Lewis & Clark College Law School

Lewis & Clark Law School


Lewis & Clark College Law School

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Boulevard
Portland, Oregon 97219
(503) 768-6613

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TippingTheScales (2013): NR
U.S. News (2013): 80
AboveTheLaw (2013): NR




Academics & Programs: Students who take the legal plunge at Lewis & Clark Law School in beautiful Portland, Oregon, enjoy professors who are “uniformly excellent and approachable for discussion about class topics and other issues striking your fancy.” The small size of the law school allows for an extremely personalized educational experience, and students benefit from this cozy setup on multiple levels, “from an academic perspective as well as from a functional perspective.” “I have been lucky enough to develop solid mentor relationships with specific professors that were particularly inspirational,” says a second-year student. Practically everyone involved in running the school, from the dean to the cafeteria staff, “seem to truly like each other,” and the well-regarded faculty is given an “unusual amount of influence in the way that the school is run, and [in the] the school’s policies.”

Lewis & Clark Law School has a relatively small course load of required classes and offers a night program, bringing a large contingent of older and more experienced students to the classrooms, which “adds a valuable, practical dimension to the learning experience.” As one would expect from such an environmentally conscious institution, programs such as environmental and natural resources law and animal law are “unparalleled.” No matter what their specialization, the faculty is considered to be “inspirational and knowledgeable enough to stimulate thinking beyond what’s required by the curriculum,” and the school’s size “allows for an ideal student/teacher ratio that goes further to foster a highly effective teaching environment.” Lewis & Clark’s National Crime Victim Law Institute is another source of pride for the school, “leading the way in an emerging field of law.”

Administrators are friendly, and accessible, “always willing to help out a student,” and they keep the law school “running very smoothly.” The research librarians are cited for being “very knowledgeable,” and the Career Services Department also does its part to make sure students’ needs are met, though some would like to see more non-metro area firms on campus. For students who are interested in staying in the area after graduation, there is “heavy support and involvement from the Portland legal community,” and for others, “Alumni are distributed all around the world.”

Campus Life/Facilities: Since the school and its student body are known for being nature-friendly, it follows that the buildings on campus are all “green” and “tucked into a forested state park.” This is nice, students say, because “when you are facing the gut-wrenching pain of law school, a ‘walk in the park’ goes a long way.” Students are quite pleased with the library and the newer building, Wood Hall, but many are clamoring for an update of the other facilities. Portland is universally beloved as “a great place to live,” though students say the parking situation could stand some improvements. A graduating student sums up life at the law school this way: “The professors are passionate about what they teach, and the students actually want to help each other get ahead in school. And where else do you get to study while in an overly large tree house?”

No one would argue that “liberal” describes the majority of those enrolled at Lewis & Clark, and as one 3L warns, “If you are conservative, religious, or a meat-eating capitalist, be prepared.” Fortunately, the laid-back nature of the majority of the student body means that there is “a complete void of competition”; absolutely “no one participates in the awful game of one-upmanship or cutthroat competition,” and “The students are genuinely interested in helping and supporting each other.” The day and night students don’t often interact outside of class, but this doesn’t seem to be a source of much tension. There are plenty of clubs in which they can relate if they so choose, and students here “are spoiled with the number of lunchtime events,” including speakers and panels. “Everyone is accepted for who they are,” coos a 2L. A second-year student puts it in another way: “Good people go here.”

* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.