Willamette Law graduates are well prepared and ready to practice law upon passing the bar, says Phylis Myles, assistant dean of the Placement Office. The school once again posted the top employment numbers in the state of Oregon for the class of 2018. Since 2012, the school has been number one in Oregon six out of seven times.
Just over 80% of 2018 Willamette Law graduates were employed in what the law school calls “gold standard” positions by March 2019. “Gold standard” refers to jobs that are full-time, long-term, and bar passage required or JD advantage. “These are the kind of jobs students come to law school to get, and it is how we measure our success,” says Dean Curtis Bridgeman.
The Placement Office connects with law students as 1Ls, with a mandatory meeting during their first year.
“They are required to fill out an Individual Development Plan that includes a self-assessment, as well as information on current legal skills and interests,” Myles says. “Once we have identified their interests, we provide contact names for informational interviews to learn more about a particular area of law.”
The Placement Office continues educating and preparing students for careers throughout their time at law school. First-year students can sign up for the Attorney Mentor Program, where they are matched with an attorney to learn about legal careers.
Students also attend a Career Boot Camp to work on career development skills. Mock interviews, job blasts, visiting employers and resume review events are available to help students develop professionally prior to graduation.
Kevin Gleim JD’18 benefited from the personalized approach in the Placement Office. He says he considered multiple opportunities for post-graduate employment and discussed the options, along with his goals, with placement counselors.
“That valuable insight led me to a wonderful position as an associate attorney at Garrett Hemann Robertson P.C. in Salem,” he says. “I am surrounded by great colleagues and doing work that I enjoy.”
The Placement Office does all it can to check in with students after they leave Willamette, even texting them if that’s what works best.
“We meet with them for coffee to talk about search strategies if they are in Salem or Portland,” Myles says. “We continue to work with all alumni even after they have been practicing for several years.”
About Willamette University College of Law
As the first law school in the Pacific Northwest, Willamette University College of Law boasts an innovative program designed to prepare leaders in government, private practice, and business with the lawyering skills needed in the 21st Century. Willamette Law’s small class sizes foster an interactive learning environment among our diverse student population with a thriving externship and clinical program, ample practical skills courses, and a new Business Lawyering Institute. With a “one student at a time” placement approach, our students are given individualized development plans and tools for success in today’s legal job market. In recent years, outside industry watchers such as Moody’s and The National Jurist Magazine have recognized Willamette Law for its positive job placement results. Willamette lawyers are the best dealmakers, problem solvers, community leaders, and change-makers in the most innovative and exciting region in the country. Our location — nestled in the heart of the Willamette Valley and across the street from the Oregon State Capitol, Supreme Court and many state agencies — is an advantage that cannot be matched anywhere in the region.