Portland State University and Willamette University announced a new direct-admission program that provides students and alumni with streamlined access to law school. The partnership guarantees qualified undergraduate students and alumni admission to Willamette University College of Law, in addition to an annual $10,000 scholarship, renewable for three years.
“This is a great opportunity for our students who are interested in law school,” said Chris Shortell, coordinating pre-law advisor for Portland State University. “In addition to clear guidance on what they need to do to be admitted, they receive significant financial support for all three years.”
PSU Provost Susan Jeffords and Willamette Law Dean Brian Gallini held a virtual signing this week to make the partnership official.
“There’s so much we can do on behalf of students that involves breaking walls down between institutions,” Jeffords said. “How can we do it better together than we can individually?”
Gallini said they are thrilled about the opportunity for students, noting that over the last three years, PSU has been the largest feeder school for Willamette Law. He’s hoping this new program and its clear guidelines will improve transparency and ensure students know how the program works before applying.
To qualify, prospective students must complete all degree requirements for their bachelor’s degree with a cumulative 3.2 GPA. Students must also score at or above the 50th percentile of Willamette’s most recent class on the LSAT or earn a minimum GRE score of 155 verbal, 145 quantitative and 4.5 writing.
“Willamette Law is excited to partner with Portland State University to provide a transparent pathway to law school for PSU students,” said Leah Straley, assistant dean of admissions at Willamette Law. “The direct admission program provides the opportunity for PSU students and alumni, who meet certain criteria, to remain in the PNW for law school.”
Shortell said the program also requires interested students to meet with a pre-law advisor to discuss the program, admission process and get help navigating the financial aid process. Alumni interested in applying are also encouraged to meet with a pre-law advisor before moving forward.
The application period is open between September 1 and June 15 in the academic year before students intend to begin their studies.