Lily Barchers

More than just caring about students, Lewis & Clark faculty believe in their students—even when they are struggling—and will do whatever they can to support them.

Lily Barchers JD '24

Degree and Class Year

JD ’24

Program Type

3-year JD (full time)


Portland, Oregon

Undergraduate/Graduate School(s)

Portland State University

Areas of legal interest(s)

Public International Law

Brief Background:

I grew up in Portland, and I graduated from Portland State with a bachelor’s degree in political science. The constant development of the international system and the positive-sum nature of diplomacy fascinated me. Through the course of my time as an undergrad, I focused on international law and comparative government. After I graduated, I joined the Peace Corps, as a volunteer in Cambodia, with the hope of eventually going into the foreign service. Then the pandemic hit, so of course I got evacuated, and all my plans changed.

Why did you choose to attend Lewis & Clark?

My mother went to law school when I was 15, taking classes at L&C at night while raising my sister and me as a single mother. After the pandemic derailed everything, I decided to return to the same school where I spent a lot of evenings when I was a teenager—I loved the campus and knew how kind and brilliant the professors were. Lewis & Clark also has a great Jessup International Moot Court team!

List up to three activities (school-related or not) that you are involved in. Pick the ones that are most important to you and tell us why.

I am the treasurer of Students for International Environmental Law (SIEL), a participant on the Jessup International Moot Court team, and doing the Global Law Alliance clinic. This is a hard question! I love SIEL, and it is definitely a must-join organization for anyone interested in international environmental/wildlife law or anyone who wants a real sense of community on campus. International Moot Court has been so challenging and fun, and it has been a great way to get to know the field of international law as well as the international justice system.

What’s your top ten-ish list about Portland and/or Oregon?

Overall favorite vibes:

  1. Rose City Book Pub—combination bookstore and pub, open from noon to midnight. A popular study spot, writing group meet up, live music venue, and date spot for bookish couples. The staff is friendly, and it sounds like what you would get if you typed “dark academia coffee shop ambiance” into YouTube.
  2. Latourell Falls—half an hour outside of the city is the Columbia River Gorge and a line of 90 waterfalls. Of the six most accessible, Multnomah Falls is the tallest and most famous, but Latourell is the best in terms of being able to safely get close enough to feel the spray and let the water drown out all other noise. It’s really a great option if you need to have a mental breakdown, or meditate, or whenever you might need to experience an elemental force of nature.
  3. Collage Craft Store (on Alberta)—Alberta is my favorite neighborhood, with lots of art, cute shops, and popular food places. Collage is my favorite excuse to spend time wondering around. This is a casual craft store, perfect for when you are looking for some cute, random, seasonal project to get you through studying. (Personally, I find Pomodoro studying with a small cross stitch project from Collage during breaks is a great way to stay on task without getting overwhelmed.)
  4. Tea Chai Te—There are multiple locations, but if you like tea and want to study somewhere pretty late into the day, all the locations have fun vibes and good tea.
  5. Hollywood Farmer’s Market—There are a LOT of farmer’s markets in Portland, and they are all great (and affordably priced!), but Hollywood is my favorite. In addition to a wide selection of produce, honey, and organic meats, this market also has live music, amazing bakeries, native-caught salmon, micro greens, and freshly foraged mushrooms. Oregon has an amazing and diverse agricultural industry, so farmer’s market produce is not significantly more expensive than the grocery store.
  6. Timberline Lodge —About an hour from the city is Timberline, a giant log cabin-style lodge built in the 30s that makes a great weekend getaway or day trip. I like to go up on a Saturday and get some homework done in front of one of the many fireplaces with a hot drink from the bar. This is also the go-to skiing/snowboarding spot!
  7. Rimsky-Korsakoffee House—Late night coffee shop with a spooky vibe, a weird bathroom, amazing ginger cake, and maybe ghosts. This isn’t a study spot because it is extremely popular, but it is a fun way to spend a night.
  8. Torii Mor Winery—The area right outside of Portland has a lot of amazing wineries, but Torii Mor is my favorite. The tasting room is beautiful and small, and their pinot is one of the best in the state. If you like wine, there are a lot of options for either a formal winery tour or a self-guided day trip.
  9. Camp 18—This restaurant is on the scenic highway that takes you out to the beach and is a great spot for breakfast on a weekend day trip. It looks like an old lumberjack lodge, with a river, a walking path (with a lot of edible wood sorrel, if you like foraging), and cinnamon rolls the size of your head.
  10. Champagne Poetry Patisserie—This is an extremely cute spot for mimosas and remarkably pretty deserts. There is something Instagram circa-2016 about this place, in a fun way. It’s located on Hawthorne, which is otherwise a bit more nightlife oriented with cool bars, theaters, and music venues.

Tell us about a meaningful Lewis & Clark academic experience that happened outside of the classroom.

Last year, I had a significant health scare and ended up having to spend the better part of a semester in and out of doctors’ offices. Technically, I was still able to go to most classes, but I was distracted and in pain, and I was falling behind. I eventually ended up talking to Associate Dean for Student Affairs Libby Davis, crying in her office because I just didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t afford to drop any classes and take them again, and I didn’t think I could pass all of them given everything going on. Libby said something like, “As long as you talk to us, we will make it work.” She ended up helping me drop a class I was struggling with and gave me an additional scholarship to cover the cost of taking it again. Additionally, she worked with my other professors to let me miss class or pass on cold calls as much as I needed to, no further explanation needed. More than just caring about students, Lewis & Clark believes in their students—even when they are struggling—and will do whatever they can to support.

Do you have any advice for students making their final law school choices?

Don’t just look at the classes and rankings! So much of your success and happiness will depend on the community on campus and in the local area. If you thrive in a high-pressure, cut-throat environment, find a school and legal community that reflects that. If you want a friendly, supportive community that values mentorship and collegiality, then Portland and Lewis & Clark might be the place for you.

Environmental Law International Law