The University of Oregon School of Law welcomes alumna Kristie Gibson as the school's new LL.M. (master of laws) program director starting July 1.
Gibson is a “Double Duck” having earned her undergraduate ('94 ) and J.D. ('98) degrees from the University of Oregon. She also holds a LL.M. in Transnational Law from Willamette University College of Law.
"I am delighted that Kristie Gibson has accepted our offer to serve as the law school’s new LL.M. program director," said Eric Priest, LL.M. faculty director. "This is an important moment in the program’s development and Gibson has an incredible wealth of relevant international law and business experience, and has an outstanding reputation and record of service in the Oregon Bar."
Under Gibson's leadership, the law school's LL.M. program, which currently is focused on environmental law and draws students from around the globe, will seek to expand to additional areas of concentration, including American Law and Business Law.
"Kristie's background positions her perfectly to help us continue the program's success and navigate these exciting changes," Priest added.
Gibson replaces longtime Oregon Law Professor John Bonine as LL.M. program director. Bonine is known worldwide as an expert in public interest environmental law. He had previously been serving concurrently as LL.M. faculty director and program director, but announced his retirement from both positions in 2013.
Gibson spent a number of years in leadership roles doing international law and business as president and in-house counsel at Gibson Holders, Inc. (subsequently Gibson Pacific, Inc.), an international company involved in product development, manufacturing and sales. In addition, she has experience teaching for the law school and working with students, having developed and taught Oregon Law's pilot four-credit undergraduate Public International Law course in 2013.
Gibson’s experience includes work in private practice at Gartland, Nelson, McCleery & Wade in Eugene, where she focused on business and real property transactions, acquisitions, trademarks, copyright, intellectual property licensing, employment law and international manufacturing agreements. Gibson has also worked at Levontis, LLC and Gaydos, Churnside & Balthrop, P.C.
On June 20, 2014, approximately 100 legal and business professionals convened at the White Stag Block for “Plugged-In Portland.” Hosted by the University of Oregon School of Law, “Plugged-In Portland” featured a full day of forums, practical skills labs, continuing legal education (CLE) programs, and a software showcase. This was the first of an ongoing series of programs the School of Law is implementing.
"It was thrilling to watch Oregon Law bring business leaders and policymakers together for important conversations about Portland trends," said Rebekah Hanley, Assistant Dean for the law school's Career Center. "The event's scale was ambitious and its scope was broad, touching on several key economic sectors and practical skills. I look forward to collaborating with law school and external partners on future programs addressing developments and opportunities of interest to Portland's legal and business communities."
“Plugged-In Portland” provided professionals with focused context on several of the region’s most vibrant economic clusters and the legal and business issues associated with those clusters. Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon’s Attorney General and School of Law alumna, started the day with remarks noting the significant impact of new technologies on the legal profession and government, and the importance of community engagement.
Following Attorney General Rosenblum’s comments, Chris Harder, the Economic Development Director of the Portland Development Commission, provided an overview of Portland’s current economy and key elements of the economic development strategy that is reimagining the city’s skyline and neighborhoods. Harder highlighted the economic vibrancy of Portland’s trade sector and target industries. He also discussed the city’s investments in “place” that led to its nationally celebrated public transportation system, dense urban development, and globally competitive green building industry.
Later, leaders from Portland's athletics, outdoor, food, and software technology clusters conducted forums that examined new developments within their industries.
The CLEs and practical skills labs provided starting points for understanding projects, tasks, and challenges encountered by Portland’s legal and business professionals.
The event was sponsored by the Oregon State Bar New Lawyers Division and Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section.
Assistant Professor Michael Fahkri has been named the 2014 Oregon Law Galen Scholar in Legal Writing. The Galen Scholar is a University of Oregon School of Law faculty member committed to promoting excellence in student writing, who will work through the year to enhance writing opportunities for Oregon students.
In his role as the Galen Scholar, Fakhri will develop a writing curriculum for Oregon Law’s journals. During the course of the next year, Fahkri will work with students on the research, analysis, and writing necessary to author their own publishable notes – ultimately creating a renewed curriculum for each of the law school’s journals.
Professor Fakhri earned his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Western Ontario, his LL.B. from Queen's University, and his doctorate from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Fakhri’s academic interests are in international economic law with an emphasis on questions of development. His other research interests include Third World Approaches to International Law, trade and development in the Middle East, public international law, international legal history, legal accounts of imperialism, and law and globalization. He is also a faculty member of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program where he co-leads the Food Resiliency Project.
More about the Galen Scholar Recognition
The goal of the Galen Scholar Program is to stimulate and support research and programming related to law student writing, and to expand the writing pedagogy of all law school faculty. Another initiative supported by the Galen Fund is the expansion of upper-level writing courses. To learn more, check out the Galen Scholar webpage.
Professor John Bonine and 2013 LLM alumnus Eli Laltaika advocate for keeping an environmental right in amendments to Tanzanian Constitution
Incoming Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s Program student earns UO Career Center “Student Employee of the Year”
Oregon lawyers Jeff Eager, Alexander Frix and Adele Ridenour are the inaugural recipients of the University of Oregon School of Law's newest award recognizing graduates early in their careers. The Oregon Law Outstanding Young Alumnus Award was created to recognize graduates who have made significant career, leadership and/or service contributions to his or her community, the School of Law or the legal profession within the first 10 years following graduation.
Eager, a 2004 graduate of Oregon Law, worked in Washington, D.C. prior to law school as a legislative assistant for Congressman Bob Smith and press secretary and legislative assistant to Congressman Greg Walden. During his three years at Oregon Law he served in student government and was elected president of the Student Bar Association. After graduation, Eager served as the campaign manager for Walden for Congress and started his legal career at Karnopp Petersen, LLP in Bend, Oregon. In 2007, he began practicing business law and litigation at Balyeat & Eager, LLP, where he continues to practice today. Eager was elected to the Bend City Council in 2009, and was appointed mayor in 2011. Eager recently founded an Internet based local government affairs startup, Insite LocalGovAffairs.com.
Frix became a public defender in 2006. He currently maintains a full felony caseload at the Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel in Olympia, Wash., where he has worked since 2007. Prior to working for Thurston County, he worked in Tacoma at the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel as a public defender and in the Lane County District Attorney’s Office as an intern during law school. Frix has served as the defense counsel for Thurston County Veterans Court since the court's creation in June 2009, the first Veterans Court in the Pacific Northwest and among only 12 in the nation. In 2012, the Washington Defender Association awarded Frix with a Certificate of Recognition for Innovations in Courts. One year later, he was presented the Outstanding Service to Veterans, Male Non-Veteran Award by the Governor’s Veterans and Affairs Advisory Committee and Washington Department of Veterans Affairs. Most recently, Frix received the 2014 Washington State Bar Association’s Local Hero Award.
Following graduation from Oregon Law in 2004, Ridenour worked as a judicial clerk to former Chief Justice Gerald Schroeder of the Idaho Supreme Court. In 2005, she moved back to Oregon to begin a career in civil litigation. In 2010, Ridenour joined Ball Janik LLP. Her practice focuses on representing property owners, including several affordable housing organizations, in construction defect litigation and related disputes. Ridenour is a member of Oregon Women Lawyers, as well as an executive board member of the University of Oregon Law School Alumni Association. She is also a former adjunct instructor for the law school.
The Oregon Law Outstanding Young Alumnus Awards will be bestowed at the Alumni and Reunion Dinner on Friday, Sept. 12, at the Ford Alumni Center located at 1720 East 13th St. in Eugene.
The commencement ceremony for the University of Oregon School of Law Master’s Degree Program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution (CRES) will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 15, in the Wayne Morse Commons of the Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St. in Eugene.
The two-year CRES program works to educate its students in handling disputes, conflict and decision-making. Graduates continue on to pursue careers in various occupations.
The ceremony will recognize the academic achievements of 23 graduates.
Outgoing CRES Program Director Tim Hicks and Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center Faculty Director Jennifer Reynolds will open the ceremony followed by the City of Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and student speakers Mary Ann Christian and Brian Law.
Hicks will briefly speak to each student’s achievements and post-graduation plans before presenting them with a diploma cover and commencement gift, including the following quotation:
“I applaud this school, and the people who made this program come into being in this school, and the students in it, and the people who teach it. You are some of the first in our nation to begin to see that we have to take another path…The path is made by walking and so you begin to take the step, and then the next step unfold.” – Sister Helen Prejean
April 17, 2014
Dear Oregon Law Faculty, Staff, and Students,
These are challenging times at every law school in the country, and the past several days have been particularly stressful for many of us in the Oregon Law community. I believe that we can, at this point, move forward most productively by focusing on a commitment we share: enhancing the professional success of our students.
As many of you know, at last Friday’s faculty meeting, a group of faculty members raised an idea related to enhancing funding for student fellowships. They introduced a motion asking me to explore with the Provost whether a portion of the funds the university planned to provide to underwrite faculty raises could, instead, be used to fund student fellowships over the coming years. I am certain the motivations underlying the substance of this inquiry were selfless and admirable, and I commend our faculty for their creativity.
The proposal prompted vigorous debate. Given the importance of the issues and the circumstances, the presence of heartfelt divergent viewpoints was entirely understandable. However, the conversation quickly escalated. And unfortunately, it moved into forums that are less conducive to the productive assessment of proposals or candid dialogue among colleagues.
As I told the faculty earlier this week, I inquired with the Provost about the possibility of reallocating faculty salary increase funds in this way. The Provost expressed his appreciation for the motivations underlying the request but made it clear that the dollars coming from the University to the law school for faculty compensation this year cannot be diverted for a different use.
This particular avenue is not open. But our shared institutional commitment to supporting our students’ professional success remains as strong as ever, if not stronger. I have heard a number of new, creative ideas from faculty members in the past couple days, and I am confident that our collective energies and passions will lead us in positive directions.
To our students: The faculty and staff of this law school are committed to you. We are in this with you. And we will do everything we can to help you be successful.
Philip H. Knight Dean
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