March 24, 2010
Education, Business Pioneers Mary Lawrence and Carolyn Chambers to Receive Meritorious Service Award
Oregon Law will honor a pair of women pioneers, whose contributions to the law school will continue to enhance the education of students for generations to come, with the annual Meritorious Service Award.
Professor Emerita Mary Lawrence and Chambers Communications Chairman and CEO Carolyn Chambers will be honored during Oregon Law’s 2010 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 22.
Professor Lawrence initiated a groundbreaking new curriculum when, in 1978, she was hired to jumpstart Oregon Law’s Legal Research and Writing Program. She created a program that included a major focus on legal analysis, and emphasis on statutes and agency regulations. This unique program combined Professor Lawrence’s training in both English and law to teach writing as a “thinking process,” emphasizing self-editing skills. In founding the current curriculum, she created one of the first programs in the nation that employed full-time instructors who were law graduates. This is now the model nationwide.
Professor Lawrence led Oregon Law’s program until her retirement in 2000, and remains active in legal writing organizations nationally. She makes presentations at national conferences, and serves as a mentor to many legal writing professors and former students. Professor Lawrence has received both the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Award; and the Marjorie Rombauer Award. In 2008, she was elected senior editor of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. In 2009, the journal announced the establishment of the Mary Lawrence Award, honoring her lifetime of teaching and service. The award is given annually to outstanding academics who, like her, have dedicated their lives to teaching, scholarship, and service.
Ms. Chambers received her bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Oregon in 1953 and continues to be an avid supporter of the university’s academic and athletic programs. In addition to being chairman and CEO of Chambers Communications, she also serves as president of Chambers Management and as chair of the advisory board for Oregon Law’s Center for Law and Entrepreneurship.
Ms. Chambers’ generous gift of $1 million to Oregon Law established the Center for Law and Entrepreneurship in 1994. In her capacity as chair of the center’s advisory board, she has overseen the expansion of the center’s activities to include the Technology Entrepreneurship Fellows program, which began in 2002, and the Small Business Clinic, which opened in January 2004. The students enrolled in the clinic continue to acquire valuable practical skills as they provide legal services to nearly a dozen entrepreneurs who are launching new businesses in western Oregon.
Ms. Chambers is a past recipient of the university’s Pioneer Award, President’s Medal, Distinguished Service Award, and Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition, she has received the Alumni Association’s Webfoot Award, and the “Alumni Trailblazer” Visionaries Award from the Lundquist College of Business.