Willamette Jumps to Second Place Among "Best Value" Private Law Schools in the Country

For the second year in a row, Willamette University College of Law was ranked among the nation's "Best Value Law Schools" by PreLaw magazine. This time, the College of Law jumped to second place among the nation's 107 private law schools.

Of the 199 public and private law schools accredited by the ABA, only 59 qualified for this ranking and most of them are public law schools. Of those 59, only one private law school (Brigham Young) ranked ahead of Willamette. Two others private schools received the same grade. All other private law schools in the Pacific Northwest ranked below Willamette.

To qualify for ranking, law schools must have a bar passage rate higher than the state average; average student indebtedness of less than $100,000; and an employment rate of 85 percent or higher for students nine months after they graduate.

Willamette's bar passage rate was 6.67 percentage points higher than the Oregon state average. This places Willamette within the top 20 law schools on the "Best Value" list in bar passage. Among the Pacific Northwest law schools, only the University of Washington ranks as well as Willamette.

"This ranking simply confirms what we have always known," said Dean Symeon Symeonides, "namely, that Willamette provides a first-rate legal education without charging an exorbitant price, and that a law school's value does not depend on pre-admission credentials but rather on the post-admission work of students and faculty. I am proud of both."

To read the story about the "Best Value Law Schools" list, visit

Bar Passage Continues High

For the eighth consecutive year, Willamette's bar passage rate was higher than the state average. Willamette graduates who took the Oregon bar exam for the first time in July 2010 passed at a rate of 76 percent. The average for all other first-time takers was 74.5 percent. Although this is the smallest difference in the last five years, it is in keeping with the Willamette tradition of solid performance on the bar exam and beyond.