Law School Welcomes Class of 2015



Students may be entering Willamette during difficult economic times, but law schools continue to provide a uniquely rigorous education that prepares students for careers in multiple professions, Dean Peter Letsou said to the law school’s first-year class.

Letsou and other administrators welcomed 139 students to the College of Law Wednesday morning. The students will spend the next few days meeting with judges and lawyers who will introduce them to the basics of professionalism, ethics, briefing cases and other skills they’ll tackle during their three years at Willamette. Classes start next Monday.

Members of the class of 2015 speak 20 languages other than English. They’ve traveled or studied abroad in 51 countries and majored in 35 subjects during their undergraduate years. The median age of the class is 25.

“You’ll discover that the relationship you build with the person sitting next to you, in front of you or behind you may very well last a lifetime,” said Carolyn Dennis, the law school’s admission director. “The next three years will strengthen your endurance and commitment to your professional goals.”

Among the speakers Wednesday morning were Willamette University President Stephen E. Thorsett, who challenged students to “love the law; nurture it with care and reverence,” and former Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin Peterson, who passed along some advice from students: seek out second- and third-year students for advice; participate in Moot Court competitions -- and relax.

“Our role is to ensure that you are equipped with all the provisions you will need for this demanding profession,” Letsou said. “To this end, we will train you hard during your three years with us. Your admission to this school demonstrates our confidence that you have the ability to meet this challenge."