March 26, 2009
Merv Loya to Receive 2009 Meritorious Service Award
Merv Loya, who served as an assistant dean from 1986 to 2007, will be awarded Oregon Law’s 2009 Meritorious Service Award at the school’s commencement ceremony May 16. Established by the law school faculty in 1984, the award is given annually “to a person or persons who have made extraordinary contributions to legal education and the law.”
Loya has contributed more than 20 years of service to the law school, its students, and
alumni. He began his career as a legal services lawyer in Portland in 1967, joined a year later by 1968 Oregon Law graduate Laird Kirkpatrick, then a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow and later dean of the law school. Loya was the executive director of the legal services program in Eugene during most of the 1970s. In 1970 as legal services director, he worked with Professor Dom Vetri to help develop the first of the law school’s clinics, the Civil Clinic, housed at the legal services program offices. During that time the program grew from three to 10 attorneys through the use of Vista volunteers and through funding from United Way, Lane County, state court filing fees, and the Older American’s Act. The latter provided funds to continue a Legal Aid Service/Senior Law Service program initiated by then Oregon Law student, now U.S. Senator, Ron Wyden.
From 1979 to 1986, Loya served in management and administration with a 20-attorney Eugene firm– then known as Johnson Harrang and Harrang Long. In the fall of 1986, he joined Oregon Law as the assistant dean for administration and part-time director of the Career Services Office. In 1991, he also began working with then law school Dean Dave Frohnmayer to teach a Legislative Issues class, which has allowed 20 law students to work with legislators during Oregon’s legislative sessions. Loya and now university President Frohnmayer have continued to teach the class every two years since. In 1996, as an assistant dean and director of the Career Service Office, Loya moved full-time into career services, continuing his work with students, graduates, and employers. During his years with Oregon Law, he also helped develop and supervise externship programs to give students additional opportunities to gain practical experience using their legal training.
Throughout his career, Loya has been active in state and local bar associations. He served as president of the Lane County Bar from 1998 to 1999, was an elected member of the Oregon State Bar (OSB) House of Delegates from 2000 to 2006, and has served on various Oregon Bar and Lane County Bar committees. These included an OSB Strategic Planning Committee, an OSB President’s Advisory Committee on Future Issues, and an OSB Ad Hoc Committee to help design and implement the Oregon Bar’s Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program, which has provided millions of dollars for Legal Services programs in Oregon since it’s establishment in 1983.
Loya currently is the law school representative to the OSB Loan Repayment Assistance Program Advisory Committee and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Campaign for Equal Justice. The campaign, established by the Oregon Bar, raised more than one million dollars last year to provide additional funding for Legal Services programs, which provide legal assistance to low-income persons in Oregon. In addition, in March Loya and Karen Garst, the former executive director of the OSB, were given special recognition for their volunteer work in support of the campaign and for their long-time support of legal services programs in Oregon.
The Meritorious Service Award comes at a particularly significant time, as Loya is completing his post-retirement service to the law school this spring.
In an email announcement to Oregon Law’s faculty and staff, Dean Margie Paris outlined Loya’s numerous accomplishments during his time with Oregon Law.
“His many contributions to legal education and the law truly are extraordinary,” she said.
The law school’s Lectures & Awards Committee, chaired by Professor Merle Weiner, recommended Loya for the honor.
Previous Meritorious Service award recipients include:
2008 – Rennard Strickland
2007 – The Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson
2006 – The Hon. Wallace P. Carson, Jr., Phyllis Barkhurst
2005 – Alice Plymell
2004 – The Hon. Stephen Reinhardt, Senator Ron Wyden
2003 – The Hon. Ellen Rosenblum
2002 – Norman Wiener, Minoru Yasui
2001 – Ray and Lois Ackerman
2000 – The Hon. Helen Frye
1999 – The Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor, Professor Emeritus Frank R. Lacy
1998 – Hardy Myers
1997 – Wendell Wyatt
1996 – Otto Frohnmayer, Noreen (Saltveit) McGraw
1995 – Oglesby Young, Anthony Yturri
1994 – Arthur Johnson, Sidney Lezak
1993 – Jeannette Hayner, John Luvaas, Eugene Scoles
1992 – John Jaqua, Frank Nash
1991 – Chapin Clark
1990 – John Van Landingham
1989 – The Hon. Aldred T. Goodwin, The Hon. Edwin Peterson
1988 – The Hon. Roland Rodman, The Hon. Richard Unis
1987 – Richardson Nahstoll
1986 – The Hon. Hans Linde
1985 – Lois Baker, The Hon. Kenneth O’Connell
1984 – William East, Orlando J. Hollis