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Willamette Law partners with Legal Innovators

by Sarah Bello,

Willamette Law partners with Legal Innovators 

SALEM, Ore. — Under a new partnership with Legal Innovators, Willamette Law students have increased access to top career opportunities.

Legal Innovators is an alternative legal service provider and end-to-end talent management solution. It recruits, vets, trains and mentors new graduates, offering a new pathway for students to jobs in Big Law and corporate legal departments.

With its holistic approach looking at a student’s entire law school experience, Legal Innovators aims to find talented candidates who may have been missed in the traditional on-campus interview process. The antiquated recruiting process may overlook students for any number of reasons, such as a poor interview, low first-year grades due to the law school learning curve, or because they didn’t attend a particular law school.

“Many people are left out during on-campus recruiting and interviewing,” says Meghan Smith, Director of Operations for Legal Innovators. “Most of the Big Law firms are recruiting from the same schools. They’re missing a lot of potential out there.”

Legal Innovators promotes a new business model, evaluating applicants in an extended hiring process and hiring them as its own employees, offering boot camp training, professional development and the skills to succeed before contracting them out to top law firms across the country. Initial contracts last one year, with an option for firms to renew for a second. This allows firms and legal departments to de-risk their hiring process, while providing lawyers a new pathway into these positions.

The organization is data-driven, applying a proprietary algorithm to applicants to determine their indicators of success. It focuses heavily on diversity, equity and inclusion to create opportunities for underrepresented communities, with each applicant completing a blinded writing exercise using the same prompt.

Willamette Law Dean Brian Gallini says the collaboration both elevates the school’s resources for career-seeking students and matches the College’s efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion throughout the legal profession and broader justice system.

“Last year, the College made a statement on race, hate and violence and, in doing so, committed itself to fundamentally evaluating our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Gallini says. “This partnership is squarely in line with our fundamental goal to create equity across everything we do, from admission to law school to admission to the bar.”


Willamette University College of Law was the first law school to open in the Pacific Northwest. Building on deep historic roots, we focus with pride on educating the next generation of problem-solving lawyers and leaders. Our location in Salem, Oregon, directly across the street from the Oregon State Capitol and Supreme Court, cannot be matched in the region. Our thought-leading scholars advance and promote our shared responsibility to make a difference in society, placing justice, fairness, and equality at the heart of everything we do.

The College of Law produces the best problem solvers, community leaders, legal dealmakers, and changemakers in the most innovative region of the country. We have had several years of remarkable growth in academic achievement, as our bar passage rates and employment outcomes reflect. We also consistently have the highest graduate employment rates among all Oregon law schools, and are among the best on the entire West Coast.

We are a dynamic force within our university’s vision of an “Only at Willamette” education and have worked to develop one of the most forward-thinking and creative legal education programs in the country. Our student-centric approach manifests in the robust experiential learning opportunities we provide alongside curricular strengths in public service, business law, advocacy, international law, and health law.

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