Willamette University College of Law

Willamette University College of Law
Truman Wesley Collins Legal Center
245 Winter Street, SE
Salem, OR 97301

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Marti McCausland
Associate Director of Placement

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with a Coordinator.

Description of Programs

The Pro Bono Honors Program is designed to encourage students to participate in community-based volunteer legal service projects. The Program allows students to enhance their learning experience through hands-on involvement in the community, while providing valuable services to people in need.

Location of Programs

The Associate Director of Career Services administers the Pro Bono Honors Program.



The Assistant Director of Career Services administers the Pro Bono Honors Program.


The Program is funded through the Placement Office.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Street Law provides law student volunteers the chance to increase legal knowledge, as well as develop new perspectives on that knowledge. Student volunteers use a national curriculum to teach practical lessons about law to local high school students. The lessons encourage participation and positive youth development. In preparing and delivering the lessons, student volunteers improve their communication, substantive knowledge, and analytical ability. Street Law fosters community involvement by offering student volunteers opportunities ranging from one afternoon to regular participation throughout the semester.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

There is no formal faculty pro bono policy. However, the Pro Bono Program of the Clinical Law Program promotes and facilitates pro bono service for faculty members.


Willamette gives an annual Pro Bono Student of the Year award to the graduating student who has contributed the most pro bono work during law school. All students who participate in the Pro Bono Honors Program are honored at our Spring Reception. Those completing the minimum number of hours required earn certificates.

Community Service

Community Service is included in the Pro Bono Honors Program.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Marti McCausland
Associate Director of Placement

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Willamette's five specialty certificate programs emphasize the unique and comprehensive training that participants complete in these areas.

Public Interest Centers

The Center for Dispute Resolution teaches and explores the theory and practice of negotiation, mediation, arbitration and other appropriate, alternative methods of resolving disputes. The Center for Dispute Resolution, founded at Willamette University College of Law in 1983, was the first of its kind in the western United States and is the model against which similar endeavors are now measured.

The Willamette Center for Constitutional Government was established in 2002 to promote the impartial study and understanding of federal-state and government-citizen relations in the United States. The Center administers a curricular program (see Certificate in Law and Government), conducts symposia and conferences, sponsors programs of training and orientation for public and elected officials, and holds a yearly writing competition. The Center is housed at Willamette University College of Law, located in Salem adjacent to the state Capitol, the Oregon Supreme Court and various state agencies.

The Willamette University Center for Religion, Law and Democracy is an interdisciplinary center devoted to the exploration of the role of religion in law and in public life. The Center draws on Willamette's historic and ongoing strengths as a church-related college committed to academic excellence and public service, as well as its location adjacent to the Oregon State Capitol. The Center involves students and faculty from the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Law who teach, write, and engage in these issues on a continuing basis. As part of its mission, the Center conducts symposia, lectures, scholarly research and curriculum development, funds internships, and serves as a forum for the discussion of these intersecting issues.

Public Interest Clinics

The Clinical Law Program provides students with hands-on, professional experience in actual law practice. The program is generally the capstone of a student’s legal education at Willamette. The program asks second- and third-year law students to apply the doctrinal knowledge mastered in their fundamental coursework to the actual practice of law. Students enrolled in the program represent real clients in actual cases and transactions under the close supervision of law faculty.

The Clinical Law Program comprises four advanced legal education courses, including specialized clinics in Business Law, Trusts and Estates, Child and Family Advocacy, and Immigration. Clients are primarily nonprofit corporations and people of modest economic means.

Clinical Law Program students are taught and expected to demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in all areas of legal practice, from mastery of substantive legal issues and procedures to unwavering professionalism and notable service to the greater community. The Clinical Law Program faculty also strives to instill an appreciation for the importance of reflection and balance in the practice of law.


Students are partnered with attorneys working in various legal settings in the wider community. They participate in legal work in many different contexts under the constraints of real-life practice. Attorneys who supervise students in the Externship Program receive training and mentoring from the externship director.

Externs have a wide range of opportunities from which to choose and can seek placements that fit their particular skills, background and career interests. 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. Students participate in transactional work, litigation, administrative advocacy and alternative dispute resolution as well as legislative drafting and advocacy.

Classes with a Public Service Component

Clinic and Externship. 

Public Interest Journals

PI Career Support Center

Placement Office staff provides counseling to all students interested in public interest careers. Workshops on various government/non-profit/legal aid services options are conducted frequently.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

Oregon State Bar LRAP-

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:


Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:


Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Work study money is available to qualifying students year round.

Graduate Student Funded


Other Funding Sources:


Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Work study money is available to qualifying students year round.

Graduate Student Funded:

The student public interest group, WUPILP (Willamette University Public Interest Law Project), raises money for public interest fellowships each summer.

Other Funding Sources:

Oregon State Bar Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship, Stipends, and Fellowships.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Workshops on various government/non-profit/legal aid services options are conducted frequently by the Placement Office.

Student Public Interest Groups