Why Choose Lewis & Clark Law School?
Summing up a law school in a word or two is not only difficult, it is bound to be somewhat misleading. In a world of “sound bites,” however, if we had to come up with three words to describe Lewis & Clark Law School, three that would work are “challenging,” “flexible,” and “cooperative.” Our curriculum is as challenging as any in the country and it is taught by a faculty dedicated to excellent classroom teaching thus making challenging material also stimulating and provocative. The curriculum has the breadth to assure you have the opportunity to cover all the fundamentals needed for a thorough legal education. There is also the depth to allow you to specialize by taking advanced courses and by getting practical experience through our clinics, clinical internship seminars, and externships. Supporting this curriculum is a law library with over half a million volumes, computer labs and computer work stations, and a library staff that students often describe as “superb.” A look at the number of course offerings will instantly convey the size of our curriculum.
Critical to the atmosphere at any law school is the way students treat one another and how they are treated by faculty. The atmosphere at Lewis & Clark is collegial and cooperative. Students treat one another as colleagues and friends, not as competitors, and faculty are accessible to students and supportive. In one recent year alone more than 10 student papers were published in various law reviews. Such publication is the result of faculty support for student writing projects. Students spend time with one another outside class both socially and in study groups preparing for classes and exams. Years later many of these same law students are practicing with people they met in law school and some of them are practicing in the courtrooms of former classmates who are now judges. Faculty descriptions and a full bibliography of faculty publications can also be found on this web site. If you visit the law school, be sure to talk to some of the current students about what it is like to attend Lewis & Clark.
Flexible is a word that describes several aspects of the law school. There is the flexibility afforded by having two fully integrated programs: a part-time program and a full-time program. This means a student may switch from one to the other, after the first year, merely by indicating the wish to do so. Both programs are taught by the same full-time faculty and there is no distinction made as to whether a student is a graduate of the full-time or the part-time program. This flexibility means a student who is willing to go full-time and take full summers of courses can graduate in as little as two-and-a-half years. If a student wants to take advantage of summer school, it’s possible, depending on how many summer school courses are taken, to register for one or more part-time semesters, thus creating the opportunity to clerk in Portland. Depending on how much summer school and how many part-time semesters a student decides to take, people can graduate in the typical three years or in three-and-a-half. Students who do not wish to take summer school and who plan to work all the way through law school, graduate in four years.
Along with the flexibility provided by the part-time program, there are other ways in which the word “flexible” captures elements of Lewis & Clark. There is the flexibility to take classes in either and both the day or the evening regardless of whether you are a full-time or part-time student. There is the flexibility to create your own schedule as an upper division student mixing practical skills courses and theoretical courses, and mixing core courses with specialty courses, in the way that best satisfies your educational goals. After the first year of law school, our requirements are few and students decide for themselves in what order and in what courses to fulfill those requirements. There is, finally, the flexibility, created by our location in a major metropolitan area, to work part-time or full-time while in school and earn money to defray some of the expense of going to law school.
We believe that those people who decide to prepare for a career in law are ready to take on a challenging curriculum and to make decisions as upper division students as to how to best craft a curriculum that will suit their educational goals. Faculty and staff are ready and willing to assist students but we also know that you are one short step from becoming a professional who will solve complex and important problems. It is our hope that we can challenge you, build on and hone the skills you bring to the study of law and help you develop new skills, assist you when necessary, and prepare you to step into a diverse and exciting profession.
While a campus visit or interview is not required for admission, we urge candidates to take a look for themselves, visit classes, talk with students and graduates, meet the faculty, and get a feeling for the campus and the special beauty of Portland and its environs. If you give us advance notice, our Admissions Office will gladly provide help in scheduling a visit.
Competition for admission to our law school is keen. The prospective student and the institution both bear certain responsibilities in the selection process. Each must be discerning. Lewis & Clark Law School seeks students with exceptional professional promise whose potential can best be realized in our special environment.
The law school encourages candidates to ask critical questions throughout the selection process. If some of your questions are not answered here, please contact:
Office of Admissions
Lewis & Clark Law School
10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97219-7799