Clinical Law Program Celebrates Move to Legal Arts Building

On April 7, 2006, Willamette University College of Law hosted an open house to celebrate the Clinical Law Program's recent move to the Legal Arts Building in Salem, Ore., and to welcome the new program director, Professor Warren H. Binford.

Willamette University boasts one of the few endowed Clinical Law Programs in the country. The program assists disadvantaged populations and nonprofit corporations with legal cases and transactions and provides externship placements for law students.

During the open house, more than 100 members of Oregon's legal community stopped by to tour the newly renovated Legal Arts Building, which has a rich history of housing prominent Salem law firms and attorneys. The program's new location provides students with a professional law firm environment where they meet with clinic clients and prepare cases under the direction of supervising attorneys.

"I appreciate the support Oregon's legal community has expressed for Willamette's Clinical Law Program since my arrival," Binford said. "The attendance of so many judges, attorneys and alumni at the open house is a reminder of the tremendous amount of time, energy and contributions being made to the Clinical Law Program by the entire community. I am grateful for the opportunity to show them the program's new facilities and to share the many exciting changes being made to the Clinical Law Program."

Willamette has launched an ambitious 10-year strategic plan for the Clinical Law Program that promises expanded course offerings, a more challenging curriculum and new hands-on law practice opportunities for students. The previous general civil practice clinic has been expanded to include specialized clinics that cover business law, estate planning, tribal law and family law. Since Binford joined the program in June 2005, the number of students registering for the clinic has doubled and externship placements have tripled.

"Willamette is fortunate to have a great talent like Warren Binford heading our Clinical Law Program," said College of Law Dean Symeon C. Symeonides. "Warren brings tremendous energy, spirit and creativity to her role as director. Her hard work and dedication to our students will ensure Willamette's Clinical Law Program becomes one of the best in the nation."

The Legal Arts Building, located at 180 Church St. in Salem, also will serve as home to the Oregon Law Commission, a state-sponsored law reform commission whose membership includes attorneys, judges, professors and lawmakers from around the state.