Campus Life and Beyond
The Willamette University Campus
Law students have access to all the facilities of Willamette University, including the dining commons, the University Center, the Willamette Store, and an on-campus bistro. The Sparks Recreation Center is an outstanding athletics facility that houses a swimming pool, handball and racquetball courts, a weight room, gymnasiums, and shower and locker facilities. The University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art is the third-largest art museum in the state, and Smith Auditorium hosts regular performances of the Oregon Symphony in Salem. The Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center offers state-of-the-art acoustics for small performances of jazz, choral and chamber music, and recitals.
The University also offers a wide range of intramural sports, cultural offerings, student organization activities, special events and lectures, as well as the camaraderie of 2,600 other Willamette students. In addition, the school provides numerous opportunities for law students to become involved in campus and community activities, such as charity events, legal education programs and pro bono projects.
Life in Salem
Willamette University is situated in the heart of Salem, Oregon's capital. Salem is home to a large, active legal community that readily employs and actively mentors Willamette law students. This historic riverfront city offers all the amenities of a larger city, but has successfully maintained its hometown charm. A welcoming and affordable city, Salem boasts a vibrant downtown, beautiful city parks, an innovative children's museum and popular community theater, great pubs and cafes, fine dining, numerous coffeehouses and microbreweries, and a wide range of small boutiques and department stores.
Salem is surrounded by award-winning vineyards and orchards that support countless wine and food festivals. The city is only a short drive from numerous beautiful state parks, the Columbia River Gorge national scenic area and the Mount Hood National Forest, which provide world-class wilderness hiking, fishing, camping, skiing and snowboarding. The desert is a little farther east, and Oregon's spectacular beaches are an hour's drive to the west. Metropolitan Portland is just 45 minutes to the north, offering easy access to national sporting events and premier music and art venues.
Sure, it rains in Oregon -- but the rain sustains the beautiful lakes, forests and flowers the Pacific Northwest is famous for. Summers in the Pacific Northwest are usually warm and sunny, fall is mostly clear and beautiful, and spring offers a little of everything. Winter does bring the rain, but an umbrella and light jacket easily fend off the mild precipitation.
State of Oregon
Oregon is a land of majestic wonders, from the rugged Oregon beaches, the snow-covered Cascade Mountains, the lush greenery and magnificent waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge, to the fertile Willamette Valley. Oregon is for the active of heart, body and soul. It is a runner's mecca, a biker's haven, a kayaker's paradise and a hiker's playground.
Students enjoy tasting world-famous local wines and exploring thriving local wineries throughout Marion County and neighboring counties. The ski slopes of Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor are two to three hours away, while Oregon's beautiful, rugged coast is within an hour's drive. Across the Cascade Range lies the high desert land of eastern Oregon with its large cattle ranches, rich farmland, white-water rivers and outstanding recreational opportunities.
While outdoor adventurers love Oregon, so do city people. Portland, Oregon's largest city and one of the cleanest and most accessible cities in the United States, is less than one hour's drive away. Portland features a host of cultural attractions and live entertainment, including opera, theatre, ballet, symphony and museums.