L&C boasts about fostering a collaborative learning environment, but so do a lot of other law schools. I am happy to report that what L&C says is genuine.
Degree and Class Year
Areas of legal interest(s)
I am a 2L from the East Coast who moved to Portland for law school. Before coming out west, I worked in mergers and acquisitions for a few years and then as a survey rodman while I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. The school’s environmental law program brought me to Lewis & Clark, and I could not be happier with how everything worked out.
Why did you choose to attend Lewis & Clark?
I chose to attend Lewis & Clark because of how excited I felt after attending a Zoom session for accepted students interested in international environmental law. I do not have any lawyers in my family or social circle, so I was amazed by the amount of career opportunities there are for lawyers in this space. Hearing Professor Wold passionately talk about the different paths his former students had taken and what they were accomplishing, I could finally see myself in a career. I came to visit campus the summer before school started, and I knew this was the school for me.
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.
- GREEN: Golf Recreation Equity and Excellence at the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. The name is a mouthful, but it is worth it! GREEN is the golf club at Lewis & Clark Law School, and while I am not good at golf, I do love it. This club has allowed me to meet other people who love the game without the pressure or snootiness of what is stereotypical for golf. Plus, they hold non-golf related events as well. Just last week, GREEN brought a bunch of people together to support a local donut and burger spot that sadly went out of business. We miss you FILLS!
- PAD, Llewelyn Chapter: Phi Alpha Delta is an international coed law fraternity and is the largest professional law fraternity in the United States. Three current Supreme Court justices are members of PAD. As a 1L, being in PAD helped me meet upperclassmen I would not have otherwise met. They are still good friends and people I go to for career advice and guidance. The chapter hosts events that raise money for local charities, as well as coffee chats to bring students together.
- SIEL: Students for International Environmental Law is eponymous and has held some of the best events I have been to as a student. Professionally, the lunch talks they hold on possible careers in international law are dense and fruitful, and recreationally, going to see The Lost Boys in theaters last Halloween is still the most fun I have had at a club event!
Tell us about a meaningful Lewis & Clark academic experience that happened outside of the classroom.
I almost dropped out my first week of Legal Methods. I was overwhelmed, far from home, and after talking to other new students who knew exactly what they were here for, I felt exceedingly lost. I had a long talk with Assistant Dean of Admissions Mimi Huang who convinced me to wait another week before making a decision. I waited, and in that time I discovered that I resonated with the learning style of law school and enjoyed being challenged again. I am still not certain exactly what type of law I will practice, but there are so many possibilities I am confident I will find my niche. Thanks, Mimi!
Do you have any advice for students making their final law school choices?
If possible, visit. Lewis & Clark Law School has the most beautiful and learning-conducive campus I have ever seen. Before enrolling I was torn between Lewis & Clark and a different school that also specializes in environmental law. Initially, I was leaning toward attending the other school because it was closer to home and had offered me more money. However, I felt a connection to Lewis & Clark and thought I at least owed it a visit before deciding whether to attend. I knew from Google Maps that the campus is in a state park, but I did not understand how beautiful the campus was until I came to visit. I knew immediately this was the school for me, and was so grateful to have found somewhere so stunning to study.
What was the hardest thing about adjusting to law school?
The hardest adjustment for me coming to law school was sitting in lecture. I had been working for several years, was independent in my roles, and had not been in a lecture for a long time. Getting called on and raising my hand amused me and made me feel like a child again. That feeling eventually went away as I once again transformed into a student, but it was strange for the first few weeks.
Other stories, comments, or experiences you would like to share?
The folks at Lewis & Clark Law School are surprisingly kind and collaborative. Before coming to law school, I heard horror stories of how competitive students can be and the mean-spirited antics that go along with that. The school website boasted fostering a collaborative learning environment, but so do all other law schools. I am happy to report that this law school is genuine. At the start of my 1L year, I was told by a peer to hurry and book office hours in advance with our professor because all the time slots were filling up around when a big assignment was due. It amazed me that while my friend at a different law school was complaining about how petty their peers could be, I was making new friends who were reaching out to help me. I believe it is a combination of self-selection and the no-strings-attached scholarships that create the unique atmosphere at Lewis & Clark Law. (Plus, a professor that lets you see their schedule and book office hours whenever they are free? Whoah.)