Law School Discussion

Willamette vs. Gonzaga


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Re: Willamette vs. Gonzaga
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2008, 12:33:10 AM »
I'm also a current Willamette law student, and I'm pretty happy that I chose Willamette for law school.  In a way, I'm actually glad there's not much to do here, mainly because it forces me to hit the books more than if I lived in a bustling city.  I've never been to Spokane, so I couldn't compare it with Salem.

Willamette is now a T3, FWIW.  Picking a higher ranked school was never a big deal to me; it was all about where I'd fit in the most.  I like the fact that the law school has less than 500 total law students (about 160 or so in the entering class).  I like seeing familiar faces in the building, but that's just me.

Yes, Willamette does cut people, but you really have to screw up to do badly.  The middle of the pack is usually around a 2.8 to 2.9, so don't think about getting cut.  Trust me, I've felt like the stupidest person in class so often and I felt many times that I wouldn't make it, but I'm still going strong.  It's not a guarantee that people will be cut...only if your gpa goes below a certain level do you get kicked out.  Again, they do NOT kick out a set number of people at the bottom of the class.

Although I love writing, I really enjoy it now that legal writing classes are over.  To some people, it might seem like one year of legal research and writing (or whatever it's called at other schools) is not enough, but if you go to Willamette, you can sign up to be a student assistant for LRW for the following year.  So you might be able to get a little more exposure that way, not to mention that there will be other writing requirements to graduate.

If you're interested in politics, Willamette does have the capitol building, the DOJ, and the Oregon Supreme Court all nearby.  Lots of state offices around the area.  You should have no troubles if you go to Willamette.

Best of luck in your decision!

Re: Willamette vs. Gonzaga
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2008, 08:32:10 AM »
I will also be at the Willamette admitted student preview this weekend! Hopefully this will help us make our minds up!

As of now I am leaning toward Willamette unless I get a good scholarship from Gonzaga.

Re: Willamette vs. Gonzaga
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2008, 12:44:48 PM »
Thanks for all of this great info everyone!  It's really helpful to get so many viewpoints... even though the decision is still cloudy. :)  Good luck to everyone deciding!

Re: Willamette vs. Gonzaga
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2008, 01:00:31 PM »
I am in the same boat. Been living in the Spokane area for a couple years and am not a huge fan of it. I will be at the ASW at Willamette this weekend and hope Salem fits me more than Spokane. Right now I def favor Willamette over GU.

I do know a number of people who graduated last May from Gonzaga Law and they all seemed to have a positive experience and speak highly of the school, however.

I've been in Spokane for about four years now, and I can't wait to leave.  I know a few JD/MBAs at GU who are all expressing concern over employment.  Whether they are right or wrong, they say that the OCI firms only talk to the top 10% with very few exceptions.  Still, I think they are all happy with the decision to attend GU.

The area around campus is not all that great.  The area a previous poster speaks about is on the river with hotels and parks, but very few housing opportunities.  Most students I know rent a house just north of campus in the University District (safe, but kinda ugly).

If I were in your shoes, I'd pick Willamete.  But it may only be due to my desire for a change (and my dislike of 40 degree highs from October through March). 

Re: Willamette vs. Gonzaga
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2008, 02:10:52 PM »
i went to gonzaga undergrad and was accepted there for next fall for law school too.  if you are considering practicing law in eastern washington, it is really the only law school out there so the alumni network is great.  i am assuming willamette people are in pretty heavy competition with the u of o and l & cl people in oregon but i don't really know.

all in all, gonzaga is a great school (with a great new law building) in a somewhat iffy city.  if you don't like spokane, it might not be the best place to study law because i don't imagine zag grads competing very well with the seattle u and u dub people in western washington.  i am originally from california and it took awhile to adjust but eventually i grew to appreciate the changing seasons in spokane.

i don't completely subscribe to the argument that going to a regional school and then trying to practice out of area is impossible but you have to be realistic too.  if you would prefer to practice law further west, willamette might be the degree that affords more opportunity in places like portland and maybe seattle (although neither probably place very well in seattle, if i was to guess).