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Dean’s Message

Dear Alumni and Friends, As the 2008–09 school year commenced this fall, Willamette University celebrated a significant milestone in its great history — the 125th anniversary of the College of Law. Yes, we boast about being the first law school in the Northwest, but we have earned those bragging rights. Willamette was born of the vision and sacrifice of pioneering missionaries, who sought to bring intellectual sustenance to the region. Since its founding in 1883, the College of Law has aspired to educate, serve and lead — and to do so with dedication and distinction. It has excelled in all of its Dean Symeon C. Symeonides

endeavors, continuing to be a pioneer in legal education even after it began sharing the field with many other fine law schools. As our most recent Oregon State Bar exam results indicate, that grand tradition continues today. For the sixth consecutive year, Willamette graduates have surpassed their peers by a significant margin: 89.2 percent versus 81.4 percent (page 3). The law school’s 125th Anniversary Celebration officially commenced on Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, with a visit by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It was a truly festive day for the University and the College of Law. We celebrated the resurrection of a great historical landmark and the birth of the Oregon Civic Justice Center (page 4). Later in the day, Ginsburg participated in an academic procession with University faculty and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. She then presented the first Atkinson Lecture of the year (page 5). The following day, she spent more than an hour answering questions from law students and faculty in a classroom setting (page 7). The opportunity to listen to and converse with this outstanding jurist, scholar and public servant was a unique experience for our students. The entire two-day celebration will be fondly remembered for many years to come. These events were the first in a yearlong series of activities celebrating the College of Law’s 125th anniversary. As we reflect on the school’s many accomplishments, we remember the many exceptional mentor-teachers who have graced the college with their wisdom and commitment to upholding the school’s proud tradition of excellence. That tradition was strengthened this year by the addition of four outstanding new law professors (pages 20–25). In addition to helping improve what is already a generous student-faculty ratio, they bring impeccable credentials, tremendous promise, and unabridged enthusiasm and energy to the classroom. As the academic year progresses, we will celebrate the school’s anniversary with numerous other events. We hope you will be able to join us for at least a few, as they honor you, our great alumni, as much as they honor your school. With my best regards,

Symeon C. Symeonides Dean and Professor of Law

2 | Willamette Lawyer

Willamette Lawyer | Fall 2008 • Vol. VIII, No. 2  

Justice Ginsburg Visits Willamette: Willamette welcomed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to campus on Sept. 12 and 13 for nume...

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