Celebrating Diverse Perspectives
Willamette University is a special place to study law. Since it was established in 1883, the College of Law has been committed to building a community that recognizes and celebrates diverse ideas and perspectives. As a community, the school honors and values its members’ unique achievements, talents and viewpoints, as well as their individual career paths.
The school’s unique learning environment attracts law students with a wide range of perspectives and a multitude of ethnic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Two-thirds of students come to Willamette from across the country, while the remainder call Oregon home. Women compose around 40 percent of the first-year class, and students of color make up around 15 percent. Incoming first-year students usually represent up to 90 different undergraduate institutions and 40 different undergraduate majors. Students in a typical law class might speak a dozen different languages and have traveled extensively or lived abroad. They have included medical professionals, military personnel, political and environmental activists, Peace Corps volunteers, musicians, athletes, artists and teachers.
From the first hour of their first day at Willamette, students participate in programs designed to orient them to law school life and guide them toward success in the legal profession, including intensive workshops on legal professionalism, hands-on experiences in the practice of law and ongoing career development. In addition to peer support from second- and third-year law students, incoming students have the opportunity to develop close working relationships with the school’s alumni and other members of the bench and bar, who serve as mentors to our students and who are actively engaged in their success.