Our small size, Salem's welcoming environment and the Northwest's accepting culture allow students to feel at home, make friends and build connections.
At the Law School
From the moment you're admitted to Willamette University College of Law, we help you connect with your future classmates and mentors. Each incoming class has a Facebook page where law students are invited to share questions, ask for ideas and find roommates. Early in the term we host TGIT — Thank Goodness It's Thursday — a fun gathering with food and beverages where law faculty, students and staff turn off their computers, silence their phones and spend some time relaxing together.
Also, the College of Law is home to more than twenty student organizations ranging from the Willamette University Public Interest Law Project, the American Constitution Society, and the Women's Law Caucus to the Multicultural Law Students Association, Moot Court Board and Joint Degree Association. We also offer many opportunities for law students to become involved in campus and community activities through charity events, legal education programs and pro bono projects.
Research and study is major component of life in law school and at Willamette there are ample locations for students to find quiet yet pleasant surroundings. The recently-remodeled law library features plenty of windows, study carrels and comfortable chairs. Rick's Cafe, on the first floor of the law school, can be at times a lively place to socialize, or a quiet place to read. And when the weather is nice, many students choose to sit beside the Mill Stream that winds through campus.
Beyond the law school, law students have access to all the facilities of Willamette University. This includes the renovated Sparks Recreation Center, an outstanding athletics facility that houses a swimming pool, handball and racquetball courts, a weight room, gymnasiums, and shower and locker facilities, and the Hatfield Library, as well as multiple campus dining facilities, the University Center, the Willamette Store, and an on-campus bistro. Students are also welcome to enjoy the University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the third-largest art museum in Oregon, and Smith Auditorium, which hosts regular performances of the Oregon Symphony. The Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center offers state-of-the-art acoustics for small performances of jazz, choral and chamber music, and recitals.
Also, law students often participate in the University's wide range of intramural sports, cultural offerings, student organization activities, special events and lectures.
Willamette University is situated in the heart of Salem, Oregon's capital. Salem is home to a large, active legal community that readily employs and actively mentors Willamette law students. This historic riverfront city offers all the amenities of a larger city, but has successfully maintained its hometown charm. A welcoming and affordable city, Salem boasts a vibrant downtown, beautiful city parks, an innovative children's museum and popular community theater, great pubs and cafes, fine dining, numerous coffeehouses and microbreweries, and a wide range of small boutiques and department stores.
Salem is surrounded by award-winning vineyards and orchards that support countless wine and food festivals. The city is only a short drive from several beautiful state parks, the Columbia River Gorge national scenic area and the Mount Hood National Forest, which provide world-class wilderness hiking, fishing, camping, skiing and snowboarding. The desert is a little farther east, and Oregon's spectacular beaches are an hour's drive to the west. Metropolitan Portland is just 45 minutes to the north, offering easy access to national sporting events and premier music and art venues.
Sure, it rains in Oregon — but the rain sustains the beautiful lakes, forests and flowers for which the Pacific Northwest is famous. Summers in the Pacific Northwest are usually warm and sunny, fall is mostly clear and beautiful, and spring offers a little of everything. Winter does bring the rain, but an umbrella and light jacket easily fend off the mild precipitation.
Oregon is a land of majestic wonders, from the rugged Oregon beaches, the snow-covered Cascade Mountains, the lush greenery and magnificent waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge, to the fertile Willamette Valley. Oregon is for the active of heart, body and soul. It is a runner's mecca, a biker's haven, a kayaker's paradise and a hiker's playground.
Students enjoy tasting world-famous local wines and exploring thriving local wineries throughout Marion County and neighboring counties. The ski slopes of Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor are two to three hours away, while Oregon's beautiful, rugged coast is within an hour's drive. Across the Cascade Range lies the high desert land of eastern Oregon with its large cattle ranches, rich farmland, white-water rivers and outstanding recreational opportunities.
While outdoor adventurers love Oregon, so do city people. Portland, Oregon's largest city and one of the cleanest and most accessible cities in the United States, is less than one hour's drive away. Portland features a host of cultural attractions and live entertainment, including opera, theatre, ballet, symphony and museums.