- Sara Densmore
Brief Background: I grew up in rural eastern Oregon and I always knew I wanted to go to law school. For career day in 6th grade I shadowed an attorney. I was a youth attorney for Union County Teen Court in middle school and high school, and I was on the Mock Trial team for all four years of high school. In undergrad, I double-majored in Political Science and History and studied abroad in Queretaro, Mexico. There, I fell in love with traveling so I decided to take a gap year after undergrad which turned into four years. I moved to Quito, Ecuador and worked at a law firm that gave free legal advice to children who had been abused and neglected. From there I moved to Australia to work for a non-profit, and then to Ireland to work in tech–before settling down in Portland to pursue my life-long goal of becoming an attorney.
Favorite Law Class
My favorite class I’ve taken so far is Criminal Procedure with Professor Klonoff. In Criminal Procedure you explore what constitutes a “search” and a “seizure” under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution as well as your 5th Amendment Miranda rights to remain silent, an attorney, and against self-incrimination. I loved watching CSI and Law and Order SVU growing up as well as The Wire and so this class intrigued me. The Supreme Court decisions we read were engaging and Professor Klonoff did an excellent job making sure we grasped the material.
Why Lewis & Clark?
For me, Lewis & Clark was an easy decision. I plan on practicing law in Portland or the Pacific Northwest and attorneys I talked to advised me to go to school where I wanted to practice. Portland is a wonderful city and the perfect size for me. It has everything I could want from a city –- delicious food, live music, art galleries, etc., but it also has hiking, biking, and snowboarding within an accessible distance. Not to mention the campus is absolutely beautiful, the professors are passionate about making a difference for example learning about Professor Kaplan’s Criminal Justice Reform Clinic during an admitted student day really solidified my decision.
Hardest thing about adjusting to law school
The hardest thing about adjusting to law school was getting used to the workload. I knew from friends who had already graduated from law school that it was going to be very hard and a lot of work but that didn’t make it any easier to complete all the work. I would spend from the time I got home from class until about 11pm every night reading. But it does get easier and you become more efficient! Also, cold calls are scary but be confident in your answer and if you’re wrong people won’t remember.
My Top Ten List
1. Tin Shed – one of the best brunch spots in Portland and you can bring your dog!
2. Revolution Hall – this place has everything! There’s a dog park out front, a rooftop bar with a gorgeous view of the city, and it’s a music venue.
3. Rontoms – bar with an outdoor patio and ping pong. They have free live music on Sundays year-round and dogs are allowed on the patio.
4. The Doug Fir Lounge – my favorite music venue and they have a great patio.
5. Forest Park – great place to take your dog on a walk and get some fresh air there are tons of trails to choose from.
6. Hood River, Oregon – cute small town an hour away from Portland and one of the best places in the world to windsurf. It’s a great place for outdoor sports or to go wine tasting.
7. The Goodfoot Lounge – my favorite place to dance in Portland. They have a great funk night.
8. Laurelhurst Park – a wonderful park to read a book, hula hoop, bring your dog, and relax in.
9. White Owl Social – bar with a great patio that is dog friendly! They have an awesome happy hour with vegan food! They also have free live music most Thursdays.
10. Mt. Hood – it’s so beautiful! You can day a day hike with your dog, backpack around it (so fun!), climb up it, ski on it, etc.
(P.S.) I adopted a puppy during the first few weeks of law school and although he is an adorable angel -–training a puppy while I was overwhelmed and stressed with my school workload probably wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made. I also felt incredibly guilty leaving him alone all day. So I wouldn’t say that you shouldn’t adopt but I’d suggest adopting an older dog who doesn’t need quite as much of your time.