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May 31, 2012

Oregon Law Congratulates the 2012 Graduating Class

The Oregon Law graduating class of 2012 celebrated their accomplishments on May 19, 2012 at The Hult Center for Performing Arts in downtown Eugene, followed by a reception at the Knight Law Center.

Keynote speaker, University of Baltimore School of Law Professor Garrett Epps, explained the unique position legal professionals have in their community. “Like Spiderman, lawyers stand between ordinary people and social catastrophe and now you are part of that.”

Bryan Boender, U.S. Army veteran and Tillman Military Scholar, was elected by his peers to serve as the 2012 class speaker. Boender encouraged his fellow graduates to become community leaders by engaging in public service. “Lawyers are in a unique position to be considered leaders, and with that comes a lot of responsibility. I want to challenge the class of 2012 to consider how their work affects people who may not be party to the transactions.”

Professor Jennifer Reynolds, associate director for the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center, was honored with the university’s Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching. The Ersted Award, a crystal apple, recognizes faculty members early in their teaching careers. Reynolds also received the Orlando J. Hollis Teaching Award, the school’s highest teaching honor, and was selected as a commencement marshal with former dean Margie Paris. Reynolds was selected as the Hollis Award recipient based on peer teaching reviews, student teaching evaluations, the Law School Personnel Committee’s knowledge of her teaching and the quantity and quality of her nominations. One nomination noted her ability to “make Civ Pro (Civil Procedure) fun!”

The 2012 Meritorious Service award, recognizing “a person or persons who have made extraordinary contributions to legal education and the law,” was awarded to Judge Procter Hug Jr. Judge Hug served as a federal judge and former chief judge for the United States Court for the Ninth Circuit.

Bill Spiry, who started at Oregon Law at the age of 49 and lost his sight due to a genetic condition called Retina Dispigmentosa, was among the 165-member 2012 graduating class. Although he spent 13 to 14 hours a day for the past three years working towards his law degree, he says that it was all worth it. “As hard as it was, it was the most gratifying three years I’ve had in my life as well.”

The Class of 2012’s gift to Oregon Law is a Pac-Man video game machine. All proceeds will benefit the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Entering a position in public interest law can be near impossible for students paying off education debt incurred during their time at Oregon Law. The mission of LRAP is to ease the debt of students planning on pursuing a career in public interest law or follow judicial clerkships in public interest law.

View video profiles for 12 members of the 2012 class at law.uoregon.edu/students/videoprofiles.

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