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Public Service

We are committed to helping students develop into thoughtful citizens, leaders, and public servants by providing them with the knowledge, experience, and skills to lead and serve in their communities.

There are so many ways to serve the public as a lawyer, and we will help you choose a path and learn how to pursue it. Our unique location near all three branches of state government provides us with the ability to provide unparalleled opportunities through our externship program. Our students work with lawmakers, judges, and attorneys who serve the public as prosecutors and public defenders, as agency counsel and private advocates for regulated entities, as legal policymakers at the Department of Justice and legislature, and as nonprofit leaders seeking to influence the work of these decision makers.

You will learn from the finest scholars in constitutional law and administrative law, as well as current and former justices of the Oregon Supreme Court, and have the opportunity to to pursue a certificate in law and government. Whether you are interested in law and policy making or experiences with lawyers who work in the courtroom, you will have abundant opportunities to build your career positively influencing the law for the benefit of others.

Public Service Focus areas:

  • Civil Rights
  • Criminal Justice & Sentencing
  • Election Law
  • Environment Law & Justice
  • Government service & regulation
  • State & Federal Constitutional Law

About this program

Learn more about public service at Willamette.

Featured Alumni

Law – JD

Allison R. Boomer JD’09

  • Magistrate of Oregon Tax Court since 2012
  • Previously president of Oregon Women Lawyers
  • Serves on the board overseeing Marion County CourtCare and mentors law students and recent graduates
Law – JD

Ralph Bloemers JD ’98

  • Co-founded Crag Law Center, which regularly challenges the government, oil and timber companies
  • Helped craft legislation resulting in new wilderness and river protection
  • Named “Raising the Bar Award” winner in 2018