March 22, 2018

From Applicants to Alumni: Lewis & Clark Law School’s Legacy of Support

Student Bar Association President Lawrence Pittman reflects on his time at Lewis & Clark Law School and on his hopes for future law students.

Lawrence Pittman ’18 – Lewis & Clark Law School’s Student Bar Association president – loves his law school. A Georgia native, Pittman moved to Portland and became passionate about recruiting the next generation of Lewis & Clark law students.

“Similar to my experience moving to Portland, I want students who may be wary of moving somewhere unfamiliar and where they don’t know anyone to be able to truly experience the great things that Lewis & Clark has to offer,” Pittman says.

He began working with the school’s admissions office the same way most first-years typically do – by giving tours to prospective students. Since then, Pittman’s gone on to become one of the school’s best student recruiters, attending a Law School Admission Council Forum in Atlanta, speaking at a number of admitted students events, and serving as a panelist at two National Black Pre-Law Conferences on behalf of Lewis & Clark Law School.

He also arranged a law school event with Georgia State University, his alma mater, to share his path to law school and experiences with the university’s Pre-Law Society.

Although Pittman’s heavy involvement in recruiting is somewhat unique, Assistant Dean of Admissions Mimi Huang says the admissions office welcomes students interested in volunteering. “It’s valuable for prospective students because they ask different questions to current students, and current students’ answers have a certain authenticity.”

Providing prospective students with the chance to speak to current students, in both the full-time and part-time programs, helps those considering law school understand what their time at Lewis & Clark would really be like. “Current students who want to volunteer for the office have to be confident and feel comfortable speaking honestly about their experiences,” Huang says. “Fortunately, people by and large have a positive experience here and are happy to share that.”

Pittman couldn’t agree more, and emphasizes to pre-law students that attending Lewis & Clark Law School “is truly a unique educational opportunity.” “There are not many law schools that are similar to Lewis & Clark Law School,” he says. From the availability of professors outside the classroom to the small classroom environment and clinic experiences, as well as the expansive mentor program, Pittman says the school’s level of support is unparalleled.

“This type of support can only be communicated to potential students through true testimonies of students, who have utilized these various support systems and have relied on them during their times here at Lewis & Clark Law School,” Pittman says.

Huang says this passion for sharing law school experiences extends far beyond students’ time in school. “I think most alumni are nostalgic about their time here and that’s really telling about their experience. Alums far and wide get involved in recruiting. It becomes part of their legacy, going from students to alumni and eventually giving back.”

Alumni serve as attorney mentors for current students, attend school networking events year-round, and help the admissions office contact admitted students to answer any questions they have. In his 1L year, Pittman assisted in organizing a 100-year anniversary alumni celebration, where he met with alumni classes spanning prior decades. Speaking with alumni at the event inspired him to get further involved with the admissions office. “It was wonderful to hear their perspectives about the experiences they had at Lewis & Clark Law School and compare their experience to my own.”

As Pittman finishes his final year at Lewis & Clark, he says he hopes prospective students will continue to recognize the law school’s welcoming and supportive community. “You can come here knowing no one at all, but by the time you finish school – if you are willing to put yourself out there and take advantage of the networking and community resources here – you can leave this institution knowing that you have a major support system through the faculty & staff, student peers, and larger Lewis & Clark legal community that supports your success and development as an attorney.”