Clinical Law Program

During the first two years of law school, students learn to “think like a lawyer.” The Clinical Law Program teaches them to “be a lawyer.”

The Clinical Law Program provides students with hands-on, professional experience in actual law practice. With close supervision by full-time faculty, students enrolled in a law clinic learn to become practice-ready lawyers through the provision of legal services to clients in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

As student attorneys in the Clinical Law Program, second- and third-year law students apply the doctrinal knowledge mastered in their fundamental coursework to the actual practice of law. Through this work, student attorneys are exposed to a wide variety of transferable lawyering skills, including client interviewing, development of legal strategy, pre-trial and trial litigation skills, document drafting, negotiation, and practice before administrative bodies. They may work closely with a client to prepare important legal documents that are tailored to that client’s specific needs and goals, appear on a client’s behalf in a courtroom or administrative hearing, or collaborate with community partners on organizing and legislative efforts or movement lawyering.

The Clinical Law Program currently comprises two clinic offerings: Trusts and Estates and Community and Environmental Justice. In keeping with the long tradition of legal clinics as “living models of justice,” both clinics seek to provide legal representation to clients who would otherwise have a difficult time paying legal fees. The Clinical Law Program is committed to filling this important role within the larger landscape of legal services providers in Oregon.

Clinical Law Program students are taught and expected to demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in all areas of legal practice, from mastery of substantive legal issues and procedures to unwavering professionalism and service to the greater community. The Clinical Law Program faculty also strives to instill an appreciation for the importance of reflection and balance in the practice of law, and the unique ability of lawyers to promote justice and equity in their communities.

Featured Work

Professor Sarah Matsumoto

"Willamette's clinical law program offers students the chance to step into the shoes of a practicing lawyer, and provide meaningful legal services to an actual client. By applying the foundational knowledge from other courses to their clinic work, students are able to see how the law impacts people's lives in a direct, tangible way. They learn valuable lessons about client relationships and professionalism, and begin to see their own careers take shape."

-- Professor Sarah Matsumoto

William Gratsy

"Working at the Willamette Business Law Clinic provided me with an extraordinary opportunity to build conceptual and organizational skills, work with start-ups at a very early stage of their existence, and shape my future by carrying these tangible, invaluable skills into my planned area of practice."

Read more about William Grasty's Clinical Law Experience

Representation Inquiries

To inquire about representation, please contact lawclinic@willamette.edu
Willamette University

Clinical Law Program

Address
Oregon Civic Justice Center
Willamette University
790 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
Phone
(503) 370-6489

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