How to Get In: Lewis & Clark Law School

What can you do to set yourself apart in your application? Admissions officials have the answers.

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1. Location: The beauty and outdoor recreation options of the northwest, the vibrant city of Portland, Ore., and the amazing setting of our campus in a forested state park are all reasons that lure students to Lewis & Clark Law School. Our campus, city, and region are each attractive and unique, and the lifestyle is hard to beat. Lewis & Clark is also the only law school in Portland, making the legal opportunities highly accessible to our students.

2. Faculty and curriculum: Lewis & Clark law professors are very interested in the quality of their teaching and developing relationships with their students, much like one might experience at a smaller undergraduate school. Professors know their students on an individual basis and care about what their students are learning.

While we prepare students to practice any type of law, some students come to Lewis & Clark because they want to study subjects in which we are considered to be particularly strong. Some of these include business and commercial law, environmental and natural resources law, intellectual property law, public interest law, Indian law, animal law, criminal law, crime victim advocacy, tax law, and growing course offerings in global law. These tend to be the subjects in which we really shine, but even so, the curriculum is full of many other types of courses so one can be a generalist, or even create a focus of one's own. The curriculum has the breadth to assure students have the opportunity to cover all the fundamentals needed for a thorough legal education. Our graduates practice everything under the sun, and we encourage students not to limit themselves. Additionally, some students are attracted to the flexibility in our curriculum provided by our evening program and part-time options.

3. Cost: We offer scholarships to 45 percent of our incoming class, making the cost of law school more manageable. The school also has a Loan Repayment Assistance Program and several summer stipends available for students going into public interest law. In comparison to other private law schools and many public schools' out-of-state tuitions, Lewis & Clark's tuition is competitive and the cost of living in Portland is reasonable.

4. Student body: Critical to the atmosphere at any law school is the way students treat one another. The atmosphere at Lewis & Clark is collegial and cooperative. Students treat one another as colleagues and friends, not as competitors. One finds the environment here supportive, engaging, and friendly.

L&C's student profile is impressive. Our goal is to admit intelligent, diverse, and interesting students and we believe that is reflected in our student body. Further, the average age of our students is slightly higher than most schools', and many of our students have significant work experience prior to coming to law school. Finally, we are proud of our low attrition rate, which reflects a high rate of student satisfaction as well as a class that is academically strong.

5. Opportunities: getting a job and being able to gain practical skills while in law school is very important. Our Career Services Office is top notch and offers a wide range of services and programs to help students find summer jobs, internships, externships, and employment after graduation. Our faculty and administrators are also very helpful to students with their career search. We have some fantastic clinical opportunities—in consumer law, landlord-tenant law, tax law, employment law, domestic violence and family law, small business transactions, environmental and natural resources law, international environmental law, crime victim advocacy, and animal law—as well as strong moot court teams, three law reviews, and study abroad options. It is crucial that students develop their resumes while in law school and there are numerous ways to do that at Lewis & Clark.

6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting? Do you put much weight on letters from prominent public figures who may not know the applicant well?