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!