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Class of 2010 Most Diverse in School History

On Aug. 15, 2007, the College of Law hosted a threeday orientation for the Class of 2010 — the most diverse group of first-year students in school history. According to Carolyn Dennis, director of Admission, among the 160 students who compose the first-year class, 20 percent identified themselves as persons of color. This marks the highest percentage of minority students in the school’s history. Further, women make up 44 percent of students, and the average age of the class is 26. The new 1Ls represent 91 undergraduate institutions and 34 different undergraduate majors, from the more traditional law backgrounds of political science and criminal justice to the less common ones of biology, agronomy, foreign language studies, and art and design. While they call 22 different states home, more than one-third of the students are Oregon residents. More than 50 members of the class have traveled or lived abroad, and they speak 17 different languages.

An impressive 29 percent of the first-year class reported a legacy connection to Willamette. “This is by far the most diverse class in our school’s history,” said Dean Symeon C. Symeonides. “It is gratifying to see that our intense and sustained efforts to increase the diversity of the student body are beginning to pay off. My congratulations and thanks to our Admission staff.” 20.8%

Percentage of Minority Students in Entering Class 15.9%





20% 15%




10% 5%











WUCL Launches Certificate Program in Sustainability Law The College of Law has offered students focused study in environmental and natural resources law since 1989. This summer, the school secured its position as an educational leader in environmental law and sustainability by formalizing its numerous course offerings into a specialized certificate program. The Certificate Program in Sustainable Environmental, Energy & Resources Law (SEER) was designed to prepare the next generation of lawyer-advocates to lead their communities, the nation and the world toward a more sustainable future. The program places special emphasis on the role of the lawyer in formulating environmental and natural resources law and policy to sustain and protect our global resources.

It also trains students to think about environmental issues in concrete ways and to translate broad legal theory into targeted public policy and litigation. The professors who developed the program are widely recognized as pioneers in environmental justice and sustainability law. Professor Susan L. Smith created one of the first international natural resources curricula emphasizing sustainability, and Professor Robin Morris Collin taught the first sustainability law course in the United States. “At other law schools, students take classes in environmental law,” explained Smith, one of the four full-time law faculty dedicated to the SEER program. “At Willamette, our students help make environmental law by working directly with the legislature, state agencies, local government and key public interest groups.” For more information on the program, contact Student Services.

Fall 2007 | 

Willamette Lawyer | Fall 2007 • Vol. VII, No. 2  

The Honorable Otto R. Skopil Jr.: Senior 9th Circuit Judge Otto R. Skopil Jr. has been an exemplar of outstanding judicial service throughou...

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