There are many exciting new things happening in the world of law and legal education. Among them is the launch of a new three-year program with Portland State University. The rule of law collaborative will support developing countries and post-conflict nations. In addition, the School of Law is preparing students for the changing legal environment.
During the fall competition season, the Mock Trial and Moot Court teams broke school records. They also received numerous awards and recognitions, including Breakthrough Star, a national honor. Additionally, they were among the top 15 teams in the country in the Mock Trial Competition and the King of the Hill Mock Trial Competition.
Last year’s class was one of the most academically accomplished classes in school history. For the fifth straight year, the school’s profile has improved. Students came from all over the U.S., with an average age of 26. Among them, three students are ranked in the top 25 percent of their class.
This year’s class is also the first in school history to have all incoming students in the top five percent of their class. Throughout the course of their studies, the students have taken advantage of a number of resources to help them succeed. One of these resources is the Adopt a Teacher Program, which pairs attorneys with local teachers to provide pro bono services. Another initiative is the Law School Bound program. It gives law students the opportunity to take on a leadership role.
Professors in the School of Law are working to improve outcomes for juveniles facing potential incarceration. Other initiatives include the Children’s Law Center, which will soon have a first-class training space. Several faculty members have published articles in the top law reviews.
As a result of a generous gift from Marty Wolf ’57, LLB’60, the School of Law will expand its experiential learning opportunities. Former federal jurist Abby DeBorde will be the first full-time licensed professional counselor staff member at the school.
During the fall semester, students will be introduced to several new areas of law, including entrepreneurship, immigration, and environmental justice. These efforts are part of the Signature Strengths Initiative, a program that is a part of Willamette Law’s historically progressive approach to legal education.
The College of Law will also welcome six new professors. Professors include Professor Rohan Grey, who specializes in money and land use law; Professor Clyde “Bennett” Gore Jr., who is a clinical instructor at the law school and director of the Veterans Legal Clinic; and Professor Dustin Buehler, who is a alumnus of the law school and will teach Civil Procedure in the fall.
Willamette Law is also preparing students for leadership roles with its Lawyers & Leadership seminar. Third-year students were chosen for this program, which prepares them for a career in law.
Students were also selected to participate in the Bruce Spaulding Trial Competition. This contest featured prominent legal scholars and third-year students. Contestants were challenged to write, present, and defend a legal issue. After a long series of rounds, the final round of contests took place on September 14.
New faculty also include Bennett Nelson, who has been teaching at the school for seven years. He replaces Professor Jaclyn Cherry. Also on the faculty, Assistant Professors Etienne Toussaint and Madalyn Wasilczuk join the school as assistant professors.