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August 3, 2011

At A Glance: 2011 Loan Repayment Assistance Program Recipients

Oregon Law’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) reflects the school’s commitment to public service by increasing graduate access to public service careers. LRAP is essential to its public service mission — if graduates cannot alleviate the burdens of debt and low public services salaries, then they will not be able to afford public service careers. Recipients mentioned that with LRAP, they are able to have the breathing room they need to focus on work and reduce the major anxiety that comes along with monthly payments. Even with law school loans, they are able to afford to continue doing the kind of work they love. The current eight recipients of the LRAP Program are:

James Baldock, Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Albany Office
Baldock currently represents “low income clients with issues in family law, government overpayments, consumer law, unemployment compensation and elder law” at Legal Aid, and strives to help clients be heard. He has also started a new housing law clinic to help his office utilize volunteer lawyers.

Tom Borton, Metropolitan Public Defender, Hillsboro, Oregon
Borton worked at the Public Defender Services of Lane County during law school and began to defend clients through the law school’s defense clinic. He now handles juvenile dependency and delinquency representation and represents parents and children in crisis. He says he “can’t imagine any other job in the legal field that could be as fulfilling, exciting, demanding or rewarding.”

Peter Henkle, Multnomah County Courthouse Clerk and Future Public Defender
Henkle arrived at Oregon Law with the interest of developing a career in public interest law and volunteered at Lane County Law and Advocacy Center as well as represented clients in the Defense Clinic. He currently works as a “floater” judicial clerk for the Multnomah County Courthouse where he assists pro se defendants and litigants. Henkle finds fulfillment in seeing the people he works with succeed.

Chas Horner, Staff Attorney, Lane County Legal Aid and Advocacy Center
Horner is now a staff attorney for the Lane County Legal Aid and Advocacy Center and represents low-income clients in appeals for government benefits as well as assists clients with housing issues. He was inspired by growing up in rural Kansas, where he observed a lot of need and injustice resulting from poverty. Horner says he wants “to continue to empower people to solve their legal problems who can’t afford to pay for it.”

Robert Kaiser, Public Defender Services of Lane County
Kaiser joined the Public Defender office in Lane County in 2009 and he has represented numerous individuals accused of misdemeanor and felony charges. He said he would like to spend the rest of his career working as a public defender representing indigent defendants: “I like the work I do, and I’d like to continue doing it. Helping individuals who are in a difficult situation is incredibly rewarding and satisfying.”

Amber Munger, Oxfam America Haiti Program Livelihoods Coordinator
Munger has spend the past 14 years fighting for economic and social rights in Haiti and in 2009, started a non-profit organization, Article 29 Organization, that currently provides programs in women’s micro- credit, health and sanitation, and reforestation in Haiti’s poorest region, Commune Anse Rouge. Munger lead a grassroots coalition in response to the 2010 earthquake to organize local participation in humanitarian efforts. She is currently working as Oxfam America’s Haiti Livelihoods Coordinator where she is developing human rights based programs focused on livelihood improvements in the rice and salt production value chains.

Michael Quillin, Staff Attorney, Lane County Legal Aid & Advocacy Center
Quillin is the only male attorney at the Stop Violence Against Women Clinic Project and represents survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence in civil legal matters. He says, “When the client comes out of the courtroom and looks incredibly relieved — that makes this job so rewarding.”

Dawn Winalski, Multnomah County Judicial Clerk
Winalski’s future plans “have always focused on protecting the public interest, particularly as it relates to a clean environment and public health.” She worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide during law school and has volunteered for several non-profit organizations since graduation.

To read more about each LRAP recipient, go to law.uoregon.edu/lrap/recipients/. To view the inspirational stories of three LRAP recipients, check out the online video at law.uoregon.edu/lrap/media/LRAP_2011.m4v.

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