About the College

Willamette University College of Law

A Long and Rich History

Established in 1883, Willamette University's College of Law was the second law school in the West and the first law school in the Pacific Northwest. The College of Law helped educate many of the first leaders of the bar. Now, more than 125 years later, the school continues to uphold its proud tradition of excellence. We've been accredited by the ABA since 1938.

A Distinctive Learning Environment

Willamette's learning environment is distinctive among law schools. We are committed to the pursuit of academic and professional excellence and to providing a supportive environment that maximizes each student's unique potential. We emphasize small enrollment, excellence in teaching and a high level of faculty-student interaction. We also boast a student-faculty ratio of approximately 13-to-1. Our select enrollment of fewer than 420 students creates an intellectual intimacy unmatched by most law schools in the United States. The first-year class at the College of Law comprises about 145 bright, competitive students engaged in full-time study.

An Outstanding Faculty

The heart of any law school is its faculty and, like all great law schools, Willamette’s faculty is outstanding. In addition to being exemplary teachers, the members of the faculty are committed to the advancement of knowledge through research and scholarship, to diversity, and to public service. The faculty includes nationally and internationally recognized experts in fields ranging from constitutional law and law and religion to international and comparative law, business law, and sports law. And for the past two years, the College of Law faculty has been ranked first in Oregon in per capita publications in top journals.

A Rich Curriculum with Innovative Programs

Willamette's law school may be small, but its curriculum is rich and diverse. Specialized certificate programs in Law and Government, Sustainability Law, Dispute Resolution, Law and Business, and International and Comparative Law underscore the strong academic foundation provided by the college, help distinguish Willamette students from other law school graduates, and take advantage of the College of Law’s location in the state capital, our first-in-the-West dispute resolution center, and our faculty’s pioneering work in the field of sustainability law.

Experiential Learning

Willamette students also gain important practical skills training through simulation-based courses, moot court competitions, intensive trial practice and targeted externship placements. In addition, they acquire real-world experience working with clients in the Clinical Law Program. These programs provide students with an insider's view into the lawmaking process and valuable hands-on experience in the actual practice of law.

Distinguished Graduates

Graduates of the College of Law serve the profession and their communities with honor and distinction throughout the United States - on the bench and the bar, in state and national government, in Fortune 500 corporations and in nonprofit agencies. Equally important, they proudly uphold the Willamette tradition of being dedicated public servants, leaders of the bar and good citizens. The College of Law is proud to count among its alumni the two most recent Chief Justices of the Oregon Supreme Court, a sitting United States Senator and Representative, and the legal counsel to our Governor.

Get to Know Us Better

This brief introduction attempts to give you a taste of Willamette and a glimpse at its rich history. We encourage you to get to know us better and compare us with other fine law schools across the country. We believe you will discover that Willamette University College of Law is the right school for you.