Willamette Law aspires to produce problem solvers, community leaders, legal dealmakers, and changemakers. We provide a rigorous and wide-ranging program of legal education to prepare students to graduate from law school, to earn admission to the bar, and to begin careers as effective, ethical, and responsible members of the legal profession and other law-related fields.
The expression, measurement, and adjustment of desired learning outcomes for our graduates ensures that Willamette Law offers the educational opportunities required for success as new lawyers. In articulating our outcomes, we have drawn heavily from the empirically-supported work of the Institute for Advancement of the American Legal System, which identified distinct interlocking components ("Building Blocks") of minimum competence required to practice law.
We expect each graduating student to have attained or achieved the knowledge, skills, and abilities described below. They are listed in no particular order.
- The ability to act professionally and in accordance with the rules of professional conduct.
- An understanding of the legal processes and sources of law.
- An understanding of threshold concepts in foundational subjects in private and public law and development of emerging expertise in a selected practice area.
- Foundational subjects:
- Civil Procedure
- Contract Law
- Business Associations
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
- Real Property
- Specialized practice areas may include:
- Business law
- Health care law
- International law
- Public service
- Sustainability law
- Foundational subjects:
- The ability to interpret legal materials.
- The ability to communicate and interact effectively in a variety of modes with a variety of audiences, including clients, colleagues, opposing counsel, judges, mediators, and court personnel.
- The ability to identify legal issues.
- The ability to conduct research.
- The ability to see the "big picture" of client matters.
- The ability to perform and grow effectively as a member of the legal profession. This includes developing the foundation of a "professional identity" and an understanding of the values, guiding principles, and well-being practices considered foundational to successful legal practice, including:
- The ability to pursue self-directed learning.
- The ability to manage a law-related workload responsibly.
- The ability to cope with the stresses of legal practice.
- The attainment of a cross-cultural competency foundation to enable representation of a diverse array of clients and to promote a justice system that provides equal access and eliminated bias, discrimination, and racism in the law.
Revised and Adopted by the Willamette University College of Law faculty on March 10, 2023.