Law Professor Friedman discusses how law firm’s reorganization will impact law students

by Raymond Penney,

  • Associate Professor David Friedman
    Willamette Associate Professor of Law David Friedman at Willamette University College of Law.

Commercial law expert and Willamette University Associate Professor of Law David A. Friedman was quoted in a Portland Business Journal (PBJ) article reporting on the restructuring of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Portland's second-largest law firm.

Rather than leaning on its expertise in certain legal disciplines such as tax law or intellectual property, the firm has organized its 165 attorneys into teams focusing on six industries: natural resources, health care, technology, manufacturing/distribution, transportation/ports/maritime and real estate/construction.

"We heard from clients more and more that they needed us to be partners with them to provide more value at less cost," said Mark Long, the firm's managing partner. By learning the ins and outs of their industries, Long said the firm can better serve and understand their clients needs.

In the article, Professor Friedman said the reorganization could give Schwabe an advantage when it comes to recruiting new talent. As the teams will be serving clients across the industry, each team member has the potential to work with multiple clients in their industry.

"Students want to know who their clients are going to be," Friedman said. "This gives them a much clearer picture."

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About David A. Friedman

David A. Friedman is an associate professor of law at Willamette University College of Law, where he teaches commercial law, business law, torts, and consumer trade practices law and his scholarship focuses on behavioral economics, contract theory, advertising law, and public health. Friedman received the Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012. His publications have appeared in leading law journals and large-circulation public media.

About Willamette University College of Law

Opened in 1883, Willamette University College of Law is the first law school in the Pacific Northwest. The college has a long tradition at the forefront of legal education and is committed to the advancement of knowledge through excellent teaching, scholarship, mentoring and experience. Leading faculty, thriving externship and clinical law programs, ample practical skills courses, and a proactive career placement office prepare Willamette law students for today's legal job market. According to statistics compiled by the American Bar Association, Willamette ranks first in the Pacific Northwest for job placement for full-time, long-term, JD-preferred/JD-required jobs for the class of 2014 and first in Oregon for the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Located across the street from the state capitol complex and the Oregon Supreme Court in downtown Salem, the college specializes in law and government, law and business, and dispute resolution.

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