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February 20, 2014

Law students selected as Innovation Fellows for Oregon’s new economic initiative

Dustin Littrell and Cameron Miles to help launch Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network

Two students from the University of Oregon School of Law have been selected as Innovation Fellows for the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN). Third-year students Cameron Miles and Dustin Littrell will work with an attorney in the UO Office for Research Innovation and the university's General Counsel. The students' responsibilities include drafting contracts, leases, and other agreements that are designed to aid in the launch of the new economic initiative.

Oregon's RAIN leverages the regional strengths of the South Willamette Valley to generate innovation-based companies. Partners include the state of Oregon, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and the South Valley Regional Solutions Center, as well as the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis and Albany. RAIN provides emerging companies with the human resources and infrastructure they need to succeed and helps researchers and technologists spin off new private companies that create jobs for Oregonians.

"The program itself is a really unique opportunity to grow small businesses, create jobs, and take advantage of the growing tech boom that this area is experiencing," said Littrell. "RAIN is going to give people an opportunity to take an idea and turn it into a product or service with the help of experts, mentors and a workspace; and hopefully they will build companies, hire people, and create jobs – I think this will have a big impact."

"The Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network is excited to have Dustin Littrell and Cameron Miles on board as RAIN Innovation Fellows," said Orca Merwin, information asset and industry agreements administrator and Oregon Law 2009 alumnus, who reviewed applications and selected the two students. "We chose Dustin and Cameron out of a very competitive pool of applicants from the School of Law because they both had the perfect mix of skills, developed through classwork focused on business law and contract drafting, and work experience."

Miles earned his bachelor's degree in engineering in 2010 and subsequently a master's degree in 2011, both from University of Phoenix. RAIN is "a way to locate resources and leverage the technology available in the area and through the universities, to help create jobs within the county," described Miles. "It is a program focused on long term growth – a partnership that helps everyone in the long run."

After law school, Miles hopes to stay in Oregon and find a job within corporate law, which tailors well to the practical hands-on experience he will gain while working with RAIN. Among other responsibilities, Miles will work writing terms and conditions for the RAIN website.

Littrell earned his bachelor's degree in business management and marketing from Evangel University in 2008. After law school, he hopes to work for a firm doing transactional corporate work; this opportunity with RAIN will provide him with real experience working with transactional legal work inside the context of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Miles said the connections that the UO School of Law provides to students are very important. "They have so many programs at the law school and they keep us well aware of them. Everyone can fit into a niche. The faculty is great and the Career Center is good about pointing us to opportunities that are right for us," said Miles. Littrell also spoke highly of Oregon Law, "The UO law school is great about giving students opportunities to get out of the classroom – whether it be a clinic, fellowship, internship, or anything like that – to help students get hands-on experience."

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