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January Free Practice LSAT »

You are invited to take a free practice LSAT at Willamette Law on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Please click here to RSVP.

Willamette Law wants to help students prepare for the LSAT. One of the best ways to prepare is to take a practice LSAT test under time constraints. This helps you estimate the amount of time you can afford to spend on each question in a given section to help you study more efficiently. This event is FREE and will not count toward your test record with the Law School Admission Council. Willamette Law will also not know your score, as you will score your own test.

Date, Time, and Location

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. (check-in begins at 8 a.m.); lunch begins after the test at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Location: Willamette Law
245 Winter Street SE, Salem, Oregon

Logistics

  • The front door of the law school will open at 8 a.m.
  • Students must be checked in no later than 8:30 a.m. No late shows. Doors will be closed promptly at 8:30 a.m.
  • We will proctor this exam similar to real testing conditions.
  • There are four multiple-choice sections and the writing sample. Each section will be timed for 35 minutes.
  • There will be a short 10-15 minute break after Section III.
  • Time will be called at the end of each section.
  • Willamette University College of Law will provide lunch after the test. During lunch a current student will offer a workshop on LSAT tips and tricks.
  • Free parking is available on Winter Street or in the parking lots in front of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, right next to our building.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact us at (503) 370-6282 or law-admissions@willamette.edu.

Epstein Lecture: Our Implied Constitution »

Richard Epstein

You are invited to hear renowned legal scholar, Richard Epstein, deliver a lecture titled Our Implied Constitution. The lecture will be from 5 to 7 p.m., tomorrow, Tuesday, January 17, 2017 in room 201 of Willamette Law. This event is free and open to the public. Click here for additional information.

Please let us know whether you plan on attending by registering here.

Willamette: Training Grounds for Pokémon Trainers »

Pokémon GO, an augmented reality game that allows the user to catch Pokémon in real world locations, has taken over parks, downtown neighborhoods, and college campuses. The game uses the GPS signal from the user’s cell phone to track their location. As the walking distance of the user increases, so will the number of Pokemon they see. (Note that walking in place will not work.) Because of the interactive nature of the game and the nostalgic theme, the popularity of this game caught the attention of many students and staff of Willamette University. Therefore, we have created a guide on the benefits of playing this game on Willamette’s campus.

We all want to be the very best that no one ever was. Since the user is mandated to walk, the game does not only help improve their physical health but it shows the user some landmarks that could otherwise be missed. PokéStops are locations in the game that allow the user to check-in and receive items they need to play the game and points to help them level up. Most of the time PokéStops are landmarks throughout the community. On the Willamette campus, there are 37 PokéStops and one Gym (which is a landmark that three different “teams” compete for).

The following are a few examples of some of the great PokéStops on our campus::Psyduck in the Dean's Office

  • Lady Justice: Once affixed to the top of the Marion County Courthouse, the Lady Justice rests in the lobby of the Willamette University College of Law. With its comfy sofas and great view of Winter Street, all Pokémon trainers are welcome to set a lure and relax.
  • Sparks Athletic Center: While Pokémon Trainers are swimming laps, running, or utilizing the many strength training equipment available, those who want to go the extra mile can set a lure at the PokéStop and catch Pokémon while they exercise.
  • Willamette Waterfall: There’s no way someone can find a Gyarados in the shallow rapid waters but there is always an abundant amount of Magikarp near the waterfall and a peaceful atmosphere for Pokémon Trainers to destress.
  • Chinese Fu Dogs: Petting dogs is always a great form to destress. Why not pet a dog that can’t bite? They also look like a better version of an Arcanine.
  • Japanese Garden: When a Pokémon trainer is upset from having a Charizard (CP: 950) run away from them, they can find peace and tranquility behind the Art building and discover a hidden oasis which many may not know exists.
  • 1916 Sun Clock: Great spot for those whose phones have died after a long walk of Pokémon catching. The sun clock offers accurate time so no more excuses for being late to class.

A very common PokéStop (that constantly has lure modules set up) is the World War II Memorial in the Capitol Park. After long hours of studying, who wouldn’t want to take a 5-minute walk to this historic monument to thank our war veterans for their sacrifice and catch some Pokémon on the walk over? The Capitol Park PokéStops have not only increased the number of park goers but have also made previously ignored or forgotten landmarks points of interest to those who may have thought themselves familiar with the park.

From dozens of PokéStops that can be reached in a matter of minutes, to the abundant amount of Pidgeys that fly around campus, there are no better training grounds than Willamette University and its community.

Investing in Your Future: Paying for Your Legal Education »

Money hanging on a clothesline. For many students, being a student presents a hard financial challenge. While society advocates the importance of obtaining a college degree, the financial aspect of getting a degree is seldom talked about and many people are unable to attend university, in great part, due to a lack of information about resources available to them. The following are some aspects to consider if you are thinking of getting a Juris Doctor and some helpful tips to help you settle the financial consideration of law school so you can focus on which school is best for you and what to do with your degree.

The Cost

It is no secret that a graduate degree like a Juris Doctor is not cheap. The average tuition cost for law school runs between $25,000 and $40,000 per year. Depending on if you go to a private or public school, whether you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, and many other factors. In addition to this, your cost of living depends on factors such as where your school is located (check out Numbeo to compare the cost of living in different cities), if the school offers graduate students housing options, if you have a family and much more. Also, books can cost between $1,000 to $2,000 per year. So when we talk about cost, law school is probably one of the greatest investments you will make in your lifetime. While the cost is great, the reward is definitely worth it. According to the

While the cost is great, the reward is definitely worth it. According to the American Bar Association’s website approximately 76% of all class of 2015 law graduates were employed in either bar passage required or J.D. advantage jobs shorting after graduation. A career in law provides you with a sea of opportunities.

Scholarships

Many schools offer scholarships for their students, from covering all tuition costs to smaller awards which will help degrees the amount paid out of pocket or through loans. Applicants to Willamette are automatically considered for scholarship awards. Many scholarships offered to students are based on LSAT scores and/or GPA. However, you can, and should, also apply for outside scholarships. Scholarships awarded by the school generally have a minimum GPA requirement that you must maintain for your scholarship to continue to be awarded. Outside, third-party scholarships can help you cover the tuition cost or even help with other expenses such as textbooks.

Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows students to apply for federal and state grants, scholarships, and loans to help cover the cost of school. Depending on your financial need and when you submit your application, you may receive financial aid to cover your tuition and cost of living expenses during the school year. Be advised that the sooner you submit you application the more likely you are to receive assistance.  Additionally, the deadlines for federal financial aid, state financial aid, and institutional specific scholarships may all be different. So, it is very important for you to stay conscious of the deadlines. The FAFSA website provides you with deadline information and makes the process of applying for financial aid easier.

Repayment or Forgiveness

If you receive financial aid in the form of loans you must understand and have a plan for repayment. It is helpful to have a plan for repayment before you choose to take out student loans. Additionally, keep in mind that under certain circumstances and programs some or all of your loans may be forgiven. Remember to take your loan repayment plan into consideration in your post-graduation decisions. Check out Access Group’s free Student Loan Calculator to give you a full picture of your financial repayment outlook.

Ask for Help

If you are uncertain about what to do or how to do it do not hesitate to ask for help. Many students are unable to attend university because they failed to submit a form or because they were not aware of the deadline to apply for financial aid. Try to stay conscious of what you will need and if you are uncertain about anything ask for help from an academic advisor or the financial aid office at the university you are applying to.

While the cost of law school is no small deal, it is certainly a worthwhile investment in your future. Our society is centered around the rule of law and a profession in this area will open an infinite number of possibilities for you.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email our Admissions Office at law-admission@willamette.edu.

By rising 3L, Gaby. 

Getting Great Letters of Recommendation »

Person writingWhether you are a high school student applying to college for the first time or a law student applying for a clerkship, getting letters of recommendation can be a daunting prospect. Thankfully, getting letters of recommendation does not have to be a painful experience for you. Following some general guidelines will certainly help ensure that the process is easier every time you do it, to the point that you can soon become very comfortable with the process. Here are some tips to help you get letters of recommendation at any stage in your educational career.

Why Are They Important?

Many programs and some jobs ask for letters of recommendation from applicants. It is important to understand the purpose they serve in this process so that you might utilize them in the most effective way possible. A letter of recommendation can persuade the reader to pick you above someone equally well qualified. A good letter of recommendation can not only confirm the information provided in the application but also will shed insight into other important skills and qualities you possess which the institution or organization may desire.

Who Should Write Your Letter of Recommendation?

Deciding who to ask for a letter of recommendation is the first step. Think about a person in your life that would be able to speak well about your personal and professional actions.

Asking professors will likely be your best option since they will have seen some of the characteristics sought after in applicants. For a start, you should seek to ask professors you have interacted with outside of class. Think about your favorite classes and professors, the classes where you received your highest grades, whether you have stayed after class to talk to your professor about the lecture or whether you have gone to a professor’s office to ask a question about the material. These are likely the people you will ask to write you a letter of recommendation because they are likely to know you, what your work ethic is like, and other aspects of your academic life. Think of every class as an opportunity to demonstrate your personal and professional qualities. While you are not likely to need to ask all of your professors for a letter of recommendation, it is beneficial for you to maintain a good reputation with your professors and not close off any future possibilities for yourself.

Remember that you will not be able to read what has been written about you so make sure the people you are asking are people you trust will have good things to say about you. You might ask them if they are willing to write a positive letter of recommendation. No one is likely to write you a horrible letter of recommendation but a neutral or vague letter can be as detrimental as a negative depiction of you. Neutrality or vagueness do not add to your application materials.

How to Ask

The way you ask for a letter of recommendation bears a huge role on the result you achieve. My first year in undergraduate, I was applying for a Residents’ Assistant position and I emailed my English professor to request a letter of recommendation. She very honestly responded that she would agree to do it this time but that, as a general rule, you should always ask for letters of recommendation in person if possible. I now understand the importance of asking for a letter of recommendation face-to-face. It reminds the professor who you are, you are able to provide more information about what the letter is for, they are able to ask you any questions they may have instantly, and it is a sight of respect to the professor and a demonstration of the importance that particular application holds to you.

When to Ask

Procrastinating when it comes to letters of recommendation is not an option. If you are going to request a letter of recommendation from someone, make sure you provide them with at least a month to get it back to you. This means you should be conscious of the application deadline and make sure to start as soon as possible. Application deadlines approach fast and if you do not give someone enough time to write you a letter of recommendation you could be stuck not being able to submit your application. Even if you do not realize it, your professors and employer are likely to have large workloads. They may be willing to write you an amazing letter of recommendation but if you do not provide them with enough time they will be forced to decline to write it. Think about how highly you value your own time and make sure you are valuing others’ time to the same extent.

What You Need

After your recommender has agreed to write you a letter, you have to provide the writer with some necessary information for them to write you the best recommendation possible. You should explain what is the position you are applying for, why you are applying, what characteristics they are seeking, and a date by which you need the letters of recommendation. It is helpful to provide them with your resumé and application materials as they are likely to use the letter to reinforce certain characteristics apparent in your application materials and provide other information which they note is important to your success which may not be apparent from your other materials.

Lastly, do not forget to check whether the letters of recommendation must be sent directly by the writer or whether they must be included in your application packet. Additionally, make sure to provide the professor with the information of where to send the letter will be sent to so that they may personalize it as much as possible. Forgetting to do this could be fatally detrimental to the success of your application so make sure you have all the information you need and have plenty of time to double check you have a complete application packet.

Do you have any additional tips or any questions on getting letters of recommendations please feel free to email our Admissions Office at law-admission@willamette.edu.

By rising 3L, Gaby. 

Advice For Your First Year of Law School »

Waller HallHave you heard any stories about the first year of law school? A professor asking an obscure question? A classmate being unprepared for the first day? Someone completely blanking during the exam? If you are anything like me, you will have read countless articles about what you need to know going into law school and how to survive your first year. However, there are a few things none of my research could have prepared me for and that I wish someone would have told me early on. While not all of these things are law school secrets, some are things that seriously have made my life easier since I learned them. With the hope of saving some of you a little bit of anxiety and extra work, here are some of the things I learned during my first year of law school that I wish I had known earlier:

Applying Facts to the Law

Law school is a three-year intensive program intended to teach you to think like a lawyer. The purpose of law school classes is not to force students to memorize laws, although memorizing the law does help, but for students to learn to identify legal issues and apply the relevant law to the facts presented. If you go through your law school exams spilling out law after law after law, you are likely to score very few points. Your professors want you to be able to apply legal concepts to the facts presented, and for you to apply the right law to resolve your clients’ legal issues.

Reading

Doing your reading in absolutely necessary in law school. While some of us may have been able to go through our undergraduate classes skimming the reading or not doing it all together, that is not how law school classes work. Doing your reading is fundamental to your success in class.  The purpose of assigned reading is for you to learn how the law is applied and to begin molding your brain to think like a lawyer. You will not only be lost in class if you do not do your reading, but you also run the risk of upsetting your professor and classmates for wasting their time by being unprepared.

You Have a Law School Community

Talking to upperclassmen can save you time, stress, and money. Upperclassmen are great resources for information about what to expect from a certain class, what classes you should take, which professor likes to call on people on the back row, where to buy class books, and when and how to study for your exams.

Law school friends are very important. While some people have their own external support system before coming to law school and others have gotten this far without a support system at all, you need friends in law school. In the most pragmatic sense, in the event that you are sick or unable to make it to class, your friends can send you class notes. In the other hand, you will learn that no one understands what you are going through like your fellow classmates and being able to talk about your experience with others who are living similar things can help you feel better when you are overwhelmed or stressed. Your law school friends will be a great help to get you through the first year appeal brief, your second and third year classes, and bar exam study period post graduation.

This Will Be Hard, But You Will Have Support

Even though it may not feel that way sometimes, you will survive law school. A few weeks in, when the tiredness is setting in and the work is piling up, you may begin to feel overwhelmed by law school. Upperclassmen and alumni know what you are going through and will often be very sympathetic to your feelings if you need someone to vent to. Remember that second and third law year students at your school are proof that you can and will survive your first year of law school.

We hope some of these will help get you through your first year. If there is anything else you have been told about the first year of law school please let us know by emailing our Admissions Office at law-admission@willamette.edu.

By rising 3L, Gaby. 

Consider an Externship »

Willamette Law Students Leaving Their Externship at the CapitolThe primary goal of law school is to provide law students with the training and experience necessary to be effective advocates in the community upon graduation. To this end, Willamette Law strongly encourages students to pursue practical experiences through clinical law programs, clerkships, internships, or externships. While most people have an understanding of what some of these are, externships tend to be a confusing concept leading many students to not take advantage of this opportunity. Willamette’s externship program immerses students in the fast-paced work of a licensed attorney at a firm or organization that will supervise and aid in the student’s understanding of the practice of law while requiring the student to produce legal work.

What is an Externship?

An externship is an opportunity for students to earn academic credit by working. Externships provide students the opportunity to interact with clients and work to resolve legal issues. Students are closely supervised by attorneys and receive training and mentoring from the externship director. Willamette’s externship program has an academic component. Students attend class, produce online assignments, and produce a final written reflective paper. Externships offer students the opportunity to learn as they go, to develop their legal skills, and to explore their interests in an accommodating environment. While student externs are unpaid, you may seek to receive academic credit for your work. Externship positions range in duration but they most often last for one semester.

What Kind of Opportunities are Available at Willamette?

Willamette students have enjoyed externships with local, national, and international hosts in a variety of legal settings, such as with in-house counsel of national and regional companies, state and federal representatives and senators, state and federal agencies, prosecutors’ offices, public defenders’ offices, nonprofit legal services, and private law firms. Willamette students have also worked with legislators, the governor’s office, the Judiciary Committee and the Oregon Law Commission on a variety of legislative and law improvement measures.

The externship program seeks to strengthen the College of Law’s relationship with the bench, bar, and community and to improve students’ prospects for obtaining satisfying, permanent employment after graduation.

How can I Become an Extern?

The externship course is open to second- and third-year students in good academic standing who have received a passing grade in LRW. However, if you are an incoming student it is not too early to start thinking about externships you might be interested in pursuing during summer 2017. The Placement Office holds information sessions about the externship program throughout the year. Attendance of certain sessions of externships is a requirement for participation in the program so make sure to pay attention to your emails and that you talk to someone at the Placement Office early on if you are considering the program. Externships still require you to apply to the firm or organization you wish to extern with. It is helpful to request a meeting with or email an attorney at the firm or organization and ask about their externship opportunities. Willamette has a list of pre-approved externships for which students may apply (note that you will need your Willamette credentials to log in and see the page). Students are also free to create their own externships (with approval from the Externship Director). If you are interested in working for a particular firm or organization, it may be beneficial to contact them and ask if they take externs and what their application process is like. Additionally, the Placement Office may be able to put you in contact with upperclassmen who have participated in the program and who may have some helpful tips for setting up your own externship.

If you would like more information regarding our Externship Program please click here. You may also contact Terry Wright, the Externship Director, tlwright@willamette.edu or our Admissions Office at law-admissions@willamette.edu.

By rising 3L, Gaby. 

10 Things I Love About Willamette Law »

When deciding which law school to attend, what is important to you? Statistics may help you narrow down your options but when it comes to choosing a school for your professional education you often want to look beyond the numbers and learn what makes people choose a school and why they stay there. Whether you are considering where to go to law school or have decided on Willamette, it can be helpful to learn some of the top things students love about Willamette.

Location, location, location!

Willamette LawWillamette is located in the heart of Salem, the capital for the State of Oregon. The university is located right across the street from the Oregon State Capitol, which offers a unique learning environment for students. Many students are offered the opportunity to work at the Capitol either through a Clinical Law Program, an externship or a clerkship. The Courthouse, Oregon Department of Justice, County District Attorney’s Office, and the County Office of the Public Defenders are also located a couple blocks away meaning students can sit in court and watch trials during a break in their day, can go have coffee with a Prosecutor and learn about their work, or work part-time during the school year. Willamette’s location also offers the opportunity to retreat from the distractions of a large city to focus on your studies while being close enough to Portland and Eugene if you miss the bustle of a large city or close to countless hiking trails either of which allows for a well-deserved distraction once in awhile.

Small school, close relations

It is often possible to go through years at a school without any of your professors knowing your name. At Willamette, the professors and the staff work to learn every student’s name and to be there to help with anything they might need. The incoming class is on average about 100 students and most first-year courses have between 30 and 50 students. Upper-division courses normally allow for class sizes of about 16 students to one professor. Professors strongly encourage students to attend their office hours and are genuinely interested in helping you understand the material. By the end of your time at Willamette, you will notice that you know just about everyone in your graduating class and that many professors and staff know who you are.

Treat Wednesdays!

Treats in the Placement OfficeEvery Wednesday, the amazing staff of the Placement Office provide some treat for students and faculty. The office informs students of the delicious treats by posting on the Willamette Law Career Advisor Facebook group. It is always a welcomed sight to see the students congregate in the office for their Treat Wednesday snacks and it provides a great change for them to talk to the staff about career opportunities and upcoming networking events.

The Clinical Law Program

If you would like to get practical experience while getting credit hours towards your degree, Willamette offers numerous clinics for students to conduct legal work under the close supervision of an attorney. From family law to human rights to legislative, the clinical programs provide students with a safe environment to learn necessary aspects of the legal profession and to practice their skills early on.

Networking Until it is Second Nature

Willamette makes networking a priority of the law school experience, providing countless opportunities throughout the semester for you to hone your abilities and build professional relationships with members of the Oregon legal community. If you choose to take advantage of the opportunities provided to you, you will be able to leave Willamette with a solid professional network to follow you throughout your career. Additionally,

Alumni Involvement

Many people leave their law school with memories of their hard work and a J.D. but Willamette alumni come back time and time again to help current law students. There are many events at Willamette attended by alumni and many of them are very active at the school through networking events, as guest speakers for student organizations, or as attorney-mentors. You will often see at Willamette an alumni walking through the halls with Dean Bridgeman or guiding their family through their personal tour of their alma mater. It is a good sign for students and the administration to know that alumni remember their time at Willamette fondly and seek to help out current students.

24/7 Library Access

It may not make sense to you why having 24 hour access to the law library is desirable but when you have to read an average of 300 pages per week or have to do research for your job as a law clerk, being able to sit at your carrel until you can no longer stay awake is a real blessing in disguise. Children, pets, or simply the chores of everyday life can often turn into distractions and result in you being unprepared for class. Additionally, it is often helpful to be able to give your loved ones some time away from the caffeine infused nervous wreck all students become around finals time.

Mentorship Program

Willamette offers multiple mentoring programs for students. The attorney-mentor program is a voluntary service put together by the Placement Office. Attorneys from the community volunteer to mentor first-year students. Often, this mentorship relationship continuous through the rest of a student’s time in law school and beyond. The Placement office works arduously to provide the best matches between every student and attorneys based on biographical and professional information provided. In the past few years, the majority of students have signed up for the attorney-mentor program. Additionally, MLSA (Multi-Cultural Law Students Association) has a student mentorship program that pairs first-year students with upperclassmen. The first year student is connected with upperclassmen to contact with any questions or concerns, to ask about how to navigate law school, to offer guidance through the difficulty of the first year.

Community

The main thing students and alumni will credit with getting them through law school is not a magic study book or their personal determination but rather the community they had during law school. While you will learn about the horrors of the curve and you are in competition with your fellow classmates, you will come to realize that no one understands what you are going through as well your fellow law students. You may have heard horror stories of stolen outlines and ripped pages at other schools, but Willamette has a reputation for being a friendly school. It may be difficult to believe but there is an atmosphere of cooperation and camaraderie by Willamette students which makes the process of getting through law school not only something to bear but rather something that can be enjoyed. It is a community based on all-nighters, high stress, uncertainty, and cooperation which results in lifelong professional and personal relationships.

Grumpy Cat

12417841_810159815794329_6037895509493780979_nThe adventures of the Placement Office mascot “Grumpy Cat” (not the official Grumpy Cat but rather a stuffed animal version) have become a regular source of entertainment for all that follow Willamette Law Career Advisor Facebook group. Grumpy Cat often echoes law students’ sentiments about the week ahead while offering much-needed encouragement through the difficulties of her life. It is light-hearted and reassuring to be able to go into the Placement Office and know that Grumpy Cat is suffering right alongside you.

Remember you are not only choosing a school to go on your diploma but also your environment for the next few years and your colleagues and friends for the rest of your life. Learn what is important to you and feel free to let us know your favorite thing about Willamette by emailing us at law-admission@willamette.edu

By rising 3L, Gaby. 

 

Getting to Know Salem »

If you’re interested in getting to know a little bit about the Capitol City, take a look at the following links. If you’re bringing your family, or if it’s just you, there is a little something for everyone here.

Enjoy the bounty of the Willamette Valley

There are so many wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms within a short drive of downtown Salem that it would take quite a bit of space to list them all (and even more time to visit each one), so if you’re into wine be sure to let Oregon’s Wine Board help you plan your trip. (If you’re not so much into wine, there are also several local micro-breweries producing both craft beers and hard ciders.)

Oregon’s Willamette Valley is a great place to be if you’re a foodie as the area’s reputation for spectacular produce has served as a magnet for outstanding chefs who want to cook with high-quality seasonal and regional ingredients. You’ll find a wonderful variety of cuisines in restaurants all over the valley, many of which make a point of using organically grown local ingredients.

Explore the great outdoors

Right behind the wine and food, the Willamette Valley’s reputation for natural splendor is also well-known. You’d never mistake Salem for anything but a small city, but you don’t have to drive too far beyond the city limits to be surrounded by beautiful forests, gardens, parks, lakes, and wildlife refuges.

Some of the places that can make either a great day trip of hiking (or boating) or a nice couple days of camping are Silver Falls State ParkChampoeg State Heritage Area, Detroit Lake State Recreation Area, and Breitenbush Hot Springs.  There’s also The Oregon Garden in nearby Silverton, which hosts events at different times year-round. More interested in the local wildlife? There are a couple wildlife refuges – the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge and the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge – that have trails and observation areas where you can get a look at the fauna.

Be Active

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that with all the natural beauty surrounding Salem that there would be ample opportunities to get out and into nature as well. The options are nearly limitless, depending on how far you want to go outside the city. You can go cycling, mountain biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, fishing, and golfing – and then when you want to step up your holiday you can throw in bird-watching, horseback riding, and even hot air ballooning. Consult the list of recreation options on Salem’s tourism website for more details about these activities.

Learn about local history

The Western United States is one of the youngest parts of a young country, but there’s still some interesting Oregon history in and around Salem. There are some beautiful old covered bridges in the area, including Oregon’s oldest covered bridge (the Gallon House Covered Bridge) outside Silverton. Silverton itself, founded in 1854, has its own historic walking tour. Just outside Silverton you’ll also find the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in Oregon, Gordon House.

A group of Benedictine monks started the Mt. Angel Abbey in 1882, and it remains a beautiful hilltop spot for a picnic. The town of Mt. Angel itself is fun to explore as well, especially during the city’s annual Oktoberfest (going strong since 1966).

The Reed Opera House in downtown Salem dates to 1870, and is now home to shops and restaurants. You can also enjoy a cruise on the historic Willamette Queen Sternwheeler, which departs from Salem’s riverfront, and can include a meal along with a guided tour.

For a bit of quirky fun that will certainly appeal to the kids as well, head for the Antique Powerland Museum – it’s 62 acres of historic power equipment with 15 individual museums to explore.

Be a kid again

There are all kinds of kid-friendly activities in and around Salem that might make you wish you were a kid again yourself. Right in Salem itself there’s the exceptional A.C. Gilbert House, also known as the children’s museum. It’s hands-on interactive fun for all ages.

Right on the Willamette River in downtown Salem, there’s the Salem Carousel – a beautiful old-fashioned carousel with wood-carved animals that is thoughtfully housed indoors for year-round enjoyment.

Just outside Salem is the Enchanted Forest, a quirky old-style theme park set in a forested hillside that’s been providing Oregonian kids with a bit of quirky fun since the early 1970s.

Video Chat Etiquette »

Video chat iconSometimes prospective students need more than just a phone call and that is why we offer a video chat option with one of our admission representatives here at Willamette Law. A video chat is an easy and personal way for the admissions representative to meet and get to know a prospective student, who can also view a live law class via video as well. However, prospective students should not assume that a video call is as easy as a phone call. A video call must be treated as a face-to-face interview, and just like a face-to-face interview the prospective student should dedicate sometime to prepare for it. That being said I want to share some tips for prospective students on how to better prepare for a video call:

Location: the less in the background, the better

Find a room with the least distractions. Places to avoid are your kitchen, bathroom, garage, or anywhere that is distracting. The room should also have good lighting so that the admission representative can clearly see you. Have your back facing a clear, uncluttered background (be sure not to have any offensive items in view of the video call). The fewer items in the background, the better. When people living in your house or in a public space  can easily walk behind you or by the camera, it won’t only just distract you but it will also distract the admission representative with whom you are chatting.

Device: test, do not disturb, and earphones

You may consider using earphones instead of speakers. Sometimes if you raise the volume of your speaker too high, the admission representative can hear an echo. To make sure that does not happen, consider using earphones. If you are going to use your cell phone make sure to put it on its Do Not Disturb mode. This will prevent incoming calls or notifications from distracting you or ending the call. Before you begin your video call make sure that you have tested your equipment. You do not want to put the admission representative on hold as you try to fix something that could have been taken care of prior to the start of the call. Also, consider staying put in one place and putting your device on a tripod or stand.

You: dress to impress

Be yourself. Make sure you are dressed business casual. You wouldn’t wear pajamas to an in-person interview, so be sure to dress appropriately for your video chat. You should consider wearing clothing from head to toe as you don’t want to wind up on “Law School Video Chats Gone Wrong” on YouTube. Remember to be as ready as if you were going to meet with the admissions rep in person.

These tips can be applied to all sorts of interviews and not just between an admissions representative and a prospective student. If you have any other tips that you may find useful please share those with me at jfausto@willamette.edu.

To schedule a video chat with our admissions office, please send an email to law-admission@willamette.edu.

Posted by our amazing Office Assistant, José.