Learning Outcomes for Graduating Law Students

Willamette University College of Law offers intellectual intimacy, distinctive academic programs, and commitment to the professional success of our graduates. We strive to enhance these elements while improving alignment of student learning experiences with the skills demanded by an evolving legal profession.

Willamette Law provides a rigorous and wide-ranging program of legal education to prepare students to graduate from law school, to earn admission to the bar, and for careers as effective, ethical, and responsible members of the legal profession and other law-related fields.

The expression, measurement, and adjustment of desired learning outcomes for our graduates ensures that Willamette Law offers the educational opportunities required for success as new lawyers. We expect each graduating student to have attained or achieved the knowledge, competencies, and understanding described below:

  1. Substantive and procedural law.
    1. Foundational private and public law;
    2. Advanced and specialized areas of law, important for establishing general competency or for developing an area of expertise.
  2. Sources and the development of the law.
    1. The structure of the legal system, the various types of legal actors, and institutions;
    2. The processes by which law is made and evolves, and the role of lawyers in that process.
  3. Legal Research.
    Engaging in legal research efficiently with the variety of tools, resources and methods used by lawyers.
  4. Legal Writing.
    1. Writing analytically and persuasively;
    2. Writing about legal issues for a variety of audiences;
    3. Drafting professional-level documents related to or in a specific area of law;
    4. Writing a substantial research paper that uses primary sources to propose and defend a solution to an important legal problem or presents a sensible way of thinking about an important legal question.
  5. Legal analysis, reasoning, synthesis, and problem-solving.
    1. Framing and solving legal problems, using clear, concise, accurate, and complete legal arguments;
    2. Reading, analyzing and synthesizing cases, statutes, regulations, administrative guidance, and other sources of the law;
    3. Constructing an effective narrative based on a set of facts;
    4. Clearly communicating arguments verbally, as well as in writing.
  6. Other professional skills.
    Other skills needed for professional competency may include counseling, interviewing, fact development and analysis, trial practice, conflict resolution, negotiation, organization and management of legal work, collaboration, cultural competency, and self-evaluation.
  7. Professional and ethical responsibilities.
    1. The standards of professional conduct and methods of compliance;
    2. A lawyer’s responsibilities as an officer of the court and a public citizen responsible for the quality and access to justice.

Adopted unanimously by the Faculty of the Willamette University College of Law on December 10, 2015.