard to succeed at Willamette.  Once again, I am not sure if other schools in the PNW require you to work less hard in order to achieve the same results.  I do know that Idaho has a program to help students that struggle.  I wish Willamette had something like this.  So, if you plan to struggle - be aware that Willamette is a possibly sterner struggle for strugglers.  On the other hand, I have noticed that students tend to help each other with notes, outlines, study groups, and general support.

4) All other general negative statements.
--- Response - insert general positive statements here.  Willamette has the same happy crap that any school has. Remember, you are going to attend law school, regardless of what they tell you, fun will not be prioritized over rigorous study.  They could probably deliver the medicine with a little more sugar here in Salem; then again, do you really need a sugar coating?  Willamette is just as sweet and sour as any environment you choose to occupy for your late 20s (or early 30s), and as with anything, your individual experience, attitude, intelligence, height, and personality will determine more than the environment.  AND - if you can keep your GPA above the median, you will come out with significantly less debt (a gamble that should be determined by your confidence in your abilities).

Willamettesucks - thank you for taking the time to create an account and post your views.  If you are a law student, I would suggest you insert some more "becauses" into your scentences - you'll get more points (its all in the analysis baby).

Rebuttal?  Maybe you could name these jaded alums in the PNW that you speak of?  Do you know of anyone that enjoyed their studies at WUCL - I could probably find quite a few people willing to admit to happiness while at Willamette.  What do Recruiters in Portland say about Willamette? 


In my case - it was not such a difficult decision to attend a lower ranked school for a lot less money -- Looking back, I might have paid full price for the experience I am having here at WUCL.  My decision has not removed any opportunity a higher ranked school in the PNW may have provided.

Also - If you care about rankings, I would be more concerned about UofO when it comes to decline.  Regardless, Defining reputation is not a very productive use of time unless you have the ability to poll and survey and fudge and spend.
-- Back to finals...

Clayton

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2008, 06:28:37 PM »
My biggest fear about attending Willamette is losing the scholarship... because not only will I be making less money, I will be in substantially deeper debt than if I were to attend Tech.

willamette

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2008, 09:02:32 PM »
To stay on track.  Clayton - money should be a key part of your decision.  Also consider where you want to work.  Most jobs surface as a result of local externships and experiences in the area where you attend school.  Fellow students often are a key resource for clerk jobs (they recommend their friends).  If you are not geographically tied to an area -- go to school where it is cheapest, get some experience, and get hired as a lateral where you want.  Who knows what the job outlook will be like in 3-4 years anyway. 

-- just a quick response to Willamettesucks --
I am a troll and I am unabashedly biased - I did not infer otherwise.

--added note --
Clayton.  I noticed in your first post that you really want to live in the Northwest.  I think it is a good idea to go to school where you want to live and work.  If you want to work in the northwest you will be able to participate in various externships at Willamette and network with Oregon Lawyers.  In addition, the top 25% of the school after the first semester is invited to information evenings at some firms in Portland and there are various dinners and other events you can attend to network.  Firms from Portland and the northwest interview on campus at Willamette.  It is also more believable that you are committed to staying in the northwest if you are attending an Oregon School (this is an important factor for firms that are looking to invest in training a student through employment).  From Tech it will be more difficult to network in the Northwest (of course, a good summer job would fix that).  Keep in mind that many jobs (DAs offices, US attorney, private firms, Department of Justice) require you to work for 15 to 20 hours during the school year as well.  If you study at Tech and plan to have a job in the northwest during the summer you will be reducing your opportunities.  Also, Willamette career services can provide online access to Lewis and Clark and UofO job postings - I am not sure if Tech provides access to job searches for these schools (ask).  Lastly, many professors at Willamette practice, practiced, or know people who practice in the Northwest.  They can help with the job search and initial contacts. 

Any of the Oregon Schools and Washington schools will provide similar or maybe better local networking opportunities.  With law school the goal is really to get a job.  Lewis and Clark is the biggest school, so it has the most alums and connections to Portland.

as biased as I may sound.  I am really just repeating the arguments I made for myself and heard from others when making my decision.  It could also be called reactive valuation.

If you want to live and work near Tech -- go there.  Be sure to also research the schools you compete with in a local area and the legal work opportunities.  The job you get can affect your financial situation more than scholarships if it works out well.


mentalpatient

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Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about Salem or Willamette?
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2008, 01:39:13 AM »
Interesting... so which school did you transfer from and where do you attend now?


My biggest fear about attending Willamette is losing the scholarship... because not only will I be making less money, I will be in substantially deeper debt than if I were to attend Tech.

I guess with all the banter back and forth, we kind of lost this important part of the puzzle.  I faced this same decision as a 0L.  I took a full scholarship to a school contingent on a 3.0, and ended up with a 2.9.  I was fortunate to have transfer options and Willamette was the program I really wanted.  I was flatly told by those I was put in contact with that Willamette was like many lower ranked schools (my former school included) who offer more scholarship money than can possibly be kept by its entering class.  They count on the curve to negate scholarships and prevent transfer.  That way they have full tuition paying students for the 2nd and 3rd years.  Make no mistake, there will be people who are good students and work hard who will lose their scholarships. If you wouldn't attend a lower ranked school if you had to pay full price, don't.

***my bad for taking your thread a different direction, I'll stay out of any additional back and forth. 
***Salem is a nice town, just boring.  Portland is a pretty easy ride, tons of people make that commute easily.