University of Oregon School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs

A History of Leadership, Innovation, and Social Justice

Founded in 1884, the University of Oregon School of Law is Oregon’s only public law school and is recognized for its history of leadership, innovation, and its long-standing commitment to social justice. The School of Law is one of several professional schools of the University of Oregon, which is located in Eugene, the state’s second largest city. The School also offers a program for third-year law students at the Downtown Portland campus of the University. The University of Oregon is a “Tier 1” national public research university and is the only Oregon institution elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

The University of Oregon School of Law, in 1923, became one of the first law schools to be accredited by the American Bar Association. Oregon Law is regarded as one of the best law schools in the state, and as one of the top public law schools for environmental law, dispute resolution, and legal research and writing. The School of Law has enjoyed such national recognition for more than a decade.

The academic experience is appropriately competitive, but is also defined by a strong camaraderie among its students. This reputation has increasingly attracted a large percentage of students from outside of Oregon. In 2017, that percentage was 71 percent. Students and faculty at Oregon Law share a fundamental optimism for the study of law and its practice. Graduates, focused on the unique work-life balance that characterize the Pacific Northwest, practice principally in Seattle and Portland, though Oregon Law alumni also work throughout the West and in Washington, DC.

Invested Students Investing in Others

Oregon Law students aspire to do many things: help new businesses grow, influence water resource policy, protect the rights of those aspiring to be citizens, represent athletes, assist families in distress, mediate labor disputes, ensure sustainable futures for nonprofits, advocate for veterans, and create global partnerships. They are inspired by experiences in which more than one-third of the 1L class has volunteered, interned, or worked abroad, with 25 percent speaking more than one language. The majority are women and almost 20 percent identify as students of color. In the fall 2017 entering class, the 144 1L students came from 30 states and 90 universities and colleges. Outside of the strength of its overall ranking, students are attracted to the small, personal law school experience; the program options, resources, and options offered by a large research university of 24,000 students; and the national recognition that comes with a university alumni network of more than 231,000.

A Passionate, Innovative Faculty

Oregon Law professors have long been committed to maintaining a teaching environment that demands the best from their students. Standards of performance are high, but support is always available, exemplified by the open-door policy of the faculty. Professors are passionate about their research and integrate their scholarship into the classroom to engage and inspire their students. Faculty are global in their outlook and reflect a range of backgrounds unique among smaller law schools. They are innovators, on the cutting edge of contemporary issues: advancing atmospheric trust litigation, advocating for a new parent-partner legal status, improving clarity on issues around implicit bias, and helping reform the nation’s criminal defense system. The scholarly work of the faculty is the foundation for an exceptional academic experience.

Outstanding Facilities in Eugene and Portland

The award-winning William W. Knight Law Center is home to the University of Oregon School of Law and is across from Historic Hayward Field on the university’s 295-acre campus in Eugene. The exterior design of the building reflects the tradition of legal education, while the interior boasts its status as a state-of-the-art facility. The Knight Law Center includes the spacious Jaqua Law Library and its many group and individual study rooms, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Center, an inspiring central commons, and an expansive, outdoor courtyard that looks to the Coburg Hills. In addition to other offices and meeting spaces, the Knight Law Center also includes a branch of the university’s Duck Store. The building also regularly presents gallery shows of painting, photography, and historical exhibits from the region.

Our secondary home is at the University of Oregon-Portland, in the historic White Stag Block on Portland’s beautiful waterfront, near the heart of the city’s busy legal and business community. A cohort of third-year students will spend their final year of law school living and studying in Portland, where they have access to a legal network which features the highest concentration of Oregon Law graduates anywhere.

A Curriculum Designed for Success

Course offerings are broad and range from criminal law to environmental and natural resources law, from international law to family law. Its broad offerings in business law include tax law, intellectual property, and sports law. Centers and programs fuel much of the academic energy at Oregon Law. These include

  • Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center
  • Business Law
  • Criminal Justice Initiative
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center
  • Family, Child Advocacy, and Elder Law
  • International Law
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Ocean and Coastal Law
  • Oregon Child Advocacy Project
  • Portland Program
  • Public Law and Policy
  • Sports Law
  • Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics

Our presence on the campus of the university enables law students to choose from a wide range of concurrent JD/Master’s programs. There are nine concurrent degree options, permitting law students to earn a master’s degree through another College or School at the University requiring only one additional year of study. Students apply separately to the master’s program of their choice:

  • Business and Law (JD/MBA)
  • Conflict and Dispute Resolution and Law (JD/MA or MS)
  • Environmental Studies and Law (JD/MA or MS)
  • International Studies and Law (JD/MA or MS)
  • Journalism and Law (JD/MA or MS)
  • Community and Regional Planning and Law (JD/MCRP)
  • Nonprofit Management and Law (JD/MNM)
  • Public Administration and Law (JD/MPA)

A concurrent master’s degree in Water Resources Policy and Management (JD/MS) can also be earned through the Water Resources Graduate Program at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

About one-third of Oregon Law students choose to concentrate their legal studies in a specialized area. Following a prescribed set of electives, students can earn a concentration in one of 15 areas:

  • Business Law
  • Child Advocacy Law
  • Criminal Practice
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Green Business Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law
  • Law and Entrepreneurship
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Ocean and Coastal Law
  • Public Interest Law
  • Tax Law

Oregon Law also offers a 3+3 Program for undergraduate students in the Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon. This program enables a select group of CHC students to earn both the bachelor’s degree and the law degree in six years, rather than seven.

Real-World Experience

Vast opportunities for practical training exist at Oregon Law, providing the opportunity to complete at least one for-credit clinic or externship as part of their legal training, ensuring practical skills development and experience prior to graduation. Unique opportunities include the In-House Counsel Externship Program, Business Law Clinic, Criminal Prosecution and Criminal Defense Clinics, the Environmental Law Clinic through the Western Environmental Law Center, Nonprofit Clinic, and Domestic Violence Clinic. Externships are available locally, in Portland, and throughout the region, as well as nationally and internationally. There is opportunity to propose your own externship, as well. It is not uncommon for Oregon Law students to complete more than once clinical or externship experience.

Admission Decisions

The goal of the admission process is to enroll students who are well-prepared to academically succeed. The applicant’s academic record, as well as results of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), form the foundation for the evaluation for admission. Each applicant’s file is reviewed in a comprehensive, holistic way, which helps the Admissions Committee build a 1L class that meets the mission of Oregon Law. The application review also assesses to what extent an applicant’s interests and goals match those reflected in the Oregon Law curriculum and community.

The Oregon Law application process requires an earnest and full response to a wide range of questions, a résumé of professional experiences and accomplishments, and two letters of recommendation. No specific LSAT score, GPA, or combination of test scores and grades ensures admission. At the time a student is admitted, the Admissions Committee will also consider the applicant for scholarship. Oregon Law offers a generous merit scholarship program with renewal based on academic performance. Both residents and nonresidents are eligible and a high percentage of students enter with scholarships.

A select number of incoming first-year students are awarded 1L Fellowships, which provide the opportunity to work closely with faculty and program directors, gaining early exposure to a specialized area which a fellow may have particular experience. In some cases, a Fellowship includes a one-time tuition stipend. Other fellowships focus on leadership or provide exposure to different employment settings in Portland.

Student Life

Students come to Eugene, Oregon, from all over the country, attracted to its natural beauty, as well as to its affordability. Eugene is the “best of the west,” with an engaged citizenry, an active and informal lifestyle, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a dedication to sustainable living. The city and its revitalized downtown core have received high marks nationally for “livability,” and Eugene, the “Silicon Shire,” savors its growing reputation for technology development in an affordable environment. A busy airport which links Eugene to hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and Salt Lake City, together with an Amtrak station, make travel to and from the city easy.

With the presence of a nationally recognized research university, there are abundant options for cultural activities, a wide range of housing choices, free public transportation for university students (and their bikes), and a lively legal community that enjoys connecting with our students and faculty. It is home, for example, to city and county offices, circuit court, the juvenile justice center, and to a branch of the federal courthouse. With its rivers and hills, Eugene offers countless recreational opportunities, including biking, hiking, and running trails that span the city. Students enjoy easy access to the spectacular Oregon Coast and the breathtaking Cascade Mountains—both just a little over an hour away. As a PAC-12 Division I university, Eugene continues its legacy for athletic achievement and its international reputation as TrackTown, USA. A ticket to a Duck football or basketball game is not too difficult for most law students to claim.

Student Organizations

Oregon Law is home to more than 30 active and varied student organizations that promote events and networking opportunities throughout the year. Among them is Land, Air, Water (LAW), which annually hosts the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC), the oldest and largest public interest environmental law conference in the world. There is the Oregon Law Students Public Interest Fund (OLSPIF), led by engaged students dedicated to providing funding for public interest positions, an active women’s law student group, five multicultural organizations, and a long-established LGBTQ organization. The School of Law supports three student-run publications: Oregon Law ReviewJournal of Environmental Law and Litigation, and the Oregon Review of International Law. Students also serve on School of Law committees, including faculty hiring, dean’s advisory, community and inclusion, and others. Oregon Law alumni participate with students in many public interest fundraising, community outreach, and networking events throughout the year. Our students regularly participate in moot court competitions with distinction. In 2018, Oregon Law placed second at the ABA National Negotiation competition in Chicago and was third at the National Tax Moot Court competition in Florida.

Careers and Employment

Oregon Law’s Center for Career Planning and Professional Development provides comprehensive and individualized career counseling to law students and graduates. A unique professional development course, designed and taught by the center to help create an individualized career plan for each student, is required in the 1L year.

Dedicated career counselors with practice experience specialize in guiding students through the complexities of the legal career search process, utilizing the strength of the Oregon Law alumni network, and the university’s vast Duck alumni network of more than 231,000. Alumni and other members of the local legal community frequently lead career presentations and opportunities for mentorship both inside and outside of the School of Law are many.

Oregon is one of 28 jurisdictions that have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), enabling bar exam “score portability.” Among the other jurisdictions are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, New York, Utah, and Washington. Oregon Law alumni can be found throughout the country, though principally in the Pacific Northwest. The largest concentrations of Oregon Law alumni are in Portland and Seattle. In 2017, alumni passed both the Oregon and the Washington bar examinations at rates that exceed the average in both states. Graduates work in a variety of professional settings from large law firms downtown Seattle to small nonprofits in Eugene. As the state’s public law school, graduates have risen to prominent positions in US District Court for the District of Oregon, the Oregon Supreme Court, as the attorney general for the State of Oregon, and in the United States House and United States Senate. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to Oregon Law alumnus, Minoru Yasui (’39), whose vigorous fight to defend the rights of Japanese Americans during World War II resulted in his own incarceration.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Oregon:

3.18 to 3.70

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Oregon:

155 to 160

25-75% UGPA Range at Oregon:

3.18 to 3.70

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Oregon:

155 to 160

25-75% UGPA Range at Oregon:

3.18 to 3.70

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Oregon:

155 to 160

Contact Information

Office of Admissions, 1221 University of Oregon,
Eugene, OR 97403-1221,
United States