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Willamette University College of Law, Salem, OR

published November 06, 2006

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( 11 votes, average: 4.1 out of 5)
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The professors at Willamette focus on teaching their students the basics: research, writing, and problem-solving skills. By concentrating on these three areas, professors are able to cultivate a strong understanding of the law, and students graduate with the ability to think and reason on their own. In a profession that is constantly evolving, the ability to analyze and understand the law and the legal process is priceless. The faculty and staff at Willamette know this and do their absolute best to ensure that every graduate is challenged and pushed to achieve all that he or she can.

Willamette is particularly proud of is its nationally recognized Center for Dispute Resolution. The center administers a Certificate Program in Dispute Resolution, which is ranked among the top 10 dispute resolution programs in the country. It was the first dispute resolution center in the Western United States and has since become a national model.

In addition to the Certificate Program in Dispute Resolution, students at Willamette can choose from three other certificate programs to enhance their J.D. degrees, including certificates in business law, law and government, and international and comparative law. In addition, students also have the option to pursue a J.D. and M.B.A. through the school's Joint Degree Program, administered in conjunction with Willamette's Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

The Truman Wesley Collins Legal Center, home of Willamette law school, is a state-of-the-art legal center with two computer labs and the J.W. Long Law Library. The center is open 24 hours a day/seven days a week for students' convenience. Each of the classrooms comes equipped with wireless Internet access and was created with the sole purpose of enhancing group communication and encouraging discussion.

Three stories tall, the J.W. Long Law Library is home to 285,000 volumes and microform files. Consisting of reading lounges, conference rooms, video rooms, and study carrels, the law library was created to aid students in the research process. Reference librarians are also on hand to answer any questions and lend a helping hand with research tools such as Lexis and Westlaw.

For added convenience, Willamette students can access the library's online catalog from any computer on campus and from their homes. In addition, students can utilize the Mark O. Hatfield Library on the Willamette campus, the Oregon Supreme Court Library, the Oregon State Library, and the Oregon State Archives, which are located a few short blocks away.

Students at Willamette also are invited to enjoy the school's common areas and cafeterias, including the Goudy Dining Commons, The Bistro, and University Center. Fitness buffs will appreciate the Sparks Physical Education and Recreation Center. With a weight room, swimming pool, racquetball courts, and much more, the recreation center is described as one of the finest in the region.

In addition to the school's academic highlights, many students may choose Willamette largely based upon its location within the third largest city in Oregon—Salem. With its 150,000 residents, Salem is a big city with a small-town feel. Salem is nestled on the shores of the Willamette River and has become famous for the green, lush parks and vineyards that are scattered throughout the city limits and beyond. Perfect for adventurous and active types, the city inspires outdoor activities such as bike riding, hiking, jogging, and walking.

"Salem has mild temperatures all year round," the school's website states. "Summers are sunny, autumns are often clear and dry, and it is merely the winter and early spring that are wet; and keep in mind, it is this rain that gives Oregon its beautiful lakes, mountain snow, and glorious trees and flowers."

Amidst all the glorious greenery and natural wonders of Oregon, law students at Willamette have a myriad of leisure activities at their fingertips. From skiing at Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor to hanging out on the beach to wine tasting, Oregon has something for everyone. If city life is what you are longing for, Oregon has that too. Abundant with culture, the area around Willamette offers plenty of big-city entertainment, including the opera, theatre, and symphony; and if you do not feel like driving, you can always stay on campus and browse through the school's Hallie Ford Museum of Art—the third largest art museum in Oregon.

published November 06, 2006

( 11 votes, average: 4.1 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.