A Conversation with Mohamad Shaer JD'24
Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.
What made you decide to go to law school?
I've wanted to be a lawyer since I was seven years old. I come from a family of immigrants. Nobody's a lawyer in my family, but my dad was the only college graduate from his huge family.
Growing up, there were many times where I would tell teachers I wanted to be a lawyer and they'd say "you're not gonna do that." And so, it was just nice to just prove a lot of people wrong coming to be here
You've served as president of the Student Bar Association. What has that experience meant to you?
I was honored that I got voted in as president. I felt like I was really making sure all the voices of my class are heard and advocating for them in any way that I can. I also wanted opportunities. When I ran, it was the first time I had ever decided to do something like that. I never did it in undergrad. I never did it in high school. So I was putting myself out of my comfort zone for a bit. I really believe that everybody should have a voice, whether it differs from my opinion or mine differs from theirs.
Learn More About the Difference You Made for Mohamad
Mohamad Shaer JD’24 knew since he was seven years old that he wanted to practice law.
Originally from Beirut, Lebanon and from a working-class family with three siblings, Mohamad struggled in school and experienced bullying as an adolescent. His upbringing and work ethic from working in his family’s restaurant taught him to appreciate what he had and persist to reach his goals.
“There were many times where I would tell teachers I wanted to be a lawyer, and they’d say, ‘You’re not going to do that,’” says Mohamad. “It was just nice to prove a lot of people wrong by coming here.”
“If people can look at someone like me and see a person who had a low GPA, English wasn’t their first language, and was bullied because of their name, to be sitting in law school knowing that I’m going to change my family for generations and help others as well, that’s powerful,” Mohamad says.
You Provide a Culture of Support for Students
Thanks to you, students from all over the world feel at home when they come to Willamette.
Like many Willamette students, Mohamad was accepted to several law schools, but chose Willamette after meeting Associate Director of Admissions Jordan Hurd, whose warmth and genuine desire to help signaled to Momahad that Willamette was the place he needed to be.
“I could tell right away, just based on how she handled herself; I knew that Willamette is a school that’s there for its students,” Mohamad says. “Her willingness to help was just so superb.”
Now, as a student at Willamette Law, Mohamad is finding that the culture of support extends beyond the admission process to the culture within the student community. Mohamad says Willamette Law students “take care of each other.”
“I talk to people at different law schools, and they maybe know a group of people. But here, you feel like everybody knows everybody and they are there to help somebody."
You Give Law Students the Power to Lead
Mohamad is thriving at Willamette. He ran for office as the president of the Student Bar Association and won — an accomplishment that took Mohamad far outside of his comfort zone — but he relishes the opportunity to represent the student body. Now he’s advocating for the community in his summer position as a Law Clerk in the Financial Fraud and Consumer Protection Department at the Oregon Department of Justice.
“One of the reasons that I went to law school is for the protection of those who feel like they don’t have a voice. I want my voice to be their voice,” says Mohamad. “And I think a lot of people here at Willamette are willing to change the world in any capacity they can.”
Thank you for giving Mohamad this life-changing gift.
Read more stories about how Willamette's exceptional College of Law students, faculty and alumni are turning knowledge into action on our news page.