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Considering Willamette--any advice?


The last post on this subject in four years old, so are there any current or recent students who can describe the law school? I've read some negative things about the college, but Salem looks amazing. Does life in Salem make up for the school's deficiencies? Or is Salem a cesspool? Are the students generally an okay bunch, or are they bitter because they didn't go someplace else? Any and all opinions would be appreciated.

I am a currently a 2L at Willamette.  There are good things and bad things about the school.  I'll start with the good.  It's close to State Government since it is in the capital of Oregon.  If you want to work in the government there are many jobs/externships in state government.  Professors are great and class sizes are small.  You definitely feel like you're part of a community, rather than just a number.  The school has a strong state/regional reputation, which is great if you want to work in the NW. 

Now the Bad.  You have to get a 2.9 to keep your scholarship (assuming you were offered on).  Although that doesn't sound too bad, the curve is tough.  A 2.9 is a bit better than top half.  Grades are also greatly deflated in comparison to other schools.  This isnt bad within the region because employers know this, but outside of the NW your grades will look lower in comparison to others.  Finally, if you are below a certain GPA you get dismissed from school.  I believe its something like a 1.8 after first semester, then goes up to a 2.2 or so after the second semester.  Because of the curve it happens to a few people after every semester.   

Salem is definitely not amazing.  However, it is in close proximity to many great things, among them Portland, the Ocean and Silver Falls state park.  If you're into the outdoors its a great place to live.

Overall Willamette is a very good school.  It provides a good value, if you know what you are getting into.  If you want a Big firm job, you likely won't find  it here.  Although some students do end up in the large Portland firms, most do not.  If you are willing to work hard and network you can get a good job after graduation.  If you just expect to graduate somewhere in the middle of the pack and still get decent work Willamette is not the place to go. 

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.


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