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Building a successful legal career has prominent alum reflecting on the impact of her Willamette Law education

by Jessica Rotter,

Lucy Jensen (JD '13) and Ben Jensen (JD' 12)
Lucy Jensen (JD '13)
Lucy Jensen (JD '13)

Straight out of law school, Lucy Jensen (JD ‘13) joined Adobe as in-house counsel, a role she held for a number of years while quickly becoming a prominent figure in the legal community. She rose through the ranks at astonishing speed, serving next as legal counsel for Pluralsight before beginning her current role as principal legal counsel for SunRun

Even in the midst of an accelerated rise in her career, Jensen never forgot the ways that her Willamette Law education helped her accomplish these achievements. Now, as a dedicated member of the Willamette Law Leadership Cabinet, she still consistently seeks out new ways to give back to the law school community. Her formative years spent at Willamette Law inspired Jensen to ensure that current and future students have the same experience. 

In reflection, on her time at Willamette Law, Jensen shares about the “incredible opportunity to learn more about oneself, explore intellectual boundaries, and develop a solid work ethic.” Law school is an opportunity to “open your mind, see things in a new light, and to challenge your legal knowledge.” The classroom experience proved to be an unparalleled opportunity for Jensen to have enriching conversations about the law while also learning firsthand what it means to be a lawyer. 

“It gave me a practical and functional education that allowed me to hit the ground running when I got my first job,” she explains. While she enjoyed learning about complex concepts, Willamette Law prepared her for being able to translate that into her role as in-house counsel. She shares, “you can get an exceptional education, and pass the bar, but it’s important to know how to actually practice law in whichever field you end up in — that is what Willamette Law prepares you for.” For her part, Jensen appreciates that every professor is dedicated to preparing you to actually be a lawyer, and is continuously approachable and supportive every step of the way both in law school and after graduation. 

This emphasis on experiential learning aided Jensen as she began her career. Not only did she have the necessary skills to be a practicing lawyer, but the strong alumni community also helped to set her on a career path. “My career began because someone reached out to me and encouraged me to apply to a position with [Adobe]. That connection set me up for success.” 

In looking forward to the impact she could have, Jensen wants “to help others find success in their legal career. I am proof of how much of an impact that alumni community can have.”

As a member of the Willamette Law Leadership Cabinet, Jensen also plays an integral role in advising Willamette Law Dean Brian Gallini on the pivotal decisions that help inform the vision and direction of the College of Law. “I am appreciative of the role I get to serve on the Leadership Cabinet because, when you are a student, you don’t realize how much effort goes in behind the scenes. Now, I get to see and participate in the creativity, problem-solving, and vision that goes into building a Willamette Law legacy,” she shares. 

Her dedication to contributing to the future of Willamette Law results from “wanting to giving back to the school I love so much, and ensuring that they have the tools and resources to continue what they are doing both today but also in perpetuity,” 

As a law student, Jensen was the recipient of the generosity of others and now knows how vital scholarships and support can be to students’ success in law school. She’s determined to pay-it-forward through her own philanthropy, particularly by giving to the Law Annual Fund.“I see the [Annual Fund] as a natural extension of my commitment to Willamette Law because ultimately I want to empower students to focus on what matters most - their studies and bettering themselves,” she says. “Not only is it important to help students with scholarships, but I also want them to know there is someone out there who has gone before them and is still invested in their success, that’s what inspires me to give back.” 

A passionate and dedicated volunteer, Jensen regularly assists at law school admissions fairs on behalf of Willamette Law in Utah, where she lives with husband and fellow alum Ben Jensen (JD ‘12). She is also a former Willamette Board of Trustees member in addition to her philanthropic generosity. Constantly looking for more ways to get involved, Jensen “can’t get enough. I am constantly looking for more ways to champion Willamette Law.” 

Her impact can certainly be felt by the entire Willamette Law community. “To say that we are fortunate to have Lucy’s support would be a dramatic understatement,” reflected Dean Gallini. “As her professional success alongside her dedication our law school community reflects, Lucy is the consummate example of what it means to be a ‘Willamette Lawyer.’” 

Now, after building an illustrious legal career, Jensen wants current and future students to know they should “lean on the Willamette Law alumni community- whether it’s reading resumes, mentorship, or just knowing that someone else went before you and is succeeding- we are all invested in their success.”

The legal community starts with students, Jensen believes, and, to that end, “it is our responsibility as alumni to pass along guidance and support in any way we can.”

About Willamette University College of Law

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.

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