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Inside L&C Law

Patrick Dennis

January 08, 2013

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    Patrick Dennis

My Background:

Prior to attending Lewis & Clark I graduated from University of Oregon in 2003 with a degree in History. After undergrad I held a string of strange jobs before working for years in banking and accounting. More interestingly, I developed rheumatoid arthritis soon after graduation. This colored my view of the world and helped me decided to change careers and focus on bigger picture issues.

Why I Decided to Go to Law School:

After taking years to consider it, I felt it was the best route to the kind of policy work I want to do.

Three Activities I’m Involved In:

I am the president of the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSWD). This take a lot of time but allows me to be part of important disability rights work and meet amazing individuals across the world. Additionally, I am on one of the admissions committees for L&C. I think it is important to have student voices in admissions decisions. Outside of school I am a gym rat and I have been creating a series of weekly youtube videos documenting my weight-loss journey.

Favorite Class at L&C:

Constitutional Law II w/ Prof. Safriet. The topic was super interesting and Prof. Safriet approaches it with candor and humor. It also helps that I just “get” constitutional law. 

Meaningful Academic Experience Outside the Classroom:

During my first summer I externed with Disability Rights Oregon. I learned a ton while getting to focus on an area of law I love. I also got to work with real clients and develop my writing skills. For more information about externships, click here.

The hardest thing about adjusting to law school:

Because I hadn’t been in a classroom in 7 years, it took me a while to re-learn how to be a student again.

Advice to Students on How to Choose A Law School:

Above all, consider where you want to practice after law school and whether or not schools place large numbers of students in that region or area of practice. 

Why I Chose Lewis & Clark:

L&C is a wonderful program in my adopted hometown so it made perfect sense to stay here so I can remain close to family and friends while getting a fantastic education. 

My Top-Eleven list for L&C:

  1. The Portland Blues Festival
  2. The Trail Blazers
  3. Food Carts EVERYWHERE
  4. Powell’s Books
  5. L&C’s close-knit community
  6. Music Fest NorthWest
  7. Saturday Market
  8. Quick access to the coast or Mt. Hood
  9. The various botanical gardens in town
  10. Portland Art Museum
  11. Nona Emilia’s (in Beaverton)