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Inside L&C Law

Charles Malmsten

December 19, 2011

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My background:

I’m Charles, born and raised in Washington State with grad and undergrad in California.  Prior to going to law school I was a ’09 TFA (Teach for America) Corps member in the Baltimore region teaching Biology (my degree was in Anthropology but don’t worry, I had a ton of bio and chem classes under my belt). 

What I’m doing outside of class:

I’m trying to go snowboarding. I had a pretty bad experience where I literally broke my tailbone (a specialist couldn’t say whether I bruised it or broke it, so I go with breaking because the pain was certainly there…) awhile ago so it’s good to overcome the fear.  I’m also involved with the Black Student Association as a 1L rep, they’re a good crowed and everyone is welcome so be sure to show up to meetings!  I also was trying to juggle in Kung Fu yet class schedules got in the way of that, maybe next term.

My favorite class:

By far my favorite class is Torts. I’m not sure if it’s due to the cases we read, or if it is solely because of Prof. Drummonds.  He’s an awesome, approachable professor who always grounds the law for his students.  It’s more than just text on a page. He reminds you that this case represents people and there was a person injured.  Good to have him remind you of the human element of the law, his class is the longest hour wise but his approach and attitude makes the time fly by.

Why Law School:

TFA was an awesome experience that was rewarding and enlightening for me in a number of reasons.  At the same time though, despite the accomplishments I made with my students I knew that a career in teaching was not something I desired.  I chose to go to law school because I was growing increasingly agitated with the limitations I had as a teacher in the larger educational system of our country. 

Why L&C:

Honestly, I’m from Washington.  I left right after high school to go to Occidental and wound up staying in California for about seven years.  After that I moved to Maryland to do Teach for America.  I loved the east coast, the speed, the easy to snowboard ‘mountains’, and being so close to the history of my country.  At the same time though, I missed home.  Lewis and Clark in a lot of ways for me was a chance to come back home to the Pacific Northwest.  At the time I had a strong commitment to environmental law, but also a developing interest in intellectual property as well.  Lewis and Clark is a leader in environmental law and has a strong presence in intellectual property as well, the icing on the cake was it was where I considered home.  It was the perfect choice to go here.

Advice for those making final decisions on law schools:

Choose a place that fits you.  I had a few other choices that were closer to home, and friends but I also knew they were not a perfect fit for me.  When you make your pick, you’ll know if it was the right one by your gut.

The hardest thing about adjusting to law school:

I was a teacher for two years, having the tables turned on me was a harder experience than I thought it would have been.  Despite all the educational theory, knowing why I should speak up, etc. I still clammed up.  After a few weeks you become comfortable being a student again though.

My top recommendations around campus and Portland:

1. Snowboarding is one hour east of you.

2. Surfing is one hour west of you.

3. Hiking is literally 30 seconds away from campus, ok it’s more of a walk but a nice one.

4. ‘Lets Eat Thai’ - it’s a food cart that for $5 will give you enough food to live off of for a DAY.

5. There are awesome places to drink here, I typically ask for ‘something fruity and gay’, it hasn’t led me to a bad drink yet.

6. There are awesome bike trails that are not seriously crowded.

7. Find the tiniest park!  It’s cute!

8. The Ski Bowl is 30 dollars for night time boarding and it is the best in the country too!









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