Willamette Law welcomes Class of 2020

by Sarah Carlson,

  • Members of the Class of 2020 enjoyed a reception with family members during their week of orientation in mid-August.
    Members of the Class of 2020 enjoyed a reception with family members during their week of orientation in mid-August.

For the third time in the last four years (and most likely in Willamette Law’s history), the school welcomes a class with more female than male students. The Class of 2020 began its journey to the JD August 22, the day after Salem celebrated the total solar eclipse — an event that will ensure this week is especially memorable for all of the new students.

“This year’s class is made up of impressive, hard working students from a great variety of backgrounds,” said Curtis Bridgeman, dean of Willamette Law. “We can’t wait to see their accomplishments as law students here at Willamette.”

The incoming class is made up of 110 JD students, plus one MLS student and 12 LLM students from countries such as Japan, Saudi Arabia and China. While applications in the Pacific Northwest were down seven percent this year, this class is the largest at Willamette Law since 2013. It also raised its LSAT profile by one point.

Fifty-two percent of the class is female, while 48 percent is male. In addition, the class is one of the most diverse in the school’s history, with 26 percent identifying as students of color.

Before coming to Willamette, four students worked for Oregon legislators and one for a U.S. Senator, one was a lobbyist, one was an actor, two were police officers and one was a two-time Water Polo All-American. Almost 50 percent of the students are Oregon residents, but 18 other states are represented. Top feeder undergraduate schools included the University of Oregon, Portland State University, Oregon State University, University of Washington, Washington State University, Willamette University and the University of Nevada at Reno.

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 and mentorship. 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, 2014, and 2015. Located across the street from the state capitol complex and the Oregon Supreme Court, the college specializes in law and government, law and business, and dispute resolution.

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