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November 12, 2013

Ducks fly high at Oregon New Lawyers Division award ceremony

The 2013 Oregon New Lawyers Division (ONLD) Award Ceremony has gone to the Ducks, as a flock of University of Oregon School of Law alumni were honored on November 1 by the ONLD for excellence in the legal field during the past year. 

During the ONLD's Award Ceremony at the Governor Hotel in Portland, alumni Laura Salerno Owens, Traci Ray, and Joe Kraus were among the five lawyers recognized by the ONLD for their outstanding contributions to Oregon's legal field in 2013. The three were honored individually during the ceremony, each receiving separate awards from the Oregon New Lawyers Division.

Laura Salerno Owens '07 was the award recipient of the ONLD's Member Services Award. Salerno Owens received the award for organizing the well-attended [2013 District of Oregon Conference] "Innovations in the Law: Science & Technology Conference." Most notably, her responsibilities included assembling more than 60 presenters who spoke during the highly successful event. Owens is an associate member of the Portland-based law firm Barran Liebman, LLP.

The ONLD also recognized fellow class of '07 graduate Traci Ray with the ONLD "Project of the Year Award" for her instrumental role initiating Oregon's first "Wills for Heroes" project. The immensely successful Pro Bono project helped high-risk professionals draft wills, power of attorney, advanced directives and other important legal documents. The project enlisted the aid of 40 volunteer lawyers in production of estate planning documents for some 100 law enforcement officials, firemen, and other first responders — all in one day. Also a member of Barren Liebman LLP, Ray serves as the firm's executive director.

Joe Kraus '09 received ONLD recognition for his outstanding philanthropic contributions, awarding him their "Volunteer of the Year Award." Kraus' tireless volunteer efforts included cultivating relationships with numerous career services and law school alumni boards. In addition, he met with and advised countless new lawyers and law school students, helping the newcomers get involved with, and find success in, the field of law. Kraus is an attorney for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

The ONLD strives to assist recent law school graduates, as well as experienced lawyers new to the state of Oregon, with the transition into formally practicing law in the Beaver State. The organization offers its members access to various programs designed to address "issues of professional advancement, balancing family and career and substantive legal education," pertinent to new lawyers. The ONLD is made up of more than 3,500 lawyers, comprising approximately 25 percent of the Bar. For more information, visit Oregon New Lawyers Division website: osbar.org

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